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James O'Keefe's "Project Veritas" -- that's Latin for small coffee cup -- has come out with another blockbuster hidden-camera exposé of unspeakable liberal bias in the media, this time revealing that veteran ABC political reporter David Wright has thoughtful opinions about how the business side of news coverage has made TV news crappier, and saying on camera that the media in general aren't very good at covering Donald Trump. It's all relatively unsurprising stuff, but O'Keefe frames it as shocking, especially Wright's braggy-sounding comment that he considers himself a socialist because he thinks there's too much economic inequality. Also, Wright expressed frustration at how TV news in general is too superficial, even when it comes to Trump, saying, "We don't hold him to account. We also don't give him credit for what things he does do." See? The media is totally out to get the president!

In response, the chowderheads in ABC management announced today Wright would be suspended from his job, and when he returns to reporting, he'll be given non-political assignments. Washington Post media reporter Paul Farhi suspects the suspension may have had relatively little to do with Wright's comments on his own politics or the coverage of Trump, and a lot more to do with his criticisms of ABC, like his complaint that Disney, ABC's owner since 1995, is ruining the news:

Like now you can't watch 'Good Morning America' without there being a Disney princess or a Marvel Avenger appearing. It's all self-promotional.

That's not a sinister confession by a member of a liberal media cabal, that's a reporter who wishes his bosses cared about serious reporting. Shame on him!


Here's the sucky video, so you can see for yourself.

youtu.be

Project Very Tossed exposes the many journalistic crimes of David Wright in a semiliterate story by longtime Project Veritas "reporter" Eric Spracklen, whose commitment to unbiased reporting is no doubt reflected in his multiple Twitter accounts, including @USAforTrump2016, @ThatTrumpGuy, and @WeWantTrump2020.

Boy, we hope Eric wrote this gigantic 10- line headline all by himself. It lacks the wit and verve of "HEADLESS BODY IN TOPLESS BAR," but it sure gets all good stuff in one place:

Honestly, the writing throughout is BAD. If I were a big-money rightwing donor, I'd want my money back.

The video is up to the usual O'Keefe standards: Lots of sudden cuts, usually after something that sounds inflammatory, shaky camera, and misspellings in some captions. No one will ever accuse his operation of being slick. But at least the first few minutes frame snippets of the audio as if they were breaking newspaper headlines, just like Wright's own reporting for a TV network.

"NETWORK MISINFORMING VOTERS," "ABC TWISTS THEIR NEWS NARRATIVE," "TRUMP BIAS CONFIRMED," "ABC WANTS CONFLICT; David Wright says the network is uninterested in voters," and so on. Also, to play up Project Vanitas's own high opinion of itself, a reminder for all you Trump fans to go read Cicero's "On the Ends of Good and Evil."

Because you're mere liberals who lack the refinement of a great conservative thinker, we've linked to an English translation. The passage isn't exactly an earth-shaking denunciation of media bias, or honestly much of anything -- it's basically Hedonism Bad. But some wingnut video editor thought it was deep.

Wright, speaking with an undercover Project Vegeta operative, actually comes off looking pretty smart and thoughtful, which of course is scandalous. It's clear he thinks a lot about doing good journalism, and why TV is often bad at it. That's what Project Vertical Hold tries to depict as "bias," like this perfectly valid critique of just how hard it is to cover a lying showman:

We're not disciplined enough to cut [Trump] off and we second-guess ourselves because we're sensitive to the accusation that we're in the tank for the Democrats. And so that enables them, and so we enable them. And every time we take the bait on it and that's what he wants [...] It's totally and abusive relationship. He's the nightmare spouse that you can't win an argument with.

Shocking! Worse yet, when the undercover operative asks Wright, "Why don't you like him," Wright replies, "'Cause he's a dick." See? "Personal animus for the president"! Mind you, even Trump's friends consider him a dick. He's proud of being a dick. Being a dick is his brand.

The big gotcha, supposedly, is this exchange where Wright confesses he's a commie. The misuse of "they're" is all Spracken's, although it's also used in the video subtitles.

Q: "Would you consider yourself a Democrat Socialist?"

Wright: "Oh yeah. More than that I would consider myself a socialist; like I think there should be national health insurance. I'm totally fine with reining in corporations, I think they're too many billionaires, and I think there's a wealth gap–that's a problem."

We have to fault Wright for not catching that dead giveaway: NOBODY says "Democrat Socialist," and it's weird the operative would have insisted on keeping her faith's odd locution under wraps. And sure, maybe Wright went on to talk more about that, or said he's careful not to let his politics slant his reporting, but you'll never know. He said he's a socialist, so ABC News is socialist.

It gets weirder, though, when Wright uses his distrust of commercial motives to critique ABC News, complaining that there's simply "not enough bandwidth" to cover every voice out there, and griping that TV news is too attracted to shiny objects because that's what gets eyeballs.

"I think, some of that at least in the place that I work [ABC News], and places like it, is that we've, with Trump we're interested in three things: the outrage of the day, the investigation, and of the palace intrigue of who's backstabbing whom. Beyond that, we don't really cover the guy [Trump].

Wright said no one could stop Trump from dominating the news cycles every day. "The first story is the big story, about Trump. And it's about whatever outrageous thing he said or tweeted about, and it's about, or it's about this effort to unseat him, or it's about, you know, 'Today we found anonymous' or 'Who's he [Trump] throwing out of the White House today?' or 'Who's blowing the whistle and stabbing him [Trump] in the back?'"

It's awfully kind of Spracklen to add brackets to make absolutely clear that Wright isn't talking about Agence France Presse or Michael Dukakis there. But that's not a confession of bias, it's a critique of advertising's influence on journalism. The story and video both give prominent play to Wright's lament that the "commercial imperative is incompatible with news" which gets prominent play in the video and Spracklen's story.

Is Project Vegemite saying it hates capitalism? Bold move, guys! Sadly, Project Venividivici doesn't offer a donation link to ProPublica, so we will.

Along similar lines, Wright complains that the attempt to grab attention from social media and to stick to sexy conflict results in TV news not doing a good job of informing the public:

I feel terrible about it. I feel that the truth suffers, the voters are poorly informed, and people don't have the opportunity to tune into whatever they want to here. It's like there no upside in, or our bosses don't see an upside in doing the job we're supposed to do which is to speak truth to power and hold people to account.

That's what these weasels reframe as a confession that ABC is "misinforming voters." Dude offers a good critique of his industry, and they say he's admitting he's fake news.

Oh, and on that topic, how about this bit, which Project Vavoom appears to frame as Wright admitting the news is fake:

Needless to say, whatever he said after that is edited out. But no, he's not talking about the mainstream press there, guys. He's talking about people like James O'Keefe and Project "Veritas," for fuckssake.

And now that he's been smeared as a guy who thinks seriously about his craft, we wish all the best to David Wright. Maybe he can get a job with ProPublica and report further about how market-driven crap is driving out real journalism. Especially now that he's been on the receiving end.

[WaPo via Joe.My.God. / Project "Veritas" / Gizmodo]

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Doktor Zoom

Doktor Zoom's real name is Marty Kelley, and he lives in the wilds of Boise, Idaho. He is not a medical doctor, but does have a real PhD in Rhetoric. You should definitely donate some money to this little mommyblog where he has finally found acceptance and cat pictures. He is on maternity leave until 2033. Here is his Twitter, also. His quest to avoid prolixity is not going so great.

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