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Breitbart And James O'Keefe: Oh, Never Mind, We Were Just Lying!
Is this the face of a child molester? Let's rephrase the question...
Now that Roy Moore has actually lost his run for the US Senate and is on his way to becoming an angry trivia question, a couple of rightwing media figures are explaining that they actually believed Moore's accusers. But they continued to support Moore, and denigrate the women who said he'd molested them, because, you see, they had very noble causes that would have been hurt if they hadn't! Breitbart editor Alex Marlow told CNN's Oliver Darcy that he believed Leigh Corfman when she said Moore had molested her in 1979, when she was 14, but he also defended his website's support for Moore and attacks on the women, because if Roy Moore were unacceptable for the Senate, people might start wondering about President Pussgrab's fitness for office. And fake news spewer James O'Keefe said, in a Mediaite interview published today, that he too believed the women, but has no regrets about trying to send a fake Moore accuser to the Washington Post because he's a journalist and he's devoted to the truth.
Very important message for all you kids in J-school: Sometimes you have to support an accused child molester and trash his victims, even though you believe the victims, because you're just so goddamned principled.
Now that the election's all over, Marlow was happy to let Darcy know that he'd thought Roy Moore was a "weak candidate" who "ran a terrible campaign," although Breitbart's coverage presented Moore as a super-patriot who was only accused of raping teenagers because the lamestream media hates America. Besides, Marlow explained, if Breitbart hadn't gone all in for Moore, that would have set a dangerous precedent:
Marlow said one of the factors in Breitbart's coverage of the allegations against Moore is that, he believes, the news media was trying to use them to set a bar on sexual misconduct "that President Trump cannot match."
"I think they want to create a standard where President Trump either from past or future accusations, will not be able to match whatever standard is now in place for who can be a United States senator," he said. "Based off not any sort of conviction or any sort of admission of guilt, but based off of purely allegations."
Yup. Breitbart had to protect the candidacy of a guy Breitbart's Editor-in-Chief thought was probably guilty, because if those media hyenas could get away with reporting credible accusations against one rightwing patriot, what's to stop them from reporting on other accusations against Donald Trump? Some of those 15 women might sound credible, too, and we certainly can't have that. As WaPo's Callum Borchers notes, Marlow is, if not "honest" exactly, at least open in his pure cynicism:
Marlow's interview with Darcy is one of the clearest indications that Breitbart, at its core, is more of an advocacy organization than a news outlet.
The site's coverage of Moore was not about evaluating his actions or fitness for office but about helping Trump. The goal was to keep the bar for elected officials' conduct low enough for Trump to clear.
There's good money in that, after all.
Then there's James O'Keefe, who explained to Mediaite's Caleb Ecarma that he too believed the Washington Post's reporting on the accusations against Moore, but that has nothing to do with the ethics of his own "Project Veritas" (Latin for I Have No Shame, No, Not Even When Caught Red-Handed ), because he has no ethics. Or because the truth of the accusations against Moore isn't his point, anyway:
“Yes [I believe them], but it’s not my subject matter,” said O’Keefe. “That’s not what my investigation was about. It wasn’t about the victims, it was about the bias in the media.”
Duh, so that's why he sent fake "reporter" Jaime Phillips to the Washington Post to tell their real reporters a completely fake story about having had sex with Moore when she was 15, getting pregnant, and then having an abortion at Moore's insistence. Because he wanted to expose the biased media.
The story and fake background Phillips made up for herself had so many inconsistencies that WaPo decided she wasn't the least bit credible -- and when the reporters followed her after she'd been confronted with evidence of her fibs, she drove to the offices of Project Vanitas. Ah, but if you think O'Keefe was trying to suggest that Moore's accusers were as fake as his reporter, then you have completely missed the point, says O'Keefe:
O’Keefe vehemently denied assertions that he was trying to undermine the women’s stories as he insisted the operative posing as a rape victim was only using her made-up story to “gain access” with reporters from the Post and learn their “deep and darkest secrets.”
“Maybe at the end of our meeting, [the Post reporter] would have talked about the Trump-Russia story,” said O’Keefe[.]
Um. Little problem with that, Jimbofibber: The lead reporters on the Moore story, Stephanie McCrummen and Beth Reinhard, haven't written anything about the Russia story. They're darn good journalists, and maybe O'Keefe could have learned a thing or seventy about how to do journalism from both (like Step 1: Don't Lie), but floating a fake Roy Moore rape story to uncover the Post's perfidy on Russia is such a deeply stupid idea that only a James O'Keefe would think of it.
O'Keefe also didn't see any problems with doing an "investigation" by making up a fake statutory rape story:
“You think posing as a [rape] victim is hardcore? You should see a lot of the other aliases we use.”
O’Keefe said he has no regrets and will “never apologize” for his work. Instead, he believes the Post should actually apologize to him for “assigning motives” to Project Veritas.
“I asked the Washington Post for a correction, they just lied… And for that, they should be ashamed, and they should apologize -- and I asked them to, but they didn’t want to print my comment,” O’Keefe said -- seething over the fact that the news outlet he tried to sting declined to publish positive PR for him.
He continued, without a hint of irony, “It was one of the most unethical things I’ve ever seen.”
To be fair, James O'Keefe definitely knows what ethics are, although he personally has never indulged in the habit.