James O'Keefe, a right-wing troll with a criminal record, tried to trick the Washington Post by directing a female associate to falsely tell a reporter from the newspaper that Alabama Republican U.S. Senate candidate Roy Moore raped her when she was 15 then forced her to get an abortion. O'Keefe's organization secretly recorded the woman telling the lie to a Washington Post reporter, most likely because O'Keefe was hoping the reporter would say that the paper would use this information to prevent Moore from being elected. The Washington Post didn't fall for it.
Via CBS News:
The woman, Jaime T. Phillips, appears to work with Project Veritas, an organization that attempts to secretly record deceptive conversations with journalists in an effort to discredit mainstream news outlets and expose what they claim to be media bias.
The Post interviewed her over the course of two weeks, identifying falsehoods and inconsistencies in her story along the way. In her unsubstantiated story, she claimed to have a sexual relationship with Moore as a 15-year-old, which she claimed led to an abortion.
In the interviews, Phillips would ask reporters for their opinions on how her false story, if made public, could affect the Moore campaign.
Ultimately, The Post did not publish her story, and Phillips insists that she is not connected to any larger organization. One reporter confronted her on the alleged deception, also noting a suspicious internet post made by Phillips.
Monday morning, Post reporters saw Phillips walk into the offices of Project Veritas. The organization's founder James O'Keefe declined to answer any of The Post's questions about the encounter with Phillips or her employment at Project Veritas when confronted outside of the organization's office.
Osita Nwanevu of Slate says "James O’Keefe’s bungled Washington Post sting will not hurt him one bit," because O'Keefe's admirers are low-information voters who don't think facts are as important as ideology:
"The James O’Keefes of the right are going to keep at this for as long as that money continues to roll in. Hats off, though, to all those still earnest and patient enough to believe, in 2017, that the truth can meaningfully hurt the conservative press. That’s a fight worth fighting, even if it can’t be won."