On Motherboard, Brian Merchant's (previously) new science fiction story The Convoy poses an eerily plausible future for political deepfake hoaxing -- with James O'Keefe-alikes running the show -- that skillfully weaves in elements of the Innocence of Muslims hoax with the current state-of-the-art in high-tech fakery.
Read the rest
Conservatives have nothing but good things to say about James O'Keefe and Breitbart's tactics of using hostile video crews to harass people in public. They don't complain when abortion protestors bomb clinics, or when Trump encourages violence at his rallies. ("Knock the crap out of them, would you? I promise you, I will pay your legal fees.") But they think it's awful when liberals confront Trump apparatchiks who orchestrated the unthinkably horrific practice of mass child cagings. Liberals are rude and uncivil! Bill O'Reilly, who harassed women so viciously that he had to pay $32 million to buy their silence and lost his platform at Fox News, is aghast that a restaurant owner privately told Sarah Huckabee Sanders to dine elsewhere. Some Democrats are also telling protestors to pipe down. But Michelle Goldberg, opinion columnist for The New York Times writes that "we have a crises of democracy, not manners."
The entire column is worth reading, but here is one of many highlights in here piece.
Read the rest
The civility police might point out that many conservatives hated Obama just as much, but that only demonstrates the limits of content-neutral analysis. The right’s revulsion against a black president targeted by birther conspiracy theories is not the same as the left’s revulsion against a racist president who spread birther conspiracy theories.
Faced with the unceasing cruelty and degradation of the Trump presidency, liberals have not taken to marching around in public with assault weapons and threatening civil war. I know of no left-wing publication that has followed the example of the right-wing Federalist and run quasi-pornographic fantasies about murdering political enemies.
Someone is shopping a password-protected PDF of a forged lawsuit against Senate Democratic Leader Chuck Schumer to the DC press; the forgery attempts to trick journalists into thinking that Schumer is being sued by a female former staffer for sexual harassment.
Read the rest
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:
Read the rest
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.
Demand Protest, a service that bills itself as providing "deliver[ing the appearance of rage] at scale while keeping your reputation intact" purportedly pays protesters $2500/month plus $50/hour for left-wing protesters to take to the streets, and claims to have run 48 campaigns, despite having only registered its domain last month (it also displays a copyright notice that spans 2015-2017). Read the rest
James O'Keefe is the Breitbart-affiliated fraudster and fake news pioneer who staged the hoax videos about Acorn and Planned Parenthood that disrupted the last two election cycles; his MO is to dress up in disguises and then attempt to trick progressives into saying damning things on camera (he's not very good at it, having been rumbled by both CNN and Jay Rosen and Clay Shirky). Read the rest
The people at Campus Reform (whose mission is to smash left-wing scum) are offering a $100 bounty for videos of "LIBERAL PROFESSORS" that lead to news stories. Kieran Healy, being a liberal professor, plans to snap up a C-note of his own from the group, whose founder, Morton Blackwell, also founded the Leadership Institute, which boasts such alumni as Karl Rove, Grover Norquist, and James O’Keefe. Here's Healy's entry. I think he's a shoe-in.
(via Making Light) Read the rest
Shirky and Rosen respond: "Lefty journalism professor tries to discredit the Tea Party by passing along sensational footage to his buddies at the Times!!!" Really, if this "sting" is the best that Andrew Breitbart and James O'Keefe can gin up, they might want to find another line of work.
Occasionally I will hear someone exasperated at his tactics describe O’Keefe as a kind of terrorist. This is not wise and it’s not true. He doesn’t use violence; he’s an “entrapment journalist,” as Steve Meyers of Poynter put it. But having been targeted, I can see one thing in his methods that is akin to terrorism.
As I said, when someone asks to sit it on my class, I say “come on in.” But my students are now shocked and angry that their learning environment has been invaded by a trickster like O’Keefe. I need to prevent that from happening again. But the only way I can do so is by closing my classroom to all outsiders, or by looking into the background, motivations and character of potential visitors, which is creepy and offensive. O’Keefe has struck at a pedagogical strength–the openness of my classroom–and changed it into a weakness. In that precise sense, and no other, he is like a terrorist.
Read the rest here.
Right-wing media sting hitman O'Keefe targets Shirky, Rosen Read the rest
The chief executive of National Public Radio has resigned, in the wake of a kerfuffle involving a James O'Keefe video sting. I am baffled by the whole affair, but the core crime that set all of this in motion appears to be the fact that another NPR executive had the audacity to use the word "xenophobic" in relation to the Tea Party. WaPo, NYT, more NYT. (disclosure: I am a proud freelance contributor to the radio network). Read the rest
Conservative activist James O'Keefe has attempted to trick CNN reporter Abbie Boudreau into a video where she'd be surrounded by sex toys, porn, and other "incriminating" stuff on a boat. He failed. O'Keefe is most infamous for the ACORN 2009 undercover video controversy. In the CNN case, Boudreau was tipped off on the way to the boat by Izzy Santa, exec director of O'Keefe's Project Veritas.
Read the rest
"I have a problem on my hands that I think has the potential for unnecessary backlash," Santa wrote (to a financial donor to Project Veritas). "Today, James is meeting with a CNN correspondent today on his boat. She is doing a piece on the movement of young conservative filmmakers.
"She doesn't know she is getting on a boat but rather James' office. James has staged the boat to be a palace of pleasure with all sorts of props, wants to have a bizarre sexual conversation with her. He wants to gag CNN."
She wrote that "the idea is incredibly bad" and "the more I think about it we should not be doing this."
O'Keefe had also instructed Santa to print a "pleasure palace graphic" on a large poster, according to an e-mail.
CNN later obtained a copy of a 13-page document titled "CNN Caper," which appears to describe O'Keefe's detailed plans for that day.
"The plans appeared so outlandish and so juvenile in tone, I questioned whether it was part of a second attempted punk," Boudreau said.
But in a phone conversation, Santa confirmed the document was authentic.