James O’Keefe is set to unveil his final October Surprise video as the embattled conservative filmmaker promised to release a video showing Hillary Clinton’s campaign “demeaning and disparaging” black people. Adding to the potential impact, the revelation is set for release just days before Election Day.
O’Keefe has been alternately praised among right-wing circles and condemned by the wider media for his series of undercover videos released in the weeks leading up to Election Day, which allegedly showed instances of voter fraud from Democratic operatives and insider dealings that included plans to encourage violence at Donald Trump’s rallies.
The October Surprise videos have come from O’Keefe’s non-profit media arm, Project Veritas, and the releases have been building up to the final video that he had hinted about for several weeks. In late September, James O’Keefe said he had obtained video of Hillary Clinton demeaning black people, and the announcement was met with excitement from many Donald Trump supporters.
That video will now be hitting the internet. Last week, O’Keefe said he was set to release the final video early in the week, which would leave less than a week until voting.
I said weeks ago we obtained 'tape of them demeaning and disparaging black people' -- that will be released early this coming week #veritas— James O'Keefe (@JamesOKeefeIII) October 29, 2016
There is plenty of doubt about what the October Surprise video might` entail. O’Keefe has a troubled reputation among media, dating back to his breakout expose in 2009 that claimed to show widespread wrongdoing at the community activist group, ACORN.
O’Keefe released undercover videos that claimed to show a pimp asking ACORN workers for help with his sex trafficking plans, with the releases leading to a Congressional backlash against ACORN and the group’s eventual de-funding.
But once the full videos of the expose were released, it painted a different story. O’Keefe and his Project Veritas outlet had failed to show instances of ACORN workers acting appropriately, and O’Keefe ended up paying a $100,000 settlement to ACORN employee Juan Carlos Vera, who was fired as a result of the videos.
As Think Progress noted, there were many other instances in which James O’Keefe used deceptive editing in a political hit piece.
“O’Keefe’s other videos have been exposed as either complete lies or deceptively edited. ThinkProgress reported last year that O’Keefe’s attempt to expose voter fraud by non-citizens actually featuredUS citizens. The conservative activist has also been arrested for trying to bug a Senator’s phone. In his ACORN pimp sting, O’Keefe deceptively edited in the famous pimp costume later, though he actually wore a suit and tie at the ACORN office.”
James O’Keefe has been under fire for his latest set of videos as well. Some of the people featured have claimed that their interviews were deceptively edited, and new reports claim that he could be in legal trouble for an unauthorized phone tap. Think Progress noted that audio from a September conference call which Project Veritas claimed showed evidence of election rigging might have been illegally recorded.
“But ThinkProgress confirmed with multiple people on the conference call shown in the video that they were on the call from states that have wiretapping laws that prohibit recording of phone conversations unless all parties consent to be recorded.”
It is still not clear what the final October Surprise video will contain. O’Keefe has been vague about whether the video shows Clinton herself, which he seemed to imply with the initial announcement, or someone representing her campaign or even an affiliated Democratic group.
Despite the allegations against James O’Keefe, his final October Surprise video claiming to show Hillary Clinton “demeaning and disparaging black people” is still being met with an enthusiastic audience. Many conservative news sites and followers of Donald Trump have circulated his announcement on social media, building anticipation for the yet-to-be-scheduled release.
[Featured Image by Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images]