The controversial conservative activist, James O’Keefe, has announced the release of about 119 hours of raw audio recorded secretly at CNN’s Atlanta headquarters back in 2009. He announced the release of the audio, obtained from an anonymous source identified as “Miss X,” in Washington D.C., during the meeting of the Conservative Political Action Conference (CPAC).
He had revealed earlier on Wednesday on Sean Hannity’s radio show and during an interview with CNN media correspondent Brian Stelter that he would begin releasing “a few hundred hours” of “secretly recorded material” from inside CNN newsroom.
He had also boasted earlier in the year that his group, Project Veritas, has moles “inside the newsrooms” of mainstream media organizations. He explained to Stelter on Wednesday that his group was targeting CNN because the organization “has a very important role as an arbiter of news.”
“My audience, the American people, are deeply upset at the media,” O’Keefe toldCNN. “We think our media needs to be held to account and CNN is kind of the leader in that. CNN has a very important role as an arbiter of news.”
After releasing the raw audio from CNN newsroom, O’Keefe declared that the “revelations” contained in the tapes signal “the beginning of the end of the MSM.”
The newly-released tapes, recorded at CNN’s Atlanta headquarters, and dumped online WikiLeaks-style were recorded in 2009. They were obtained from an anonymous source inside CNN, O’Keefe explained. The recordings include conversations between several former and current CNN employees, such as Joe Sterling, Arthur Brice, and Nicky Robertson, according to RT.
A statement by O’Keefe’s Project Veritas claimed that the recordings show CNN staff misrepresenting polling data and displaying bias against Republicans.
A video uploaded to YouTube by Project Veritas also explained that the group would “investigate and expose the media, particularly the mainstream media that seems to believe the American people are incapable of making informed decision.”
The video said the group would expose the mainstream media by using their own “Alinsky” tactics against them.
He described the methods Project Veritas has used to expose “liberal MSM” corruption as using “Alinsky against the Alinskyites” and insisted that the tapes did not need to be explained because they “speak for themselves.”
After releasing the tapes, O’Keefe asked his fans and supporters to help to transcribe them. He also offered a reward of $10,000 to anyone who could obtain similar tapes exposing mainstream media bias and corruption.
“We don’t have the time or the manpower to go through all the tapes so we’d like you to go through the tapes for us.”
The audio recordings were not accessible on the site where they were uploaded for several hours after O’Keefe’s announcement of the release. People anxious to listen to the tapes complained on social media that they could not access the site.
While some suggested that the inaccessibility could be due to heavy traffic, others indulged in conspiracy theory, speculating that the “shadow government” or the “deep state” were blocking the site to stop people from knowing the truth.
“It’s not allowing access.”
“I was excited about seeing the inside info, but the site isn’t working. Will it be fixed or is the shadow Gov intervening.”
“Is the #DeepState is blocking site?”
But despite O’Keefe’s claim that the audio recordings signal “the beginning of the end of the MSM,” the Washington Post’s Callum Borchers described the “bombshell revelations” as “underwhelming.”
Borchers pointed out that the first disappointing fact about the recordings was that they were from 2009, which means that supporters who had been looking forward to juicy revelations of gross journalistic malfeasance during the 2016 general election period would be disappointed.
In one of the recordings, CNN’s Vice President Richard Griffiths was captured saying that the role of journalists and the media was to “aid the afflicted and afflict the comfortable.”
According to Borchers, there is hardly anything shocking about Griffith’s comment (quoted below).
“If we are journalists, what is our role as a journalist? What is the fundamental role as a journalist, for us to do? Tell a story. Tell what’s going on. There’s a secondary corollary to that, right? Aid the afflicted and afflict the comfortable. To a degree, right? Is that not part of the traditional role of a journalist? It’s actually one of the things I can be most proud of as a journalist. You know we try to show the ugly side of humanity so we can do something about it. It’s hard, very hard.”
The statement by Griffiths that the duty of journalists is to “aid the afflicted and afflict the comfortable,” was taken from the 1960 movie Inherit the Wind.
Borchers argued that it is difficult to explain exactly what was scandalous about Griffiths saying that “aid[ing] the afflicted and afflict[ing] the comfortable” was the duty of the media as the “watchdog of public affairs and the government.”
In another recording, an assignment editor was heard saying that “Fox News is unbearable. It’s horrible.”
It is hardly shocking to learn that a CNN editor thinks that a rival network is “horrible,” Borchers argued.
“That issue, climate change, I mean science is pretty much on board, and there are a few dissenters. There’s no debate,” another editor said in yet another recording.
O’Keefe first gained public attention and notoriety when he released a video in 2009 in which he approached the community-organizing group, ACORN, posing as a pimp in the company of a female associate who posed as a prostitute.
Other stings by the O’Keefe targeted NPR and Planned Parenthood.
However, he got into trouble in 2010 when he was sentenced to three years probation on a misdemeanor charge after he and three colleagues were caught attempting to secretly film Senator Mary Landrieu’s (D-La.) office in New Orleans.
[Featured Image by Ric Feld/AP Photo]