In an exclusive interview with The Daily Caller, president and founder of Project Veritas James O’Keefe explains why he believes that the mainstream journalism community in America has failed to hold those in power accountable.
“For what ever reason, journalists are not willing to do the things that we at Project Veritas do,” O’Keefe said. “It might be because they are afraid. I think that is the number one thing. People are just generally afraid of what happens to them when they take on those in power. They are afraid of retribution; they are afraid for their reputations. Citizens I talk to are very scared to be audited by the IRS. In many ways we are just trying to demonstrate that you can do this and survive, which is hard, but you can do it.”
O’Keefe also points to the very cozy relationship that many in the media have with people in power: “I think there is also ambition. Journalists want to be part of the club, go to the parties, have their sources like them. I think there is shared politics, there is a belief amongst many reporters and people in the media that they support the government, they support the state, they think it’s well-intentioned and we are here to show you the reality of things that maybe some of these programs are not as altruistic as people think. Maybe they are not doing what they say they are doing. Maybe they are doing the opposite of what they say they are doing.”
O’Keefe shot to prominence through a series of undercover videos that exposed the internal workings of political organizations like Acorn and Battleground Texas, as well as National Public Radio. His career has raised questions about who is and is not a “journalist” in 21st century America.
Despite this criticism, O’Keefe is un-moved.
“We have quite literally changed people’s minds,” he said.
He highlights how his videos and methods, while unorthodox, require people to pay attention with the issues he raises: they pull back the veil. The people whose minds are changed can be law professors being confronted by the reality of voter fraud in New Hampshire through to President Obama signing a bipartisan bill to defund ACORN, an organization that he himself had worked for.
O’Keefe acknowledges that while his actions have been championed by some he is very aware of the ramifications to himself and his organization.
“We light a fire under people and prompt them to do things that they otherwise would not do and we are hated for it,” he said.
Catch part two of interview with James O’Keefe tomorrow.