For James O’Keefe, the American system of authorities depends on an knowledgeable citizenry. It’s the duty of journalists to get out the information. He sees many modern media as having deviated from this duty, focusing as an alternative on offering opinion, and a lot of it, typically without transparency.
In his quest for truth-telling, O’Keefe based Challenge Veritas, which equips reporters with hidden cameras to conduct undercover investigations. His movies, exposing crime and corruption inside government and government-funded organizations, have undeniably had an impression, however have additionally led to repeated private assaults, lawsuits and an arrest. In my interview with him, O’Keefe tells us why he believes the public’s right to know justifies his controversial strategies, and why it’s value the danger.
Jan Jekielek: So James you describe your self as both a muckraker and as an investigative reporter and I needed you to give us a bit of a picture of what these roles mean to you.
James O’Keefe: Nicely muckraking, a term I consider that was coined by Ida Tarbell. It’s about creating righteous indignation. Righteous indignation is the most motivating drive in politics. We consider at Undertaking Veritas, and as my mentor Andrew Breitbart stated, that politics and policy is downstream from the culture. So we’ve got to inform the individuals and journalism, investigative journalism, is from our vantage level, the most powerful factor you possibly can do to expose the fact. So I was reading a e-book lately and the means they put it is that investigative journalists are the custodians of conscience, that we permit the individuals to formulate an concept of what’s and what is just not moral in a society. So these types of issues are the foundation of how individuals are informed. The American system of government depends upon, it depends upon an informed citizenry. So I might submit to you that the American individuals are simply not informed. It’s not that they’re not clever enough to make public coverage determinations. It’s simply they don’t have the info essential to make knowledgeable public policy determinations. So what we’d like is, we’d like muckrakers and investigative journalists to get this info in a uncooked and true type in order to help make that happen and that’s what I’m dedicated to doing and my organization Venture Veritas is the tip of the spear of this endeavor.
Jan Jekielek: So there’s a lot of people that describe themselves as investigative journalists at present and I assume you’re suggesting that they’re not truly providing that. I assume you’re calling it ethical steerage for society. How does that work? Are individuals misleading us and saying that they’re truly doing investigative work?
James O’Keefe: Properly, and to be clear, I feel that journalists are offering too much ethical steerage. I feel the correct position of an investigative reporter is to actually make information judgments, is to provide individuals what is what’s newsworthy, not the moral opinning. The custodian of conscience is your testing and affirming what’s and what is just not an outrage to individuals by providing them with details. This has type of turn out to be a cliche however journalism at present is just all about opinion. It’s all you making ethical judgments about the information and we’re not likely getting any precise uncooked info. And actually, arguably journalists assume that you simply shouldn’t have the uncooked, the raw info is dangerous that it creates herd instincts; that it might create prejudice and that is getting ahead of myself here on this interview. But what happens is social media corporations are starting to censor raw info, that the incorrect info would lead to the flawed public coverage answer. And we’re getting too far ahead of ourselves. This all started occurring in the 1960s and 70s in newspapers. They received away from doing reporting. Watergate happened and individuals seen their positions in journalism; they need to grow to be celebrities or they pursued power. They seen it as a means to get to energy when again in the day it was all about simply exposing details. So this is the reason we choose video as the medium as a result of it’s the purest and rawest and most uninhibited type that correctly educates the individuals. That’s why we select video in the method that we do.
Jan Jekielek: So I would like to deal with a couple of issues head on here. Specifically around utilizing video for example, a quantity of individuals as you nicely know, have principally accused you of slicing your videos in such a method as to misrepresent the context of the state of affairs. What would you say to those individuals?
James O’Keefe: Nicely I might say that each one journalism is edited selectively so; I mean the very nature of journalism is you will have to edit the story to match it. I mean when you simply launch a torrent of gibberish and uncooked words it gained’t make sense. You will have to write the story. But the factor about video is that there’s a beginning point and there’s an end level and it captures actuality accurately. The words, and I’ve quite a bit of respect for the work you guys do, but newspaper reporters can’t capture it, can’t seize reality as precisely as video because with video you decide up on an individual’s intonation, you decide up on subtleties words don’t decide up on. You decide up on physique language and regardless of when you’re the greatest writer in the world you’ll be able to’t decide up on all these nuances that a video digital camera can capture. Now you may say nicely the video digital camera is edited; properly so are sentences. Sentences are arranged and juxtaposed in the approach that the artist or the writer needs. I don’t find out about you however once I learn The New York Occasions each day it will get worse and worse. They patronize you, they omit and the video digital camera can’t, I can’t omit once I film you over the course of an hour. I see what I get. So I might argue that we’d like more of these visuals, we’d like more of these cameras in these dark corners. And that’s simply the bottom line. They will say all the stuff that they want however at the end of the day I’m not lying about what I see and I get sued and I get deposed and I have to swear on the Bible and increase my proper hand that what I saw was real. And so assist me God. And the different thing I’ll inform you is that they say that we edit however they never truly offer you a selected instance. It’s all hyperbole, it’s all simply an accusation and not using a specific. When you have a selected instance of a selected edit please identify it. And third, so much of the those that we’ve filmed have admitted they’ve stated what they’ve stated and they’ve resigned. So when you resigned and admitted you’ve stated what you’ve stated where is the veniality. Where is the example of the supposed deceptive modifying they simply can’t identify it.
Jan Jekielek: So do you then current longer full unedited movies as well as to the clips that you simply feel encapsulate the actuality?
James O’Keefe: We typically have completed that. The issue is, and this has turn into one of their logical fallacies is, let’s say it’s a two hour encounter with a topic like the NPR investigation that we did; this about seven years in the past. We did a story on National Public Radio. [It] was a two or three hour long interview and I made a decision I’m to release the whole interview. Properly then numerous conspiracy theorists, this is what they did with the Deliberate Parenthood movies as nicely, willl go into the uncooked and say it seems like minute marker two hour and 11 minutes isn’t precisely matched with. . . they’ll create a fictitious. . . And that is truly what happens. The conspiracy theories come out and say [there] is a few sort of drawback with it. So we decided we will’t probably placate these individuals. One other factor that they’ll do is in the event you launch the full uncooked, they’ll say however how do we all know that you simply didn’t depart the building and then stroll again in they’ll just provide you with. . . these individuals will never be placated. They’ll never be glad. Oh and by the means, video of an encounter is above and beyond the normal that any newspaper reporter could have. You simply use nameless sources or you simply say this is what the individual stated. Why don’t we ask the New York Occasions to present unedited notebooks and videotape of all of their quotes? It’s a preposterous normal. It’s a normal that no journalist might probably abide by. At Venture Veritas I might simply launch. . . I might say Individual X stated this and not present any video at all. So again releasing video of quotes is an ordinary that goes above and past what another reporter is supposed to do. And if they need to hold me to the commonplace of releasing uncooked tapes to buttress quotes I consider that’s an ordinary they need to hold themselves to. So once more this is not the problem at hand, the challenge is actually who is a journalist, what’s a journalist? These are the extra important questions and the extra underlying the reason why they assault me in the first place.
Jan Jekielek: The opposite piece, so so much of this work that you simply’re describing with NPR with Planned Parenthood, that is undercover work the place the journalists otherwise you posing as another person. And that’s been described by some individuals as being unethical. What would you say to the folks that say that?
James O’Keefe: Nicely I might say there’s two totally different points? You’re right that, that’s the proper response, is that properly you’re secretly recording these individuals right and you’re using false pretenses. Properly let’s take these issues one at a time. First the secret recording matter right. So first of all in every and every case the place we film somebody it’s all the time I’m all the time a celebration to the dialog. In other words, let’s say I’m secretly recording you and you don’t know that in New York Metropolis.
Jan Jekielek: Perhaps you’re.
James O’Keefe: Right. Properly there’s tech cameras throughout right here. However let’s say I’m secret recording you some other place in the restaurant or something and you don’t know that. However what you do know is I’m speaking to you. You recognize that and we all know each other considerably properly however we know we don’t know one another terribly nicely. We’ve met one another two or 3 times I consider in the past. But but I’m type of a stranger. And what the bottom line is from an ethics perspective, I could possibly be writing all the things you’re saying down and I might blast it to the entire world tomorrow. You haven’t any expectation of privateness. So from an ethical perspective, I might argue that recording you does more justice than merely writing down what you say. So from an moral or moral perspective, the secret recording just isn’t a problem so long as you understand that, you recognize the recording is on me. In different phrases, the place we might cross the line is that if I put a recording system down and I walked away. That’s zero celebration consent. We don’t do this at Undertaking Veritas. So the secret recording shouldn’t be the ethical quandary our opponents would lead you to consider. The opposite concern is the false pretense situation. That’s a more tough one. We might speak for hours about that. I’ve acquired some issues to say but. But the false pretenses, we argue it’s mandatory. We argue that deception in some instances, is required to uncover the fact because some points are of very important, very important and profound public significance. And of course historical past is replete with investigative reporters who’ve executed this. However that’s a more difficult subject and ask away if you wish.
Jan Jekielek: Nicely so that is truly one of my questions. You realize what’s responsible journalism? How do you see responsible journalism?
James O’Keefe: In terms of the deception for example or just usually.
Jan Jekielek: I feel usually.
James O’Keefe: OK. I might reply that by saying I mean journalism is outlined as some individuals have stated in history it’s it’s telling the fact and shaming the satan. Journalism is about telling the fact to the audience. You’ve to be truthful. You will have to give them the fact. And and for those who look via history often it’s at any means crucial. Now where’s the line? Properly for me, it’s you have got to inform the fact to the viewers even when it means deceiving your topic. By the approach this isn’t unique to me. Journalists deceive topics all the time. I imply journalists bribe, seduce. Seduction doesn’t solely take the type of undercover. I imply New York Occasions reporters, you must hear how they speak to topics on the telephone. They make you assume they’re your good friend. They make you assume that your greatest good friend in the world. And then they break the story and all. After which the subject is oh how might I’ve probably trusted this individual. This isn’t distinctive to Challenge Veritas. Seduction, broadly talking is what most reporters do and are supposed to do to get you to belief them. Veritas does it differently. We use pretense. We use undercover methods but the most essential thing is to inform the fact to the viewers and most people are more trustworthy once they don’t know they’re talking to a reporter. So should you’re a reporter and you’re speaking to a topic that subject is feeding you B.S. feeding you things that they want the public to know. Properly guess what, you is probably not doing responsible journalism. Chances are you’ll be giving the public the factor the source needs you to give to the public. So you’ve got to be very careful should you’re a reporter and you’re just relaying info. At Undertaking Veritas we don’t have that drawback as a lot as a result of the individual does not know that they’re being recorded and it’s a visible, its video. It’s real cinema verite. You’re capturing this individual, an actual moment unguarded. It’s aesthetically true and oftentimes in uncommon instances where they are making it up like Nick Dudek at the New York Occasions saying I’m Nick, I’m James Comey’s godson, even in the instances the place he is B.S.ing it turns into newsworthy. So it’s a very fascinating distinction between when the topic is aware of that they’re being recorded and once they don’t.
Jan Jekielek: It’s very, very fascinating. You already know in American Pravda. You discover this concept of pretend news which I assume is by some means the opposite of what you’ve been describing. However this term has truly been used by all types of individuals and all types of methods. It’s this virtually weaponized term. Can you explain what pretend information means to you?
James O’Keefe: That’s a very loaded term today used by each side of the equation. I feel I consider with Steve Bannon who originated it and Glenn Greenwald wrote a bit about that. Pretend information I feel to me it, it embodies this American Pravda, this ebook I wrote, it better encapsulates it this manner. You look at CNN is an example of a community the place it’s all about narrative. There’s no actual information. There’s no actual new info. It’s the method they use chyrons to do. . .
Jan Jekielek: There’s all types of breaking news?
James O’Keefe: Yeah.
Jan Jekielek: I don’t perceive what you mean there isn’t a precise unique reporting.
James O’Keefe: There’s no foreign money in investigative journalism. That is what I feel. There’s no actual investigative journalism occurring on these platforms. It’s all simply opinion; it’s all simply speak. Ninety five % of individuals, the panel’s fixed speaking in gibberish. I don’t care what you assume. I would like to see the info. So perhaps pretend is just too robust of a phrase but I’m simply tired of the opinning and the opinions and the angles and the the coloring of info. I just need to see the info. I’m not a hypocrite. Should you look at my stories, the extent of my involvement is I’m James O’Keefe Examine this out. That’s it. That’s all I would like you to say. I don’t want to hear it so I don’t know if it’s pretend is the proper adjective. But as a result of these individuals are expressing their opinions however their opinions haven’t any basis in actuality. Their opinions haven’t any foundation in actuality. We did a video last yr, two years ago on the Washington Publish and a man, I consider his identify is Adam Entus, I consider that was his identify. My colleague may know his identify however he stated something like our editorial page is incorrect on the Russia story. He stated this and we caught him on hidden digital camera saying this and I received a lot flak and individuals stated nicely James doesn’t know the distinction between the editorial page and and a newspage. Properly for those who learn Jill Abramson’s new ebook, she’s no proper winger by the method, she says the similar factor. She says it’s they’re being merged collectively. So if there’s no distinction between your opinion page and your editorial page if there’s no difference there, then where’s the actual information. If the material skilled on the Russia investigation, not me, however the material skilled, Adam Entous at the Washington Publish, says pay attention there’s no difference between, the individuals on the opinion pages are flawed on their report, nicely then what’s their opinion based mostly in. If it’s not based mostly in truth or reality and if ninety two to 100 % of what we’re seeing on cable information networks is opinion with no foundation in actuality then sure. To answer your query that’s pretend news.
Jan Jekielek: So President Trump has referred to as out numerous journalists and numerous media at a time as pretend information. And a few individuals have stated that that’s truly undermining; by doing so he’s undermining the credibility of the career in its entirety. How do you see that?
James O’Keefe: I truly assume [it is] one of the biggest virtues of this president and one of the biggest synergies with this president. What we’re doing is waking, getting individuals woke about the media, let me simply make this clear to your viewers; the media has all the energy. All the energy. I imply the media is every thing. Individuals say properly the media. . . Know that every little thing is downstream from media and by media. I don’t simply imply CNN and The New York Occasions, I mean Silicon Valley, also the social media corporations. They’re media corporations because CNN, New York Occasions, NBC News, circulate their messages via social media, they work collectively they distribute their messaging together; in some instances they have business preparations collectively. That’s what Nick Dudek advised us at the New York Occasions about his relationship with YouTube. He works with [them] so the media has all the energy. So I feel one of the biggest virtues of Trump is his capacity to get individuals to think about whether what they’re getting is real, to question. This is what some would think about his largest drawback. I feel it’s his biggest advantage; of Trump, is making individuals question and be skeptical of what they see, the Pravda. The difference between the Soviet Pravda, Pravda was the Russian word for Soviet newspaper, is that everyone in the Soviet Union knew that it was a joke. They knew that they have been being lied to.
Jan Jekielek: It is so ironic fact, Pravda is fact.
James O’Keefe: Pravda is the word for fact in Russian. They knew that it was a lie but they only didn’t have the moral courage to do something about it. So in other phrases the vast majority of individuals in the Soviet Union stated this can be a bunch of B.S. but when I protest they’ll ship me to the gulag. In the United States, I might say greater than 50 % of individuals truly consider lots of the lies in the media. So the biggest virtue of this president is looking consideration to that and making individuals query. Perhaps this is not real? Getting individuals to get up. In fact the media, they’re simply completely satisfied as a result of they’re making extra money than ever being unfavourable and antagonistic in the direction of this guy. In order that’s where we’re proper now.
Jan Jekielek: So you’ve truly stated for this idea of media having all the energy, you just talked about this. You’ve truly stated earlier than that it has extra power than the legislative branch of authorities 100 %. Are you able to unpackage that for me?
James O’Keefe: Sure. Nicely it’s 100 % true. The media has more power than all three branches of authorities. And I’m not the one who originated this. This was a person named Alexander Solzhenitsyn who stated it in his Harvard tackle to a bewildered graduation. All these Harvard individuals anticipated this Alexander Solzhenitsyn to say what they need him to say. And he goes, the media has more energy than all three branches of authorities mixed. Assume of that for a second because that’s very counterintuitive proper. However let me explain that as a result of this is very important. Once you turn on the TV, do these legislators in the present day truly do any legislating or they spend most of the time in front of a digital camera on CNN? They understand this, that politics is downstream from an informed inhabitants and most people get their info from the media. And the media isn’t limited to CNN the New York Occasions, NBC News. It also consists of Google, Fb, and Twitter. So you better consider that these politicians spend most of their time dealing with CNN, The New York Occasions, NBC, Facebook Google, and Twitter. Trump has chosen to to be antagonistic with these organizations. So I feel that that is an inflection level in American historical past proper now, proper here. And I consider that Solzhenitsyn is and was right. And Andrew Breitbart taught this to me. He was my mentor and he stated James the media isn’t just one thing to think about. He stated the media is every little thing. It’s every little thing. Andrew Breitbart, who himself was mentored by Arianna Huffington and Matt Drudge. Andrew Breitbart edited The Drudge Report once I met him. He stated James the media is every little thing. He stated that you’ve to get out and you could have to. . . I used to be arrested at that point in New Orleans, and he stated speak to the New York Occasions. He stated speak to these organizations don’t cower, don’t be in a fetal place. Get out in front of the story. I don’t assume individuals understand this however once they do understand it,it modifications your strategy it impacts how you conduct your self and the way you strategy these points it truly speaks a bit of bit to how I acquired into media frankly.
Jan Jekielek: Nevertheless it’s actually fascinating. So I assume Challenge Veritas, we might see it as being a sort of a brand new media in a method. I imply I suppose the Epoch Occasions can also be a sort of a new media. So how do new media contrast with and I hesitate to say the phrase conventional however let’s say the mainstream media what we expect of extra conventionally as the huge media in our society.
James O’Keefe: So this can be a excellent query. On one hand I might say cease complaining about the media and develop into the media. And what does that mean? You guys started a newspaper which is a Herculean effort in our case. I feel what what I might say to you is that we don’t want to create a media firm or create a media company that like different corporations create their company and have their little distribution. We would like to get coated by the mainstream media. In other phrases our mannequin and this isn’t our model it’s a imaginative and prescient I suppose for the residents is get in the New York Occasions get on CBS this with Brietbart taught me; he stated get coated by them. Now that is very counterintuitive to an unbiased minded one that criticizes these venues and I simply did criticize them. Nevertheless as crucial as I am of these organizations I acknowledge their energy. In different phrases here in Manhattan the place we are right now, if it isn’t in the New York Occasions it does not exist to the individuals in Manhattan. Now individuals criticize me and say, properly James you’re giving them too much energy. I say sure however we will nonetheless get coated by the New York Occasions if the story is large enough. If this story resonates, if this story is highly effective, if the content material is robust sufficient, if the Epoch Occasions breaks an enormous story on you identify the scandal, the Justice Department, you simply might get the New York Occasions to cowl the fruits of your labor. If the Justice Division scandal the Epoch Occasions uncovers is so huge and embroiled numerous executives in the Justice Department that these people get subpoenaed or themselves resign, the New York Occasions has to cover the results of your labor so the imaginative and prescient subsequently is to do journalism. The vision is to do journalism to such a level and to such a scale that it forces the non journalists to cover the journalism that you simply do. You see that’s the vision that these individuals keep, and by the approach there are some good journalists out there in these mainstream publication there’s still some of them, a number of of them perhaps I can rely them on one hand. In any occasion if we do the journalism ourselves and we do it proper and we be the change we want to see in the world and we set the example, we’ll pressure the mainstream media to cover our work. That’s the imaginative and prescient behind Undertaking Veritas. But I might argue it’s really not my vision. It’s a imaginative and prescient for the citizenry. And I’m simply making an attempt to be a facilitator. I’m making an attempt to let individuals know that you can do this. You don’t want a journalism diploma. You don’t need to work for an established publication. What you actually need is the moral braveness and the willingness to go out. Just go do it. And the metrics shall be what number of New York Occasions entrance pages will you get to be pressured to cover your work. This is like the holy grail of results, a New York Occasions headline, above the fold masking something that you simply’ve completed. In order that’s my vision. To reply your query a few vision for a way to interact with or exchange media.
Jan Jekielek: It’s very fascinating that you’d say that because a number of weeks back, I can’t keep in mind, pretty much precisely what happened for us except the story was spun so wildly that the headline, I consider was something to the impact that the president was underneath investigation for being a Russian agent. And I feel it was, I counted nine paragraphs into it, there was a line saying nicely there was no proof to help this.
James O’Keefe: Right.
Jan Jekielek: Very fascinating that you simply say that. I assume we’re on the proper monitor to your faculty of journalism.
James O’Keefe: You want to hold doing it. You need to maintain going. Yes you’re proper. You’re on the proper monitor. And I might say you keep that momentum. Perhaps the next story they’ll be pressured to admit there was evidence. I’ll offer you one quick, two quick examples we did this in The New York Occasions. I’m utilizing New York Occasions a scapegoat here. But with the ACORN investigation, Congress this has occurred in 2009. We did this investigation into ACORN. I posed as a pimp and we did all these workplaces. It was an extended story, massive story; put Challenge Veritas on the map. Both homes of Congress have been democratically controlled and the Home and Senate voted overwhelmingly to defund ACORN as a result of of the videos that Hannah and I did earlier than the New York Occasions even assigned a reporter to the story. The New York Occasions then had their ombudsman print an apology to their readers saying we tuned in too late. It was written by Clark Hoyt in March; it was truly written in September of 2009 and it stated tuning in too late and they apologized for not masking the story but saying in the future they might assign a further reporter to cover tales that we broke. Now that, now that’s unbelievable. And in 2016 the New York Occasions printed an A piece story on our story on our Democracy Companions the place I consider the headline was one thing to the effect of Democratic operative caught doing dirty tips. So that is definitely attainable. It’s like one small step for man, one big leap for citizen journalism, one step on the moon, hopefully there’ll be more steps. But the answer is completely. You guys are on the right monitor. Maintain going. Hold doing it.
Jan Jekielek: Thanks James. So that you even have an entire new crop of younger undercover journalists. I understand from December and January we’re doing this work and I understand there’s some information that’s going to come out in this work that they’re doing. You give us any previews here?
James O’Keefe: We have been very busy throughout the election cycle. We broke some dozen stories on numerous senators, governors, some of which prompted some resignations in Florida and Missouri and elsewhere and in the last two months we’ve been just very busy recruiting undercover journalists and even recruiting some individuals on the inside of these numerous establishments. I might say one of our huge focuses right now’s Silicon Valley. Some of these giant tech corporations like Google and Fb and Twitter. Individuals on the inside are so fed up by what they are witness to, and some of them are fairly aligned with some of things I’ve stated right here on this interview that they’ve proactively reached out to me and some of these individuals themselves are prepared to put on a digital camera. So you may even see imminently some issues happen there that we’re in New York state right here where Andrew Cuomo only recently handed a regulation relating to the situation involving late term abortion and some issues occurring on that difficulty and in some issues involving some submit delivery issues, where right now a bill is being debated. Senator Ben Sasse is speaking about that so there’s that situation and I might say there’s the schooling concern which you guys have completed an awesome job of masking. I really like your your insert in your newspaper about the schooling difficulty I saw. After which there’s the election of 2020. There’s rather a lot going on in this nation. So my job is to discover the, I assume you might say the unreasonable man, who’s prepared to strap a digital camera to themselves and do the unthinkable. And these will not be straightforward individuals to find and there is a lot of work coaching them and equipping them before we ship them out. So we’ve spent the last two months getting an entire new crop of individuals on and you’ll see in the subsequent 30 days some news tales come out.
Jan Jekielek: So this part of the new individuals which are on this crop is fascinating. But you mentioned that there’s truly individuals on the inside that you simply’ve related with or they’ve reached out to you and they’re sporting cameras. Talking from the inside what compels somebody to do such a factor?
James O’Keefe: So we have been, you and I, have been talking about this off the air just lately. And I feel that we’ve accomplished quite a bit of considering and reading and learning the traits of these individuals, and some of this stuff are type of commerce secrets, but I can inform you that the number one commonality that the people who do this, and I’m not talking about simply an undercover journalist, I’m speaking about somebody who truly blows the whistle. You guys cope with that, your colleagues discover those individuals and you will have a singular experience on this as nicely, it appears to me they all share what I call a justice complicated. They’re so passionate; they consider so deeply. One of the people who we are speaking to truly stated that I found what this group was doing is so dangerous that I felt the public had a right to know. I felt like the public had a right to know and it’s virtually like their dedication to that idea is bigger than whatever. . . fairly a big sacrifice that they themselves are making of their personal lives. Their belief in something is bigger than their belief in worrying about their safety, if that is sensible and these individuals do exist; they are out there. I might say the overwhelming majority of individuals are afraid and are so involved with their very own well-being; what I’m concerned with are the people who are not as concerned in their very own nicely being. And it takes a somewhat unreasonable individual but the most progress in human society is predicated upon the unreasonable individual pushing the boundaries. So what I understand is Venture Veritas needs to discover the unreasonable people who are on the inside, who consider so deeply. Now where are these individuals, like actual examples? Nicely Ed Snowden is an instance; some individuals don’t like him. But let’s just take him for what he’s. He was the personification of someone who just principally blew himself up to expose the National Security Company. And he modified the world. He modified policy. James Daymore, Google; here’s a man who’s an unwitting whistleblower. He was blown up by a memorandum. These usually are not very many individuals like this. Most people are afraid however I feel we’re at some extent in American history. Our country appears to be on the brink, doesn’t it seem to be like the middle can’t hold? Things disintegrate. There’s a brewing civil struggle of types culturally that these individuals exist. I can’t inform you, sadly on this interview, the nature of the place these individuals are but I can inform you that Challenge Veritas has recruited a bunch of them, a bunch of individuals like that and some of them are retired. Some of them will not be. Some of them are on the inside. Some of them work in elections; some of them work in Silicon Valley and now it’s my job to create an army of them which is what we’re going to do. They usually all share in widespread: The Justice Complicated.
Jan Jekielek: Very fascinating. So I observed that you simply’re truly selling your tip line lots. And your Twitter feed and social media and so forth. We’ll put that up on the display so individuals can see it. And so what number of ideas do you truly get a month?
James O’Keefe: We get we get a whole lot if not hundreds and it’s rising.
Jan Jekeliek: What number of are credible? I am positive you get lots of stuff you can’t use.
James O’Keefe: There’s various things that we get. We get people who want to be full time journalists. For instance we get hundreds of those; we get a few thousand purposes to grow to be a journalist. We get people who have concepts on, for example, one such concept can be have you considered going into ACORN dressed as a prostitute? I mean this is just an concept nevertheless it’s a good idea. And I did it. We get ideas which are [from] individuals on the inside who’re informants. Who’re on the inside, who have access to one thing however usually are not prepared to movie. This is sort of a widespread anonymous supply. But as a result of we’re a visible organization we now have to corroborate that. And then we now have what I name unicorns individuals, who’re on the inside who’ve entry, who are morally brave and who’re prepared to movie. These are the people who we’re targeted on. Now your query is what number of of our complete ideas are the unicorns, I mean pay attention one out of every ten thousand or something like this but we’ve got a process and yes, in this interview, I might solicit individuals to go to Challenge Veritas dot com. If that is you, I’d like to make a name to action right here earlier than the finish of the interview but we undoubtedly need individuals to take into consideration their function in life and why they have been put right here. Life is about more than commodities and having a home and getting by. This can be a approach for you to serve your country, identical to individuals go to struggle, individuals do rather a lot of issues, individuals run for office. This can be a method to serve your country, to inform your fellow man. In case you are witness to something, for those who’re a janitor, a faculty instructor, a union member, a government employee, and you hear us right here and you see one thing and you’re disgusted by it I can equip you, I can equip you. Be brave about it; do one thing individuals say “What can I do?” Properly you are able to do something. You possibly can film it
Jan Jekeliek: You don’t have to be prepared to movie to come to speak to you.? Do you have got to be ready to film?
James O’Keefe: You don’t have to be prepared to movie. There’s two differing types of individuals. OK there’s the people who have entry to this, who see it, who comprehend it and who can speak to us anonymously. There’s those individuals. After which there are the individuals who type of say; this rises to the commonplace that I’m prepared to film it and perhaps even be recognized for doing so and and there’s two differing types of individuals. Now some of the individuals in the first class just need a bit of bit of convincing or hand holding to turn out to be the second category. I’ve already discovered dozens of people who find themselves prepared to truly do it. In order that’s my name to action. And I truly consider that when these individuals come out of the woodwork and truly present themselves and rise up on the stage, so to converse, rise up on the world stage, I feel there’ll be extra and extra and more and extra. They’ve awakened a sleeping big. They will stop one man but they will’t cease a thousand individuals. Challenge Veritas may have in the next few years 1000 individuals doing this.
Jan Jekielek: Everytime you publish one of these videos there’s in all probability so much of individuals which are fairly indignant at what they see.
James O’Keefe: That’s an understatement.
Jan Jekielek: It finally ends up being robust, perhaps lonely work. How do you cope with that?
James O’Keefe: That’s is basically an fascinating question. Blowing the whistle is. . . there was an article in The New Yorker I consider was last week or two weeks ago a few whistleblower who did the Qui Tam lawsuits on the government. And I assume that’s just a little bit of a unique state of affairs I suppose because the Qui Tam, you’re working for the FBI. Some say you’re like a snitch or one thing like this but you realize it’s honorable work. It’s somewhat bit totally different than this since you’re going immediately to the individuals. I can’t inform you how gratifying it’s because individuals say nicely what’s in it for me? Properly Undertaking Veritas will shield you, Undertaking Veritas can pay your legal bills. Venture Veritas will make use of you, pay you a full time wage however there’s one thing so gratifying about breaking these stories and educating individuals about the atrocities. And truly if the story is sweet sufficient, if it’s really really dangerous I feel what’s going to happen is, Martin Luther King says the arc of the ethical universe is long however it bends in the direction of justice, in the beginning they could attempt to play video games however over time Leviathan will truly not retaliate OK. I am a dwelling and respiration instance of this. I am a free man. I am not in jail. I was in jail earlier than. Andrew Cuomo did certainly. . . This is the place New York State, my headquarters is in Westchester New York, Andrew Cuomo in 2014 did indeed attempt to shut me down and audit me and do all this stuff. But over time he type of backed off. He backed off. In other words, I feel these powerful organizations and powerful firms and powerful folks that we investigate and the whistleblowers investigate won’t retaliate towards the whistleblowers if we create a military of individuals doing it as a result of it’s in the public interest, as a result of it’s the right thing to do, as a result of it’s the morally brave and the right thing to do. What are they going to do retaliate towards harmless individuals who blew the whistle on something so surprising to the conscience? We’re speaking about issues that shock the conscience. We’re speaking about deeds so dangerous and so evil that 98 % of individuals assume they’re mistaken. You’re telling me that some mega company is going to put their massive thumb and squish these individuals. I hope they do. That’ll solely make the story greater. You see so it’s precisely what Saul Alinsky argued. Push a destructive giant enough and it breaks via to it’s counter aspect. So great distance of answering your question but I consider that these individuals get so much gratification from breaking these stories and I consider that the public will thank them. And I consider that there’s more to life than than just going about your day. There’s noble function. They’re serving individuals. Don’t individuals need to serve. Isn’t that what life is about? That is about service. This is the most you, so far as I’m concerned and perhaps so far as you’re concerned, why we have been put on this earth, is to educate individuals and to serve a function. And I feel there’s tens of millions of individuals in the United States who agree with that. So I don’t want one million individuals. I just need about one hundred and I will find them.
Jan Jekielek: This can be a fantastic place to end up.
Thanks so much James for this.
James O’Keefe: Thanks.
This interview has been edited for clarity and brevity.
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