tv James O Keefe American Pravda Book Party CSPAN February 11, 2018 12:00am-12:46am EST
[inaudible conversation] [inaudible conversation] will. [inaudible conversation] [inaudible conversation] >> good evening and thank you for coming. i just flew in from colorado. it is not often i would russia my mountaintop in the rocky mountains to come to the swamp. as many of you know i'm a refugee from the swamp that almost 12 years ago i made a decision to leave after being here for nearly a decade to raise my family and the rocky
mountain west. pretty much crawl over broken glass to do anything that james o'keefe asked me to do. he has, in my view one of the most important figures in modern american journalism is my copy, as you can see i do some things that most tv interviewers to not do, i actually read the book. from cover to cover. i'm a homeschool teacher for my ninth grade son. one of the most important things i teach as i talk about public
enemies in american society were the most important things i do as an english teacher is teach the importance of reading closely and annotating. among the set reading a blog in preparation for interviewing an author constitutes the washington read. those of you in the business know that means looking in the index for your name. so, one of the questions i tackled the 25 years i've spent both old and new media is who gets to define define a journal.
perhaps the most important act james o'keefe is committed has been the gathering of an incredible group of citizen journalist have smashed the club. [applause] the problem with much of the media and limited credential media as they think they're the only ones who get to define who is a journalist. the thing i my about james o'keefe and his team and those who seek to follow his footsteps is their goal is the to be a part of the club, their goal is to smash the club. [applause]
i did not go to journalism school, and i believe the modern chase school is one of the worst -- of american public life. there are two states of a cup playing that have caused so much of the problem of the dissemination of news and information. the two sides of the coin identity politics and identity journalism. it's not a coincidence happened to be conservatives were defying themselves somewhere along the perspective were shaped in the
corrupt space of american universities that have minted this corrupt coin. james first came into the public spotlight for his brilliant deconstruction of identity politics. as a student at rutgers when he said he was triggered by lucky charms. [laughter] i had similar experiences. as an english major at oberlin college. i survived oberlin, they didn't survive me. overland my introduction to identity politics -- and i'm 14 years older than james so i
suppose this made me feel very old to try to identify which number of a wave our generation of conservative journalists were. i would be second. i overland we brought to nash th desousa to campus. we were both new jersey kids, i grew up in the shadow of the trim casinos and but the thing we have in common see in the poison of identity politics up close and having to make a choice to sit on the sidelines are confronted.
when i embarked on my own journalism career nice to identify myself not as a journalist of color, but as a journalist who believes in telling the truth without hyphens without boxes. in my case they did not have the same clever inspiration to do it james did which was to embark on this experiment reinforce the progressives and the identity politics purveyors to apply their own standards to themselves it's fantastic. but i had a very nontraditional
path to my identification is what i call an ink stained wretch. what i love those newspapers and then reading this one of the things i share passion that i share so greatly with is the history of american journalism. i was passing by on the way to the airport, this is an issue of cosmopolitan. i don't know how many know this, were at the national press club but at one point in the golden age of muckraking and james o'keefe is our textbook muckraker of american journalism.
cosmopolitan was not just a collection of smart, it was a bible and a breeding ground for muckrakers. some of james' favorite item and sinclair lewis one of the points that james makes it so important is that all of the martin journalist the same way that when they always attack those of us is racist, the 20 vowels in the these journalists who question more journalism has no idea what james and his team are doing.
it's restoring the greatness of american investigative journalism. [applause] one of my favorite journalists and writers is hl mencken. i want to reach or something you wrote that so relevant today and relevant to james' work, much more than half the matter the newspapers right is interesting to only small minorities. thus only as small part is taken lightly. the more reflective reader believes nothing. why should they believe more. every time they go anything that in vengeance upon his own knowledge he discovers it's inaccurate the difficulties
journalism requires and equipment and its practitioner that is rare in the world and rare in a country given to the superficial. have the rightists knowledge and not diluted by the fraudulent. there's not enough meant to go around. the best newspaper and broadcast outlet might be able to get half a dozen. the average newspaper seldom had even one. thus american journalism is predominantly paltry and worthless. it's enormous but it's achievements are insignificant. even at its fundamental of knowing what happened in the
world and failed miserably. a very large proportion is downward false. # fake news. >> james and his team have garnered headlines and forced the false nerd to purveyors to cover news they would rather cover by sheer force. when i started in this business there were very few outlets for getting the truth. spent a miracle to see the proliferation of choices. these post threats to neil
monopoly of what i'm hoping is james and his team in this book which should be assigned in every chase school in america. [applause] will continue this legacy a proud american muckraking. have a gift for james later said newspaper that covered theodore roosevelt's 1906 speech where he actually did use the term muckraking but he alluded to pilgrim's progress where the phrase came from. roosevelt gave a speech when he was laying the cornerstone of that once he acknowledged the importance of the muckraker and
american society but cautioned and admonished not always look downwards at the mock because if that's all you did you get pretty depressed. what i love about james and his team is in the spirit of happy worriers whether reagan or breitbart for the current generation of happy worriers that have one eye toward the ground and are doing the muckraking that the journalists refused to do. but they do it in an undercover camera as well as an eye toward the light. it's very tough. it is truth and light. it is my distinct honor to
introduce to you the man with the muckraker, a team of operatives somebody who sheds light on all the dark corners of the country. please help me welcome james o'keefe. [applause] >> thank you. pose a wonderful introduction. unlike the introduction to teddy roosevelt. another thing she said is the word team. we have one of the most unbelievable teams than you'll ever see. we have 50 people associated including many agents inside.
we have the best media production team. our undercover people who don't have a byline are risking their own skins to do this. often they risk humiliation of being compromised. i'm here on their behalf to say a few words. some news report this week the chief operation officers of twitter has resigned. [applause] seemingly out of nowhere in the wake of a series of undercover videos there is a lack of a prepare put replacement which seem to take everyone at twitter by surprise. those videos rocked silicon valley in the technology media companies that report in silicon
valley. according to a website they bragged about censoring the poster politically conservatives of the senior engineer wanted to turn trumps messages over to the department of justice. this can't be good for twitter stock. stay tuned's interesting to see the reactions in the wake of the scandal. also what they said to the media and how the media reported that. the media didn't practice any skepticism versus what they said entire hidden cameras george orwell who i quote extensively in this book i do believe one day this book may be a required reading in various journals he said something you probably have
heard journalism is printing something that doesn't want to be printed. they call it the political marketing industry. it lacks investigative edge typical in the 20th century. twitter responded by saying we do not review direct messages. these are mainstream media outlets like breast-feed, twitter says no, hundreds of employees are not reading these. twitter two nice claims or reading them. twitter kicks back again it claims so the media's finally reported what they're being told on record when engineers off the record are saying the opposite. and here's my favorite, plus reporter wrote twitter disputes
the claim from a keeps video today. wasn't my claim, it was the senior network community engineer. the senior security network engineer who said we have hundreds of engineers who look at -- >> i didn't create the quote. but o'keefe claims. journalism has become a perversion. it's become a joke. there's an interview with jordan peterson it has 5 million views on youtube and he exposes the folstein economies. creating false narratives. it's become a joke the only way to circumvent the joke is through the power of cinema pets
the latin word of truth, to expose the imagery of our society. images transfixed so that's what the book is all about. to quote michael goodwin of the new york post read a great review he said he changed his mind about me and what we do, he said gets me to another reason of my changing view the reprehensible conduct, they too are guilty of deception. by pretending to offer straight news when they function like propaganda outlets. he said the real deception is not a what we do, to draw the mountain the real is pass along
information to the consumer that's not true. my sister headlines are not grounded in reality. sometimes it's economic reasons because it's not safe to rock the boat. there is a book about the very thing i quote him in the book. they may criticize our ethics message number one thing you'll hear about me in the city but falsehoods are from the podium. when journalists don't challenge what they're told where's the virtue and passing along the information? is that not deception? set not worse for democracy? so we go undercover because we want to tell the truth. that's most important virtue. that's why these tactics are
justifiable. deception in the instance can replace coercion because truth to the masses' most paramount thing in journalism. the site will here not a journalist. well call me spongebob squarepants or captain kangaroo, doesn't matter what you call me, it matters what we do. journalism is an activity, not an identity. journalism is a way of being. by any measure just as many results the last 15 years than any journalists in the 21st century. [applause] voter id laws passed, election officials resigning, ceos and npr resigning, medicaid workers
hated by the new york media so much so that he owed to open the press office for six months and do nothing but battle the journalist who hated his guts. history remembers him fondly. they say upton sinclair had the far bigger agenda than i did. he cared about workers rights. it's not about the techniques not in the abstract it isn't. it's about whose side you perceive to be on and what i say is it's really about the facts. journalists of janitors schoolteachers longshoremen secret shoppers hookers terrorists and drug dealers rape victims rapist child abusers child victims terrorist russian drug mafia smugglers, we have done almost anything you can imagine and those are the only ones you know about. those are the only ones you know about. the "chicago sun-times" by the war called the maras and ran it for an entire year. that's far far more than we have
ever done. so the use of a concealed tape recorder at least from one party is present. they would have us believe it's not an invasion of privacy. you are talking to a stranger. you could write down what you say and walk out of the room. it's not about deception. it's not about eavesdropping and it doesn't constitute entrapment does throughout the government we can't get people to say things they otherwise wouldn't say. i don't put words into their mouths. i made their lips move using cgi. i was using a borrowed copy of it on my and matt book. they can accept the reality. they can accept the truth. so we think what we do is not just ethical, it's necessary but it's not about the techniques not in the abstract.
it's about something deeper. the framers of the venture created a government that exists only with the consent of the government but that consent must be informed not manufactured. we had veritas have this creed that it's not the same as many people in the media. what we believe in is we believe the power free people given the basic facts about the world they live in and they will make the right decision. we want them to trust their senses. the founders of journalism and public communication walter lippman edward benes and those types of people believe the average man is too stupid to trust their senses. in this way we have this synergy with the president donald trump. we believe people ought to trust their own senses. we believe we should circumvent the media. michelle malkin points out the cosmopolitan newspaper.
on "cnn" they said s call for an entire week. that's because the people that own them are vulgar and silly. it's all about the ratings. focus on the ratings and focus on the money. not the fact that journalists are bad people. frankly many of the low-level role journalists aren't bad journalists. it's just that they are part of the system that gnome chomps he called the system of production the system that supports propaganda function by reliance on market forces. and journalists move in tax. it's like a soccer team chasing a ball. i call it like birds on the telephone wire. they move together we challenge that narrative by putting out information. let's talk about twitter. wanted talk about health care, let's talk about -- one of the
people on my ward has a great quote the son of a dissident in poland. said the quality of the revolutionary is inversely proportional to the system he fights again. the more prescient and cruel the more self-sacrificing in this case the journalists. katie couric anna cronk right journalism award asking sarah palin what newspaper she reads. one of our undercover reporters had to appeal in federal court in the city against bob kramer who is personally close with president obama met with president obama 47 times inside the white house. a very powerful guide. his clients including the teachers unions which allison herself when undercover to investigate and she goes into federal court because he resigned at the height of the election and president trump mentioned her video in the presidential debates between
hillary and sven donald trump. i don't think even katie couric accomplished that. he resigned and the video became the number one most trending video in the world. he forced anderson cooper to say what "cnn" thinks is deeply troubling. and did she get a journalism award? no, she's in federal court. don't think many in this room even knew that. that's what we face. that's david versus goliath. that's truth to power and i say shame on these journalists for not giving her the credit that she deserves. [applause] i could go on and on but i will summarize because the book does it better than i can do it right now. we tell stories about people being detained at the border. our journalists being asked who we are voting for and what we are working on stories where they go to your phone since they
you are a journalist. i'm not a journalist. i work for "the news york times." i have sources on my phone. let me open your phone and i will arrest you. this is what people said to me on the border printer on government. they tried to have me arrested because i wouldn't show them my sources and methods. language matters ladies and gentlemen. definitions matter. identities have become part of the establishment and they matter. it's the difference between freedom and jail, information true versus false. they detained me at the border 12 times because i embarrassed the department of homeland security. there are so many stories. there are so many war stories. criminal grand jury subpoenas in the dead of night in new hampshire. our colleagues being threatened by power on a daily basis. the attorney generals of new york and california right now are coming after us, right now but there will be no columbia journalism review op-ed on
choose to power, apples and bananas. what is an apple? what is a banana. democracy dies in darkness. you don't need to go back to woodward and bernstein or ben bradlee to find these types of stories. just look amongst the citizens of this country and the things that they do. those are the stories i tell in this book. that's the quality of the revolutionary inverse to proportional up the system we are fighting against. video has the power to break through and circumvent her one more story by the way regarding a criminal grand jury subpoena. the attorney general of new hampshire tried to indict us that the people of new hampshire after the 2012 voter fraud videos rose up and signed into law a voter i.d. law based upon the fact there were showing dead people getting off of a boat. the guys name --
[applause] he tried to have us arrested but the people of new hampshire rose up. the guys name one of the attorney general's name was richard hay in new hampshire. the guys name was actually big head. [laughter] in the guide and 2016 who issued a subpoena, his name was richard tracy. "dick tracy." [laughter] i've had a lot of pics in my life. so it goes on. there is tragedy, there's comedy and there is irony. it's an amazing book. you should all read it and we believe again you should trust the power of your senses. i have one and it showed, personal anecdote. a lot of people say what got you started and i tell the story and i try not to get emotional when i say appeared my grandfather was very good at improvising and using recycled materials. he taught me this. you can make the status quo do the impossible. you can do impossible things if
you put your mind to it. he would salvage neighbors singles -- shingles find a that on the side of the road and use copper pipes. he could take materials and build anything out of nothing and it was better than the materials you get at home depot more ergonomic all and we would drive around together. he would wake me up early. he called me irish. get out of bed and let's go build something. he would build things out of nothing. it was an amazing thing to behold. you can't fix that. people told him he can't fix that crooked garage. james o'keefe senior, i am the third. my message for the under generation in this book my message to the older generation the baby boomers, do not tell us it cannot be done. do not tell me that this is impossible because i'm telling you right now we have already done it. we party built in army of journalists. five years ago was me living on a floor of my dad's crooked
garage and editing videos on my long. now we have 50 people and we are expanding and we had 1000 applications last year for undercover people in this year we will have a few thousand. we are going to change the world and you were going to be involved with those for the ride. so thank you. [applause] [applause] [inaudible conversations] [inaudible conversations]
it's terrific. >> you've been watching booktv's coverage of the book party for james o'keefe at the national press club in washington d.c.. if you want to watch us on line go to booktv.org james o'keefe and you can watch it there. [inaudible conversations] >> welcome to the brown bookstore. i work on food media and gender here at brown and tonight i am delighted to introduce dr. rachel herz who is a