Post-Investigative Journalism

  • Posted on: 18 October 2011
  • By: Aaron Barlow

Commenting on for story that James O'Keefe has targeted a couple of progressive think tanks for his pranks:

Ryan Girdusky, a spokesman for Project Veritas, the 501(c)3 organization O'Keefe started, declined to confirm whether EPI was the subject of an ongoing investigation, arguing that it would undermine the remainder of the group's work.

"Ongoing investigation"?  Oh, please.  Maybe their idea of "investigation" is something like attempting to lure someone onto a houseboat for a sex sting. Or breaking into a Senator's office.  Whatever it is, it is certainly unlike anything that has ever before been called "investigation."  On his website, O'Keefe prides himself on being an exemplar for "modern-day muckrakers"--but he hasn't the patience to do the real research, the old-fashioned investigation that was the hallmark of the muckrakers of a century ago.

O'Keefe, though he would be the last to admit it, is trying to make a career for himself as an entertainer.  He wants to be the performer on stage, the one people look at and ooh and aah over.  His idea of "investigation" is nothing more than preparation for his next stunt or "gag"--as it would be called in Hollywood.

Though they may look good on TV, his "investigations" have no more substance, no more reality than a clip of Harrison Ford fighting in the open bay of a flying cargo plane.