In a Wednesday press release, McCaskill for Missouri Campaign Manager David Kirby “called on Josh Hawley to uphold his responsibility as Attorney General and appoint a special prosecutor to investigate crimes committed by Project Veritas against the McCaskill campaign.”
The crimes in question are better known as journalism, in this case undercover journalism. One of James O’Keefe’s Project Veritas journalists, using a secret camera, recorded Claire McCaskill staffers explaining how McCaskill feels compelled to conceal her liberal opinions in order to be re-elected in an increasingly conservative state like Missouri.
For the record, Missouri is a one-party consent state. This means that only one party to a conversation needs to know it is being recorded. Some of America’s more corrupt states–Massachusetts and California come to mind–have two-party consent laws largely to prevent undercover journalists from upsetting the status quo.
No one knows the law on this issue better than O’Keefe. He has been mastering the art of undercover journalism since 2009, when as a 25-year-old he and his equally young female partner brought down the astonishingly corrupt $2 billion community organizing cartel known as ACORN.
O’Keefe is admittedly a repeat offender. Over and over again he has committed old-fashioned gumshoe journalism. Worse, he has gone after targets grown fat, soft, and corrupt from years of media protection.
In the process, O’Keefe has embarrassed the mainstream media and enraged their political allies, in this case McCaskill. They express horror at his tactics, but they delight when the tables are turned as they were when someone illegally released the Access Hollywood tapes against Donald Trump or the “47 percent” tape against Mitt Romney.
The Access Hollywood tape was illegal because it was recorded in California, a two-party consent state. No Democrat anywhere objected to that release, certainly not McCaskill.
A student of journalism history, O’Keefe cites as some of his early heroes the enterprising Nellie Bly, a New York World reporter who had herself committed to a mental asylum to expose its horrors, and Upton Sinclair, who famously infiltrated the Chicago packing houses.
More recently, O’Keefe friend David Daleiden and his colleagues at the Center for Medical Progress (CMP) carefully and methodically constructed a fake company and infiltrated Planned Parenthood using fake identities.
Daleiden was not the first journalist to go undercover to expose the trade in baby parts. ABC News did the same in 2000 in a case that involved Planned Parenthood’s Overland Park Clinic.
The “Human Capital project,” as Daleiden called it, went much deeper. It documented how Planned Parenthood markets the body parts of otherwise healthy unborn babies. The citizen journalists at CMP recorded hundreds of hours of undercover footage, dozens of eye-witness testimonies, and reams of primary source documents. None of it was fake. Daleiden made nothing up. And that was the crux of the problem for Planned Parenthood.
Daleiden should have won a Pulitzer Prize for his work. Instead the Harris County District Attorney colluded with Planned Parenthood to arrest him on a charge of “tampering with a governmental record,” namely using a fake driver’s license to get into the clinic. A judge later dismissed the charges, but Planned Parenthood had its talking point.
James O’Keefe should have won a Pulitzer Prize long ago. In 2016, O’Keefe scored his biggest coup when his journalists exposed the way in which the Hillary Clinton campaign was paying activists to incite riots at Trump rallies. Those videos may have turned the tide in the election.
McCaskill knows that Project Veritas broke no laws in exposing the casual duplicity of her operation. The call for a special prosecutor is just her way to enlist the fake news in its losing battle against real journalists.