James O’Keefe and Project Veritas have published some striking new undercover investigative work, revolving around Professor Jeff Keefe of Rutgers University, and his expressed willingness to suppress a study that would prove inconvenient to labor unions.
The state of Ohio is currently preparing to vote on S.B. 5, a bill that would reform collective bargaining practices which have left the state $46.5 billion in the hole (putting every Ohio citizen $6150 in debt on behalf of the labor unions.) Professor Keefe does research for the Economic Policy Institute, a union-friendly think tank.
When a Project Veritas operative contacted the Professor in the guise of an Ohio Education Association representative, and asked for EPI to kill a study that would hurt the union crusade against S.B. 5, he found Keefe – frequently quoted as an unimpeachable authority on left-wing blogs – to be very accommodating:
“The thing about EPI,” explains Keefe, “is when they publish something it’s highly reliable and credible, but if it’s contrary to what you want and what they want, they just, they pay for it and they kill it.” Good to know!
Professor Keefe’s ensuing attempt to squirm out of this scandal, when confronted on-camera with a transcript of his remarks, is highly entertaining. “You’ve got to go bargain with the Economic Policy Institute, not me,” declares the professor, jerking his thumb in the general direction of EPI headquarters. That probably won’t be turning up in any EPI brochures.
Project Veritas easily dismisses a Huffington Post pre-emptive strike in defense of EPI, then goes on to explore Huffington Post correspondent Sam Stein’s methods of lubricating sources to obtain interesting quotes. Stein’s denial of these methods is strongly at odds with the remarks of his Pulitzer Prize-winning professor, reminding us that journalists often fare poorly when they become the targets of journalism. It may also give those inclined to dismiss Project Veritas’ undercover work out of hand a moment’s pause, as they learn James O’Keefe’s techniques are not so different from those employed by more “mainstream” sources… except in his choice of investigative subjects.