At least the Soviets knew enough not to believe Pravda

Here’s my review of James O’Keefe’s American Pravda: My Fight for Truth in the Era of Fake News:


Has North American journalism gone undercover? If traditional media were doing their job, few people would have heard of James O’Keefe.

O’Keefe’s career as a provocateur started as a prank. On St. Patrick’s Day, 2005, he persuaded an unusually dense Rutgers administrator that persons of Irish descent might be offended by Lucky Charms cereal. She took the bait and removed the “offensive” boxes of cereal from the dining hall. … He was later propelled to fame by his exposure of community organizing group ACORN for offering to run underage (im)migrant prostitutes.

O’Keefe’s trademark method is, of course, the video sting. His rationale is fairly simple: Traditional media, hampered by a now-highly corporate but out-of-date business model, “could not afford to sponsor” such stings (p. 17). Huge corporations are, in many ways, more beholden to government than small ones. What strikes a traditional news writer like me about the ACORN story is that it was just so ripe for the picking. Yet “[No] sunlight had ever penetrated the ACORN operation. (p. 56)” Understanding O’Keefe’s complex role means, among other things, confronting the irrevocable changes that underlie it.

In short, a funny thing happened to the media on the way to the internet. They were compelled to choose sides and they went deep state. More.

See also: Jordan Peterson — Do the Stitches Hold? I was surprised by the extent to which Peterson understands that the post-modern aversion to objectivity, which is killing the social sciences, is seeping into the harder sciences as well, offering the same promise: Social peace in exchange for intellectual suicide.

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