- James O’Keefe’s CNN sting goes nowhere
- Pick-up artist feud flares anew!
Prankster prince James O’Keefe has fooled his audience—and me!—again.
Every six weeks or so, O’Keefe promises to release truly damning internal footage of some media outlet or liberal organization.
Right-wing Twitter goes wild, and I become convinced that O’Keefe, for once, actually has the goods. Then the videos come out, and they’re a big flop. After the first one doesn’t go anywhere, O’Keefe promises the real goods will come in future videos.
O’Keefe set us all up for a big disappointment again this week, promising over the weekend that he had insider videos that would “expose CNN.” He even appeared at a conference holding up a tiny CNN logo!
It turns out that O’Keefe received the videos from Cary Poarch, a contractor who worked on CNN’s satellite uplinks, apparently in its Washington, D.C. office. Poarch recorded daily organization-wide phone calls from CNN chief Jeff Zucker, and appears to have worn a hidden camera all around the CNN office.
That’s a good get for O’Keefe! This is the kind of primo access you’d expect would yield serious proof of media bias, if O’Keefe and his compatriots’ claims about the media are to be believed.
Instead, Poarch got pretty much nothing from his position inside CNN. The O’Keefe videos so far have focused on the Zucker calls, which have purportedly bombshell revelations like “Andrew Yang won’t win the Democratic nomination, but is still interesting.” Not exactly the kind of stuff that moves voters — or donors to O’Keefe’s Project Veritas.
Poarch also appears to have convinced a couple very low-level CNN employees to talk on camera at a bar, where they say make supposedly damning statements like complaining CNN plays Trump rallies because Joe Biden’s rallies are less interesting than Trump’s.
That may be a kind of media bias, but not the kind O’Keefe wants to prove.
Even Fox News hasn’t been impressed with O’Keefe’s latest haul. Fox host Jesse Watters ripped into O’Keefe on Tuesday, saying he wasn’t “blown away” by the videos and calling Poarch “kind of a rat.”
One of the more intriguing things about O’Keefe is how his crew records people saying privately the exact same things they’ve already said in public, then takes those private recordings to suggest they’ve uncovered something nefarious.
In O’Keefe’s Wednesday CNN expose, for example, Poarch recorded a low-level CNN employee saying that Zucker had encouraged CNN host Jake Tapper to blow through commercial breaks in a contentious interview with Kellyanne Conway.
In emails to his supporters Wednesday, O’Keefe suggested that this is proof CNN is “staged.” But Tapper himself said exactly this in an NPR interview a year ago, and no one cared! If I was one of the conservative donors pouring money into Project Veritas, I’d have to wonder what exactly I’m paying for.
Bad news for the fellas out there: the manosphere is in chaos.
The right-wing “manosphere”—a motley connection of pick-up artists, anti-marriage “men going their own way,” white supremacists, and Gamergaters—has been torn since this summer by a civil war.
The feud pits men’s right hero Anthony Dream Johnson, who has the memorable Twitter handle “Beach Muscles,” against a guy calling himself Rollo Tomassi, a character’s alias in L.A. Confidential.
These two were once friends and fellow testosterone hucksters, but they have since become bitter enemies in a power tussle over the absolute worst guys—and torn all the other Affliction T-shirts guys apart with them.
When Right Richter checked in on this feud a few months ago, it appeared to center on whether Tomassi, a committed self-promoter, invited New York Times reporter Nellie Bowles to an off-the-record men club meeting.
In an attempt to get the upper-hand in this feud, Johnson has declared himself the “president of the manosphere.” The theory appears to be that, if Johnson is their president, then he can effectively ex-communicate Tomassi from the world of men.
In a video that begins with an address to “My fellow Manospherians,” Johnson accuses Tomassi of “treason.”
So far, however, Tomassi has evaded the manosphere cops.