USA Today has a long piece (3/17/11) by Martha Moore about video hoax artist James O’Keefe’s NPR project. The article does a pretty good job of running down the deceptions in O’Keefe’s video. That’s good. This, however, is not:
The video follows a long, if not always honorable, tradition of muckraking exposés. It also is a stepchild to the political tactic of tracking an opponent with video until a gaffe occurs, then capitalizing on it. The sting’s impact was magnified by the quick dissemination-without-scrutiny that is a hallmark of Internet-driven media.
O’Keefe’s video has nothing to do with muckraking. And please don’t blame the Internet for the fact that journalists apparently can’t be bothered to care whether a source is reliable.
That’s annoying. But this part is at least somewhat amusing:
O’Keefe’s tactics combine “the guerrilla of Borat, the gotcha of Dateline–and the gonzo approach of Hunter S. Thompson,” O’Keefe said in an interview.
I hope if I’m ever profiled by USA Today, I’ll get to sing my own praises like that.