James O’Keefe, whose most recent undercover video has shaken NPR to the core, explained himself to Howard Kurtz on “Reliable Sources” Sunday. Interviewed via Skype — where gonzo journalism met gonzo marketing with his TheProjectVeritas.com handwritten on a white board behind him — O’Keefe said his kind of journalism is doing what others aren’t.
I think reporters do a lot of stenography in this country. They do a lot of damage control, they do a lot of punditry. But real investigative reporting is showing things for what they are.
Kurtz also pressed O’Keefe on his intent when he tried to ensnare former CNN correspondent Abbie Boudreau — now with ABC — in an undercover sting last September.
O’Keefe: We were just going to have a conversation with her, and that was sort of borne out of, I think, a contempt for the mainstream media. What the media wants to do is make this story about me. That’s what everyone wants to do. And that’s one of the reasons I haven’t been doing TV, because they want to talk about me and my background and what I did a year ago, and who I talk to and what my colleague — this is absolutely —
Kurtz: OK, but you met with Abbie Boudreau, and you were trying to send some kind of message to or about the mainstream media, apparently by embarrassing her. So what would
that message have been?
O’Keefe: The message would have been that the media is not doing the job. And they want to documentaries on James O’Keefe and company, and they don’t want to do documentaries on malfeasance in society, as evidenced by, you know, the questions you’re asking me right now: