The complainants? They would be Simon Templar and Shaughn Adeleye, two operatives who assisted O’Keefe in his high-publicity sting on NPR earlier this year.
Let’s inventory their complaints.
Templar, writes Kurtz, disagreed with O’Keefe on when to release the clandestine footage that the team had taped while posing as potential (and radical) Muslim donors to NPR. What he wanted, Templar tells Kurtz, was “a very thoroughly researched and impeccably executed project that was by no means limited to NPR. James wanted it to be a hit job.”
Complaint translation: My editor wants to hurry my story.
Adeleye had a similar take on things: “I felt deceived and misled because James did not live up to what we all agreed upon would be a multifaceted project.”
“Deceived and misled,” huh? What a shock. Was there a provision in the Project Veritas Code of Unethics that addresses this matter? I’d imagine that such a provision would read like this:
Section 3.a. Honesty and Integrity
— Project Veritas workers pledge to deceive and misrepresent themselves to the public as they investigate their various projects. However, Project Veritas’s commitment to misleading the public stops at the office door: Workers pledge to proceed honestly and forthrightly with respect to all internal matters.
Here’s another classic Templar-Adeleye gripe via Kurtz:
Templar, who maintains that he “literally handled every inch of this story,” says he feels “exploited.” He had, for instance, written an opinion column on the affair that was intended for The Wall Street Journal. But the public-relations firm working with O’Keefe’s group insisted the piece had to carry O’Keefe’s byline.
“Give us the credit we’re due, that’s all we asked,” Adeleye says. “It was hijacked to his own purposes, to a degree. . . . James is just, unfortunately, someone I cannot work with anymore.”
Complaint translation: Oh, my byline!
Now hear me, Templar and Adeleye: You two are committed to a career in mendacity, right? You want to continue lying to folks in pursuit of information, right? Then what are you thinking?
Go back to James O’Keefe and beg for your jobs.* Sign on for the “To Catch a Journalist” series or something. Offer to make some recorded calls or disguise yourself as a journalism grad student. Work on keeping a straight face as you tell falsehoods.
Because if you want a career in disguising your true objectives, lying to people, selectively editing video, all in the service of some creepy worldview, James O’Keefe is your guy. Quit complaining, start groveling before the master and then get back to lying.
*UPDATE: Templar disputes this characterization, insisting he never had a job with O’Keefe.