Project Veritas released a new undercover video on Nov. 27 showing employees at The Washington Post explaining the publication’s bias against President Donald Trump, and revealing the influence of Amazon CEO Jeff Bezos, who purchased the news outlet for $250 million in 2013.
The video is part of the ongoing “American Pravda” series from Project Veritas to investigate bias and conflicts of interest in legacy news outlets. It follows videos in which CNN staff said the networks’s reporting on the Russia investigations was all about ratings, and videos in which New York Times staff said bias against Trump was part of the company culture.
The exposé on the Washington Post begins with Dan Lamothe, a national security reporter at the paper, telling an undercover reporter that there are two camps at the news outlet when it comes to political coverage.
On the news side, he said, the reporters are typically trying to be critical of Trump, but “also give him credit where there’s credit.” Yet, on the editorial side, he said, the “Washington Post institutional voice” has a strong and open bias.
“Those have become critical to the point where I’ll read some of them and I’m like whoa! Like I work for this place?” Lamothe said.
He said while some journalists on the news side are still covering the news, the editorial side of the Washington Post is “trying to, like, educate people but with a point of view.”
Lamothe described it as “a very different mission,” and also noted the publication is criticized for sensationalizing certain topics, such as Hurricane Irma, while avoiding issues that affect everybody, such as political policy.
He said at the Washington Post, the focus on criticizing Trump “sucks so much oxygen out of the room. It’s just so much emphasis on what he said and what he tweeted.”
“I can’t tell you how many times we get an email at work: ‘Oh did you see what he just tweeted? What are we gonna do about it?'” he said.
Lamothe added that several other legacy news outlets have a similar bias, noting “Some of the New York Times reporters are way over the top. CNN is always over the top.” He said the reporting can raise the question of “who’s in charge of your newspaper?”
The second half of the video features an undercover video of Joey Marburger, director of production at the Washington Post, who explained some of the influence owner Bezos has had on the publication.
“I talk to him all the time,” Marburger said, referring to Bezos and noting that “my job is basically responsible for every way that you interact with our journalism, except print.”
Among the key points he revealed was that when the Washington Post changed its tagline to “Democracy Dies in Darkness” shortly after the elections, the phrase was selected by Bezos.
“We narrowed it down to like three different taglines, and, Jeff was like, you know what? I think we’re just going to go with ‘Democracy Dies in Darkness.’ You know why? Because it’s dying in darkness right now,” he said. “And we’re like [expletive] it, let’s do it. So we did it.”
Marburger also revealed that a large chunk of the internet traffic at Washington Post comes through its coverage of Trump. “If Trump just disappeared tomorrow,” he said, “our traffic would drop by forty percent.”
The Washington Post caught wind of the Project Veritas investigations, and published its own video and article ahead of the release, adopting some of the same methods involving hidden cameras used by Project Veritas.
A woman who allegedly worked for Project Veritas as an undercover reporter approached the Washington Post with false claims that she was impregnated as a teenager by Roy Moore, a candidate in the Alabama senate elections. The false claims are similar to claims published by the Washington Post, which are still unproven.
The Washington Post said the woman, who used the name Jaime Phillips, had inconsistencies in her story and had made previous posts on the internet that made them question her intentions. It also alleged that Washington Post reporters saw the woman walk into the New York offices of Project Veritas.
Project Veritas has openly used similar methods in the past. Its founder and CEO James O’Keefe told The Epoch Times in a previous interview that “In order to get the information to the public, we have to use surreptitious means and we have to be guerrilla in how we distribute the information because we’re handicapped; because we’re facing overwhelming forces that are trying to shut us down, suppress the truth, and propagandize the people.”
“The reason why the media investigations we’re doing are so important is because the media arguably has more power than Congress—it has more power than the legislature. It informs the culture,” he said.
The Washington Post sent reporters to interview and record O’Keefe outside his offices, and published the videos online. In the video, O’Keefe tells the reporter, “I think it’s really cute that you guys are borrowing our techniques.”
O’Keefe later approached the Washington Post reporters with his own camera to ask questions, which resulted in both sides briefly attempting to interview the other.
The video exposing the Washington Post is the first in a series that Project Veritas plans to release on the company.