Botched sting with a phony Roy Moore ‘accuser’ was supposed to discredit the media. Like similar schemes, it did the opposite

The Washington Post reports: A failed effort to dupe The Washington Post into publishing a woman’s fabricated account of underage sex with Roy Moore represents the latest entry on a list of schemes that attempted to expose fake news in the mainstream media and wound up doing the opposite.

The Post’s Shawn Boburg, Aaron C. Davis and Alice Crites reported Monday that a woman who appears to have been working for Project Veritas, the conservative activist group run by James O’Keefe, approached the newspaper with a false claim that she had an abortion at age 15 after Moore impregnated her.

As Boburg, Davis and Crites wrote, “the group’s efforts illustrate the lengths far-right activists have gone to try to discredit media outlets for reporting on allegations from multiple women that Moore pursued them when they were teenagers and he was in his early 30s.”

Instead of discrediting prior reporting, however, the botched sting showcased the journalistic rigor that news outlets such as The Post exercise before publishing accusations like those against Moore, the Republican Senate candidate from Alabama. [Continue reading…]

As Jonathan Chait notes, a fundamental problem with O’Keefe’s enterprise “is that the people who are dumb enough to believe these conspiracy theories [that he is trying to promote] are not generally smart enough to carry out a competent entrapment scheme.”

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