Following the release of James O’Keefe‘s NPR ‘sting’ video, which resulted in the resignation of NPR CEO Vivian Schiller, Scott Baker at Glenn Beck‘s site The Blaze decided to go through O’Keefe’s raw video frame by frame.
The goal was to discover if the raw footage “revealed problematic editing choices? Are assertions made in the video misleading? Are the tactics used by the video producers unethical?.” Their conclusion? Yes.
Said Baker: “Even if you are of the opinion, as I am, that undercover reporting is acceptable and ethical in very defined situations, it is another thing to approve of editing tactics that seem designed to intentionally lie or mislead about the material being presented.”
The investigation is drawing applause from some unlikely quarters. The CJR called it “a surprising analysis from a surprising source. Well done, Blaze.” And a number of media heavy weights weight in on Twitter, including the NYT Patrick LaForge; editor of Mother Jones, Clara Jeffrey; and NPR’s ombudsman Alicia Shepard.
The fact that this story ran on the Blaze is likely somewhat less surprising to people who are used to seeing Beck himself do a left turn on accepted conservative thinking (as he did during the Sherrod case, and WikiLeaks, as well as his general stance on gay marriage).
Earlier this year they hired former HuffPost CEO Betsy Morgan to run the site and Beck has said he intends to challenge the NYT. Whether that’s a realistic plan remains to be seen, but this sort of extensive, objective takedown (emphasis on objective) is exactly the sort of thing that will put the Blaze on the map of readers that aren’t also Beck watchers.
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