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by Mish

In the video, Scott Foval, the National Field Director of Americans United for Change, bragged about paying homeless and mentally ill individuals to cause disruptions at Trump events via a process called birddogging.

People have asked me to comment.

Be forewarned the language is sharp. An image clip that shows what I mean.

Veritas Action Video

That’s pretty damning.

Is There Another Side?

Media Matters says James O’Keefe’s October Surprise Shows He’s Still A Hack, Not A Journalist.

Snopes comments on numerous O’Keefe videos (including the one above) in Project Veritas’ Election 2016 ‘Rigging’ Videos.

The videos are, as is typical of O’Keefe’s, work somewhat of a gish gallop, comprising a constellation of allegations and assertions that is virtually impossible to fact check without complete clips of the involved conversations. Nearly all the videos used stitched-together, out-of-context remarks with no indication of what occurred or what was discussed just before and after the included portions.
The framing and style of videos created by James O’Keefe is well known due to his 2009 “sting” in which he and accomplice Hannah Giles visited ACORN offices and pretended to be seeking advice on how to run an illegal business that included the use of underage girls in the sex trade. The resulting videos — which were edited to create the impression that O’Keefe and Giles had spoken to ACORN representatives while dressed as a pimp and prostitute — dealt that organization a mortal blow before reports publicizing the deception in O’Keefe’s videos came to light:
O’Keefe’s incriminating ACORN video was shown to have been heavily edited — neither he nor Hannah Giles were actually in pimp and prostitute get-up when they spoke to ACORN employees, for example — and no criminal prosecutions of ACORN followed. While not letting ACORN off the hook for showing “terrible judgment” in the video, California’s then-attorney general Jerry Brown noted after an investigation into the tapes and the organization that “sometimes a fuller truth is found on the cutting room floor.”
Those same words now seem applicable to the latest O’Keefe sting, which further tarnished NPR’s reputation and took down its CEO. As we noted, Glenn Beck’s conservative website, The Blaze, was first to report on discrepancies between the first edited eleven-and-a-half minute video released on the Project Veritas website and a later, unedited two-hour version … NPR media reporter David Folkenflik addressed the dubious editing on Morning Edition and in a written report for NPR’s website. Folkenflik reviewed the two tapes himself, along with some NPR colleagues and outsiders like The Blaze’s editor-in-chief Scott Baker and Poynter’s Al Tompkins. They home in on many of the same problems The Blaze pointed out. And they basically come to the same conclusion: the tape is still a problem, but the impression it leaves is different.

The Defense

Part of the Clinton defense is a smear attack on O’Keefe personally. I do not buy that.

What I do buy is the obvious fact these tapes are a problem, and some of the people quoted, notably Scott Foval, are sleazebags of the highest order.

There is no defense for some of those statements.

Foval Fired

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Scott Foval was fired by Americans United For Change.

Breitbart notes James O’Keefe Gets Another Scalp.

Scott Foval, one of the subjects of a recent James O’Keefe exposébroken exclusively by Breitbart on Monday, has been removed from his job with the liberal advocacy group Americans United for Change.
Foval also explains how the operation is set up to allow the DNC and the Clinton campaign “plausible deniability” in the event that the true nature of the deliberate violence is discovered: “The thing that we have to watch is making sure there’s a double-blind between the actual campaign and the actual DNC and what we’re doing. There’s a double-blind there, so that they can plausibly deny that they heard anything about it.”
Fovel has already removed traces of his associations with Americans United for Change from his LinkedIn account.

Veritas Part II

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In a second video, also rife with strong language, O’Keefe discusses voter fraud.

Will It Matter?

In a normal election campaign, these videos might have mattered greatly. The problem for Trump is that he simply too far behind.

Please don’t tell me these polls are wrong or part of some big media conspiracy. The pollsters, at least most of them, have a reputation to maintain. They are not going to be purposely wrong.

Might some people not be willing to admit they are for Trump? Sure, that’s a given. Enough to matter? No.

The sad thing is these videos are potentially as damning as sexual statements made by Trump. Had Trump performed well in the first debate, he might be running away with this now.

We can watch the polls to see if the “October Surprise” has an impact. I hope there is a huge impact, but I rather doubt there is.

I don’t tell people what they want to hear, I tell people what I believe, even if I prefer to be wrong, as is the case now.

Mike “Mish” Shedlock