DiscoverThe Portal26: James O’Keefe - What is (and isn't) Journalism in the 21st century
26: James O’Keefe - What is (and isn't) Journalism in the 21st century

26: James O’Keefe - What is (and isn't) Journalism in the 21st century

Update: 2020-03-1939


James O'Keefe is a dangerous man. He records people without their knowledge and publishes the results using the full power of our technological toolkit. He is well versed in the details of the law as to what can and cannot be legally recorded and/or published without the consent or even awareness of his targets. He is willing to risk prison to capture his stories and he has developed a policy of not settling out of court, even when it would be financially advantageous to do so. Clearly, he is willing to risk ruin and hatred for what he is doing, and is therefore not a man to be lightly trifled with. 

In this episode, Eric sits down with James to try to understand the mutant future of journalism as it reckons with the power of new technology, while continuing to move away from traditional newspapers and reporting. Eric tries to discover what is truly motivating O'keefe and why he would want to come on a show that has been so openly critical of his organization. 

James has many who see him as a crusading hero. He has also been accused of unethical deception, trespassing, entrapment, selective editing, and an entire litany of ethics complaints from traditional media. Oddly, however, more standard reporters working for traditional news desks openly discuss among themselves the professional need to deceive their targets in order to get the truth, or at least the story. Such strategies include using disingenuous flattery, pretending to be the source's friend, threats, the lure of fame, and a host of other edgy techniques to get people to say things that the reporter knows will likely be personally disastrous for the person being quoted. 

This raises the question of just what it is that makes James O'Keefe different from a more mainstream reporter. Is it his method, more than his chosen targets? Is it that he really doctors his footage or instead that he has revived older journalistic techniques to hunt new journalists? This interview may not answer all of these questions, but we hope it may prove to be a conversation unlike any you have previously heard on this topic.

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Comments (13)

Brandon Johnson

Eric = not clear. Worried that O'Keefe is upsetting the inner circles of the intellectual/liberal elite. James is doing good work. Toes will get stubbed. Eric doesn't see that he cannot be perfect. He does, quite frankly, much more ethically challenging work than Eric seems to be able to even fathom.

Aug 6th


I think Eric wasn't very clear with his main criticism that he tried to circle to many times. At around 2.20 I had the aha moment to what exactly he means and where he is coming from, but at that point interview was basically over and I don't think James addressed it that deeply, but I wouldn't blame him because I didn't get it either.

May 5th

Robbie Wolke

the truth is all that matters. the truth sets you free. the truth opens your eyes, broadens your reality, and pushes back the shadows of deceit. Veritas gives us the truth. that is all we want. sometimes that truth hurts. sometimes it shades your heroes in an unpleasant light. sometimes you find your preconceptions were misplaced. so be it. break the old paradigm and give us the reality of truth. time for eric to take the red pill and wake up to the sometimes ugly but always brutally pure truth.

Apr 19th
Reply (1)

Silky M Johnson

Eric comes off petty. he seems like he's making convoluted and confusing arguments. even to himself. okeefe comes off as unwavering and clear.

Apr 14th

Erik Wong

Weinstein, put your ego aside for five minutes at a time and let your interviewees finish their thoughts. You both made some great points but I feel like more points were trampled over by your constant interjections than were made successfully. Learn the difference between guiding a conversation and dominating one.

Apr 9th


Eric does not come across very well in this entire interview. Seems closed minded, although I know that he isn't. Basically tells James to shut up like 10 times

Apr 5th


Eric tries to make points and doesnt make it very clear and then gets angry at James for trying to answer so many times. Then he just interrupts him and then the cycle continues...

Apr 5th
Reply (1)


Someone please tell Eric to let his guests finish making their point before cutting them off and reframing the argument.

Apr 1st

Amber Bennett

just getting started on this episode but i am quite excited for it since I already listen to both the Portal and Project Veritas. thank you for this conversation

Mar 30th


Another banger. Great convo Eric and James.

Mar 23rd

Maureen Hubbell

somethen about Eric!

Mar 21st








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26: James O’Keefe - What is (and isn't) Journalism in the 21st century

26: James O’Keefe - What is (and isn't) Journalism in the 21st century