The footage released on Thursday was met with little fanfare.
The political activist released the first batch of his recordings that were
allegedly taken in 2009. Nearly 120 hours of audio were uploaded
to his organization’s website, Project Veritas, with little
contextother than what appears to be the dates in which they were
Diving into the batch of raw files proved to be no more helpful
since large portions of the clips contained nothing but ambient
noise. Additionally, after listening to several clips, it proved
difficult to ascertain the context of the conversations from the
purported CNN employees. What conversations were had in the
recordings seemed to take place between low-level staffers, as
reported by Politico.
Selected clips where a news editor described Fox News as
“unbearable,” and another said that “there’s no debate” on topic
of climate change, were also uploaded to O’Keefe’s website.
O’Keefe has built a reputation of using questionable methods to
secure recordings and has been accused of deceptive editing of
footage from his investigations. He first gained notoriety in
2009 after he released undercover videos that alleged
illegal activity by employees of the Association of Community
Organizations for Reform Now, a nonprofit organization that
advocated issues like voter registration.
O’Keefe teased the release in an interview with Fox News host
Sean Hannity on Tuesday, and
told CNN “This is all legally recorded information.”
However, O’Keef has faced legal challenges with his earlier work. One of the subjects of
O’Keefe’s past recordings — which were taken in the same year as
the alleged CNN leaks — eventually landed O’Keefe in court, where
he faced charges of taping without consent. O’Keefe agreed to
settle the case for $100,000.
O’Keefe was also sentenced to three years of probation, 100
hours of community service, and a $1,500 fine after pleading guilty to playing a role in breaking
into the office of Louisiana Sen. Mary Landrieu.