Richter confirms his blockade of the New York Times reporting on the Veritas project
Project Veritas head, Mr. O’Keefe, often uses clandestine cameras and fake identities in videos to embarrass news outlets, Democratic officials, labor groups, and liberals. In a statement Friday on the judge’s verdict, O’Keefe wrote, “The Times is so blinded by its hatred of Project Veritas that anything it does leads to a self-inflicted wound.”
In his recent ruling, Justice Wood rejected the Times argument that the memos prepared by Project Veritas’ attorney – advising the Conservative group on how to legally conduct fraudulent reporting methods – were of public interest.
“There is no doubt that all media believe that everything they publish is of public interest,” wrote the judge. He added, “Our smartphones beep and buzz all day with flashes of news that supposedly reflect our surfing and clicking interests, and we can tune in or read the news agency that gives us the stories and topics we want to see. But some things are not fodder for public viewing and consumption. “
Justice Wood claimed that his ruling did not restrict the newspaper’s journalism.
“The Times is entirely free to investigate, expose, research, interview, photograph, record, report, publish, rate, expose, or ignore any aspect of Project Veritas by its editors consider newsworthy in its sole discretion without taking advantage of Project Veritas’ privileged attorney and client rights, ”the judge wrote.
Theodore J. Boutrous Jr., an attorney who represents media outlets like CNN, said in an interview Friday that the judge’s verdict was “far from grassroots and dangerous”.
“It is an outrageous, unprecedented intrusion into news gathering and the news gathering process,” said Boutrous. “The particular danger is that a party that sued a news agency for defamation then obtains a gag order against the news organization that forbids any further reporting. That is the ultimate chilling effect. “