Last October, Project Veritas, a far-right citizen journalism organization run by publicity stunt gnome James O’Keefe, released a heavily-hyped and heavily-doctored project promising to #ExposeCNN.
Well, like literally every single Project Veritas operation, the #ExposeCNN videos were incredibly misleading and didn’t expose a single thing, except show a few clips of low-level “media coordinators” drinking beers at a D.C. bar and dropping purported bombshells like CNN president Jeff Zucker had an “ongoing feud with Trump since ‘The Apprentice.'”
The operation also leaned heavily on the daily organization-wide phone calls from Zucker, who can be heard telling his staff to focus on Trump’s impeachment. Big stuff. It should be noted that nothing in these videos was actually new, and most of these "revelations" were all things Zucker has said in public, but perhaps it just sounds more provocative when viewed through a series of shaky footage under the guise of a "whistleblower."
The "whistleblower" was Cary Poarch, who claimed to be a “CNN insider.” But according to a CNN spokesperson, Poarch was just a freelance satellite truck operator whose company’s contract with CNN was literally over before the release of the tapes. However, that didn’t stop Poarch from creating a GoFundMe for himself, claiming that he “considered quitting and just looking for a new place to work,” and now he needs $100,000 to “stare into a vast unknown and what it will entail.”
Obviously, after a few stops on shows like Hannity, Poarch’s GoFundMe cleared its goal and raised $108,133.
Though the videos were clearly a financial success for Poarch, the #ExposeCNN operation was a colossal flop for Project Vertis, to the point that even Fox News’ Jesse Watters ripped into O’Keefe saying he wasn’t “blown away” by the videos and referred to Poarch as “kind of a rat.”
Fast forward a few months, and now the Tampa Bay Young Republicans will host that rat on Jan. 27 at the Barrymore Hotel Tampa Riverwalk.
According to the Facebook event page, the evening “will detail his time at CNN and the project he undertook recording CNN's president and releasing the tapes to the nation showing the network's vendetta against Trump.” Poarch will also go over his “upcoming projects and the next moves in the fight for real news!”
Follow @cl_tampabay on Twitter to get the most up-to-date news + views. Subscribe to our newsletter, too.