James O’Keefe Busts YouTube Deciding What Is ‘Legitimate’ News, and What Isn’t

Project Veritas YouTube (Screenshot / YouTube)
Project Veritas (Screenshot / YouTube)

James O’Keefe’s Project Veritas has released a follow-up to its exposé of bias at the New York Times earlier this week. This time, the target is YouTube, the ubiquitous video-sharing platform owned by technology giant Google.

Project Veritas picks up where the first video left off, in conversation with the Times‘ Audience Strategy Editor, Nicholas Dudich, a former Democratic campaign operative who was shown suggesting that his political views informed his work publishing Times videos on social media platforms. (The Times responded to that first video with a statement saying that Dudich had “violated our ethical standards and misrepresented his role” in editing video content, but admitting that “he was responsible for posting already published video on other platforms.”)

The second video shows Dudich describing his relationships with staff at YouTube, and suggesting that he uses those relationships to promote or bury Times videos according to his own views.

He says he ensured a Times video that portrayed Facebook “negatively” was not promoted: “I chose to put it in a spot that I knew wouldn’t do well.” He says he can promote videos through “my friends at YouTube.” He adds: “My friends curate the front page.”

Next, the Project Veritas video shows conversations with one of Dudich’s apparent contacts at YouTube, Earnest Pettie, the “brand and diversity curation lead” at the company. Pettie is shown explaining to Project Veritas’s undercover journalist that the “news carousel,” a new feature on YouTube, is curated carefully by editors so that regardless of what videos the algorithms promote, only “legitimate” news sources are highlighted for the public.

Pettie is shown explaining that YouTube chooses to promote videos from its “news partnerships,” including with the Times. “We can say that this shelf of videos from news partners is legitimate news because we know that these are legitimate news organizations,” he says.

In one undercover interview, Pettie is seen wearing a hoodie with the Google logo on the arm and “black lives matter” across the chest. It is unclear if it is was produced or sanctioned by Google.

Joel B. Pollak is Senior Editor-at-Large at Breitbart News. He was named one of the “most influential” people in news media in 2016. He is the co-author of How Trump Won: The Inside Story of a Revolution, is available from Regnery. Follow him on Twitter at @joelpollak.


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