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Fascist Journalists Attack The Poor: Laura Loomer & The Project Veritas Cycle

Posted in Creative Commons, and Journalism

It’s happened again. Fascist wannabe journalists attacked the most vulnerable, and as a result poor people will probably die.

Laura Loomer, a talking asshole fringed in blonde hair, is the latest to engage in a punch-down “sting operation” that’s targeted to hurt people with the most to lose.

In an investigative report that’s the talk of nazi rallies everywhere, Loomer went undercover in a refugee camp to expose the “shocking” fact that camp workers help refugees apply for aid in a way that minimizes.trauma and maximizes the likelihood that they’ll get help. Previously best known for spreading Islamophobic conspiracies about her Uber drivers, she’s now trying to graduate to the next level of far right pundit.

To most of us, this sounds like refugee workers admirably doing their job under incredibly difficult conditions. But to chattering nazi garbage, this simply verifies their worst fantasies about an invasion of non-white people aided and abetted by the Jews. It justifies their yearning for genocide.

The Project Veritas Cycle: From bullshit journalism to dead poor people

We’ve seen this over and over again, just with different targets, and sadly we know how it’s likely to turn out. Let’s call it the Project Veritas Cycle.

Project Veritas pioneered the punch-down sting by targeting organizations that provide healthcare and otherwise offer aid to poor people. It’s since been picked up by hacks like Loomer or the “Center for Medical Progress,” the people who make your conservative relatives think Planned Parenthood workers bathe in baby parts.

Here’s how the Project Veritas Cycle works:

  1. Fascists/Republicans, working with neoliberal centrists in the Democratic Party, create an impossible to navigate bureaucracy that stands between poor people and aid. Take your pick of poor person: refugees, disabled, people without homes, veterans, black folks, anyone that the rich want to fuck over.
  2. Nonprofits appear to help poor people navigate these impossible, byzantine systems.
  3. Fascist “journalists” target the people who help poor people with a punch-down sting.
  4. Under pressure from the far right, politicians make aid harder to obtain.
  5. Repeat steps 1 – 4 forever.

And poor people get sick, or can’t find homes or food, or otherwise fall through the cracks and die.

Of course, much of the mainstream media participates by amplifying the videos and reports. Suddenly, we need “both sides” reports debating whether or not Planned Parenthood sells baby parts. Even when the laws don’t change directly, the Overton Window shifts. Suddenly, it’s just a given that a lot of poor people are lazy or “faking it.”

In the Project Veritas Cycle, everyone profits but the poor

Everyone profits. The politicians, the policy makers who spend hours fine tuning the bureaucratic torture. Rich think tanks fund the fashy undercover journalists. Other media outlets get clicks from spreading their lies. Even the nonprofits that appear to navigate the mess get paid.

Everyone profits but the poor people that the whole system was meant to help.

A graffiti stencil on a wall reads "REFUGEES WELCOME" in yellow. paint. Journalism should scare the powerful and help the powerless. The Project Veritas Cycle does the opposite.
Journalism should scare the powerful and help the powerless. The Project Veritas Cycle does the opposite. (Flickr / Urban Isthmus, CC-BY license)

“Fraud,” in these cases, is just a poor person pretending to be a slightly different kind of poor person in order to access lifesaving aid. It’s not a sign of dishonesty or laziness. Our system is broken and the criminals are the rich who get richer by making others suffer.

It’s also a sign that a lot of journalists have lost sight of the purpose of their jobs. As I’ve written before, you’re never just a journalist. Even if you claim to be “neutral,” your reporting has real effects. If your stories make it harder for poor people to survive, you’re doing it wrong.

If your journalism is blaming poor people, you’re either asking the wrong questions or you’re a hateful fuck.

We can all break the cycle by centering compassion, and removing people like Laura Loomer from the public discourse.

Parts of this post are based on a Twitter thread.


Fascist Journalists Attack The Poor: Laura Loomer & The Project Veritas Cycle by Kit O’Connell is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License.
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