While The New York Times alleged that the Project Veritas journalism was “deceptive” or “disinformation,” Wood said that better described their insertion of opinions into their news stories. “The Articles that are the subject of this action called the Video ‘deceptive,’ but the dictionary definitions of ‘disinformation’ and ‘deceptive’ provided by defendants’ counsel certainly apply to Astor’s and Hsu’s failure to note that they injected their opinions in news articles, as they now claim,” he added.
A New York judge slammed The New York Times for blurring the lines between news and opinion. The paper had attempted to get a defamation lawsuit against it dismissed on the grounds that, among other things, its reporters were just expressing their personal opinions when they disparaged the investigative journalists at Project Veritas.
The judge ruled the lawsuit can go forward, finding that Project Veritas showed sufficient evidence that The New York Times may have been motivated by “actual malice” and acted with “reckless disregard” when it ran several articles against the investigative journalism outfit.
The lawsuit stems from The New York Times’ coverage of an explosive video released in September purporting to show illegal voting practices within the Somali-American community in Rep. Ilhan Omar’s congressional district in Minneapolis, Minnesota.
The video was based on Snapchat videos bragging about ballot harvesting posted by Liban Mohamed, the brother-in-law of a city council candidate named Jamal Osman. Project Veritas describes the video in its lawsuit:
Mr. Mohamed displayed a vast number of ballots littering his car’s dashboard while boasting in Somali, ‘[n]umbers don’t lie! You can see my car here is full. All these here are absentee ballots. Can’t you see? Look at al these, my car is full,’ and ‘[j]ust today we got 300 (ballots) for Jamal Osman.’ In another video, Mr. Mohamed filmed himself exiting an apartment complex with his hand stuffed with voters’ ballots and baosting, ‘[t]wo in the morning. Still hustling.’