Pfizer executive Jordan Tristan Walker’s revealing interview makes it to the Australian MSM. By Adam Creighton. This article is in The Australian only, not the WSJ. See the videos at our earlier post.
The worst first date ever unfolded somewhere in Brooklyn, New York, last week. A Pfizer executive, seeking to impress his potential beau, casually boasted that his employer might be mutating dangerous viruses for profit. This was followed by a series of other bombshell claims that, a few hours later, tens of millions of people would be watching on social media.
“Don’t tell anyone, promise you won’t tell anyone,” Jordan Tristan Walker said to his date, who, unbeknown to Walker was an undercover reporter with Project Veritas and had videoed the entire conversation. “Well, that’s not what we say to the public, no,” Walker added, when asked if Pfizer was deliberately mutating viruses that caused Covid-19. …
When the first video appeared – it has so far attracted about 40 million impressions on Twitter – many, myself included, suspected it must be a fake. The claims were simply too shocking …
Yet around 24 hours later Veritas released a second video, perhaps even more jaw-dropping than the first. After the date concluded, James O’Keefe, the 38-year-old founder of Veritas, approached Walker with cameras in tow and asked him to explain his statements. Walker, a Yale-educated scientist, then had what appears to be a complete and understandable mental breakdown as he realised the awful implications for the rest of his life of what had just happened. …
Strikingly, Pfizer itself issued a response on Friday night, which neither confirmed nor denied Walker’s employment and conceded “in a limited number of cases” viruses “may be engineered”. Maybe Walker wasn’t lying.
But none of this was enough for much of the US media, which almost universally ignored the story, with Fox News a notable exception, despite the huge public interest. …
The silence was, for me, an unsettling insight into the power of pharmaceutical giants (among the biggest advertisers in the US), the groupthink in elite US media, and the Orwellian role of big tech in deciding what’s permissible.
As the first video went live on social media, Google, which has a near total monopoly on internet searches in the US as in Australia, appeared to start removing references to Walker’s career and background.
Indeed, YouTube, owned by Google, scrubbed the two Veritas videos altogether on Friday, vaguely citing “community standards” – presumably not a reference to how Walker’s date went.
One wonders if an employee similarly caught on a “date”, but instead bragging about cheating on carbon dioxide emission reports or racism, would have been similarly ignored.
Big tech and mainstream US news outlets loathe O’Keefe, whose reporters have previously caught CNN employees – in similar “date” situations – conceding their channel was “propaganda (that) got Trump out”, and their coverage of his relations with Russia “mostly bullshit”. A Facebook director was similarly charmed by one of Veritas’ team of attractive employees, revealing he worked for a company that “was doing a lot of damage in the world” and “should be broken up”.
But the loathing for O’Keefe is also philosophical: his style of undercover muckraking is contrary to how most journalism is conducted these days, where a variety of named and unnamed sources provide journalists with statements and information.
Indeed, in NSW, the Veritas videos would have been illegal, but the US is more lax; in New York, for instance, recordings are legal as long as at least one party has consented.
Deception has real costs. It’s hard not to feel sorry for Walker, who now faces potentially crippling infamy for the rest of his life, so much so he’ll probably have to change his name to avoid death threats. But as O’Keefe writes in his impressive 2021 book, American Muckraker — Rethinking Journalism for the 21st Century, journalists have a moral obligation to society to deceive their subject if that’s the best or perhaps the only way to obtain facts that could have potentially profound consequences.