A matter of opinion: Project Veritas, the New York Times, and a bitter defamation suit | WHAT REALLY HAPPENED

A matter of opinion: Project Veritas, the New York Times, and a bitter defamation suit

The Times is being sued because of how it characterized two Veritas videos, which ran last September and alleged voter fraud in Minneapolis. Astor’s story, as quoted in the suit, called a Veritas video “deceptive” and said O’Keefe and his colleagues have “a long history of releasing manipulated or selectively edited footage.” Astor noted that Veritas released its first video just hours after a big Times scoop about Donald Trump’s tax returns, and she quoted an academic research group saying that a series of Veritas-promoting tweets by Trump and others resembled “a coordinated disinformation campaign.”

To many journalists, those statements would seem uncontroversial, the litigation a nuisance. But Veritas recently scored an important win when a New York justice rebuffed the Times’ efforts to get the suit dismissed. That means the Times, which has appealed the ruling, may now face a protracted court battle. And each side could soon be imposing onerous discovery and depositions on the other’s reporters and editors.

Veritas filed its suit in the New York Supreme Court, a trial court whose justices hear cases on a county level—in this case, Westchester County, a New York City suburb where Veritas’s office is located. And there’s evidence that the suit was a hot potato: two Supreme Court justices—including Alexandra Murphy, the daughter of New York State’s chief judge—quickly recused themselves without providing a rationale.

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