A Woman Tried To Trick Reporters. They Caught On Quick.

Jaime Phillips tried to trick The Washington Post into publishing an apparently fake story.

A recent series of interviews that may have been intended as an attack on The Washington Post's integrity accidentally strengthened it in the public eye. 

After being contacted by a woman named Jaime Phillips claiming to have been impregnated by Alabama Senate candidate Roy Moore when she was 15, Post reporters began digging into her story. During the rigorous fact-checking process typical of such stories, the reporters found inconsistencies between what she'd shared with them and a GoFundMe page that indicated she was previously seeking out a job to "combat the lies and deceipt of the liberal MSM."


Phillips claimed Moore impregnated her in 1992 and then forced her to have an abortion. Once reporters found inconsistencies in her story and came across the GoFundMe page, they decided not to publish her unsubstantiated claims. Then, on Monday morning, reporters caught Phillips entering the New York offices of Project Veritas, an organization that has repeatedly tried to embarrass mainstream media outlets and liberal groups with deceptively edited undercover video footage.

Typically, Project Veritas footage contains heavily edited video clips where a member of an organization says something embarrassing or antithetical to what the organization claims to stand for. Often times, the footage is obtained when a member of Project Veritas uses a fake cover story to approach an employee. James O'Keefe, the founder of Project Veritas, has a long history of failed attempts to discredit media and journalists, as well as a handful of bombshell stories to his name.

During the interview process, Phillips repeatedly asked The Washington Post reporters to "guarantee her that Moore would lose the election if she came forward." Of course, the reporters couldn't do that, but had they, the response would have made for a compelling addition to a video revealing mainstream media "corruption."

Instead, the attempted sting operation revealed the opposite: that The Washington Post goes to great lengths to verify stories, particularly claims of sexual assault, and those stories can be vetted thoroughly before being printed. In a bizarre twist of fate, the entire event ended up making the allegations against Moore that The Washington Post originally published seem all the more credible.

 Despite the evidence that Moore's accusers are reporting their experiences honestly, some pundits have continued to claim they believe Moore and not the nine women's allegations. Moore's campaign has even attacked the accusers, making several false claims intended to point to discrepancies in their stories. But almost all of the attacks on accusers have been debunked

As Talia Lavin, a fact-checker for The New Yorker, observed on Twitter earlier this month: "When an allegation of sexual abuse is published in a reputable outlet, it's verified by journalists, fact-checkers, and lawyers who seek contemporaneous corroboration."

The apparent attempt to embarrass The Washington Post has turned into a accidental public display of the publication's rigor when reporting a story. At the end of the day, most political junkies can take solace in the fact that it's not so simple to get a fake story published in The Washington Post and publications like it.


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