James Bond budget infiltrates left for James O’Keefe and Project Veritas

AWhen it comes to spy names, “James Fortune” sounds like a good Bond bargain, something of a lazily written pulp novel. So of course, when Project Veritas attempted to infiltrate several progressive groups in North Carolina, the right-wing pseudo-journalism group sent a guy with the most fake they could. War name, only to see Fortune defeated by her own pride – and a deadly bout of seasickness.

Far from being a suave super-spy, Fortune was actually just a mindfulness-loving brother of Crossfit from New York, a longtime member of Project Veritas who was fighting his way through another operation. In this, he was like several “undercover journalists” in recent months, executing James O’Keefe’s vision to undermine confidence in our voting processes and generally do his best to help Donald Trump win re-election. Oh, and do it with the help of white supremacists.

Project Veritas continues to gain attention because they are able to present themselves as old-fashioned journalists – watchdogs who simply want transparency in government. But, as the case of “James Fortune” shows, they are more often than not right-wing partisans, performing awkward bites and producing questionable journalism at best. And yet the Veritas “investigations” are still cited by Republican politicians, right down to the president, more recently to push the conspiracy theory that widespread voter fraud will corrupt the 2020 election. Know who is behind these operations. he infiltration helps the public assess the seriousness – or otherwise – of taking Veritas’ alleged revelations.

As embarrassingly detailed in an NC Policy Watch talk, James Fortune introduced himself as the operator of Equality Gym in New York City. (As if the name wasn’t already a bad liberal revival parody, Equality Gym’s Twitter avatar featured two sweaty men, one white and one black, shaking hands triumphantly.) Fortune claimed he wanted to open a new gym in North Carolina.

Most importantly, he wanted to donate $ 20,000 to worthy local causes. He contacted the Common Cause of North Carolina, the North Carolina Black Alliance, and other progressive and voter education groups. According to people who met him, he asked naive, even leading, questions about what his money could do. He tried to recommend his “protégés” for jobs, and clumsily touted his leftist credentials. He described how fitness had oriented his life and how his ex-girlfriend, a Colombian social worker from Queens, had really helped him understand the plight of Latinxes in the United States.

“This guy seemed strange,” says Bob Phillips, executive director of Common Cause. “It just came out of nowhere; now he’s talking about giving me $ 10,000, and he wants to start something – a gym – which at the time was banned because of COVID. Philips notes that Fortune never seemed to spend time researching locations for its planned gym.

Fortune’s awkwardness soon made people suspect an ulterior motive. He continued to ask questions about activities that would violate electoral laws; Looking back, his alleged mentees look a lot like potential infiltrators he hoped to place in targeted organizations.

His biggest mistake came when he went on a fishing trip with one of the target groups, claiming to be a hardened deep-sea fisherman. Out on the ocean, he became deeply seasick and was spent the next 12 hours vomiting or sleeping. Shortly after – but not before his activities were reported to authorities – the man himself turned off the ignition. SMS, e-mail, phone on Twitter – nothing.

James Fortune was in the wind.

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