FBI Raid of James O’Keefe’s House Is a Blow to Press Freedom

The FBI searched the home of James O’Keefe—a conservative activist who films undercover videos for his organization, Project Veritas—on Saturday, reportedly because law enforcement wants to know how O’Keefe came to possess a diary allegedly stolen from Ashley Biden, President Joe Biden’s daughter. Also, the FBI searched two O’Keefe acquaintances’ homes.

We still have much to discover about the motives for the search. However, what we know is concerning and possibly objectionable under the principles of press freedom. O’Keefe claims that he obtained the diary from an unknown source. Project Veritas, however, did not publish some of it. However, some of its pages appeared eventually on a right-leaning site. O’Keefe says he turned the diary over last year to law enforcement. Per The New York TimesThis is:

Video statement by Mr. O’Keefe on Friday. It was a detailed defense of his group’s handling and disclosure of the diary. O’Keefe stated in his video that he and others had been acting as ethical reporters and had handed the diary over last year to the police authorities. Ms. Biden had requested it be returned to him.

In the video, Mr. O’Keefe stated that “it appears the Southern District in New York now has journalists to blame for the presumptive crime of doing their job lawfully and honestly.” Project Veritas’ actions were worthy of ethical and responsible journalism.

Although it is wrong for an organisation to release materials it has obtained illegally, journalists routinely report information that comes from sources they might not have received the correct information. Perhaps additional information will come to light, but for now, the government’s handling of this matter is eminently criticizable—and raises the possibility that Project Veritas is being targeted unfairly.

“Don’t believe journalists shouldn’t cheerleading for this one,” observed New York Times Ben Smith is a media journalist.

A Virginia school board has begun an audit of the library to find offensive books. Two members of the board suggested that adult-themed books be put in the fire. According to The Free Lance–StarThis is:

The board voted 6–0 to order the removal. Erin Grampp, Berkeley District representative, was unable to attend the vote.

Courtland’s representative Rabih Abuismail, and Livingston’s representative Kirk Twigg both stated that they wanted to see the books removed burned.

Abuismail suggested that the book should be set on fire. Twigg stated that he wanted to inspect the books and see if they are burned so that people can tell in their community that this is a good thing.

School curriculum—and, specifically, which books should appear in school libraries—is increasingly becoming a winning issue for conservatives. Glenn Youngkin was elected Republican candidate and defeated the incumbent governor. Terry McAuliffe won the Virginia governor’s race in part due to his attack on McAuliffe’s insensitive assertion that parents shouldn’t have any say in what schools are taught. McAuliffe deservedly suffered for taking parents out of the equation—families have every right to object to what is being taught in public schools. Their children should be able to choose from a wider range of educational options, such as the option to send them to better-suited schools.

It is true, however that giving parents who are most upset a veto over school library content will create a culture of censorship and resentfulness. In this instance, district officials offered to literally burn books to show their resolve to not disturb anyone. This is a dangerous dynamic that will only lead to poor education.

U.S. consumer price inflation soared by 6.2% since October last year, marking the highest single-year growth in thirty years. CNBC says:

The Labor Department reports Wednesday that inflation in a wide range of goods consumers use every day was worse than anticipated. It reached its highest point since more than 30 year ago in October.

The Consumer Price Index, which includes a variety of products, from fuel and food care to grocery and rents and other necessities, increased 6.2% compared with a year earlier, making it the highest increase since December 1990. This is a contrast to the Dow Jones estimate of 5.9%.

The CPI increased 0.9% monthly compared to the 0.6% forecast.

Core CPI (which excludes volatile food and energy prices) was 0.6% higher that the estimated 0.4%. Core inflation in the year was 4.6%, which is higher than the expectation of 4% and has been the highest rate since August 1991.

The fuel oil price rose by 12.3% during October. This is part of an overall 59.1% increase in the last year. Overall, energy prices rose by 4.8% and have increased 30% over the past 12-months.

The rise in used vehicle prices was a major contributor to the increase of 2.5% for the month and 26.4% over the entire year. The prices of new vehicle were higher by 9.8% and 1.4%, respectively.

The prices of food also saw a significant rise, with food prices rising by 0.9% and 5.3%. The food categories of meat, poultry and fish saw an overall increase of 1.7% month over year and 11.9% respectively.

Biden stated that the answer was to pass his Agenda “Build Back better”, which would “ease inflationary pressures by getting Americans back into work and make it more affordable to purchase certain services like child care. Massive increases in government spending are also possible. causeThe bill alone could cause runaway inflation, making the situation even worse.

• Jacob Chansley, the “QAnon Shaman” and the central figure most identified with the January 6 attack on the U.S. Capitol, is facing a 51-month prison sentence if convicted. This sentence is the most severe that has been sought by prosecutors in January 6 cases.

• Some 76 percent of Americans think Facebook is making society worse off.

• COVID-19 cases are rising in 20 states.

• How it started:

• How it’s going: