PBS lawyer caught on recording praising red state COVID deaths
Project Veritas founder James O’Keefe III previews undercover video on ‘Hannity’
A PBS attorney made disparaging remarks about supporters of President Trump and suggested violence if the president remained in office, according to leaked audio recordings.
An edited video released by Project Veritas on Tuesday depicts a man named Michael Beller, described by the right-wing guerilla news outlet as the “principal counsel” for PBS. In conversations that took place before and after the 2020 presidential election, Beller is heard talking to an undercover journalist in a restaurant-type setting about what should happen to GOP voters.
“What are you going to do if we don’t win?” the undercover journalist asks in one conversation.
“Go to the White House and throw Molotov cocktails,” Beller responds with a grin.
Project Veritas, headed by guerilla journalist James O’Keefe, has made several headlines in recent years for its efforts to “expose” news organizations. Previous revelations from the group include that ABC News spiked a story about the Jeffrey Epstein scandal and that CNN chose to avoid reporting about Hunter Biden’s business interests in Eastern Europe during the election campaign.
In a statement to Project Veritas that was shared on Twitter, the PBS PressRoom said, “This employee no longer works for PBS. As a mid-level staff attorney, he did not speak on behalf of our organization, nor did he make any editorial decisions.
“There is no place for hateful rhetoric at PBS, and this individual’s views in no way reflect our values or opinions,” the statement continued. “We strongly condemn violence and will continue to do what we have done for 50 years – use our national platform and local presence to strengthen communities and bring people together.”
Elsewhere in the video, Beller shares his extreme views on what should be done with Trump’s supporters and their children.
“Even if Biden wins, we go for all the Republican voters and Homeland Security will take away their children,” Beller says in the video. “And then we’ll put them into reeducation camps.”
He then elaborates on his proposed “enlightenment camps,” insisting they are “nice” places with “Sesame Street characters in the classrooms and they watch PBS all day.”
Beller further speaks about his concerns for children who have grown up “knowing nothing but Trump for four years,” insisting “you’ve got to wonder what they’re going to be like.”
“[Are we] raising a generation of intolerant, horrible people, horrible kids?” Beller wonders.
In another exchange, Beller is heard calling Americans “so f—ing dumb” and suggesting that Washington is “good to live in” and “a place where people are educated and stuff.”
“Could you imagine if you lived in one of these other towns or states where everybody’s just … stupid?” Beller asks.
Beller appears to celebrate the spike in coronavirus cases in “red states,” repeatedly calling the surge “great.”
“Why do you think so?” the undercover journalist asks.
“Because either those people won’t come out to vote for Trump, you know, [in] the red states, or a lot of them are sick and dying,” Beller says of Trump supporters.
Beller goes on to slam CNN, saying it “doesn’t have real news anymore” and is too obsessed with President Trump. He was also critical of Fox News coverage.
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In an interview on “Hannity” Tuesday night, O’Keefe told the host that “in this time of moral and political crisis, I think courage is contagious, and we have all these whistleblowers coming to us, insiders helping us expose.
“We need more of these people,” O’Keefe added. “Right now, I think, is the time to be hopeful if we can create an army of exposers, because exposure itself, sunlight needs to be the best disinfectant. Exposure itself is the solution.”
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