In the recordings, Nicholas Dudich, the Times’ Audience Strategy Editor for video, claims to have worked for the political campaigns of Barack Obama and Hillary Clinton and shows that he has no problem bringing his political bias into news stories.
When asked by an undercover reporter whether he can make sure his message is heard as a gatekeeper for videos at The New York Times, he replies, “my imprint is on every video we do …. so I like that.”
In a different recording Dudich quips, “I will be ‘objective.’ No I’m not. That’s why I’m there.”
Dudich’s LinkedIn page confirms he worked for the Obama Campaign in 2008. Yet, in the video he also admits to working for the Obama Campaign in 2012, and for the Clinton Campaign in 2016, noting “they needed someone to help them do video, and how to make it heartfelt, for Clinton.”
After he worked for the Clinton Campaign, he says he took up journalism again with an objective, stating, “after the Clinton Campaign, I’m like, no I need to get back into news and keep doing [expletive] because, like, this isn’t going to change.”
During another segment, Dudich explains how he would target President Donald Trump, and what he calls Trump’s “dumb [expletive] of a son, Donald Jr., and Eric.” He says he would target Trump’s businesses and brand, to cause people to boycott Trump’s hotels.
Dudich admits his belief that by attacking Trump’s businesses and brand he could cause Trump to resign or “lash out and do something incredibly illegal, which he would have to.”
The undercover journalist presses Dudich on these comments, telling him to just make sure he puts those types of attacks “in the front.”
Dudich replies, “Oh, we always do.”
He also states his belief that Trump is a “threat to everything,” and admits that he re-entered journalism for his own advocacy, stating, “I saw the threat and I was like I want to do something, I can’t just do what I do because yeah, Trump was a threat and still is a threat.”
Project Veritas, a nonprofit that specializes in investigative news, says the video was the first in a series exposing bias at The New York Times.
The video is a continuation of its “American Pravda” series aimed at exposing bias in news organizations. It follows a three-part series on CNN, which among other things recorded an editor admitting the network pushes potentially false narratives in news stories for ratings.
Project Veritas points out that Dudich’s ties contradict the values that The New York Times claims to uphold. It quotes from its Sept. 2004 handbook on “Ethical Journalism,” which states, “Journalists have no place on the playing fields of politics. Staff members are entitled to vote, but they must do nothing that might raise questions about their professional neutrality or that of The Times.”
In the video, Dudich says he’s aware of his violations of ethics. He says, “Like, as a journalist I’m not able to give any money to any political organization, I’m not able to volunteer for any political organization, I’m not able to work for any nonprofit or charity. Like, there’s a lot of guidelines and ethics.”
During a later segment in the video, Dudich also claims to have been a member of the far-left extremist group Antifa.
He also pretends that former FBI director James Comey is his godfather, yet Project Veritas shows that was likely untrue after interviewing his family members. The undercover reporter confronts Dudich on his alleged lie, which he admits. Project Veritas founder James O’Keefe states in the video that “We don’t know the truth. Perhaps someone out there can lock it down one way or the other.”
O’Keefe adds, however, that “the fact remains that Nick Dudich lies, and he is a gatekeeper at The New York Times.”
“If the Times can’t sniff out people like Nick Dudich—journalists with such questionable integrity and character—who else are they letting spread disinformation in their name?”, O’Keefe says.
He then hints at undercover videos still to come, adding, “is this more systemic? Does the Times lack journalistic integrity altogether? On that point, stay tuned. There are plenty more shoes to drop as our investigation into the New York Times digs deeper.”
New York Times spokeswoman Danielle Rhoades Ha said in a statement that the editor was a “recent hire in a junior position” who “violated our ethical standards and misrepresented his role.” She says that Dudich was in charge of reposting videos to other platforms and was not involved in creating or editing the videos. She states, “We are reviewing the situation now.”
The Project Veritas video is not the first incident that has raised questions about the news organization’s coverage of President Donald Trump.
Speaking under oath before the Senate Select Committee on Intelligence on June 8, former FBI Director James Comey discredited a Feb. 15 front page story in The New York Times, which claimed that members of Trump’s 2016 presidential campaign “had repeated contacts with senior Russian intelligence officials in the year before the election.”
At the time, The Epoch Times noted many flaws in the report, which The New York Times used to push a narrative of collusion.
At the hearing, Sen. Tom Cotton (R-Ark.) pressed Comey further on the piece from The New York Times, asking, “Would it be fair to characterize that story as almost entirely wrong?”, to which Comey replied, “Yes.”