The March 2 edition of the Observer published an article titled, “Project Veritas tackles APS gender identity policy.”

You identify Project Veritas in the second paragraph merely as “the organization” implying “the organization” is a valid source of information, which is most certainly not the case. For those not familiar with Project Veritas, it is a right-wing organization partially funded by the Donald J. Trump Foundation and is known for its repeated attacks on news organizations with which it disagrees using secretly recorded and often heavily edited audio and/or video.

Without this information included in the article for context, it would appear as if the Observer’s editor is picking sides on the gender identity debate. It is not the aim of Project Veritas to “tackle” anything as the headline implies. Its purpose is to infiltrate organizations such as the Albuquerque Public Schools, secretly record internal conversations, and then release them to the media as legitimate news sources to promote its own agenda. Without Project Veritas’s background, the reader is led to believe the APS gender identity policy is defined by a sole resource teacher who, in all likelihood, was recorded without her knowledge and permission.

Having worked in corporate public relations for a number of years as well as an educator at the secondary level, I know that information sources must be valid, knowledge that this paper’s editor either inadvertently or deliberately choose to ignore. The article did state that APS did not respond to a request for comment, but it was “a” request, as in one request, singular. I would hope the Observer continues to try to reach out to APS to possibly receive answers to questions such as “Who made the recording?” “Did APS have knowledge of the recording?” “Are the comments by this teacher the actual gender identity policy of APS?” or, more likely, “Did the teacher agree to an interview with someone she trusted, not knowing it was actually just another ‘gotcha’ moment from an organization that makes its living from other such incidents?” I would like to point out also that Project Veritas has been successfully sued by a number of its intended targets and that its founder, James O’Keefe, was fired last month by the organization for financial misdeeds.

Typically, the Observer creates a quality product for its readers, but I think this is one case where the publication did not perform its due diligence and printed an article that relied upon a “source” that is less than reputable.

Tom Fore

Rio Rancho