A day after The Washington Post published an article outlining allegations that Roy Moore had a series of sexual encounters with underage girls, one of the reporters who worked on the story received an email: “Roy Moore in Alabama … I might know something but I need to keep myself safe. How do we do this?” The Post’s Beth Reinhard asked if the author of the email (who identified herself as “Lindsay James”) would be willing to speak with her off the record. James said her real name was Jaime Phillips and they agreed to meet.

Phillips told an incredible story: That Moore impregnated her when she was 15, convinced her to get an abortion and drove her to a clinic in Mississippi. During her interviews with The Post, she “repeatedly asked the reporter to guarantee her that Moore would lose the election if she came forward.”

Reinhard immediately questioned elements of Phillips’s story. …

On Monday morning, Washington Post reporters saw Phillips enter the New York offices of Project Veritas — a conservative organization that claims to expose bias in the media. Subsequent reporting has revealed that Phillips spent months trying to “insinuate herself into the social circles of reporters,” signing up to attend 15 events and even showing up at farewell parties for Post employees.

What started as an effort to humiliate The Washington Post has instead demonstrated the paper’s scrupulous commitment to accuracy and honesty. It has also reminded journalists across the country that politically-motivated organizations like Project Veritas will do anything in their power to discredit legitimate newsgathering operations. …

Project Veritas only adds to the noise — it purports to be interested in a “more ethical and transparent society,” but it’s really just a tool of political sabotage. Every journalist in the country should be grateful to The Washington Post for exposing the tactics of such a sleazy and dishonest organization. Meanwhile, the rest of us should never forget that we’re living in a country where liars and charlatans are masquerading as journalists and partisan hacks think they have a duty to conduct “sting” operations against people who have dedicated their lives to telling us the truth.

— The Topeka Capital-Journal