29 September 2010

O'Keefe

James O'Keefe is in the news again. And it just keeps getting uglier.

You probably remember O'Keefe from the ACORN videos. These heavily-edited videos featured O'Keefe pretending to be a sleazy guy seeking borderline-illegal advice. Even though he dressed as an elaborate pimp (fur coat and gold cane) when introducing the videos, in fact he was clad as a young professional during his sessions with ACORN operatives; after visiting a dozen offices, he managed to get some of them to give him advice that sounded pretty bad. His clever editing and some sloppy reporting meant that the entire thing was exaggerated, so that people believed that O'Keefe in his ridiculous get-up had been offered advice on how to pimp young girls. ACORN subsequently went down, and O'Keefe became a hero to everyone who believed that ACORN was evil.

ACORN was not evil, of course. They helped the poor get loans, negotiate through red tape, and engaged in crucial get-out-the-vote initiatives. Because the poor tend to vote overwhelmingly Democrat, a certain other group disliked ACORN. Now they don't have to worry.

O'Keefe was arrested some time later breaking into the offices of Louisiana Senator Mary Landrieu, having impersonated a telephone repair tech. He claimed he was not trying to tap her phones, but only trying to discover if Landrieu was ignoring the phone calls of constituents. How he was going to find out what phone calls she was ignoring without tapping her phones was not explained. I guess he was just going to stand next to the phone cabinets and listen real hard.

Anyway, he's back in the news.

A female CNN reporter alleges that O'Keefe tried to dupe her into getting onto a boat with him, where he would, unbeknownst to her, have champagne and strawberries waiting. The plan, allegedly, was to videotape himself hitting on her in an attempt to embarrass her and CNN.

One of his cronies, visibly uncomfortable with the plan, gave him up before the event. The CNN reporter just shut him down and left after meeting him at the boat. The same crony, Izzy Santa, has also given over to CNN a planning document for the event that has to be seen to be believed, and some emails. O'Keefe is trying to deny he was ever on board with the plan, but in one of the emails he asks an associate, "Do you really think we can get her on the boat?"

Here's an excerpt from the planning document, which is so bizarre that the CNN reporter says she thought it itself might be part of a second elaborate prank.


All future investigative journalism should require dildos in some form.

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