Conservative muckrakers have been very busy lately producing deceptive videos that deliberately slander Democrats and progressive organizations. It has become their favorite method of spreading malicious lies via dishonest editing and unsupported allegations. Most notably of late are the videos that falsely portray Planned Parenthood as engaging in various unlawful practices.
The technique was famously employed by serial liar James O’Keefe when he produced videos wherein he pretended to be a pimp in order to damage the reputation of ACORN, a philanthropic organization that helps the poor obtain housing and register to vote. Although the videos were proven to be political disinformation, they resulted in ACORN losing funding and eventually shutting down. Later O’Keefe was sued by a former ACORN staffer and was ordered to pay $100,000 judgment for his libel. On subsequent projects O’Keefe was caught trying to seduce a CNN reporter, cast illegal votes, and tamper with the phones of a United States senator. For that offense O’Keefe was arrested and eventually pleaded guilty after his felonies were bargained down to misdemeanors.
So it was just a matter of time before this craven tactic was aimed at the campaign of a prominent Democrat running for high office. Time is reporting that…
“Hillary Clinton’s campaign offices around the country have been put on alert after at least two women approached Iowa staff under the guise of being supporters in an apparent effort to catch the campaign engaging in improper or illegal activity, a Clinton campaign official said.”
As described by Time, the modus operandi is typical of methods used by O’Keefe and company. There are even photos of some of the con artists sent to scam the Clinton campaign. One woman in the photos is a known operative who has worked with O’Keefe in the past. Time further reported the account of the attempted scam given by Clinton’s spokesperson:
“A Clinton campaign official alleges that the women engaged in several efforts to entrap supporters. In one scheme, described by Clinton staff, a woman attempted to pass a cash donation to Clinton volunteers and interns. In another, a woman approached the campaign on Aug. 19 and said both her parents had donated to Clinton the legal maximum of $2700 each and wanted to funnel an additional donation through their daughter, a violation of federal law. On Aug. 13, a woman claiming to be Canadian approached another Clinton fellow to ask how to falsify an address for a campaign donation.”
At this time it appears that the political dirty trickery failed. But just the fact that these cretins are out there trying to pull off their hoaxes is troubling. The possibility of a naive campaign volunteer getting fooled or being subjected to a video manipulation that casts them in a negative light is always a risk. Not that it proves any wrongdoing by the campaign, but it takes time and effort to debunk the lies and some people (e.g. Fox News viewers) will believe them no matter how ridiculous.
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And that’s pretty much the point. They know that they can have a deleterious effect even if exposed as crooks. Let’s hope the Clinton campaign, and every other potential target of these charlatans, remains vigilant and wards off their attempted scams.