Fox News Intelligence Analyst: ISIS “Are Not Dumb People. We’re The Dumb Ones”

Fox News, and other right-wing media, sometimes make it very difficult to assess where they are coming from. Every now and then you have to sit back and try to figure out the answer to one simple question: Whose side they are on?

Fox News

Case in point: Friday’s episode of Your World with Neil Cavuto featured a segment with former CIA “intelligence” officer, Michael Scheuer, a regular guest on the network. Scheuer is famous for telling Glenn Beck that “the only chance we have as a country right now is for Osama bin Laden to deploy and detonate a major weapon in the United States.” Isn’t that a charming display of patriotism?

Now Scheuer is providing his opinion of the intelligence of Americans as compared to our terrorist enemies. In his discussion with Cavotu, Scheuer complimented ISIS by saying that they were not “silly” enough to forgo the opportunity to infiltrate the United States by sneaking across the southern border. In fact, he elaborated on that praise saying that…

“The Islamists “are not dumb people. They may be brutal, but they are not dumb. We’re the dumb ones.”

Well then, that settles it. The problem we’ve been having all along is that we’re just as smart as our adversaries. And Cavuto, notably, did not challenge that assessment. After all, how can a bunch of hillbillies who are hypnotized by reality television, designer jeans, and flame-broiled Whoppers supposed to be able to compete intellectually with such sophisticated and sociologically advanced opponents? Why did we not see this deficiency before Scheuer brought it to our attention? Oh yeah, because we’re stupid.

It’s unclear who Scheuer is referring to specifically. Does he mean that all Americans are dumb, or maybe our military commanders, or just our leaders? It’s hard to place the blame on the military since they have accomplished nearly every task assigned to them. In the past couple of weeks they have achieved repeated victories pushing ISIS back from cities they claimed to have captured. As for our leaders, the only one who permitted a catastrophic attack on U.S. soil was George W. Bush, and he’s been out of office for six years now. So that leaves just the American people to absorb the brunt of Scheuer’s insult.

In addition to Scheuer’s anti-patriotic stance, another right-wing hack has also contributed to the welfare of ISIS. James O’Keefe pulled off an idiotic stunt last month wherein he filmed himself crossing the Rio Grande in an Osama Bin Laden mask. That story is almost painfully funny, and can be read here. The news emanating from that buffoonery is that his antics are now being cited by ISIS to motivate wannabe terrorists to attempt similar crossings.

Fox News reported that a document obtained from the Texas Department of Public Safety warned that “militants are expressing an increased interest in the notion that they could clandestinely infiltrate the southwest border of US,” and that social media messages “alluded to a recent video by U.S. activist James O’Keefe, who was recorded coming across the Rio Grande valley in an Usama bin Laden costume.”

O’Keefe must be so proud that his little film project has become a source of inspiration to bloodthirsty terrorists. Of course if we needed an argument to refute Scheuer’s characterization of ISIS as being smarter than we are, there couldn’t be better proof of the fallacy of that notion than the fact that they are taking O’Keefe seriously. That’s evidence of a pretty severe intellectual shortfall. Do they really regard O’Keefe’s video as documentation of the state of U.S. border security? Is that really the best source they could scrape up? And if they are relying on that, then we don’t have much to worry about.

This is just further evidence that conservatives are itching for some sort of violent disaster to occur so they can blame it on our secretly Muslim president. They have been haranguing Obama about divulging our strategy to deal with ISIS, which would simultaneously reveal the strategy to ISIS themselves. And when they aren’t advocating tipping our hand, they disparaging Obama and telling the world, and our enemies, that he is weak and incompetent. Which brings us back to the question that opened this article: Whose side are they on?

Serial Liar James O’Keefe Trades In His Pimp Outfit For Osama Bin Laden Mask

The news from around the world has been getting more intense with conflicts raging in Israel/Gaza, Syria/Iraq, and Ukraine/Russia. Not to mention an Ebola outbreak in West Africa and police shooting unarmed citizens here in the U.S. So that makes it the perfect time for a self-indulgent purveyor of puerile political pranks to post another in his series of odes to his own desperate cries for attention.

O'Keefe/Osama

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Abandoning his pimp persona, James O’Keefe ventured down to the U.S./Mexico border to prove that a lily-white American, in the company of a local Sheriff, could wade around in the ankle-deep waters of the Rio Grande unhindered. O’Keefe produced a video showing himself crossing what he said was the border, although with his track record it might have been a puddle at W’s old Crawford Ranch. O’Keefe repeatedly sought to build a melodrama around this desert hike by insinuating that the border was an open door to criminals and terrorists.

What he didn’t say was that there was a nearby road where U.S. Border Patrol agents keep watch on the very stretch of land that O’Keefe was prancing around. Nor did he think it was notable that the presence of an American citizen and his Sheriff companion might not peak the interest of the feds. Neither did he bother to inform his viewers of the resume for this particular Sheriff. Gawker, however, was generous enough to provide some background on him:

“Here are some fun facts you may not learn about [Sheriff Arvin] West from O’Keefe’s fawning video treatment: The sheriff is famous for arresting celebrities, from Willie Nelson to Fiona Apple, whose pot-filled tour buses use the nearby stretch of Interstate 10; he’s been found guilty of illegally arresting an El Paso police officer and violating his civil rights; and he has a reputation for being a right-wing and anti-immigrant media hound who calls President Obama ‘full of shit.’”

To add some extra punch to the production number, O’Keefe donned an Osama Bin Laden mask and repeated his crossing of the river. What made him think that the result would be any different by wearing an obviously phony Halloween accessory is anyone’s guess. Especially after having already established that there was no one monitoring the theatrics that he and his Sheriff sidekick were engaging in. And again, why would anyone be monitoring these two clowns? The Border Patrol have actual work to do.

As has become the norm, O’Keefe’s video was virtually ignored by the media who have become inured to his dishonest brand of faux journalism. The only outlets that continue to pay him any attention are the the most disreputable of the right-wing media circus, like Breitbart News, Newsmax, and the “Moonie” Washington Times. What must have been particularly painful for Jimmy was the reaction from ultra-conservative Fox News host Eric Bolling, who addressed the video on his program The Five and spoke directly to O’Keefe saying…

“What’s not helpful [...] filmmaker James O’Keefe donning an Osama Bin Laden mask and crossing the Rio Grande. Shtick like that doesn’t work. We have honest-to-God serious problems with the border. O’Keefe, give it a rest, my man.”

O’Keefe is best known for making an ass of himself on video while imagining an acclaim that is shared by no one outside of the Tea Party Home for the Chronically Delusional. Some of his other recent antics have resulted in his arrest and conviction in a Louisiana senator’s office, a legal order to pay a $100,000 settlement to a former ACORN employee he defamed, and a sleazy plot to seduce a CNN reporter aboard his “Love Boat.” His last “Cinema Veri-tasteless” earned him a rebuke from a team of Special Prosecutors in Texas who officially concluded that his video “was little more than a canard and political disinformation.”

The ultimate goal of this project became apparent when a visit to his website revealed a reference to this video on his donations page where O’Keefe whined that “To complete this investigation, Project Veritas spent over $74,242 in legal fees, investigators salaries, and travel expenses.” He really does have a problem if it cost him 74 grand to hop a plane to Texas to stroll across a puddle with a pair of high-water jeans and a rubber Osama mask. With that kind of budget he could have hired a bearded Muslim actor and a couple of coyotes with a motor boat, added some pyrotechnics and a love interest, and entered it at Sundance.

It’s Official: James O’Keefe’s Videos Are Legally ‘Political Disinformation’

In February of this year, the unrepentant liar and alleged pervert, James O’Keefe, released another in his series of dishonest, pseudo-journalistic video escapades. In it he falsely asserted that Battleground Texas, a local organization that promotes voter participation, had violated state laws while registering citizens to vote.

James O'Keefe

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The News Corpse analysis of the video proved that O’Keefe was badly misinterpreting the law and making unfounded accusations against civic-minded volunteers. That is the hallmark of his body of work as a lying propagandist. And he almost always attacks people or organizations that seek to assist the poor or other disadvantaged constituencies. The aforementioned analysis said in part that…

“What O’Keefe did was to clip a portion of the Texas election code that says ‘The registrar may not transcribe, copy, or otherwise record a telephone number furnished on a registration application.’ What he either fails to understand, or is deliberately misrepresenting, is that this section of the law applies only to the Registrar of Voters and other county officials. It does not apply to the volunteers or organizations that distribute and collect voter registration forms.”

Now a team of Special Prosecutors in Texas have affirmed that O’Keefe’s video hackery fails to expose any wrongdoing on the part of Battleground Texas. It can’t be over-stressed that these are Texas-based prosecutors who were assigned by a Texan judge to investigate the charges raised by O’Keefe in his video project. The prosecutors report concluded that…

“The Veritas video was little more than a canard and political disinformation. The video was particularly unprofessional when it suggested that the actions of Battleground Texas were advocated by a Texas gubernatorial candidate and the that actions of a single volunteer deputy registrar may even involve private health data, which is not involved in the voter registration process.”

The report also explicitly addressed the question of whether the Texas election code prohibited the transcription of voter data, including phone numbers. What they concluded, with citations from the current Texas Attorney General (who is running for governor against Democrat Wendy Davis), is that the “statutory provision applies only to the official county registrar, not to a volunteer deputy registrar.” And that just happens to validate the analysis published here on News Corpse two months ago.

The Special Prosecutors closed their report with a recommendation that “the complaint be dismissed for insufficient evidence and failure to state an offense.” The judge agreed and signed the order to dismiss. This marks only the most recent embarrassment for O’Keefe who regularly engages in fraudulent activity in pursuit of his radical, partisan agenda. Some of his other antics have resulted in his arrest and conviction in a Louisiana senator’s office and a legal order to pay a $100,000 settlement to a former ACORN employee he defamed. He himself has broken voter registration laws in a failed attempt to defend suppressive voter ID legislation. And let’s not forget his sleazy plot to seduce a CNN reporter aboard his “Love Boat.”

O’Keefe has not yet commented on this ruling that certifies his blatantly unethical behavior. It is also notable that none of the media outlets that promoted O’Keefe’s lie-riddled video have bothered to report this legal development. Apparently they don’t think it is newsworthy that their trusted source has been deemed a purveyor of “political disinformation” by Texas legal authorities. Amongst those who giddily peddled O’Keefe’s video, but now ignore the legal smackdown, were National Review, Breitbart News, WorldNetDaily, NewsBusters, FreedomWorks, The Daily Caller, Townhall, and Human Events. And of course, Fox News also hyped the video on their Fox Nation (a website that regularly spreads political disinformation and outright lies). This is to be expected from the conservative media circus that is only there to distort and confuse rather than to inform.

Congenital Liar James O’Keefe Makes False Charges Of Illegality Against Battleground Texas

James O’Keefe has just released the latest of his long-running series of intentionally deceitful videos. In this episode O’Keefe returns to one of his favorite themes: harassing civic-minded volunteers who commit their time to registering voters and honoring America’s tradition of democracy. If there is one thing that extremist conservatives like O’Keefe hate, it’s people participating in the electoral process or helping others to do so. Especially if they are minorities, the poor, and other disenfranchised citizens.

James O'Keefe

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The new video purports to have captured illegal activity engaged in by volunteers for Battleground Texas, a local organization that promotes voter participation. O’Keefe’s hidden camera records a volunteer named Jennifer Longoria describing a part of the process for engaging voters and encouraging them to turn out on election day. Longoria explains that Battleground Texas keeps contact information gathered from the voter registration forms they collect. It is this practice of saving names and phone numbers that O’Keefe alleges is illegal.

The only problem with O’Keefe’s allegation is that it is utterly false. What O’Keefe did was to clip a portion of the Texas election code that says “The registrar may not transcribe, copy, or otherwise record a telephone number furnished on a registration application.” What he either fails to understand, or is deliberately misrepresenting, is that this section of the law applies only to the Registrar of Voters and other county officials. It does not apply to the volunteers or organizations that distribute and collect voter registration forms. In fact, the Texas Secretary of State website addresses this matter directly in their “Frequently Asked Questions” for volunteers:

Q: May I photocopy a completed application before turning it in to the county voter registrar?

A: No. Section 13.004(c-1) of the Code requires the county voter registrar to ensure that certain information, such as the telephone number, on a registration application is redacted from photocopies of voter registration applications from her office. In our opinion, this means that a photocopy of an application must come directly from the county voter registrar’s office, so that he or she may ensure the required information has been blacked out or otherwise obscured. With that said, we believe that a volunteer deputy registrar may photocopy the receipt. You may also copy the relevant information from the application in writing just as you would be able to do if you went to the registrar’s office and pulled a copy of the original application.

So actual photocopies are not allowed, but manually recording the data is expressly permitted. And that’s all that Battleground Texas is doing. The purpose of the applicable code is to prohibit confidential voter information from being published or otherwise made public by people on the government payroll who could have motive and opportunity to abuse their power. But Battleground Texas is not a government agency, nor are they publishing any of the data. Also, the information defined as confidential is specified in the code and includes things like the social security number and driver’s license number, but not the phone number.

The fact that James O’Keefe is thoroughly shredding the most basic standards of ethical journalism should not surprise anyone. His previous escapades have resulted in his arrest and conviction in a Louisiana senator’s office, and a legal order to pay a $100,000 settlement to a former ACORN employee he defamed. He himself has broken voter registration laws in a failed attempt to defend suppressive voter ID legislation. And let’s not forget his sleazy plot to seduce a CNN reporter aboard his “Love Boat,” or harassment allegations by a former associate that he tried to drug and kidnap her. His videos have been criticized by a broad array of media analysts for editing that blatantly misrepresents reality. Even Glenn Beck condemned his deceptive tactics.

However, what is truly disturbing is that, after having established a reputation as a shameless scam artist, there are still media outlets that provide a platform for his lies. Almost as soon as O’Keefe posted the new video it was picked up by Fox News on their Fox Nation website. From there it was swept up into the conservative media vortex that includes National Review, Breitbart News, WorldNetDaily, NewsBusters, FreedomWorks, The Daily Caller, Townhall, Human Events, TeaPartyOrg, and conspiracy kingpin Alex Jones’ Infowars.

Despite sensationalistic headlines about “Busted Dems,” none of these so-called news enterprises bothered to actually look into the law and ascertain whether a violation had occurred. They have simply taken the word of a known purveyor of falsehoods. That’s because their role is to distort and confuse rather than to inform. And that’s why O’Keefe can always find an outlet through the wingnut-o-sphere to peddle his phony investigations that invariably attack disadvantaged Americans and are a coordinated part of the Republican war on voting. The state of Texas has one of the lowest rates of voter participation in the nation, and O’Keefe and his GOP allies want to keep it that way.

Right-Wing Crybabies Should Obey The Law Or STFU

Is there a double standard in the wingnut press for criminal activity? Well, whenever a Democrat is accused of littering, the conservative slander machine cranks up to full volume and escalates the crime to treason while insisting, without evidence, that President Obama masterminded the whole affair. However, if a Republican is found to have committed real and serious violations of the law, the Right Guard springs into action to either dismiss or deny the crimes, no matter how strong the evidence. The malfeasance in office of Republican governors Chris Christie of New Jersey, and Bob McDonnell of Virgina, are good examples of conservative lawbreakers who get taken under the protective wing of the rightist media when trouble arises.

Additional examples include a trio of conservative crooks who have recently been caught misbehaving, and in all three cases they have been treated as victims of a White House cabal determined to clamp down on the liberty of well-meaning patriots. The lie-riddled Fox Nation website went so far as to ask “Is There A COORDINATED VAST LEFT-WING CONSPIRACY?” They never bothered to answer the question or provide any support for the theory, but they did plant the notion into the minds of their already paranoid audience that these poor souls are suffering under the boot of tyranny:

Fox Nation

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Dinesh D’Souza

As the director of the bitterly anti-Obama crocumentary, “2016 Obama’s America,” D’Souza has demonstrated his ego-soaked self-absorption by whimpering about not getting the Academy attention he so fervently believes he deserved. And if that weren’t repugnant enough, he also insulted the filmmakers who did get Oscar nods.

Yesterday D’Souza was indicted for breaking campaign finance laws. The allegation states that he solicited people to donate up to $20,000 to a Republican senate candidate in New York, then reimbursed them for the expense. Federal law prohibits any single donor to contribute more than $5,000 to a candidate in any election cycle.

Today D’Souza is whining about being harassed by the feds and Fox News led with a headline that asked whether he was the subject of “selective” prosecution. But if he doesn’t want to be bothered by law enforcement, he should try not breaking the law.

Friends of Abe

The Friends of Abe are a clandestine group of Hollywood celebrities who advocate on behalf of conservative politicians and issues. Many of them keep their identities secret because they fear being discriminated against by liberals in “The Biz.” Some of the conservative actors who claim to be victims of oppression include Kelsey Grammer, Bruce Willis, Tom Selleck, Patricia Heaton, and Clint Eastwood.

Now a report says that the group is being asked by the IRS to certify their non-political status in order to be granted a tax exemption for donors. That led the head of the group to the friendly studios of Fox News to complain that they were being targeted for their political beliefs. Well, that’s actually true. It is because of their obvious involvement in politics that the IRS is legally obligated to give them further scrutiny. There is ample evidence of their partisan activities, and if they don’t want to be challenged on that basis, they should not be so overtly partisan.

James O’Keefe

Fancying himself an investigative reporter, O’Keefe has made a career of lying about progressive people and organizations. His exploits already got him in trouble with the law when he was arrested and convicted for unlawful activity in the office of a U.S. senator in Louisiana. His infamous videos have been proven to be deceitfully edited in order to smear the reputations of his victims. His best known crusade against ACORN proved nothing and the group was never found to have broken any law. However, O’Keefe was forced to pay a $100,000 settlement to a former ACORN employee who sued him for defamation.

Typical of the whiny personality he exudes, O’Keefe is now complaining about a summons he received from the Department of Labor in New York to ascertain whether he was properly paying taxes for the state unemployment insurance fund. O’Keefe has called the request a witch hunt, but he has also said that he will be relocating to New Jersey. Is that his way of evading justice? If he is so certain that his finances are in order, he should simply provide the exonerating documents and go back to libeling the liberals he despises.

There was a time when Republicans were known as the “law and order” party. But when you have characters like these getting caught for unlawful conduct, and their accomplices in the media excusing and/or forgiving their behavior, it is impossible to take seriously their claims of innocence and purity. They have a deep aversion to taking accountability for their actions. And in avoiding responsibility, they resort to the most childish form of griping and blaming others for their woes. The GOP has flipped from being the “law and order” party to being the “whine and blame” party.

Serial Liar, James O’Keefe, Releases Another Deceitfully Edited Video: ObamaCare Edition

Some people are just gluttons for punishment. Take James O’Keefe for instance. The petulant, wannabe ambush journalist has already been exposed as a purveyor of dishonest videos that are deceptively edited in order to slander his victims. He was caught trying to execute a perverse scheme to seduce a CNN reporter. He had to pay a $100,000 to settle a defamation suit brought by a former ACORN staffer. And he was convicted of criminal behavior in a stunt he tried to pull in Louisiana.

James O'KeefeSince then his projects have been few and even many of his former allies declined to promote them. But now he has a new video that purports to expose some malfeasance on the part of some ObamaCare “navigators” who are helping people to acquire health insurance. As I’ve noted before, O’Keefe’s inner sadist assures that his projects are almost always aimed at attacking people and programs that serve the less fortunate. That’s true in this case as well.

The ObamaCare association seems to have loosened up those who abandoned him in the past, including Bill O’Reilly of Fox News. However, his reputation for producing video fiction is fully intact. In the new video he sends in a shill to pretend to inquire about enrolling in a health care plan. In the process, the shill attempts to trick his unsuspecting victims into giving bad advice. However, we can’t know for sure whether they did that because the videos are so heavily edited that there is no way to discern the actual context. Also, the people O’Keefe’s shill spoke with weren’t certified navigators, but were in fact trainees. So the prospect of them making a few mistakes shouldn’t shock anyone.

In one case, though, it is apparent that the navigators did not do what O’Keefe accused them of doing. O’Keefe alleged that the navigators advised the shill to misrepresent his income. In reality, they simply told him to report on the ObamaCare website the same amounts he reported to the IRS. It’s his responsibility to file his income taxes honestly. But the conclusions drawn in the video conceal that. That’s just one example of how creative editing can distort the true picture of what occurred.

Given that Fox News is immersed in an obsessive campaign to cripple ObamaCare, they must have given the green light to O’Reilly to readmit O’Keefe into their good graces – sort of. O’Reilly devoted most of his opening segment to O’Keefe’s video, but without ever mentioning his name. That may have been wise considering the disrepute associated with O’Keefe and his band of dissemblers. O’Reilly only identified the video as the work of Project Veritas, which he helpfully explained to his viewers means “truth,” something with which O’Reilly and O’Keefe have limited experience.

Even Glenn Beck’s TheBlaze couldn’t post O’Keefe’s video without disclaiming that “It should be noted that the video is heavily edited and employs deceptive tactics in order to catch the navigators offering the shocking advice.” When Beck’s crew is disturbed by deceptive tactics, you know you’ve crossed a line that most charlatans never see in their whole lives.

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What’s worse, a United States senator, John Cornyn, Republican of Texas (where else?), also cited the O’Keefe video as evidence that ObamaCare needs to be stopped immediately. Cornyn said that “This behavior is unacceptable, and is yet another broken piece of a deeply flawed system. The Obama administration should stop this program immediately.” Obviously – if a trainee tells a dishonest, partisan shill something that isn’t quite accurate, in a video produced by a known liar and criminal, then an entire government program that was set up to help 48 million previously uninsured Americans get access to health care should be thrown out.

That’s the quality of the logic in use by Republican and Tea Party opponents of ObamaCare. And, as such, is more than ample justification for ignoring them completely. It also explains how the pathetically amateurish video fabrications of James O’Keefe get taken seriously by idiots in politics and the press.

[Update 11/14/2013] Another Fox News program is hyping the O’Keefe lies. Sean Hannity did a segment during which he also referred to Project Veritas as the video’s producer and never mentioned O’Keefe’s name. He also spewed other lies about the cost of the website, the navigators not getting background checks, and the scope of the people whose current plans will be terminated by insurance companies.

Why Does James O’Keefe Hate Poor People So Much?

James O'KeefeWith every video that James O’Keefe releases, he seems to make an even bigger fool of himself. His juvenile antics get more pathetic and he falls farther short of any objective that he claims to be pursuing. Apparently, he has no one close to him who cares about his disintegrating reputation. Or perhaps his closest associates are even more idiotic than he is. Because there is no other explanation for how he could publish his new video humiliation.

The project is another “undercover” operation wherein O’Keefe and his cohorts set out to prove something that doesn’t actually prove anything. His modus operandi consists mainly of alleging that some criminal activity is rampant because he is attempting to commit the very crime he is alleging. Never mind that there is no evidence that anyone else is doing so. Here is how I previously analogized this absurdity when O’Keefe pulled a similar stunt:

This phony exercise by the O’Keefee is something like walking into a convenience store, pulling out a banana and demanding all the cash from the register, then posting the video of the “robbery” online along with a conclusion that holdups at banana-point are a serious national problem and that laws must be enacted to prevent them. Of course, to the best of my knowledge, there are very few banana-related crimes, and the act of pretending to commit one is not an argument for stricter law enforcement to protect innocent citizens from felonious fruit.

In his latest charade, O’keefe sends his minions out to inquire about participating in the “Lifeline” phone program that provides free service to financially disadvantaged people so that they can seek employment and have access to emergency services. It is a program that began in the Reagan administration and was expanded during the Bush years to include cell phones. Nevertheless, O’Keefe, and most of the dishonest cretins in the conservative press, derisively refer to the program as Obamaphones.

O’Keefe’s video on YouTube (unedited version) has a headline that is patently false saying: “Uncovered: ‘Obama Phones’ Sold to Buy Drugs and Louis Vuittons.” Actually, there were no phones sold for drugs or anything else. In fact, not a single person in O’Keefe’s crew was able to acquire a phone at all. The only thing that was uncovered was that O’Keefe is still the pathological liar he has always been. The video begins with a voiceover of O’Keefe asking a series of questions:

“Would these Obamaphone workers tell us to take phones we don’t actually need? Would they tell us these phones are sold to buy drugs? Would they tell us to sell the phones and break the law?”

To make a long, boring story short, the answers are “No,” “No,” and “No.” But that doesn’t stop O’Keefe from falsely accusing Obama of some illicit activity and producing cutesy video of his helpmates thanking the President for phones and designer handbags. To repeat, they didn’t get any of those things or any other things. They left empty handed in every one of their lame attempts to establish some sort of wrongdoing.

The real purpose of this, and just about everything that O’Keefe does, is to disparage people who are already suffering under the burdens of unemployment, low-income, disability, and other financial hardships. He seems to have a perverse dedication to bringing more misery to people who have had more than their share. A recounting of his past escapades reveals a decidedly sadistic streak to his activism. In addition to attacking this program designed to help people get off of welfare by aiding them in their job search, O’Keefe has gone after groups that help low-income citizens in a variety of ways, including…

  • Voter registration.
  • Home mortgage lending.
  • Homeless facilities.
  • Gun violence.
  • Union representation.
  • Immigration status.
  • Medicaid services.
  • Public broadcasting.

In almost every instance, O’Keefe’s projects attack people and programs aimed at helping the less fortunate. This cannot be a coincidence. He clearly has a deep and abiding disgust for the poor. What can turn someone into such a mechanically compassionless crusader against folks who are already struggling through adversity?

This is a window into the dark soul of James O’Keefe. The only criminal convictions that have ever resulted from his scams were against him and his accomplices. And aside from the poor, O’Keefe seems to have a fetish for targeting women. One of the few projects that wasn’t an overt assault on the poor was a perverse scheme to seduce a CNN reporter that failed when his own colleague couldn’t go through with it and spilled the beans to the reporter. Another involved his illegal entry into the office of Louisiana Senator Mary Landrieu. And then there was the bizarre affair where he was accused by a colleague of harassment that may have included drugging her and kidnapping her.

Throughout his short career O’Keefe has succeeded in developing a persona that is disturbing, immoral, dishonest, and unlawful. And on top of that he has an obvious commitment to tormenting disadvantaged Americans and maligning the government services designed to provide them some limited form of relief. This would be bad enough by itself, but he goes about it with an air of arrogance and privilege that exposes his innate prejudice, which is just further evidence of the depravity of his character. The real story about James O’Keefe is what a sleazy, misogynistic, slimeball he is, and how blatantly his projects reflect that.

James O’Keefe’s New Video Takes Pathetic To New Lows

James O'KeefeIt’s hard to imagine how such a desperately loathsome loser like James O’Keefe could ever sink any lower into the pits of the wretched, but with his latest video “expose” he has managed to exceed all expectations. And perhaps the best measure of his impotence is the fact that no one even knows he has a new video.

The subject matter O’Keefe and his cohorts tackle is the purported hypocrisy of a couple of California lawmakers. But while insensitively mocking the seriousness of the travails of the poor and homeless, he fails entirely to make a case for political hypocrisy (how hard could that be?). He doesn’t even manage to tie his targets to any of the behavior he alleges.

O’Keefe sets out to protest a law meant to provide a humanitarian approach to people suffering severe misfortune in difficult times. The law allows for people to use public streets to solicit donations and take rest. But O’Keefe exploits the very real tragedy of homelessness with his crew of phony vagrants whose only purpose is to harass public servants that he doesn’t like. And by challenging the legislators who voted for this law, he presumably would prefer that homeless people be incarcerated or shoved into the shadows and backalleys of the city.

O’Keefe’s premise is that the legislators who advocated on behalf of homeless rights would object to those rights being exercised in front of their own homes. However, panhandling in a residential area where there is no foot-traffic is suspicious on its face. There is, after all, nobody to solicit, so what would be the point? Furthermore, it is more intrusive to the privacy of the residents than in a commercial area, and is likely to get the attention of law enforcement.

The video itself is a hot mess of conjecture and lies, which is how we know that it’s a bona fide James O’Keefe production. He begins the romp by stating in his monotone voiceover that…

“The journalists posing as homeless people had been at [Assemblyman] Dickinson’s house for forty-five minutes. There were several passersby, and after none of these encounters with Dickenson’s neighbors did the police show up.”

First of all, isn’t it cute that he calls his costumed playmates “journalists?” The extent of their reporting was to stand around in casual attire with cardboard signs. There were no interviews, no information gathering, no activities generally associated with reporting. And there were also no “encounters” with Dickenson’s neighbors, unless you count a car driving by as an encounter. That was also the only sort of encounter with Dickenson himself, who is the subject of their “reporting.”

“At 7:05 am a car leaves the assemblyman’s driveway. According to our reporters it had Assemblyman Dickenson in the driver’s seat. But only minutes after Assemblyman Dickenson left his driveway, the police showed up.”

Here we have our intrepid investigator jumping to the conclusion that Dickenson summoned the police. Never mind that O’Keefe’s clowns were stationed there for forty-five minutes and by his own telling there were only a few minutes after Dickenson drove by for law enforcement to respond to a non-emergency situation. But O’Keefe thinks that the cops dropped everything and rushed right over. Not only is that unlikely, it simply did not occur. In fact, the police never showed up at all.

O’Keefe’s representation of the responding officer is a blatant and obvious lie. The car that pulled up to the scene is clearly marked in the video as Paladin Private Security, a Sacramento area patrol service. Nevertheless, O’Keefe repeatedly refers to the Paladin representative as “the police” and labels him a “cop.” Surely O’Keefe knows that that is a lie. And contrary to O’Keefe’s unsupported insinuation that Dickenson called for help, it is far more likely that the Paladin agent was on his routine rounds when he spotted the faux-bos.

Then O’Keefe takes us to downtown Sacramento where he posts his clown crew in front of a state building. Apparently nothing happened there that he could mangle into a spurious accusation against anyone, so his team pulled out. It’s kind of hilarious that O’Keefe left that failure in the video. But then the boys met up with a Homeland Security agent in the parking lot.

At this point it is important to note that security protocol calls for questioning people who loiter around public spaces with video cameras. It is a precaution taken to intercept potential terrorists who may be casing the joint. However, O’Keefe’s crusaders take this as some sort of affront to their freedom to playact as reporters. O’Keefe says…

“Notice how the federal officer implies that if the videographer does not waive his Fourth Amendment rights and consent to a search of his camera and property, he will get in trouble?”

Actually, no…I didn’t notice that. Probably because there is nothing in the video that remotely resembles that description. In fact, the agent informs the pair, in a rather friendly manner, that he didn’t have a warrant but that “If you’re willing to show me the video, we’re good to go.” It was a completely open and honest request. But somehow O’Keefe interprets it as an ominous threat.

O’Keefe, master manipulator that he is, saves the best for last. He closes the video with absurd claims that the government is spying on him (a lame attempt to attach himself to the scandal du jour regarding the Department of Justice investigation of State Department leaks). Then he drops this whopper:

“The last time we waived our rights, the federal government destroyed our property, charged us with a crime we didn’t commit, and gave us probation for years.”

What O’Keefe is obliquely referring to there is his arrest and conviction for trespassing in the offices of a United States senator in Louisiana. The truth is that he was arrested and charged with a crime he did commit. He was so concerned about the potential for a felony conviction that he agreed to plead guilty to a misdemeanor in order to avoid harsher punishment.

The ease with which O’Keefe lies in both his videos and his public statements is astonishing, It is a demonstration of the inbred sleaziness of his character. Remember, this is the guy that made the wholly dishonest ACORN videos for which he recently was forced to pay $100,000 in damages to one of his victims. He is the guy who plotted to seduce a CNN reporter on his “love boat.” He is so disreputable that he was even debunked by Glenn Beck (now that’s low).

Yet O’Keefe persists in struggling to embarrass himself evermore with new eruptions of lies and nonsense. His capacity for shame is seemingly boundless. He doesn’t even have the support of his former mentors at Fox News or the Breitbart asylum. If you really want to see O’Keefe’s latest fumble, it is here. But below is a completely different video that I thought you might enjoy:

Media Matters Enters The Liars Den At CPAC – Gets Ambushed By Breitbart

Yesterday a panel at CPAC (which I believe stands for Conniving Propagandists And Crooks) was held following the screening of “Hating Breitbart,” a crockumentary glorifying the late Andrew Breitbart. The topic of the event was “The Uninvited,” a reference to fringe conservatives who are allegedly kept from appearing in the mainstream media. Participating on the panel were several Breitbart-affiliated folks, including the disgraced video mangler, James O’Keefe, and a lone representative of Media Matters, Ari Rabin-Havt.

In the course of the discussion (video below) O’Keefe protested that he felt he was “held to a higher standard than any Pulitzer Prize winner.” Whereupon, BreitBrat editor Larry O’Conner defended O’Keefe by rejecting the notion that just because O’Keefe’s videos were found to have been deceptively edited that “everything O’Keefe does should be considered a fraud.” Actually, that’s precisely what should be done when someone has proven he’s a fraud on multiple occasions.

The discussion eventually veered off into an attack on Media Matters with O’Conner questioning the veracity of their content. When Rabin-Havt began to defend himself, in what seemed to be a transparently staged tossing of the baton, O’Conner recognized Breitbart’s Editor in Chief Joel Pollak in the audience and asked him to weigh in on the subject.

Pollak was visibly upset at what he characterized as a smear directed at him by Media Matters. He cited an article that he claimed accused him of being a birther. Standing in the audience he pointed his finger at Rabin-Havt and arrogantly insisted that “The next word out of your mouth should be ‘Sorry.’” But that was just a small portion of the generalized indictment he made of Media Matters:

Pollak: There’s a Media Matters method, it’s this: You make a statement in the headline that is not proven in the article. The lefties to whom you sell your material, or distribute your material, don’t care about the proof, they care about the headline. So you put in that headline that I’m a birther even though you admit I’m not a birther.

Alright, let’s break this down. First of all, Pollak’s assertion that Media Matters makes unproven statements in their headlines is itself unproven. Media Matters is meticulous about documenting what they publish, and the “lefties” and others who read it care very much that thoroughness. As for the article Pollak referenced, it was posted on Media Matters on March 13, with the title “What The Media Need To Know About CPAC 2013.” Notice that there is nothing in the headline about anyone being birther and that Pollak isn’t in it at all. So much for his thesis that Media Matters composes false headlines and fails to back them up.

Ironically, Pollak’s complaint applies perfectly to his own article on Breitbart News that Media Matters was writing about in the first place. That article’s headline was “The Vetting – Exclusive – Obama’s Literary Agent in 1991 Booklet: ‘Born in Kenya and raised in Indonesia and Hawaii’”

Breitbart News

From the wording of that headline it would not be much of a stretch to conclude that the article was advancing birtherism by questioning Obama’s birthplace. Pollak said that he only intended to make a point that Obama, or his representatives, altered his biography when it suited him. However, that was not the inference in his headline. And it could be said of Breitbart what they said of Media Matters – that they “don’t care about the proof, they care about the headline.” What’s more, the first paragraph of the article began by affirming the birtherism in the headline:

“Breitbart News has obtained a promotional booklet produced in 1991 by Barack Obama’s then-literary agency, Acton & Dystel, which touts Obama as ‘born in Kenya and raised in Indonesia and Hawaii.’”

To be fair, there was a “Note from Senior Management” appended to the top of Pollak’s article that asserted that “Andrew Breitbart was never a ‘Birther,’ and Breitbart News is a site that has never advocated the narrative of ‘Birtherism.’” The fact that that note was necessary is telling in itself. But it’s a rather hollow disclaimer when the headline and the opening paragraph seemingly contradict it. Pollak also wrote that “The errant Obama biography in the Acton & Dystel booklet does not contradict the authenticity of Obama’s birth certificate.” That’s true, but as Rabin-Havt pointed out, he had not called Pollak a birther. He had simply asserted that Pollak and Breitbart were still responsible for advancing the birther theme even if they themselves did not subscribe to it. And they did that by publishing articles with misleading headlines and expecting to absolve themselves of the birther taint by rejecting it several paragraphs later.

This bit of theatrics staged by the BreitBrats fits nicely into their modus operandi. It is the sort of ambush that Breitbart himself would have enjoyed pulling off. And it even starred Breitbart’s budding video propagandist, little Jimmy O’Keefe. But once again, when the facts are revealed in full, their deceit is all too apparent. The Media Matters article did not call Pollak a birther in the headline. Although Breitbart’s article did question Obama’s birthplace in their headline.

So the BreitBrats got together and conspired to ambush Rabin-Havt with a false accusation that he had done what the BreitBrats actually did do. And then they complain when nobody will take them seriously, and they wonder why they are “The Uninvited” and why everyone hates Breitbart.

James O’Keefe Agrees To Pay $100,000 To Former ACORN Employee [Update w/O'Keefe Statement]

James O'KeefeHaving already been convicted of criminal activity in Louisiana, recidivist law-breaker James O’Keefe is now shelling out a hundred grand to one of his victims in the notorious ACORN affair.

ACORN employee Juan Carlos Vera was surreptitiously videotaped (for which criminal charges are still pending) and falsely portrayed as offering assistance to O’Keefe’s phony endeavor to transport underage girls from El Salvador for the purpose of prostitution. Unbeknownst to O’Keefe, Vera had notified the police after his encounter with O’Keefe. But O’Keefe posted his fraudulent and heavily edited videotapes anyway with the help of Andrew Breitbart. It will be interesting to see how Breitbart News covers this breaking story – if they do so at all.

This is yet another vindication for ACORN, which has never been found to be guilty of any wrongdoing throughout the trumped up scandal that led to its demise. And it is further evidence that O’Keefe is a disreputable scumbag with no respect for journalism and no personal integrity. This civil litigation defeat is well-deserved and it ensures that the money O’Keefe swindles from his ignorant donors will be put to better use.

[Update] O’Keefe has posted a statement on his settlement agreement that typically denies responsibility and blames others. He calls the $100,000 “the cost of exposing the truth,” and insists that he “will not be deterred from investigating and exposing corruption.” Of course, that statement conflicts with the one he agreed to in court documents wherein he said that he “regrets any pain suffered by Mr. Vera or his family.” How can he be genuinely remorseful while saying that the “ridiculous lawsuit” consists of “meritless accusations?” What’s more, it is absurd to characterize a $100,000 payout as a nuisance suit. Two or three grand maybe, but a hundred large is real money that only the guilty fork over.

Clearly O’Keefe is an unprincipled and deceitful weasel whose word is worthless. And his equally disreputable cohorts at Breitbart and Fox have not even bothered to report the news of this settlement 24 hours later.

James O’Keefe’s New Video Embarrassment Hits The Internet With A Resounding Thud

As reported earlier this week, citizen video mangler James O’Keefe has produced another in his series of fraudulent smear pieces. His latest is an attempt to embarrass a few newspaper folks by ambushing them with an utterly ridiculous bit of theater that proves nothing and only serves to embarrass O’Keefe and his company of juvenile players.

James O'Keefe

O’Keefe’s new video excrement has received attention only on the most disreputable outlets such as WorldNetDaily and the Daily Caller. And from the looks of it, that’s even more attention than it deserves. His circle of propagandists is apparently shrinking. Neither Fox News nor his mentor Breitbart has posted the video or even a story announcing it.

The video itself is ten minutes of mind-numbing boredom as O’Keefe’s flunkies accost people with appeals to put a stupid sign on their lawns. As usual, it was heavily edited to disparage the ambushees and O’Keefe inserted a lame, studio-produced introduction wherein he falsely asserts that gun safety advocates want to “take all guns from everyone,” a policy that no one has proposed. His ludicrous and unsupported conclusion was that “We didn’t find any members of the media with the strength of their convictions.” But that would only be true if any of his victims had ever expressed a conviction to favor the message on his infantile signs – which they did not.

Finally, O’Keefe’s flunkies may have committed yet another crime on behalf of his crusade to debase journalism. When approached by an officer from the Washington, D.C. police department outside of the home of Attorney General Eric Holder, they told him that they were from a gun control organization. Of course, they were not and the organization they claimed to represent does not exist. That may constitute giving false testimony to a law enforcement representative who was investigating a complaint, or even worse, obstruction of justice.

O’Keefe is a serial offender. In addition to his conviction for unlawful actions taken in the office of a United States senator (for which he is still on probation), he has broken election laws and invaded the privacy of people from whom he had not acquired consent to record. He even tried to entrap a CNN reporter in a perverse sting on his “Love Boat.” This latest violation of the law ought to be prosecuted as well and, at the very least, his probation should be revoked. Now that would be justice.

He’s Baaack! James O’Keefe’s Latest Exercise In Lame: The Gun Free Episode

See the update to this story here.

James O'KeefeRemember this guy: James O’Keefe, a self-styled citizen journalist whose shenanigans have been financed by the likes of Andrew Breitbart. O’Keefe is best known for producing videos that have been deliberately edited to smear his victims and deceive his audience.

Among his most notorious adventures were: His attacks on ACORN, an organization that was later proven to have done nothing unlawful; His attempt to seduce a CNN reporter aboard his “Love Boat” that blew up in his face when his accomplice exposed him; His unlawful trespassing into a Senator’s office disguised as a telephone repairman, which resulted in his conviction for that criminal activity; His effort to demonstrate the existence of voter fraud wherein the only evidence of any fraud was that he engaged in himself; His misrepresentation of NPR officials that was so bad that Glenn Beck’s web site debunked and denounced him; And let’s not forget his alleged drugging and harassment of a female colleague who claims to have been held against her will at a barn in his New Jersey home.

Now choirboy O’Keefe is teasing his latest deception, a project he promises will make journalists angry. Of course, actual journalists have always been angered by charlatans who disgrace their profession. O’Keefe’s current publisher, the conspiracy web rag WorldNetDaily (has Breitbart ditched him?), has more details:

O’Keefe’s crew asked journalists working for CNN, MSNBC and others whether they would put a sign in their lawn that says “Citizens Against Senseless Violence. THIS HOME IS PROUDLY GUN FREE!”

“No journalist wanted the sign,” he says. “Many journalists had armed guards.”

“We also showed up at Eric Holder’s house,” O’Keefe added. “Authorities came to protect him.”

O'Keefe Gun Sign

What O’Keefe is trying to prove is completely unfathomable. It makes no sense that a public person like a journalist would ever consider advertising private information like their home address or security arrangements. Journalists often work under circumstances that put themselves at great risk. There is no rational scenario in which their private life is analogous to that of ordinary citizens. Consequently, the revelation that a journalist would decline the absurd offer to post such a sign should be of no surprise to anyone with a functioning brain.

The obvious intent of O’Keefe is to fabricate a situation in which he can attempt to embarrass the target of his childish scheme. It has nothing to do with journalism, and everything to do with the politics of gun worship. What’s more, it completely misrepresents the concept of gun-free zones, which are not efforts to brag about the absence of firearms, but are intended to alert law-abiding citizens that such weapons are not permitted and that bringing them into the designated area would subject them to criminal prosecution.

The gun worshiping crowd is fond of whining that regulations are ineffective because criminals would simply ignore them. However that would also apply to any law, including rape and murder. So their argument is that no laws prohibiting anything should ever be enacted. Clearly that would be insane. Laws do deter people from engaging in the behavior they are intended to inhibit. And for those who are not deterred, laws provide a mechanism to punish the offender. No one has ever suggested that the mere presence of a law would eliminate crime, but any sane person knows that laws are an essential part of the justice system and that they have a legitimate purpose and a demonstrable effect.

O’Keefe has promised that his videos of journalists declining to accommodate his prank will be released soon. If history is any guide they will be severely mangled in the editing room to give the most disparaging possible impression of the subject. But the good news is that, at this point, his reputation has been so shattered that he has been relegated to aligning himself with the bozos at WorldNetDaily, as if Breitbart wasn’t already low enough. Thus, fewer people will be exposed to his dishonest and puerile antics, and this charade will dissolve away without much notice. Because if there’s one thing the world needs less of, it’s O’Keefe’s smug mug heralding more deceitful excursions into pseudo-journalism.

Video Mangler James O’Keefe Strikes (Out) Again

James O'KeefeOn some level you have to admire the spunk of crocumentary maker James O’Keefe. It seems that no matter how many times he releases a video project that is quickly debunked, making him the object of ridicule, he bounces back and releases another unphased.

In the latest episode, O’Keefe sought to portray a couple of union reps as willing to support a fraudulent effort to create useless make-work jobs. The video was posted on Breitbart News, where O’Keefe is the official videographer. As usual, O’Keefe grossly misedited the video to make it appear that something untoward was occurring. Instead, he made himself appear to be a stammering dolt. The union reps, John Hutchings and Ronald Tocci, were openly skeptical of what O’Keefe was proposing. They wondered whether O’Keefe’s operation was remediating toxic soil or otherwise serving a useful purpose. O’Keefe responded…

O’Keefee I: There are people who have seen merit in what we’re doing, actually from the more green circles.
Tocci: But why would they see that, besides the jobs that they can create, what are you doing for the environment?
O’Keefee I: Well, Basically what we want to talk to you guys about…
Tocci: I’m not knocking it. It’s just I gotta understand it.
O’Keefee I: You know…I mean…basically there’s not…alright, people do see merit in what we’re doing somehow. Especially from…and they’re having people that have been wanting to provide their resources in terms of providing federal and local funds for us. And getting…you know…
O’Keefee II: (Interrupting) We’re putting people to work. We’re keeping people employed. You know.

Did any of that make any sense at all? It was clear that the union guys weren’t buying it. They offered to help get O’Keefe get into the legitimate business of retrofitting homes to meet environmental standards. They also suggested the project be directed at digging on construction sites to identify obstacles or artifacts. They were trying to steer the O’Keefees into some sort of legitimate enterprise. Media Matters put together a helpful video demonstrating O’Keefe’s deliberate deceit.

O’Keefe tried repeatedly to get the union reps to say that they have politicians in their pockets, but they were consistent in saying that they would only be able to get support based on the merits of the project. Everything that O’Keefe attempted to allege was shot down in the nearly hour long raw video that he’s confidant no one will watch. And his efforts to smear the union reps were pitifully unsuccessful. They were interviewed about the hoax later and said…

“We figured they were shysters. We tried to be courteous. They were young kids; first thing that comes to mind is that its young idealists, like Occupy Wall Street. We sized it up even half-way through the meeting when they couldn’t explain what they did with the dirt.”

The Union reps made no promises to O’Keefe, but sent them away insisting that their superior get in touch. So once again O’Keefe has proven nothing but how lame he is. And yet he soldiers on in his pursuit of ever more ridiculous scams.

Glenn Beck Fluffer Conducts Softball Interview For CNN

CNN, the network that is presently struggling in third place in the cable news field it once dominated, has published an interview of Glenn Beck that sets a new standard for obsequious pandering. The article is not much more than a promotional vehicle for Beck’s new media enterprise and fails to disclose that two Beck employees currently work for CNN (Amy Holmes and Will Cain).

The article’s lede concerns Beck’s announcement that he is folding his GBTV web video unit into his web tabloid site TheBlaze. The author, Steve Krakauer, makes little mention of Beck’s vulgar rhetoric and conspiratorial delusions, instead describing Beck euphemistically as “a man full of complexities.” The only complex that can be associated with Beck is his Messianic one. He also doesn’t bother to offer any analysis of whether the merger is the result of rapid success, as Beck claims, or due to poor performance necessitating a merger to reduce costs.

Krakauer takes Beck’s claims of his alleged success at face value. He repeats estimates for subscriber numbers without attempting to verify the claim or inquire as to whether they are actually paying for the service. GBTV offers free trials for new subscribers, but does not reveal how many subscribers are paying or how many cancel after the free trial expires.

Then Krakauer gets into some truly puzzling territory when he permits Beck to assert his brand of fairness and balance. Krakauer cites what he calls the “clear non-Beckness” of TheBlaze, and lets Beck complete the picture by saying that “If you just look at the comments section, there are people who read the Blaze all the time but hate my guts.” Why that would surprise anyone is beyond comprehension. The Internet has a wide open, frontier ethos that allows everyone access to everything. It stands to reason that Beck’s adversaries would visit his site, just as Tea Partiers show up at the DailyKos. That is not evidence that TheBlaze is independent of Beck, just that it is online. And Krakauer’s next example of Beck’s alleged impartiality is no better. He cites an incident when TheBlaze criticized a fellow conservative:

“[O]ne of the most memorable and talked about series of articles on TheBlaze.com was a meticulous debunking of the James O’Keefe NPR videos, which claimed to show an NPR executive denigrating the Tea Party, that ran on an Andrew Breitbart-associated website.”

Indeed, TheBlaze did publish a detailed breakdown of O’Keefe’s slanderous hoax. But what Krakauer leaves out is that Beck was not acting out of any sense of journalistic integrity. He and Breitbart were engaged in a bitter feud at the time, with each alleging the other was a backstabbing phony. That may have had something to do with Beck’s takedown of Breitbart’s protege. However, Krakauer uncritically lets Beck get away with portraying himself as even-handed, but misunderstood:

“I think that’s people forgetting who I was and what I was saying when I was on CNN before Barack Obama. [...] Nobody ever, ever gives me credit for the times I’ve said on the air ‘the president is right on this, did this right’ or ‘the media is unfair by trying to say this about the president,’ or ‘the right is unfair.’ I bet I do that at least once a month.”

That’s just revisionist history on Beck’s part. He was broadly criticized for his dishonest and hateful rhetoric on Headline News. And, of course, it was that very rhetoric that got him his job at Fox after CNN ditched him. And the reason he doesn’t get credit for commending the President is because it occurred so rarely and only between accusations of fascism, socialism, racism, and threats of destroying America.

Astonishingly, Krakauer writes without any sense of irony that “Beck isn’t outwardly supporting either of the two major candidates in the 2012 election.” If he believes that he’s ready for the guys in white suits with the butterfly nets to take him to the friendly asylum in the country with the barbed wire fences. Does Krakauer think for a second that Beck would consider supporting the man he characterizes as a Stalinist bent on assuming tyrannical control of the nation and executing all resistors? Beck may not have endorsed Romney in so many words, but he has stated explicitly that America cannot survive another four years of Obama. So who do you think he’s supporting?

The article concludes with Krakauer gifting Beck with a closing statement that makes him appear to be some sort of visionary:

“We are on the threshold of something I think is as powerful as the Industrial Revolution was, except this one will happen in a very short period of time.”

Really? The threshold? Sorry but this revolution began at least twenty years ago. And many true visionaries were (and are) way ahead of Beck. The only thing Beck has done is to post web videos and publish an online tabloid-style news site. That has been done so much it’s almost passe. Every brick and mortar television station and newspaper has been doing it for years. Where’s the innovation? Saying his unoriginal venture is on par with the Industrial Revolution is like saying that starting a new blog today is on par with Gutenberg. Never mind that millions of bloggers have been doing for years.

CNN DebacleThis puff piece appearing on CNN is in line with their recent editorial direction. They have been heading ever more determinedly toward a Fox-Lite state that has done nothing for them but land them in the ratings cellar (a condition I wrote about just a couple of weeks ago). It’s a sad state of affairs for both CNN and the viewing public who would be better served by an honest, professional news provider than another megaphone for right-wing propaganda.

James O’Keefe Produces Another Embarrassing Flop

James O'KeefeThe Borat of right-wing pseudo-journalism has just released the latest in his attempts to so thoroughly discredit himself that his mother would be ashamed to take his calls. James O’Keefe, a convicted criminal, has been trying to prove that voter fraud in America is at crisis proportions. But the only thing he has succeeded in proving is that he himself is a recidivist perpetrator of attempted fraud that ultimately fails. And he has never rebutted the studies that show that voter fraud is almost non-existent in this country.

O’Keefe’s latest insipidness is a video that purports to show that non-citizens are voting in North Carolina elections. His evidence is a non-citizen named Zbigniew Gorzkowski. The only problem, as ThinkProgess discovered, is that Gorzkowski is, in fact, a citizen and has been for about thirty years. When O’Keefe’s henchman tried to ambush Gorzkowski, he immediately smelled the deceit and repeatedly asked the henchman who he was representing. O’Keefe’s henchman not only evaded the question, at one point he blatantly lied, misrepresenting himself as being associated with an “agency” that implies some official authority.

James O'Keefe

This is the sort of willful dishonesty that is the hallmark of O’Keefe’s dubious career. His videos, this one included, are a jumble of deliberately deceptive scenes that have been edited to give false and negative impressions of O’Keefe’s victims. That’s why he pleaded guilty to crimes committed in Louisiana. It’s why he is being sued by former ACORN employees. And if that’s not enough, he has also been implicated in sexual harassment and potentially kidnapping and drugging a former female associate.

Any news enterprise that gives O’Keefe any attention to his ludicrous videos is demonstrating their own lack of credibility. That’s why the only place you can expect to see this garbage is on Tucker Carlson’s Daily Caller and the late Andrew Breitbart’s sites. But it is still curious that there have no prosecutions of O’Keefe for the crimes he has committed in various jurisdictions while attempting to prove voter fraud. Investigations are progressing, but there is ample evidence to proceed at this point. And his probation officer should be looking into whether he is in violation of the terms of his probation by continuing to commit illegal acts.

James O’Keefe is behaving like a criminal and belongs in jail – the sooner the better.

[Update] ThinkProgress has confirmed that the other person identified as a non-citizen in O’Keefe’s video is also a citizen. So that’s two citizens about whom O’Keefe lied and perhaps libeled.

The Lies Told By GOP Proponents Of Discriminatory Voter ID Laws

The Constitution Subcommittee of the House Committee on the Judiciary held a hearing this week that illustrated just how far from reality the advocates of photo IDs, and other methods of suppressing votes, will go to peddle their phony message that voter fraud is rampant in America and must be stopped by enacting legislation that disenfranchises legitimate voters.

The first indication that these hearings were an outright sham was the inclusion of a video by the notoriously dishonest crockumentary maker, James O’Keefe. O’Keefe is best known for producing videos that have been deliberately edited to give false impressions that advance his political agenda. His antics include plying teachers with alcohol in order to embarrass them, and attempting to seduce a CNN reporter aboard his “Love Boat.”
James O'Keefe CBNHe is presently on probation for crimes committed in the federal offices of a United States senator where he unlawfully impersonated a telephone repairman. (And, according to a recent appearance on the Christian Broadcast Network, he is now officially the Breitbart videographer, a role the late Andrew Breitbart had never permitted).

The Republican led congress has tarnished its own reputation in many ways in the last couple of years, but never more pathetically than by giving this cretin a platform and vouching for his credibility. As has been proven previously, the O’Keefe video presented at the hearing proved nothing other than that O’Keefe is a recidivist lawbreaker.

Adding to the perception of the hearing being a sham is the fact that the GOP committee chair, Lamar Smith, would allow only one witness to rebut the three conservative partisans that Smith invited to testify – two of whom represented the Republican National Lawyers Association (RNLA), an organization dedicated to advancing the myth of widespread voter fraud. Their web site features a page with a list of alleged offenses, however the vast majority are not voter fraud at all, but other violations concerning registration or precinct errors. The few instances that deal with actual voter fraud are mostly involving absentee ballots or other issues on which the proposed voter ID laws would have no effect. As might be expected, their testimony was predictably slanted in favor of legislation that puts unnecessary and ineffective obstacles in the way of citizens casting votes.

Smith’s opening statement was a perfect example of the lengths that conservatives will go to misrepresent the facts on this issue. He begins by making the tired argument that since photo IDs are required “to open a bank account, cash a check, drive a car, or board a plane [...] then why is it not required to exercise one of our most valuable democratic rights?” The answer is, of course, because voting is a valuable democratic right enshrined in the constitution, unlike the other examples cited by Smith. Access to voting should be expanded, not inhibited.

Smith goes on to suggest that voter fraud is a serious problem because polls show that Americans think it is. Setting aside that Smith referenced a poll by the right-wing pollster Rasmussen, the evidence of voter fraud is not validated by people’s perceptions. It can actually be studied and verified. And the studies show that voter fraud is extremely rare and neither Smith nor anyone else on the GOP side has bothered to rebut those facts. So they pivot to the question of whether the proposed laws are discriminatory. On that issue Smith criticizes Justice Department efforts to ensure equal access to voting. In an example utilizing the state of South Carolina, where voting rights were found to be discriminatory and is required to “pre-clear” any changes to their voting laws, Smith said…

The Department claims that the laws are discriminatory because minorities are less likely to have the required IDs. But a closer look at the Department’s math shows that their arguments simply don’t add up.

For example, in South Carolina, 90% of blacks have photo IDs compared with 92% of whites. So the Justice Department seeks to override a state law because of a difference of less than 2%.

OK then, let’s help Lamar do the math. South Carolina has about 4.6 million residents, approximately 28% of whom are black. So if 2% of them are blocked from voting for lack of photo IDs, that means that 25,700 Americans have been deprived of their right to vote. That’s the number of disenfranchised citizens that Smith and his colleagues regard as acceptable in order to prevent nearly non-existent voter fraud. In fact, the RNLA web site found only one case of alleged voter fraud in South Carolina in ten years. And for that single incident the GOP wants block 26 thousand African-Americans from voting. But hey, it’s only 2%, so who cares?

This is indicative of the Republican obsession to steal elections by enacting laws that have the effect of prohibiting their opponents from participating. These so-called voter integrity laws are thinly disguised attacks on democracy and negatively impact students, minorities, and seniors – all constituencies that frequently vote for Democrats. These cynical and un-American initiatives must not be allowed to succeed, and the GOP must be exposed for their blatant bias and corruption.

James O’Keefe Posts More Evidence Of His Criminal Stupidity

This is getting to be ridiculous. James O’Keefe has demonstrated that he is a recidivist lawbreaker, but what’s truly astonishing is that he continues to post video proof of his crimes.

In his latest YouTube folly, O’Keefe’s lackey performs precisely the same stunt as his previous performance. Namely, going into a polling place and asking for a ballot in the name of someone else. This time he targeted Bill Maher, Ben Jealous, and David Brock. As I noted previously, all this proves is that someone intent on committing a crime can do so. Of course that’s true for any crime, but you don’t see O’Keefe sending his trained seals into McDonalds and videotaping while they shoot all the customers. The crime that O’Keefe’s pal is demonstrating is one that rarely occurs in the real world, yet O’Keefe and his Conservative Disinformation Society would have you believe that it happens with such frequency that it is necessary to enact laws that could prevent more than 20 million legitimate citizens from voting. The last time O’Keefe embarrassed himself with a similarly dimwitted video I posited this analogy:

This phony exercise by the O’Keefee is something like walking into a convenience store, pulling out a banana and demanding all the cash from the register, then posting the video of the “robbery” online along with a conclusion that holdups at banana-point are a serious national problem and that laws must be enacted to prevent them. Of course, to the best of my knowledge, there are very few banana-related crimes, and the act of pretending to commit one is not an argument for stricter law enforcement to protect innocent citizens from felonious fruit.

After the prior incident when the O’Keefee attempted to acquire the ballot of Attorney General Eric Holder, the District of Columbia Board of Elections correctly responded to news of O’Keefe’s antics by announcing that they would investigate O’Keefe:

Deborah Nichols, Board Chairwoman: The District of Columbia Board of Elections today condemned a video circulating on the Internet that shows a person misrepresenting his identity at District polling places on Election Day. [...] I have directed our attorneys to conduct a thorough investigation and refer all evidence to law enforcement authorities for appropriate action. Our polling places are open to the media and observers who want to legally document our procedures for checking in voters. There is never any justification for disrupting the voting process with fraudulent activity.

Stephen Danzansky, Board Member: In our democracy, the voting booth and its immediate surrounds are sacrosanct and to be kept free from politics and electioneering. [...] We will protect the integrity of that space from political pranksters and advocates who attempt to usurp that ground for their own political positions or causes.

Devarieste Curry, Board Member: What is troubling is that someone who purports to be concerned about the integrity of the voting system would in fact perpetrate a fraud. [...] We want every voter to know that no vote was cast in any of the incidents depicted in this video, that we condemn this stunt, and that we will thoroughly investigate it.

Clearly the actions of O’Keefe’s henchman went far beyond observation into potentially unlawful interference and disruption. It is high time that he be held accountable for his actions, just as he was in Louisiana where he was convicted for crimes in the office of a United States Senator, a crime for which he is still on probation.

One new wrinkle in O’Keefe’s M.O. in this video, is that he sent his flunky to a polling place in New Jersey where they have recently enacted strict voter ID laws. When he was turned away for not presenting an ID O’Keefe concluded that it was evidence that such laws are effective. That, of course, is nonsense. Why didn’t the O’Keefee simply show a fake ID as any actual voter fraud offender would do? All he would have to have shown was something like this:

Voter IDs

Easily obtainable membership cards to retail stores and easily fabricated student IDs are sufficient identification to receive a ballot in New Jersey. Anyone with an intent to commit the sort of voter fraud depicted in O’Keefe’s video would have had no trouble producing an acceptable ID.

Therein lies the fallacy of this entire issue. First of all, there is no crisis of fraudulent voting occurring. Secondly, if there were, these laws would have no effect on that crime whatsoever. And finally, the only people for whom these laws would be an impediment to voting are legitimate citizens. And that is, in fact, the purpose sought by conservatives who push these laws. They know they can’t win honestly, so they plot to steal elections by preventing people from voting. And some of these rightists are candid enough to admit it:

John Stossel (Fox News): “Let’s stop saying everyone should vote.”

Matthew Vadum: Registering [the poor] to vote is like handing out burglary tools to criminals. It is profoundly antisocial and un-American to empower the nonproductive segments of the population to destroy the country.

Rush Limbaugh: “If people cannot even feed and clothe themselves, should they be allowed to vote?”

Judson Phillips (Tea Party Nation): “If you’re not a property owner, I’m sorry, but property owners have a little bit more of a vested stake in the community than not property owners do.”

Steve Doocy (Fox News): “With 47% of Americans not paying taxes – 47% – should those who don’t pay be allowed to vote?”

Get the picture? There is a concerted effort on the part of Republicans to disenfranchise politically those who are already disenfranchised economically. These laws are specifically crafted to impact Democratic constituencies (i.e. the poor, minorities, seniors, and students). And the sooner we can expose this, the sooner we can repair our democracy.

The James O’Keefe Crew Commits Voter Fraud Again

In his obsessive campaign to demonstrate that there is rampant voter fraud in America, James O’Keefe once again proves that the only fraud being perpetrated is by himself and his cohorts.

James O'KeefeThe latest in a series of comically lame videos features one of O’Keefe’s minions entering a polling place in Washington, D.C. and requesting the ballot for Attorney General Eric Holder. This is a ruse that O’Keefe’s camp has tried before with similarly pointless results.

By requesting a ballot in the name of someone else, the O’Keefee proved that he could break a law that has severe penalties including fines and imprisonment. The notion that enough scofflaws to sway an election would expose themselves to such risk is preposterous. What the O’Keefee did not prove is that there is any evidence of such criminality taking place. That’s what is so dishonest and lazy about this sort of stunt. A legitimate journalist would not waste time pretending to commit a crime that is not being committed by any actual criminals. A legitimate journalist would attempt to document whether any such crimes were actually occurring and what effect they have had on elections. In fact, such journalism has been conducted and revealed that the problem being hyped by O’Keefe is practically non-existent.

This phony exercise by the O’Keefee is something like walking into a convenience store, pulling out a banana and demanding all the cash from the register, then posting the video of the “robbery” online along with a conclusion that holdups at banana-point are a serious national problem and that laws must be enacted to prevent them. Of course, to the best of my knowledge, there are very few banana-related crimes, and the act of pretending to commit one is not an argument for stricter law enforcement to protect innocent citizens from felonious fruit.

Advocates of voter ID laws often insinuate that opponents are in favor of voter fraud. They ask, with all the sincerity of a snake oil peddler, why anyone would oppose such laws. Then they refuse to actually listen to the answer. If there any of them reading this, here is the simple answer that you are so desperate to avoid: Enacting laws that will have the effect of preventing as many as 21 million eligible citizens from exercising their right to vote, in order to prevent barely a handful of illusive fraudulent votes, makes no sense from the perspective of either law or democracy.

The voter ID laws proposed by conservatives only make sense if your goal is to disenfranchise voters who have difficulties acquiring IDs that satisfy the arcanely crafted laws – typically students, seniors, and low-income citizens. It’s a tactic that amounts to stealing elections by not permitting your political adversaries to cast ballots.

The hackneyed and irrelevant stunts performed by O’Keefe and company provide no justification for denying the voting rights of millions of Americans. They only serve to further embarrass O’Keefe and expose him to additional criminal penalties such as those to which he pleaded guilty in Louisiana.

Delusional Bravado: James O’Keefe Dodges Imaginary Bullets

James O'KeefIf there is a more pathetic representative of the cartoon-brained right than video con artist James O’Keefe, I cannot think of who it might be. Despite the fact that he is a convicted criminal who is best known for producing deliberately falsified videos and a sleazy attempt to seduce a CNN reporter on his “Love Boat,” O’Keefe continues to make himself the subject of news reports that exacerbate his already tawdry reputation.

O’Keefe was recently accused of harassing a female colleague, Nadia Naffe, by holding her against her will in a barn at his home in New Jersey, possibly drugging her, and later disparaging her publicly. Naffe has now published her own account of her encounters with O’Keefe in the first part of a series on her blog. That posting resulted in an exchange between O’Keefe and Tommy Christopher of Mediaite.

Christopher sought a response from O’Keefe about the allegations made by Naffe, but characteristic of a narcissistic bully, O’Keefe responded by continuing to smear Naffe:

O’Keefe: The outcome of the probable cause hearing speaks for itself.

If you refuse to publish the fact this person was arrest for domestic violence in 2001 — public record, and you refuse to publish the fact this person sued the Bush/Cheney campaign in 2004, you will be acting in willful disregard for the truth.

Christopher obliged O’Keefe by noting the events O’Keefe mentioned, as well as noting that there were no findings of any wrongdoing by Naffe and that O’Keefe was merely evading the issue by bringing up unrelated matters that have no relevance to the allegations pending against him. To which O’Keefe responded:

“No, informing you about the existence of public court records — that speak to possible motive — was not my only comment to you. For the record, I break a huge story about dead people getting ballots in Vermont. You ignore this and two days later you bring up this issue which was dismissed months ago. You journalists cleary (sic) want my scalp by running lies and fabrications. This is a blatant smear, But it’ll take a bullet to stop me. My price is my life.”

First, the easy part: If his price is his life, that gives us an idea of just how cheap this SOB is. What’s more, I don’t know of anyone who would consider wasting a bullet on this rapidly disappearing media fluke. He’s nearly invisible now with nobody paying attention to his griping but rightist blogheads and smartasses like me who do it for the joy of mockery.

More to the point, O’Keefe is suggesting that Naffe’s motive for her allegations of harassment had something to do with events that occurred many years ago before she ever met him. That makes no sense whatsoever. Then he whines about people ignoring his non-story about dead voters in Vermont where he proved that the only perpetrator of voter fraud was himself. That’s his idea of a “huge story.” Finally, he completes his evasion of the issue that he had originally agreed to discuss with Christopher by declaring it moot because it was dismissed (due to a jurisdictional technicality). I wouldn’t get too cocky if I were him because the judge also informed Naffe that she could bring the matter up again in a different court with the proper jurisdictional authority.

Clearly O’Keefe has an acutely inflated view of himself as some sort of heroic citizen journalist. That impression clashes with reality in that his brand of journalism is nothing more than a childish impersonation of Borat (minus the humor), combined with the delusional notion that anybody cares about his carnival side show antics. That said, I’m still looking forward to the next chapter in his “Adventures of the Asinine,” because I’m beginning to believe that he’s about to reveal his true identity. And when he does we will know that the reports of Andy Kaufman’s death were a hoax.

[Update 3/22/12] Part two of Nadia’s story has been posted. It goes into greater detail about the incident in the barn, but the real juicy material is contained in legal documents that Naffe posted.

Is ACORN Pimp James O’Keefe A Felon And A Rapist?

James O'KeefeThere is a news report today that is raising the question of whether or not crocumentary videographer James O’Keefe is a felon and a rapist. The question has risen from the announcement by O’Keefe that he is suing the CurrentTV network, Keith Olbermann, and David Shuster over remarks allegedly made about allegations that he is a felon and a rapist.

What we already know about O’Keefe is that he is a liar and a convicted criminal. The videos he has produced over the past couple of years have invariably been proven to have been deceptively edited to reflect negatively on his victims.

He misrepresented himself in his ACORN videos as having entered ACORN offices dressed outlandishly as a pimp. It was later revealed that he never did so. He also cut out segments of his videos that showed his victims challenging him and he failed to disclose that some of his victims had even reported him to the police.

His NPR sting was so incompetently constructed that Glenn Beck’s web site (yes, that Glenn Beck) took it apart. The altered video was again selectively edited and this time even included replacing audio in parts with audio from other parts.

Then there is affair where O’Keefe attempted to lure a CNN reporter into a juvenile and salacious prank aboard his “love boat” that was designed to embarrass the reporter and the network. This stunt was so misguided that his own accomplice blew the whistle because she couldn’t go through with it.

His most recent escapade involved an attempt to demonstrate the ease with which one can cast a fraudulent vote. However, the only fraudulent activity he revealed was that of his own activities. He utterly failed to show that any voting fraud had or could occur using the methods he employed. But the use of those methods as captured in his video may have been illegal.

So now O’Keefe has filed a lawsuit alleging that he was been defamed by CurrentTV, Olbermann, and Shuster. The complaint cites instances of his having allegedly been referred to as a felon and a rapist.

The felon charge stems from his conviction in Louisiana for shenanigans in the office of Senator Mary Landrieu. O’Keefe and his cohorts entered the office dressed as telephone repairmen and asked to inspect the Senator’s phones. They were subsequently arrested and O’Keefe pleaded guilty to a misdemeanor of entering a federal building under false pretenses. So technically he is not a felon, which Shuster acknowledged and corrected. But he is still a convicted criminal and only avoided a felony record by pleading to a lesser crime.

The rape charge is a misstatement of events wherein O’Keefe was accused by a colleague of harassment in a case that included allegations of possible drugging. The case was dismissed due to jurisdictional issues, but could be reinstated in another court.

So was O’Keefe facing a rape charge? No, he was facing harassment charges. Was he a convicted felon? Not quite, but almost. And for this he is filing a defamation lawsuit. The man who has taken defamation to new levels of repulsiveness is so incensed at these affronts that he is willing to drag himself through the mud and remind everyone of his disgusting behavior.

Can you just picture his testimony? Can you see him on the stand asserting that he is not a felon because he was only convicted of a misdemeanor in a federal office? Can you hear his defense saying that he never faced rape charges, just charges that he held a woman against her will, possibly drugged her, and then threatened her and disparaged her in words and video?

The documents filed with the court go into lurid detail of his encounter with a female colleague and his criminal activity in Sen. Landrieu’s office. If anything, reading the entire complaint proves to me that there could not have been any defamation that was injurious to his reputation because his reputation is that of a scoundrel. To this day, the only persons ever convicted of any wrongdoing as a result of any of the video pranks O’Keefe has conducted are O’Keefe and his accomplices. And there is still other litigation against him pending.

Does O’Keefe really think that he has any chance of prevailing in court where he has to prove that the allegedly injurious statements were made with actual malice? Some of his complaints are merely misstatements, such as the charge that he was on parole. In fact, he was (and is) on probation, and it is highly unlikely that O’Keefe can prove that the use of the word “parole” was deliberate and intended to due him harm. Yet he is taking an aggressive stance in response to these trivialities despite the fact that doing so only exposes him to more bad publicity and coverage of his disgraceful antics and tawdry character. In a statement to his pals at Andrew Breitbart’s BigJournalism blog, O’Keefe said…

“I welcome criticism and even misguided hatred. But, if they call me a felon, if they call me a rapist, or any other disgusting, libelous, ridiculous thing, I will bring them into a courtroom, I will depose them, I will get access to their e-mails. I don’t care how many golden statues they have, I don’t care how many Emmies, Pulitzers they have. We will bring them to justice.”

That’s a fair amount of pseudo-bravado for someone who couldn’t even measure up to Glenn Beck’s ethical standards. But the material revelation in his statement is that he actually welcomes all of this, misguided hatred and all. He clearly enjoys being called a felon and a rapist. And he doesn’t even care if you’re Tom Hanks or Meryl Streep. The orgasmic thrill he gets just thinking about depositions and access to your email is palpable. So go ahead and call O’Keefe a felon and a rapist. It’s what he yearns for. And although he may not be a felon and a rapist now, I have every confidence that he will someday achieve his life’s ambition.