Breaking news from New Orleans, Louisiana:
“Alleging a plot to wiretap Democratic Sen. Mary Landrieu’s office in the Hale Boggs Federal Building in downtown New Orleans, the FBI arrested four people Monday, including James O’Keefe, a conservative filmmaker whose undercover videos at ACORN field offices severely damaged the advocacy group’s credibility.”
For those who don’t recall, O’Keefe, along with his hooker pal, Hannah Giles, unlawfully videotaped ACORN representatives so that they could deceptively edit their footage to deliberately slander the organization. It should come as no surprise that someone so brazenly criminal would violate the law again to manufacture his fake news stories. It is nice to see that the FBI is enforcing the law. I assume that all good law-and-order Republicans will agree that it is unacceptable to plant bugs in senators’ offices.
While ACORN’s credibility was indeed damaged by the phony “journalists,” they were subsequently exonerated by an independent investigation headed by Scott Harshbarger, the former Attorney General of Massachusetts. Even an attempt by Congress to prohibit funding to the group, despite no charges against them having been proven (or even brought), was reversed by a court that deemed the action an unlawful bill of attainder.
O’Keefe and company have a long association with right-wing media. They were mentored by Matt Drudge apprentice, Andrew Breitbart. It was on Breitbart’s BigGovernment web site that the ACORN videos were first made public. Oddly enough, at this time BigGovernment has no mention of their favorite pimp’s arrest. There is a link on Breitbart.com to a story in the Associated Press that does not mention any names, although the names are available in other news accounts and in the arrest affidavit.
Fox News is another friend of O’Keefe. In fact, it is the only television “news” service that O’Keefe would grant an interview to. Both O’Keefe and Giles appeared several times on Fox News, but nowhere else. Fox News hyped the ACORN story incessantly. On one day last year they featured sixteen separate stories on the subject on their Fox Nation web site. Fox Nation even helped to solicit donations for a Hannah Giles Defense Fund.
What remains to be seen is the extent to which there may be other unknown accomplices. Is Breitbart in on this? Or Glenn Beck? Could Fox News have encouraged this action to manufacture a news story they could exploit? It has been a while since the ACORN scandal, the Tea Bagger uprising, or any other of the sensationalistic events that Fox likes to promote.
One thing for sure is that O’Keefe’s defenders cannot claim that this is the result of Obama’s henchmen going after him in retribution for the ACORN affair. After all, these guys were caught red-handed in a senator’s office tampering with the phone equipment. On second thought, the right will almost certainly claim persecution. They will somehow blame liberals, Obama, or George Soros. It’s not like they ever needed facts to support their assertions in the past.
[Update] Breitbart comments: “We have no knowledge about or connection to any alleged acts and events involving James O’Keefe at Senator Mary Landrieu’s office,” said Breitbart. “We only just learned about the alleged incident this afternoon. We have no information other than what has been reported publicly by the press. Accordingly, we simply are not in a position to make any further comment.”
Not much of a comment, and not much more than you would expect even if he were involved. At least he has the story posted on his “Big” web sites now (same AP story on both).
Addendum: As if being a felon isn’t bad enough, O’Keefe also fraternizes with racists and anti-Semites.