Hannah Giles, the partner of right-wing propagandist James O’Keefe, who assumed the role of a prostitute in a series of videos designed to smear ACORN, is very upset about a documentary that she says intends to “shape a narrative that will change public opinion through the use of deception.” This critique will surely go down in the Annals of Irony with Colonel Sanders’ denunciation of animal cruelty.
Giles has taken to Andrew Breitbart’s BigHollywood blog to post a scathing critique of a documentary set to air on PBS’s POV series this fall. It’s called “Better This World” and PBS describes it as…
“The story of Bradley Crowder and David McKay, who were accused of intending to firebomb the 2008 Republican National Convention, is a dramatic tale of idealism, loyalty, crime and betrayal. Better This World follows the radicalization of these boyhood friends from Midland, Texas, under the tutelage of revolutionary activist Brandon Darby. The results: eight homemade bombs, multiple domestic terrorism charges and a high-stakes entrapment defense hinging on the actions of a controversial FBI informant. Better This World goes to the heart of the war on terror and its impact on civil liberties and political dissent in post-9/11 America.”
I haven’t seen this documentary and cannot comment on its presentation or accuracy. But I do find it ironic that Breitbart chose Giles to articulate this preemptive hit piece. It was Giles who gave birth to the ACORN project. She worked closely with O’Keefe to produce a video crockumentary that has since been proven to have been deliberately edited in order to embarrass its subjects and destroy the reputation of an organization they considered to be a political enemy.
Giles is, therefore, poorly suited to be a custodian of journalistic virtue. The only contribution she can offer this discussion is her intimate, personal knowledge of how to produce a dishonest work of fiction and present it as fact. To demonstrate her skill in this area she misrepresents the comments of the two filmmakers by juxtaposing answers to two completely different questions and reversing their chronological order to give the impression that they were related. Then Giles contends that this mash up was an admission on the filmmakers part to falsifying the narrative. Hannah sure knows her stuff.
In addition to the ironic absurdity of relying on someone like Giles to defend documentary integrity, Breitbart commits the sin of failing to disclose a glaring conflict of interest. The “revolutionary activist Brandon Darby,” who is an integral part of the story in the PBS doc, also happens to be a contributor to Breitbart’s web site. But rather than have Darby author his own first-person account of the events, Breitbart hands the job to Giles and nobody mentions Darby’s connection. They are, in effect, disparaging a documentary that they believe is unflattering to one of their associates without disclosing the association.
This is typical of Breitbart’s modus operandi: Lash out viciously at perceived enemies while accusing them of heinous acts that he engages in himself. You have to admire the audacity of Breitbart and Giles stepping up to accuse others of misleadingly editing film. These people have made lying an art form.