The biggest joke in the modern era of pseudo-reality television has struck again. Crockumentary videographer James O’Keefe posted a new video purporting to reveal the potential for voter fraud in Minnesota.
I’m not going to waste much space refuting the inane premise of his video. That has already been done quite well by Brad Friedman at the Brad Blog and Tommy Christopher at Mediaite. Suffice to say that O’Keefe’s escapade proved absolutely nothing.
The short story is that he entered a few Minnesota county offices and misrepresented himself as a “third party” who was interested in helping other citizens to register who were unable to do so themselves. All that this amounted to was collecting an application for an absentee ballot, which anybody can do. However, filling out and submitting the application must be done by the actual voter and requires identification or a verified witness. And voters who register this way must present ID when voting for the first time at a polling place. But, O’Keefe never went that far, nor mentioned those facts. He simply implied that picking up the application form was evidence of potential for fraud.
The only crime that may have occurred here is the videotaping that O’Keefe did without the permission of the subjects. O’Keefe, a convicted criminal himself, is already under investigation for that crime in other states. He is also being sued for having slandered people through the dishonest and deceptive editing of his video stings.
The whole gambit, like most of O’Keefe’s charades, was a pointless exercise that proved nothing. His intent was to validate the manufactured right-wing hysteria over voter fraud that is being used to promote the passage of voter ID laws that make it more difficult for seniors, students, the poor, and the disabled to vote. It is part of a coordinated campaign to suppress the vote of predominantly Democratic constituencies. It should also be noted that none of these voter ID laws would have prevented what O’Keefe is attempting to do in his video.
So it isn’t news that O’Keefe is distributing yet another fraudulent video that serves no purpose other than maligning the innocent and alleging non-existent atrocities. What’s news is that even fewer people actually care about any of the fakery he is spewing. His first phony (and thoroughly debunked) videos about ACORN were featured on Andrew Breitbarts’s BigJournalism blog and Fox News. More recently O’Keefe was only able to interest Tucker Carlson’s Daily Caller. But this new video is going nowhere fast. The usual right-wing propagandists are steering clear. Perhaps even they are finally too embarrassed to be associated with this hoaxter.