It’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: