James O'Keefe

Right Wing Round-Up – 8/26/13

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James O’Keefe Scams Voter Fraud and Voter ID Laws Into Existence

The Nation

I told myself I wasn’t going to write about James O’Keefe, mostly because his sophomoric pranks are mostly for the net effect of making his pockets fat. He has his hands out, and I’m not trying to help him get paid. I no more want to discuss voting by reference of O’Keefe than I want to write about Middle East affairs by reference of Sacha Baron Cohen in The Dictator.

But his influence on voting rights opponents and legislators alike is particularly jarring. When you hear activists and state senators say we need voter ID laws because of voter fraud, instead of citing data, or even anecdotes, lately they’ve been citing O’Keefe. When I was in Houston at the True the Vote conference I was hardly surprised when the audience erupted in applause as O’Keefe took the podium. You would’ve thought Tim Tebow entered the room. And sure enough, he presented one of his “Project Veritas” videos of himself telling unsuspecting poll workers in Minnesota that he wanted to register “Timothy Tebow” to vote before given a stack of voter registration applications.

See? There is how fraud happens, O’Keefe told the crowd. What was surprising was that no one dared to speak up that no fraud had actually happened. What was O’Keefe’s point in showing this? Yes, it’s true. Someone can fill out a registration card with a fictitious name and address. It’s also true that election officials will verify that the person on the registration card exists, and toss those that don’t. Before that happens, if the person or party handling the registration cards finds something fishy—a dubious name or sketchy address—they’ll often report it to election officials themselves if they don’t discard it, as what ACORN did, contrary to popular opinion. But no crime has been committed, and photo voter ID laws wouldn’t prevent such registration problems anyway.

But O’Keefe isn’t looking for veritas or accuracy—he just needs the perception that something fishy is going on so that he can direct you to his page and have you contribute to his fairy tale fund. That’s how hustles work. Right now, on his website he invites people to fork over the dollars because “Our work in North Carolina as draining on our staff and funds—but we produced jaw-droppiong [sic] results once again!”

Continue reading here…

James O’Keefe’s Endless Flirtation With Disgrace Continues In New Playboy Feature

James O’Keefe is another GOP bottom feeder who will undoubtedly fall from grace with the GOP at some point in his corrupt, shady career.

Mediaite

Conservative film- and troublemaker James O’Keefe does little to dissuade animosity from the left, though after a series of faux pas has left him adrift as ideological allies question who in their right mind who greenlight wiretapping a Senator’s office or cornering a journalist in what can only be described as a “dildo boat.” To that end, Playboy’s Jordan Lieberman sought O’Keefe and found a conflicted picture of a passionate activist with a serious judgment problem.

Struggling to explain him, Lieberman– who received access through O’Keefe after convincing him to trust the columnist because they “inhabit the same circles”– alludes to everyone from Johnny Knoxville to Woodward and Bernstein to G. Gordon Liddy himself: an “ace performance ­artist–political shit stirrer–jackass.” This convoluted description, while accurate, doesn’t explain too much, though the background that Lieberman gives on his life certainly adds some clarity. O’Keefe has been at this since performing in high school musicals. That preposterous “pimp” coat he wore in the famous ACORN video? On loan from grandma. Yes, he lives in his parents’ house, but he’d rather not talk about it. He is very poor and appears to trust people he barely knows on a whim. He has a cache of juicy “investigative” pieces he can’t release because of the legally questionable way the information was obtained, one– Lieberman’s favorite– in which O’Keefe plays a “high-roller” who visits a resort owned by a prominent politician in search of prostitutes. Always the prostitutes with this one.

Continue here…

 

 

Pimps, Lies, and Videotapes

Mother Jones

Inside Andrew Breitbart’s and James O’Keefe’s right-wing video fantasy factory.

Ever since ACORN was taken down by a bad pimp costume and a hidden camera, right-wing media mogul Andrew Breitbart and provocateur James O’Keefe have discovered that by the time their work is exposed as disingenuously edited hit jobs, the damage is done, and their brand has been boosted. As Breitbart told the AP, “I’m committed to the destruction of the old media guard. And it’s a very good business model.” Below, their stings to date.

See Chart on Mother Jones

  

Latest James O’Keefe NPR Tape Immediately Proves A Dud

TPM Muckraker

Branded as a revelatory scoop uncovering previously unknown donations from George Soros to NPR, James O’Keefe’s latest sting on NPR was debunked as a non-story within hours of its release.

The news that O’Keefe purports to “break” — that Soros had previously donated to the public broadcaster via grants from Soros’ Open Society Institute — had, in fact, long been publicly known through tax records and even press releases.

“We believe that journalism is a pillar of an open and democratic society and a critical tool for transparency and accountability,” a spokeswoman for OSI, Laura Silber, told TPM after sending over a list of previous grants to NPR and affiliates. “A free and independent press serves as a watchdog of both government and the private sector. NPR, which is a respected national news organization, provides an excellent vehicle for regional and national analyses of the most critical issues facing our country.”

The new audio recording features NPR director of institutional giving Betsy Liley talking with one of O’Keefe’s actors, a member of a phony Muslim group claiming to want to donate $5 million to NPR. In their conversation, Liley discusses donations from George Soros, noting that after conservative attacks on him intensified he asked that his name not be mentioned on the air as a sponsor.   Continue reading…

NPR Sting Video Edited Out Of Context

When will the mainstream media get it? 

Anything that comes from “Project Veritas” and James O’Keefe is manipulated, edited and contrived.

Huffington Post

Last week, a Project Veritas “sting” operation directed at National Public Radio cost some NPR executives their jobs. Beginning with Senior Vice President for Fundraising Ron Schiller, who was depicted on tape disparaging the Tea Party movement and suggesting that NPR should move away from federal funding (a position with arguable merit, but probably very unpopular at NPR), the fallout eventually cost NPR CEO Vivian Schiller her job as well.

That’s sort of the NPR way: when one of the humans under their employ gets in trouble for expressing their opinions, everyone starts panicking and people start getting fired. Further analysis of the original video, however, demonstrates the wisdom of the old maxim, “act in haste, repent in leisure.”

Glenn Beck-branded website The Blaze may seem an unlikely defender of NPR, but when the site’s editor, Scott Baker, and video production specialist, Pam Key, examined the raw footage, they found “questionable editing and tactics” and reported them all out. The observations they make in their analysis include the following:

– The video “does not explain how the NPR executives would have a basis to believe they were meeting with a Muslim Brotherhood front group,” and indeed “includes a longer section of description that seems to downplay connections of the MEAC group to the Muslim Brotherhood as popularly perceived.”

– The video is edited to make it appear that Ron Schiller “is aware and perhaps amused or approving of the MEAC['s]” advocacy for Sharia law, but Schiller’s “Really? That’s what they said?” remark is actually made in reference to “confusion” involving the “restaurant reservation.”

Why the Right Attacked Unions, ACORN and Planned Parenthood

The Nation

For the past two weeks, all eyes have been glued to Madison, Wisconsin. The collective and joyful resistance to Governor Scott Walker’s power-grabbing budget bill has inspired the demoralized progressive base and put the corporate-backed assault on working people front and center in the national conversation.

But while it’s obvious that the right wing is out to break the back of the progressive movement, it’s easy to miss the strategy that guides their selection of specific targets. Their attacks are all carefully aimed at the same critical juncture: institutions that work for people in their daily lives and in the political arena, those that connect people’s personal struggles across the country to the political struggle in Washington. Once we recognize the critical role these progressive service organizations play in building progressive politics, the right’s broader strategy in Wisconsin and elsewhere becomes clear. Scott Walker is a soldier in the same army as James O’ Keefe and Lila Rose, the right-wing video pranksters who tried to smear ACORN and Planned Parenthood.

Indeed, last month’s attack on Planned Parenthood provoked a sickening sense of déjà vu. Seemingly out of nowhere, undercover activists secretly filmed an employee of a major progressive institution making embarrassing statements. The resulting video makes news and inflames the debate around federal funding of the organization’s services. It was the ACORN attack all over again [see Peter Dreier and John Atlas’s “The GOP’s Blame-ACORN Game”].

ACORN was unique as a national organization that served our nation’s poor people. Wrangling with life’s common but critical challenges like mortgages and housing forms, ACORN employees built trust by offering assistance person-to-person, neighborhood-by-neighborhood. They then leveraged that trust to lobby for federal legislation to address the root causes of the crises facing these communities—predatory lending, lack of community investment and stagnant wages.   Continue reading…

 

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Planned Parenthood Calls In The FBI After Series Of O’Keefe-Like Encounters

Regardless of where one stands on the abortion issue, the fact is, Planned Parenthood was smart to contact the FBI because of the following incidents…

Huffington Post – Jason Linkins

One story I missed in yesterday’s State Of The Union hullabaloo was this item from Rachel Slajda over at TPM. It seems that in recent weeks, a bunch of Planned Parenthood clinics have been receiving visits from a man telling the same shady story:

In the course of five days this month, eight Planned Parenthood clinics in five states and D.C. reported getting the same visit: A man said he needed treatment for a sexually transmitted disease and then, once alone with a staff member, implied that he ran an interstate sex trafficking ring that involves minors and illegal immigrants.The Planned Parenthood Federation of America thinks that the visits, which happened between Jan. 11 and 15, are part of a James O’Keefe-style “sting.” But the group called in the FBI anyway.

Yes. That was a very smart move, Planned Parenthood. Also smart is the fact that these remote offices seem to have prepared in advance for this sort of incident, and are communicating with each other: Planned Parenthood’s national organization was in a position to recognize an emerging pattern of bizarre visits, and escalated the matter to the Department of Justice.

Is it the work of O’Keefe? The incidents bear a remarkable similarity to the modus operandi of O’Keefe’s famed ACORN sting. Of course, more recently, O’Keefe’s taken to attempting to stage bizarre seductions of investigative journalists on dildo-strewn sex boats, taking the trajectory of his agitprop in a direction from “conservative Michael Moore” towards “conservative Ken Russell.” Still, as Slajda notes, O’Keefe’s fingerprints are everywhere:

A spokeswoman for Planned Parenthood would not reveal the identity of the man, or men, who visited the clinics. The group does, however, suspect he has ties to Live Action, the pro-life, anti-Planned Parenthood group run by O’Keefe associate Lila Rose.Live Action’s mission is to stop abortion, and its favored tool is undercover videos which the group says proves Planned Parenthood’s “willingness to repeatedly tell medically inaccurate misinformation,” “willingness to repeatedly violate mandatory reporting laws for statutory rape” and “racism.”

Rose, who runs the group, worked with O’Keefe on her first series of undercover Planned Parenthood videos in 2006 after the two met at the Leadership Institute.

Here are my thoughts: if you work for an organization that primarily serves the poor, or women, or minorities, or some other underserved segment of the population, you’ll probably get a visit this year from some strange individual who will, against expectation and good sense, freely start proffering information of the vast criminal operation they are running. What should you do? Well, you should humor them long enough for you to contact the police and the media. Do state laws allow you to tase people? Fine, do that too — as far as you know, they are dangerous gangsters who peddle in human trafficking! But do not, under any circumstances, offer to do their taxes or something.

Anti-Union O’Keefe Video Smears Teacher Who Jumped In Front Of Van To Save Students, Gets Her Suspended

I will never understand the mind of a conservative…

Think Progress

There are few members of the teaching profession who more symbolize the sacrifices that exemplary instructors make for their students than New Jersey teacher Alissa Ploshnick. In 1997, Ploshnick, upon seeing a runaway van about to strike a group of students, threw herself in front of the vehicle to save the students, landing herself in the hospital “with broken ribs, a fractured wrist, a badly bruised pelvis and glass cuts in her eyes.” Following the accident, President Bill Clinton sent her a letter thanking her for her act of courage, writing, “You are an example for all of us, and I applaud you for your sense of duty.”

Yet as the Shirley Sherrod scandal showed earlier this year, even exemplary public servants can fall prey to the antics of smear artists. Late last month, right-wing video activist James O’Keefe released a set of YouTube videos titled “Teachers Unions Gone Wild.” The videos feature various New Jersey teachers opining about Gov. Chris Christie (R-NJ), using crude language, and criticizing the state’s teachers unions.

In one segment, Ploshnick is recorded explaining an incident she witnessed as a teacher. She explained that she saw another teacher refer to a student as the n-word, and that the teacher was demoted, but was allowed to continue to teach. O’Keefe’s video crew then showed up at Ploshnick’s personal residence and tried to get her to repeat her story on video tape. She refused, understanding the repercussions that would come to a teacher who used that language on video.

Watch:

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James O’Keefe defies logic by declaring victory in CNN fiasco, somehow being even more insufferable

James O’Keefe is the most despicable person I’ve seen come out of the supposed new GOP Youth movement that CNN calls “Edgy” right-wing reporters and videographers who tend to buck the rules to get “their story”.

Media Matters reports:

There’s a lot to chew over in James O’Keefe’s “statement” regarding his failed fake non-seduction “punk” of CNN reporter Abbie Boudreau, but most of it is the sort of lying, weaselly garbage we’ve come to expect from the conservative media’s favorite guerrilla activist, so we’ll just focus on three points.

First, he says we can’t rule out the possibility that Boudreau might have wanted to be fake-seduced, even though he claims that’s not what he was doing:

In my version, the reporter was never going to be placed in a threatening situation. She would have had to consent before being filmed and she was not going to be faux “seduced” unless she wanted to be. If a CNN reporter would be willing to engage in such a folly, it might even be more newsworthy than Rick Sanchez’s firing.  (CNN also has Elliot Spitzer on payroll. He’s done more outrageous things than anything I’ve ever gotten in my in-box).

Sexism, moral equivalence and obfuscation. Well played, non-Don Juan.

Second, he somehow claims to be vindicated by the fact that CNN reported all the ugly details of the ridiculous scheme:

I never wanted to be part of a CNN documentary because I know that CNN claims to be fair minded yet is not. Their pursuit of a non-story based on a document I neither produced, nor followed, confirms what we already know: “The most trusted name in news” can’t be trusted.  Look at their reporting.

Yep — clearly the takeaway from this fiasco is that CNN can’t be trusted.

Third, he deigns to give Boudreau some lessons in journalism:

I provided CNN with a clear statement that the document in question was objectionable. Still, they sent their “Special Investigations Unit” out in a failed attempt to discredit me. They do this not because they want to get to the truth, but because they are threatened by a bunch of independent journalists with video cameras uncovering the stories that they went to J-School to find.

Abbie Boudreau and Scott Zamost need to start worrying about – and covering – real abuses that are actually happening at Planned Parenthood, ACORN, or in Charlie Rangel’s office. They need to start producing the type of investigations young people with shoestring budgets and flair are investigating.

That’s the James O’Keefe approach to journalism — few facts, less shame, and no apologies.