From David Zurawik at THE BALTIMORE SUN:
Give Sean Hannity credit: At least, he had James O’Keefe, the ACORN video boy, on his show Monday night. Unlike some other folks at Fox News, he didn’t act like this comic-book crusader was suddenly dead to him after O’Keefe was arrested for entering the office of U.S. Sen. Mary Landrieu under false pretenses.
On the other hand, maybe he should have ditched O’Keefe, too. What a sorry excuse for an interview and a lame defense O’Keefe offered for his actions. Hannity struck one of his favorite interview poses in such situations — that of a defense attorney trying to establish his client’s version of the facts of the case. But the 25-year-old O’Keefe wasn’t able to even do the light lifting that his half of the game required.
Several times as Hannity rolled out the carpet for O’Keefe to lay down a favorable narrative of events in Landrieu’s office, O’Keefe told him there was an ongoing investigation, and that he could not talk further about what happened. He insisted his arrest was just a “misunderstanding.”
As to why some members of his team used such deception as posing as telephone repairmen to gain access to the federal offices of a senator, O’Keefe repeated his mantra that his “mission in life” was “to get to the truth and expose corruption” — a line that could have come straight out of the mouth of a super hero in a comic book.
O’Keefe further claimed that he was working in a grand tradition of investigative and undercover journalism that included CBS News and NBC News.
Responsible journalists do not break the law or try to deceive those on whom they are reporting. Such means never justify the ends.
My favorite moment in the interview found O’Keefe describing himself as working in the “tradition … of a new age journalism.”
Mercifully, Hannity did not ask O’Keefe what he meant by “new age journalism.” I wonder if it involves candles, incense and chimes.
I’ll bet it couldn’t be as screwy as thinking that misrepresenting yourself and lying are the right ways to find the “truth.” Or that behaving in such a reckless manner makes you a journalist.
You can watch the interview at THE HUFFINGTON POST, if you have the stomach for it.
From THE BRAD BLOG:
You folks do realize that James O’Keefe never actually wore his ridiculous pimp costume into those ACORN offices on those doctored and illegally recorded video tapes, right? But, rather, he was filmed outside of the offices wearing his get-up, while appearing as the conservatively dressed boyfriend of a hooker trying to escape an abusive pimp when the cameras were rolling inside the offices. That’s just one of many deceptions O’Keefe carried out.
As one of two independent investigations of the incidents which clear ACORN of wrong-doing noted, this one by former MA Attorney General Scott Harshbarger [PDF]:Although Mr. O’Keefe appeared in all videos dressed as a pimp, in fact, when he appeared at each and every office, he was dressed like a college student – in slacks and a button down shirt.
Since Crazy Andy Breitbart, who released the phony video tapes on his propaganda website, didn’t bother to man up and point that out before, during, or after posting them, or while appearing on Fox “News” and elsewhere to promote both them and himself, or even after the reports came out, you may not have realized that salient fact.
You may also not have known that while both independent reports, the other one by the Congressional Research Service [PDF], found no criminal wrong doing by ACORN, they did find that O’Keefe likely the broke the law in at least two states by secretly recording the videos which had voice-overs deceptively edited into them later, “in some cases substantially,” according to Harshbarger’s report, so that it was “difficult to determine the questions to which ACORN employees are responding.”
In other words, the videos were a scam perpetrated by both Breitbart and his employee O’Keefe, who now faces felony charges that Breitbart has been tweeting his adorable angry little heart out over the last few days trying desperately to downplay.
[…] the Rightwing propagandist and GOP operative Breitbart is busy Twittering himself to death in hopes of selling, as he desperately tries to reclaim any credibility that he or his GOP “news” outlets might have ever had.Crazy Andy is angrily and frantically using the tried and true tactics of Republican Reframing Magic® in the wake of the felony arrest of his own employee O’Keefe, the dirty trickster, and junior propagandist-cum-failed-superspy. And given the rubes and dopes in the Not-Liberal-At-All MSM, it’s likely they’ll fall for it as hard as they fell for Breitbart/O’Keefe’s ACORN video scheme. Case in point: The “liberal” New York Times is already running a fawning 2,250-word feature story on Breitbart and his gang of desperados in Sunday’s paper. Can you imagine any such coverage of accused Democratic Party criminals like that?! And the GOP outrage that would accompany it if it did?!
Breitbart’s recent Twittered attempts at spinning wingnut gold out of his employee’s federally felonious straw comes in conjunction with his release on Friday of O’Keefe’s first full statement since Monday’s arrest along with three others Republican dirty trickster co-conspirators — one, the son of Lousiana’s acting U.S. Attorney William J. Flanagan — during the alleged attempt to illegally interfere with the phones of U.S. Senator Mary Landrieu (D-LA).As posted on Crazy Andy’s BigGovernment.com site Friday, O’Keefe’s statement explains that his arrest according to an FBI affidavit, for having “aided and abetted … in the execution of the plan” to manipulate the Democratic Senator’s phone system after gaining access to it “by falsely and fraudulently representing that the [sic] were employees of a telephone company,” was all just one great patriotic “investigation”, O’Keefe informs us, for which, now that he’s been arrested, he’s learned he “could have used a different approach”.
His thin explanation for the incident — absurd on its face, but well promoted by Breitbart, naturally — hangs on the notion that the Repub tricksters weren’t trying to bug Landrieu’s office, they were just there to “ask the staff if their phones were working” after some complained in December they were unable to get through to the office during the health care vote, when busy signals were the rule of the day.
It’s unclear why they’d need a scheme at all — which included dressing up as phone company employees, “manipulating” the phone the at the reception desk, seeking access to the main phone closet, and keeping one man outside in the car with a listening device — to simply “ask the staff if their phones were working”, but reasonable explanations aren’t really required for this bunch of con-men, or the one who employs at least one of them.
Breitbart has still failed to offer an explanation as to how it is that he should be let off the hook for what his employees do (he now enjoys Twittering that O’Keefe, who he’s admitted he has on salary, isn’t actually an employee, or some such falderal) and that O’Keefe is “innocent until proven guilty” (twittered disingenuously by Crazy Andy here, here, here and here) even while extending no such benefit of the doubt to anybody employed by ACORN, naturally.
ACORN, of course, deserves no such benefit of the doubt because, after all, they have the temerity to actually help millions of low and middle-income Americans legally participate in their own democracy, and other such GOP crimes.
J. Garrison Jordan, the attorney for Robert Flanagan — the accused perp who is also the son of the acting U.S. Attorney in Louisiana — downplayed all of it on Friday as little more than a youthful prank, telling the AP “You’re dealing with kids.”
A “kid”, of course, whose father is an acting U.S. Attorney. And another “kid” who is, apparently well-connected and/or wealthy enough to afford a Superstar Republican Attorney. O’Keefe, who is 25 years old (the others are 24) has now lawyered up with Superstar Republican Watergate Attorney, Michael Madigan.
Pimps like Andy, whether they’re wearing the threads are not, turn lots of tricks — and make lots of dirty money in the bargain.
You can read James O’Keefe’s laughable statement in its entirety at THE BRAD BLOG link.
From Bayou Buzz:
Last week, US Attorney recused himself from the prosecution of the James O’Keefe, Mary Landrieu case. O’Keefe, Robert Flanagan, Joseph Basel and Stan Dai were arrested last week after alleged attempts to interfere with the Landrieu office telephone system.
[Jim] Letten cited “various relevant factors” in a press release. No details were given.
Jan Mann will act as the “Attorney for the United States in this matter”.
The acting US Attorney for the Western District of Louisiana is William Flanagan, the father of Robert Flanagan.
On the 26th US Senator David Vitter said in a statement “I’ve seen the news reports and it’s obvious this is a very serious matter. We’re blessed with an extremely competent U.S. attorney’s office in New Orleans, and I know they’ll handle this as aggressively as they have other serious cases”.
Vitter did not specifically mention Letten by name.
Vitter has pushed the support of Letten and Flanagan for US Attorney for their respective districts.
Vitter had kept a hold on the new replacement for Flanagan until Letten was named as the US Attorney. Many political observers have noted that the issue of the US attorneys have become a political issue between Landrieu and Vitter.