Oh – say can you – Keefe?

Mmm, slime trail!

James O’Keefe AKA “The ACORN Pimp” is a man who has popped up on my radar in the past.

O’Keefe was arrested earlier this week for attempting to interfere with a Senator’s telephone and released on $10,000 bond.

He tweeted about his arrest the other night:

“I am a journalist. The truth shall set me free.”

Journalist. Truth. Interesting word choices. Perhaps those will apply once he get hired by FOX News? You know, the only thing that scares me more than partisan scoundrels is the true believers. At least the scoundrels know they are bad. Re-read the quote above. This dude thinks of himself as a crusader of truth. Gag me!

To get your 15-minutes of fame I think there are three likely approaches:

  1. Excel at something
  2. Be lucky/unlucky (right place at the wrong time, etc.)
  3. Use a cheap gimmick

Mr. O’Keefe is definitely a #3 kind of guy. His shtick is to make video and audio recordings of people without their knowledge and consent. A tactic which, by the way, has put him on the receiving end of some lawsuits. He was sued by ACORN last fall and again sued just last Thursday by an ACORN employee featured in one of his videos.

By the way, isn’t it generally illegal to make an audio recording of someone without their knowledge and consent?

Let’s recap:

  • In 2006 O’Keefe got his start with hidden camera exploits by teaming up with a pro-life activist and having her pose as a 13-year-old pregnant teenager. His target: Planned Parenthood. His ploy: Trying to get representatives to say his friend should lie in order to qualify for abortions.
  • In 2007 O’Keefe continued targeting Planned Parenthood, this time pretending to be a financial donor with very specific desires, namely that his donation would be limited to performing abortions on minorities because, as he put it, “the less black kids out there the better.”
  • In 2009 O’Keefe went after ACORN and hit the big time while posing as a pimp seeking smuggling and tax advice for women posing as his prostitutes.
  • On Monday, Jan. 25, 2010, O’Keefe allegedly attempted to tamper with the phone of a Senator in a federal building and was subsequently arrested. He was charged with entering federal property under false pretenses to commit a felony after they told an aide to the senator that they needed access to the office’s main phone line.

On Tuesday, January 26, 2010, O’Keefe and his three accomplices appeared in federal magistrate court, all wearing matching red inmate jumpsuits from St. Bernard Parish Prison. Apparently this was one time in his life when the camera wasn’t capturing his every move. Too bad. I have been unable to find his mugshot or a photo of him in his dashing inmate garb. The U.S. Magistrate Judge allowed the four men to be released on $10,000 bond each. If convicted, O’Keefe faces a maximum of 10 years in prison and a fine of $250,000. Woot!

It is unclear why Democratic Sen. Mary Landrieu was targeted, but it could have something to do with her support of health care legislation currently in Congress. I’ve also heard that her phone line may have been busy a lot. Maybe she was blocking the calls of some protesters?

So, aside from being a sneaky, nefarious douchebag, and proving that he supports the concept “two wrongs make a right” (a favorite theme among the “ends justifies the means” crowd), what, if anything, have we learned from Mr. O’Keefe’s tactics and previous successes at capturing video of people making unfortunate statements?

O’Keefe’s pattern has been clear. He enters a facility or offices under false pretenses, in disguise or pretending to be something he’s not. He surreptitiously creates video and audio records of repeated attempts to get persons to make damaging statements. The audio portion of his efforts may even be illegal. He initiates the situation, selects and places the actors, sets the stage, and actively tries to illicit the responses he’s after. If law enforcement personal attempted tactics such as these against random people (no probable cause) their results would rightly be challenged and most likely invalid. Can you say “entrapment?”

Be that as it may, let’s examine the results O’Keefe obtained. He is persistent. He hits and hits and hits again until, lo and behold, he’s able to catch a few persons making statements they shouldn’t have. As a person with an agenda his targets are “across the aisle” organizations. He certainly isn’t going out of his way to make organizations he is friendly with look bad.

Yes, he has captured some unfortunate statements, but what has he proven?

  • Did he prove that Planned Parenthood was a corrupt organization or that individual persons said things they shouldn’t have?
  • Did he prove that ACORN was a corrupt organization or that individual persons said things they shouldn’t have?
  • With repeated efforts, could you eventually catch something like this in almost any organization on planet Earth?
  • Do his findings have any meaning based on the deceptive tactics he employs?

Law enforcement can’t operate using O’Keefe style tactics. Perhaps private citizens shouldn’t be allowed those tactics, either.

By the way, O’Keefe and his ACORN hating cohorts claimed that every ACORN office they visited was complicit. A police report proves that’s a lie. At least one person at ACORN that was targeted by O’Keefe “asked the filmmakers to leave the ACORN office in Philadelphia and called the police after the filmmakers asked suspicious questions.”

Crusaders of truth don’t lie. The ends don’t always justify the means. Two wrongs do not make a right. His parents must have left that stuff out during his formative years. No wonder his daddy is defending him and saying stuff like O’Keefe only used “bad judgement.” Said daddy to the media, “I know my son. My son wouldn’t attempt anything illegal.”

Bad parenting oughta be against the law! Next time try teaching some morals and values, dad.

6 responses

  1. I’d throw those dirtbag ACORN members into a pit filled with starving rabid squirrels.

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    1. That’s a position I can respect. 🙂 I would merely ask, though, what in the way of actually proof do you have that the organization itself is corrupt? My point is that video tape of a few faulty humans in any organization hardly constitutes logical and conclusive proof.

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      1. Proof? Is that still a word? I thought the word and the concept behind it died about 30 years ago during the Reagan administration. You remember the days when the media would get together and laugh about the jobs being created by Reagan all being “burger flipping” jobs, or that he was asleep at all the important meetings, or that Gorbachev was really the impetus behind the fall of the wall? Or more recently how G. W. Bush is so stupid compared to the blinding brilliance of John Kerry. Proof? Was their a televised intellectual competition between the two that I missed where Kerry brutalized Bush? Some sort of a “Who Wants To Be A Millionaire” type show? Did they take the SAT or GRE and post their scores?

        Or do you mean the type of “proof” that was used to show that Iraq had WMD’s? Or that they didn’t have WMD’s?

        Proof. Pfftt!

        Nowadays the subject is modified to the point where the proof fits. Global warming is a perfect example. For the last few years many parts of the world have been far colder than average. Not exactly proof of warming. So, you change the subject Climate Change. Well, yes, the climate changes. Woohooo! Houston, we have proof!!

        Or, how about not having the proof that you’ve “created” any jobs at all so you change the subject to “created or saved” so many jobs? Next it will be “would” have created that many jobs if it wasn’t for those meddling kids!

        As for Acorn. Any organization that employs people like that has ZERO credibility. It’s the same reason that some large corporations have ZERO credibility right now. Because they hired lying dirtbags. To be consistent I have to throw ACORN in that group as well. As an organization I don’t think they really care about what is right. They only care about beating the other side. If they thought they could generate more funding or destroy an enemy by video taping a conversation with them then they would do it in a second.

        I’m actually glad to see someone secretly taping them. Anyone with any control over public money should be afraid of covert taping at any time. In fact, we ought to just plant chips in all of them so we can track and listen to them at all times. They would (will) do it to us someday and to some extent already have. Why should they be exempt?

        Why just subpeona Enron, Goldman Sachs, Morgan Stanley etc. Subpeona Barney Frank, Chris Dodd, Bush, Obama? All of them. Hook them up to lie detectors. Covertly tape ALL of them. I want to know who’s telling the truth and who isn’t! Those who aren’t have broken their trust and fiduciary duty to the country and should be exiled to Uganda.

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  2. Given the tactics of people opposed to health care reform, is it possible the reason they cant get through is because they’re flooding the lines? There is such a thing as capacity.

    I just can’t get behind anyone with the absolute thinking done by people at either extreme. No one has all the answers, no one’s opponents are completely wrong. This guy is a prime example of the kind of behavior that is holding the country back.

    God I hate slugs. Yeah, I know that’s absolute thinking. Everyone has their vices. I hate slugs.

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  3. I’m feeling lazy today so instead of my expounding further on ACORN (slugs!) and O’keefe (A merry prankster?!) I’ll simply post a link to an interesting story about the subject!
    http://www.nytimes.com/2010/01/31/us/politics/31landrieu.html

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    1. Woot!

      Thanks for that link. Finally, mugshots (or something similar) and a hint of red prisoner jumpsuits! I can die happy. 🙂 Also learned how a real journalism source spelled “high jinx,” something I wanted to use myself but didn’t know how.

      I see you mixed up slugs with ACORN and prankster with O’Keefe. LOLZ! I guess we’ll have to let that slide, this time. 🙂

      A Senator’s office in a frickin’ federal building, no less, is not the place to re-enact your favorite episodes of Jack Ass or Punked. Personally I hope they throw the book at the guy. I’ll say it again: I do not believe he is motivated by “truth.” Nay, I think he’s a whore for the camera and the limelight. In light of the target and the location, perhaps there is something in the Patriot Act they can use against these young men. It would suck to think that I personally get affected by the Patriot Act but little miscreants like them don’t. (My local bank cites the Patriot Act as the reason my son can’t sign over his paycheck to me by writing “pay to the order of” on the bank. Funny, that worked my entire life growing up until a few years ago.)

      Nice article, though. I read the whole thing. It’s more like a mini-bio than a piece for or against their tactics. Didn’t really come to a satisfying conclusion for me. 🙂 But, after reading it, I think I have a better sense of who these young men are and what they’re like. I’ve known people like them before. I call them “assholes.” You know the sort. “We need affirmative action for white people.” Har har har. You are so funny. Not. “How about a whites-only basketball team.” Har har har. ” Or saying, “they have BET, why can’t we have a White Power tv channel?” They seem to have no sense of history, no sensitivity, and see the world through a binary prism.

      They are assholes and attention whores. A dangerous combination.

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