Category Archives: James O’Keefe

When You Have Something To Hide

Sniveling little twerp James O’Keefe got busted trying to take down one of the conservative movement’s favorite liberal enemies, billionaire George Soros. This time, the ineptitude is truly a marvelous thing to behold, with O’Keefe accidentally laying out his entire scheme on the voicemail of his intended target.

Yet another hit for the fail parade known as Project Veritas, O’Keefe’s “non-profit” by which his dirty tricks are financed. I’ve long wondered why some enterprising journalist — a real one — hadn’t been able to find out who is funding O’Keefe and his band of merry pranksters. Maybe no one is interested; after his early hits on ACORN and NPR, he had less success with intended targets Sen. Mary Landrieu, CNN journalist Abbie Boudreau and Hillary Clinton’s campaign. Even his earlier hits have flamed out, after O’Keefe and an accomplice were forced to pay $150,000 to a former ACORN employee who sued.

At one point it was reported that Foster Friess and PayPal’s Peter Thiel gave money early on. Whether they still waste their money on this clown, I have no clue. Especially when the organization’s actual purpose seems to be Making James O’Keefe Feel Important. So, where does the money come from?

And now I have my answer:

O’Keefe portrays himself as a rigorous journalist who is dedicated to furthering “a more ethical and transparent society.” He refuses, however, to be transparent about who is funding him. According to tax records obtained by PRWatch.org, an investigative watchdog group run by the Center for Media and Democracy, in recent years hundreds of thousands of dollars in donations to Project Veritas have come through a fund in Alexandria, Virginia, called Donors Trust, which specializes in hiding the money trails of conservative philanthropists. In its promotional materials, Donors Trust says that it will “keep your charitable giving private, especially gifts funding sensitive or controversial issues.” The records obtained by PRWatch.org also show that one donor, a conservative political activist in Wisconsin, contributed fifty thousand dollars just before Project Veritas undertook a sting of one of his political enemies—a state senator.

This is so precious. Only “conservative philanthropists” would need a fund that actually specializes in hiding their donation. You know, guys, if you have to hide what you’re doing … maybe you shouldn’t be doing it. That’s what mama always told me, anyway.

Also: as it appears Project Veritas is little more than a dirty tricks operation which will take out your political rival for a fee, I can’t help but wonder why they are given tax-exempt status in the first place. Isn’t tax exempt status reserved for organizations providing a “social good”?

Jane Mayer, who wrote this New Yorker piece, asked a similar question. There are many right-wing organizations professing to provide a “social good” which are, in fact, doing dirty tricks for fun and profit. America Rising Squared is one; rather than provide a social good, it appears to exist purely to intimidate private citizens who engage in social or political activism. No wonder the people financing this form of intimidation want their names kept secret.

The question is, how long can this go on? Sooner or later someone is going to get sued (again). A law will get passed, a loophole will get closed.

Until then, watch your backs. No, no… I’m not talking about the people who James O’Keefe is targeting. The way this inept band of Konservative Keystone Kops keeps tripping over their own shoelaces, they’ll take themselves out. I’m talking about you moneybags on the right who keep financing these ratfucking operations. You’re going after private citizens now, not just politicians. We’ll find out who you are and plaster your names all over Twitter. Bwaahaaa.

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Filed under conservatives, George Soros, James O'Keefe, Media, media manipulation

Vast Right-Wing Cesspool

If you haven’t read The Trials Of Nadia Naffe, then stop what you’re doing and go read it, now. It’s a long, in-depth piece that outlines in agonizing detail the collusion between the Republican Party, Fox News, conservative Sugar Daddies, and James O’Keefe’s smear operations.

Here’s a sample:

The idea for the next Project Veritas mission originated with John Fund, a Fox News contributor and author of the 2008 book Stealing Elections: How Voter Fraud Threatens Our Democracy. In January 2010, Fund emailed the Republican National Lawyers Association and other hard-right affiliates about an incriminating tip he received about the Massachusetts Service Employees International Union (SEIU) — Greater Boston’s brotherhood of janitors, health-care workers, and other mostly low wage earners. Fund’s “normally reliable” source, he wrote in an email that has since been made public, claimed the SEIU planned to help Democrats steal the special Senate election between Scott Brown and Martha Coakley. According to Fund, the union would accomplish this by chartering buses in the liberal and minority-rich neighborhoods of Roxbury, Mattapan, Roslindale, and Jamaica Plain. “If you’re black or brown,” he wrote, “they’ll rope you in and take you to the polls. Registration can be worked out.”

Shuttling voters to polls is perfectly legal, of course — but pretty soon emails were flying between members of O’Keefe’s associates, rife with speculation that the SEIU would try more nefarious ploys, like paying for votes and helping people to vote twice.

Such hypothetical shenanigans sounded like surefire fodder to Steve Friess, son of investment billionaire and Rick Santorum bankroller Foster Friess. The elder Friess is perhaps most famous for telling MSNBC host Andrea Mitchell that, back in his day, “gals” “used Bayer Aspirin for contraception.” To plug conservative causes, Freiss has a whole foundation that’s run by his son Steve, who relished the prospect of causing “image problems for SEIU.” With their support in place, O’Keefe jumped on board, and he brought Naffe along with him. Not only did she have her star turn in the Waters series to recommend her, but she also matched the request from Freiss for “black/Latina conservatives [who] could be wired for video, and get picked up on one of these busses.” Less than a week later, Naffe flew into Logan airport. Her first task was to snoop on an election-eve rally for Coakley at a Dorchester union hall.

John Fund? Foster Friess? Foster Friess’ son? It’s always the same characters in right-wing land, isn’t it? (By the way, that attempted SEIU sting was a big bust. The suspected fraud never existed and Brown won the election.)

Also, I don’t understand why Nadia Naffe never questioned the fact that these Project Veritas “stings” almost exclusively targeted minorities, the poor, and those serving them. Maxine Waters? Shirley Sherrod? ACORN?

I mean, I understand the Planned Parenthoood sting: conservatives hate abortion, and PP is identified with abortion, that makes sense. But ACORN? From the article:

His big score came in the fall of 2009 — O’Keefe’s decisive blow against ACORN, which at the time was among the nation’s leading advocates for poor and disadvantaged people. ACORN had also been historically integral in getting out the minority vote; after the rise of Obama, this made them the object of widespread conservative consternation.

That’s it? ACORN got out the minority vote? That what put them on O’Keefe’s hit list? Umm … isn’t that a little … racist? That strikes me as an idea rooted in a campaign office or party headquarters, not some young activist trying to make his name with a “gotcha” video attacking a notable liberal figurehead. Who had even heard of ACORN before this?

I’ve always been suspicious about why ACORN was even targeted in the first place. Who sent O’Keefe their way, anyway? Aren’t right-wingers always saying that non-profit groups like, well, ACORN should deal with the poor and disadvantaged? Not nasty old big gummint?

By the way, I meant to put this in my Good News Friday post, but last week it was announced that James O’Keefe will pay $100,000 to one of his ACORN victims, Juan Carlos Vera. O’Keefe’s accomplice, Hannah Giles, already paid Vera $50,000 last year.

I’m sure Foster Friess or PayPal cofounder/Facebook investor Peter Thiel, who gave $30,000 to make the ACORN videos in the first place, won’t mind chipping in. Because a community organization helping poor and disadvantaged people is just the most awful threat to democracy ever.

/sarcasm

Anyway, go read the article. It’s an eye-opener.

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Filed under ACORN, conservative bloggers, James O'Keefe, right-wing hate

They Don’t Get It, Do They?

I guess we shouldn’t be surprised that right-wing assholes like Andrew Breitbart and James O’Keefe don’t understand the Occupy Wall Street movement. So let me explain it to them.

Perhaps you’ve heard that Media Matters Senior Fellow Eric Boehlert was targeted at his home by someone pretending to be a Verizon employee. Details at the link but this should bring everyone up to speed:

“So he gets to the last questions, and he’s really reading intently off of his clipboard, and he says something about making the kind of salary I do, working from home, something something about the 99 percenters,” Boehlert said.

The man claiming to be a Verizon representative finally asked his question. “After he mentioned my salary and that I work from home, all the bells went off, and this is not who this guy says he is. Therefore, I kind of lost track of the exact wording of the question, but it definitely was like very accusatory of me and I’m a hypocrite and how do I have this supposedly cushy job while I’m writing about real workers and the people of the 99 percent,” said Boehlert.

We still don’t know who misrepresented themselves to Boehlert — Andrew Breitbart denies involvement — but this has all the classic hallmarks of one of O’Keefe’s “Project Veritas” minions, where “veritas” is not Latin for truth but rather wingnut for misquotes and misrepresentation.

As HuffPost reported, Breitbart accolytes like Mike Flynn have been harassing Boehlert on Twitter with such taunts as….

#ows, @EricBoehlert is cashing 6-figure checks to support you. When u r run out of Zuccotti park, beers and brats at his place in NJ

… “ows” being the hashtag for Occupy Wall Street, of course. And here is what Mike Flynn, Andrew Breitbart, James O’Keefe and the rest don’t seem to get: no one really thinks it’s problem how much money Eric Boehlert earns. No one cares how much money anyone earns, as long as they are paying their share of taxes, helping the guy below them on the success ladder, and not actively working to pull the ladder up behind them so we have a permanent underclass whose only recourse is to work as slaves to the rich.

Amazing that conservative activists don’t seem to understand this. Naw, scratch that. It’s utterly predictable. It also shows how out of touch they are, how phony conservative populism is, but there you go.

Right-wingers love to play the hypocrisy card, as if anyone earning over $50,000 a year has no right to criticize the multimillionaires for their greedy ways or have sympathy for those on welfare. But what the left objects to is greed, oppression, and inequality, not a well-earned salary.

I doubt too many good Lefties are going to begrudge people like Eric Boehlert their six-figure salaries (if that is indeed what Boehlert earns, I have no idea nor is it any of my business). Why? Because he is working on behalf of the 99% to make the system more equitable! He isn’t pulling the ladder up behind him, he’s trying to extend it to those below him on the economic scale. There is no hypocrisy here. What there is, actually, is someone working against their own economic self-interest for the betterment of others.

This is not a difficult concept to grasp, and it’s why conservative claims that no liberal should be allowed to earn any money are so hilarious.

I don’t begrudge Bill Maher or Jon Stewart or Stephen Colbert their millions. In fact, I want more rich liberals out there. That’s more donations to Planned Parenthood and the ACLU and the Sierra Club.

Rich liberals who extend a hand to those below them economically are not hypocrites. They’re altruists. Something we used to value in this country, by the way, until a godless conservative named Ayn Rand convinced some idiots that altruism was a bad thing. Now they’ve drunk so much Kool-Aid they don’t even recognize it when they see it.

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Filed under Andrew Breitbart, conservative bloggers, conservatives, James O'Keefe, liberals

Nobody Could Have Anticipated That James O’Keefe Is A Lying Sack Of Shit With A Partisan Political Agenda

Yeah maybe you should have had your independent experts analyze the “largely unedited” tape (“largely” means exactly what, I wonder?) before issuing pink slips:

One “big warning flag” Tompkins saw in the shorter tape was the way it made it appear that Schiller had laughed and commented “really, that’s what they said?” after being told that the fake Muslim group advocates for sharia law. In fact, the longer tape shows that Schiller made that comment during an “innocuous exchange” that had nothing to do with the supposed group’s position on sharia law, David reports.

No! Really?!

Tompkins also says that O’Keefe’s edited tape ignores the fact that Schiller said “six times … over and over and over again” that donors cannot buy the kind of coverage they want on NPR.

Yes but we said that Ron Schiller was not involved in NPR’s news division in any way. So we already knew the entire pretext of the tape (“NPR people have opinions! Those opinions mean their news coverage is biased!”) was bullshit.

More from Morning Edition’s report:

Take the political remarks. Ron Schiller speaks of growing up as a Republican and admiring the party’s fiscal conservatism. He says Republican politicians and evangelicals are becoming “fanatically” involved in people’s lives.

But in the shorter tape, Schiller is also presented as saying the GOP has been “hijacked” by Tea Partiers and xenophobes.

In the longer tape, it’s evident Schiller is not giving his own views but instead quoting two influential Republicans — one an ambassador, another a senior Republican donor. Schiller notably does not take issue with their conclusions — but they are not his own.

You don’t say! And finally:

In recent days, several influential journalists have written that they regret giving O’Keefe’s NPR videos wider circulation without scrutinizing them for themselves, given his past record and some of the objections that the Blaze first raised. They include Ben Smith of Politico, James Poniewozik of Time magazine and Dave Weigel of Slate.

“The speed at which the media operates when a video comes out is a problem,” Weigel said Sunday. “I mean, the rush to be the first to report on a video — and, let’s be brutally honest, the rush is to get traffic and to get people booked on [cable TV] shows to talk about it — and that nature leads you to not do the rigor and fact-checking that you would do in other situations.”

Ah well, mistakes were made! Just like with the war in Iraq, the media blames its “rush to be first” for its shoddy work and failure to be accurate. Deadlines, dammit they are such pesky little things! Bygones!

And they wonder why people don’t trust the media. Amazing! Nobody, certainly not Dave Weigel or Ben Smith or James Poniewozik, could have had any idea that James O’Keefe is a lying sack of shit with a partisan political agenda and a well-documented history of lies and distortions. Hoocoodanode?!

Furthermore, this incident proves what I said last month is still correct:

When the right wants to embarrass the left they must resort to severely edited videos doctored with the intention of misleading viewers, and which completely misrepresent actual events. When the left wants to embarrass the right they just need to capture the right speaking honestly.

Still holds true.

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Filed under James O'Keefe, media, media manipulation, NPR

>Wolverines!

>The thing that strikes me most about this whole James O’Keefe deal is that, when you read the 13-page “Punking CNN” plan, you realize these folks live in some alternate reality in which they are resistance fighters in a war against the forces of evil. This is an “operation” which they’ve devoted a lot of time and energy to thinking out in great detail. This is very serious shit to these folks, and to those of us scratching our heads wondering WTF, I again go back to Julian Sanchez’s column from last December.

It really does all come back to losing the culture wars, to the fact that the right’s political ascendance has not been matched by cultural relevance. Somewhere, someone in Hollywood is making fun of them, always. A “Saturday Night Live” skit is being written that shames them. It’s why Stephen Colbert speaking before Congress really got to some of them, and it explains the persecution complex rampant throughout the “Punking CNN” plan: only a fantastic, evil liberal conspiracy can explain why they’re still oppressed — despite, you know, not being oppressed.

It reminds me of 2004 and 2005, when Protest Warrior was trying to be a big deal. I’d go to their website and read about their planned “counterstrike” against “America’s fifth column” and think, “whaaa…??” Join the dang military, already.

But of course, they live in an alternate universe where they can be heroes in their own movie taking on the wicked establishment that holds them down. That’s fine if you’re in junior high but for anyone over the age of, say, 14, you have to really wonder if there isn’t some kind of sociopathy going on.

I mean, it’s kinda sad, really.

[UPDATE]:

John Cole observes:

And stop calling this a prank. What they wanted to do to this woman was much darker than a prank. If someone took one of my sisters onto a boat under false pretenses, filmed them without their knowledge, and deliberately sexually harassed them with the intent to intimidate or have sex with them or both, I’d probably be in jail right now.

Good point. And let me just reiterate, this should surprise no one, not the media, not people on either side of the (sane) political spectrum.

These are very serious, dark times to these Wingnut Warriors. They truly believe they are the last stand protecting America from the evil liberal usurpers. Born out of your modern conservative inferiority complex, itself a product of cultural irrelevance, we are looking at a generation of 20-something narcissistic Wingnut Warriors who have taken it upon themselves to write the script and cast the movie with themselves as our fair heroes. Anything goes when you’re the savior and the future of the nation rests on your shoulders.

I mean, it’s delusional, but what do you expect when you live in a world where truth is fungible and facts are what you think them to be?

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Filed under James O'Keefe, right wing

Dude You HAVE No Seduction!

[UPDATE]: Folks are wondering if this in any way
violates his three-years probation related to the Landrieu case. Good question.

And Digby wonders if this wasn’t a blackmail set-up. Another good question. Whole thing is very bizarre.

——————————————-

I’m sorry but the utter lack of self-awareness of this dweeb James O’Keefe — he of the hyperinflated ego and underdeveloped maturity level — is astounding. The guy who supposedly took down ACORN and got busted trying to tap Mary Landrieu’s Louisiana Senate office just scored another major fail trying to punk award-winning CNN investigative journalist Abbie Boudreau.

Read more about it here, and watch the video:

http://i.cdn.turner.com/cnn/.element/apps/cvp/3.0/swf/cnn_416x234_embed.swf?context=embed&videoId=us/2010/09/28/boudreau.okeefe.cnn

I love this part:

CNN obtained “a 13-page document titled ‘CNN Caper,'” which elaborated on the prank in hilarious detail. For example, here is the equipment list:

Equipment needed


a. Video
1. hidden cams on the boat
2. tripod and overt recorder near the bed, an obvious sex tape machine

b. Props
1. condom jar
2. dildos
3. Music
a. Alicia keys
b. 80s romance songs, things that are typically James
c. avoid Marvin Gaye as too cliche

4. lube
5. ceiling mirror
6. posters and paintings of naked women
7. playboys and pornographic magazines
8. candles
9. Viagra and stamina pills
10. fuzzy handcuffs
11. blindfold

Hey what girl isn’t turned on by Alicia Keys and 80s romance songs? This is O’Keefe’s idea of how to seduce a woman?

Bwaaahaaaahaaa!!!!

Seriously, who thought Abbie Boudreau would shuck her clothes on the floor at the mere sight of the studly James O’Keefe and a jar full of condoms!

Bwaaahaaaahaaa!!!!

How absolutely humiliating — for O’Keefe. This is the right wing’s idea of journalism? Of a prank? Of a seduction? Grow the fuck up, dude.

Media Matters has more:

http://cloudfront.mediamatters.org/static/flash/player.swf

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Filed under CNN, James O'Keefe, right wing