02 September 2015

James O'Keefe Jumps the Shark

I am referring to the evil James O'Keefe, of ACORN infamy, and not my friend who spends a lot of time at the Massachusetts Pirate Party herding cats.

In his latest "sting" he had one of His Evil Minions buy a T-Shirt for a Canadian tourist:

The re­port­ers (in­clud­ing me) ap­peared con­fused about how they got to the press con­fer­ence hos­ted at the Na­tion­al Press Club. Present at the press con­fer­ence were five to 10 video cam­er­as, along with a room of 30 or so re­port­ers, all ob­li­vi­ous to the fact that we had been snookered in­to an­oth­er sup­posedly sa­la­cious re­lease from O’Keefe’s or­gan­iz­a­tion.

Clin­ton staffers have already been put on alert for hijinks from O’Keefe’s con­ser­vat­ive group, which gained no­tori­ety around the ACORN scan­dal, and put out a video last week show­ing a Clin­ton cam­paign staffer en­cour­aging a “vo­lun­teer” to ask Iow­ans if they are Clin­ton sup­port­ers be­fore re­gis­ter­ing them to vote.

“We have journ­al­ists across the coun­try in­vest­ig­at­ing in­side the cam­paign. Not just this cam­paign,” O’Keefe said on Tues­day.

On Tues­day, the group teased its second re­lease as “a power­ful new un­der­cov­er video con­firm­ing that cor­rup­tion has per­meated Hil­lary Clin­ton’s cam­paign at the highest levels.” The video pur­ports to show Molly Bark­er, the dir­ect­or of mar­ket­ing for Clin­ton’s cam­paign, ac­cept­ing a cam­paign dona­tion from a for­eign na­tion­al. Sounds pretty bad, right?

Then you find out that the “for­eign na­tion­al” is a Ca­na­dian wo­man who was simply try­ing to buy a T-shirt at Clin­ton’s kick­off rally, and that Pro­ject Ver­itas Ac­tion’s own “journ­al­ist” ac­ted as an in­ter­me­di­ary straw buy­er to make the trans­ac­tion, tak­ing the Ca­na­dian wo­man’s money to pur­chase the shirt for her.

In the video, the Ca­na­dian vis­it­or (who, O’Keefe says, Pro­ject Ver­itas Ac­tion did not find the name for) says, “Can I give her the money? She’s Amer­ic­an. Can she buy it for me?”

“She could make a dona­tion,” Bark­er says.

“Can you buy it for me?” the Ca­na­dian wo­man asks the Pro­ject Ver­itas Ac­tion op­er­at­ive.

“Sure, I’ll buy it,” the Pro­ject Ver­itas Ac­tion op­er­at­ive says. “So Ca­na­dians can’t buy them, but Amer­ic­ans can buy it for them?”


Pro­ject Ver­itas Ac­tion is com­fort­able con­duct­ing its op­er­a­tions un­der eth­ic­ally du­bi­ous cir­cum­stances. The Wash­ing­ton Post’s Dana Mil­bank got at that in an ex­change dur­ing the press con­fer­ence with the group’s leg­al ex­pert, Ben­jamin Barr.
Mil­bank: “I’m no ex­pert on cam­paign fin­ance law, but was that leg­al for your per­son to take that cash?”

Barr: “It’s a tech­nic­al vi­ol­a­tion of the law. It’s akin to jay­walk­ing for cam­paign fin­ance. This is a low-dol­lar threshold con­tri­bu­tion. There’s no re­port­ing is­sues at play. It’s less than $200. So at most it would be a small civil pen­alty that’s a few hun­dred dol­lars. But what we’re really wor­ried about is the Hil­lary cam­paign that has taken in a wide ar­ray of con­tri­bu­tions. Once you ag­greg­ate bey­ond $2,000, then you’re with­in the crim­in­al sanc­tions.”

Mil­bank: So you vi­ol­ated the law as well?

Barr: Yes.


“Is this a joke?” The Daily Beast’s Olivia Nuzzi asked later in the Q&A. “This feels like a prank.”

“Is this a joke,” O’Keefe re­peated. “Well, the Clin­ton cam­paign doesn’t think it’s a joke, be­cause they’re talk­ing to The Wash­ing­ton Post about it. And we sent the let­ter to the Clin­ton cam­paign, so no, this is not a joke.”

Not only does O’Keefe have the gump­tion to of­fer to en­trap a polit­ic­al cam­paign to the tune of $40, his group is now seek­ing re­dress for its own straw pur­chase.

“The Clin­ton cam­paign should re­turn their il­leg­al con­tri­bu­tion. I don’t see oth­er rem­ed­ies. That’s the only rem­edy that we’re seek­ing,” O’Keefe said at the press con­fer­ence.


To quote Charles Baudelaire, “The dev­il’s finest trick is to per­suade you that he does not ex­ist.” O’Keefe has the op­pos­ite in­ten­tions. His finest trick is to per­suade you that he does still ex­ist, and is worth listen­ing to.
Even the Washington Post, which has never found a Clinton scandal that it would not eagerly pimp, has determined that there is no "there" there.

A Canadian tourist wanted a t-shirt, and a member of O'Keefe's "Wretched hive of scum and villainy" took pity on her and bought it for her, and somehow it's a big Clinton scandal?

Dude, you have had your 15 minutes of fame.

Get a real job, and stop living in your parents basement.


Stephen Montsaroff said...

But bless the Times, they seem to consider this as serious.

Matthew Saroff said...

Not sure why the Times makes what can only be a conscious decision to cover this crap credulously.

Something is broken at the Gray Lady.

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