Michael Gaynor
Breitbart Acolyte O'Keefe's lost his teflon coating with conservatives
By Michael Gaynor
October 4, 2010

Sadly, the thought that all was well before appears to be rightwing wishful thinking and the result of accepting the Andrew Breitbart attitude expressed in these statements: "These people don't fight fair. The left does not fight fair and so I'm basically saying to conservatives you don't have to fight fair" and "I like to get into the gutter with these people. I derive a sick pleasure from it"

It called to mind then presidential candidate Obama throwing his deceased white grandmother under the bus in a desperate (and ultimately futile) attempt to avoid a public break with the man he said brought him to Jesus, Rev. Jeremiah A. "God damn America" Wright, Jr.

Andrew Breitbart publicly called upon James O'Keefe to explain:

"I proudly stood behind James O'Keefe on his groundbreaking ACORN investigation. I also defended him when the media, including CNN — during a previous regime, 'the Rick Sanchez era' — falsely reported the Sen. Mary Landrieu story as a 'wiretapping' plot gone wrong.

"In all these cases the left-leaning media exposed its obvious bias against James because of his contrarian point of view and because the targets of his investigations are protected institutions of the Democrat Media Complex.

"However, in my dealings with Ms. Boudreau, she and her producer, Scott Zamost, conducted themselves professionally, and I believe James owes them a candid and public explanation.

"From what I've read about this script, though not executed, it is patently gross and offensive. It's not his detractors to whom he also owes this public airing. It's to his legion of supporters."

The truth is that Breitbart did much more than "stand behind" O'Keefe as to the "Pimp and Pro" ACORN sting and divert attention from the crime to which O'Keefe pleaded guilty by pointing out that it was not proven that he intended to commit an even more serious crime.

Breitbart's public statement suggests, but does not state, that O'Keefe is a loose cannon and O'Keefe's ludicrous Louisiana caper and vile "pleasure boat" script support the suggestion.

ACORN is laughing now, and O'Keefe and Breitbart are trying to cope with a calamity that ACORN did not cause but that helps ACORN discredit their prior work that discredited ACORN.

Tragic, to be sure, but not shocking: turning to Saul Alinsky for tactical advice is a huge mistake.

Understand Alinsky's Rules for Radicals, but reject his immorality.

Good news: at last National Review has warned readers that James O'Keefe is not an ideal conservative!

In "Keep Miles (Away) O'Keefe" (www.nationalreview.com/corner/248325/keep-miles-away-o'keefe-john-hood), posted on September 30, 2010, John Hood stood for good and condemned O'Keefe.


"By now, many Corner readers will have heard about the latest juvenile stunt by James O'Keefe. For those of you who haven't, here is the CNN story about his attempt to 'punk' a female CNN reporter.

"When O'Keefe last made the national news, he was clumsily staging a fake phone-repairman stunt at Sen. Mary Landrieu's office in an attempt to call attention to the number of calls she had received against Obamacare. The Left certainly got carried away with dreams of Watergate II — the 'break-in' was obviously play-acting to manufacture a silly Internet video, not a burglary to steal documents or vandalize the office — but the episode made many conservatives think twice about their past praise of O'Keefe as an 'investigative journalist.' Whatever he is, he certainly isn't that.

"This CNN episode ought to convince all conservatives that not only should O'Keefe's behavior be condemned, but conservative leaders and organizations need to do a better job of assessing the maturity level and character of the people they hire, support, or praise. Building an alternative media network of conservative and libertarian periodicals, news portals, broadcasters, blogs, and video sites is a great idea. The collapse of the traditional media's business model and credibility make it a timely idea. But such a network must offer the public real journalism, produced by independent-minded professionals committed to the standards and practices of the profession. If it offers little more than Michael Moore — style filmmaking with dashes of campus hijinks and bad taste, it will squander scarce resources and backfire badly."

American Spectator's Paul Chesser conceded that the CNN episode is "an amazing example of about as bad a judgment as someone can have" and "looks downright mean" (http://spectator.org/blog/2010/09/30/re-okeefe-from-pimp-to-punked?flv=1).

But Chesser retained his "enthusiasm" over the "Pimp and Pro" sting even as he hope for O'Keefe and sting mastermind Andrew Breitbart to say something reassuring.


"I've met James O'Keefe and emailed with him a little bit, and he was very pleasant and gracious — even humble. Unfortunately it appears he got a wave of incredible publicity, some money, and got surrounded by some other young folks who either were enablers or at least unwilling to do any kind of intervention. The exception to that was Izzy Santa (she's in the CNN story), who blew the whistle on the scheme right before it was to happen. Good for her.

"I don't rescind my enthusiasm for how O'Keefe and Hannah Giles exposed ACORN or for the Census Bureau waste he uncovered. I do regret that everything that came his way in a hurry may have made him feel invincible. I don't have a problem with him getting his own enterprise to run his projects through, but it should have a strong accountability mechanism in place so something like this would not have happened. And if people wanted to financially support that they could, and if not, they wouldn't have to.

"I do think we need to hear something from O'Keefe and Andrew Breitbart pretty soon about this. Undoubtedly lawyers are debating what should and should not be said."

Sadly, the thought that all was well before appears to be rightwing wishful thinking and the result of accepting the Andrew Breitbart attitude expressed in these statements: "These people don't fight fair. The left does not fight fair and so I'm basically saying to conservatives you don't have to fight fair" and "I like to get into the gutter with these people. I derive a sick pleasure from it" (http://blogs.cbn.com/thebrodyfile/archive/2010/05/03/video-andrew-breitbart-interview-with-brody-file.aspx).

In "The Problem Posed by What Hannah Giles Wrote Last Year" (www.webcommentary.com/php/ShowArticle.php?id=gaynorm&date=090929)A), posted on September 29, 2009, I pointed out that a look at Townhall articles by Hannah Giles, O'Keefe's young female partner in the "Pimp and Pro" sting, raised serious questions as to whether criminal laws had been broken as a result of zeal to expose ACORN as a criminal enterprise.

On September 10, 2009, sting mstermind Andrew Breitbart launched his BigGovernment site with hidden-video camera footage of O'Keefe and Giles getting Association of Community Organizations for Reform Now (ACORN) employees to help them violate various laws.

I explained:

"Outrageous as it will seem to so many, ACORN investigators Hannah Giles and James O'Keefe have a significant problem.

"Ironically, it is part of an impassioned piece posted online by Ms. Giles about O'Keefe last year.

"The Hannah Giles biography at Townhall.com is terse: 'Hannah Giles is a townhall.com contributor and aspiring journalist. She is the journalist behind the ACORN prostitution/tax evasion sting. She is the oldest daughter of Townhall.com columnist Doug Giles.'

"That piece by Ms. Giles was not terse enough.

"At age 19, Hannah Giles joined her dad Doug Giles as a Townhall columnist and contributed two articles.

"The first, inspired by Hillary Clinton's endorsement of Barack Obama, is an impassioned piece titled 'Don't Be A Zombie: Question Your Leaders!' (August 26, 2008) that should not come back to haunt her.

"Ms. Giles concluded it as follows: 'Sen. John Sidney McCain III and Sen. Barack Hussein Obama are vying for the presidency this election year. These men have willingly and purposefully stepped into this race with strong intents to win. And when a person as influential and well-known as Sen. Hillary Clinton suggests that the Republicans forfeit their place in the competitive American political arena, she is asking them to submit. America has never submitted: Not to the British during the Revolutionary War, not to the Japanese after the bombings of Pearl Harbor, not to the torments of communism and certainly not to the terrorist attacks of Sept. 11, 2001. If America has not submitted before, then how can (and why is) Sen. Clinton asking at least half of the country to do so now? Due to the constant presence of underlying dogma, it is absolutely essential that the American people read deeper and understand what is being said and done during the fast times of presidential campaigning. After all, the free and prosperous American life depends on it.'

"'Mary' promptly commented:

'Great job!

'Read this column first, as I was hoping you were Doug Giles daughter. What a thoughtful, insightful article! What an incredible future you have! You have your dad's talent, but your own voice. How refreshing to read such conservative views from someone so young.

'PS: What a relief to know you haven't been corrupted by the dimocrats in So. Florida!!!'

"Nearly a month later, Ms. Giles posted her second piece at Townhall.com — 'The Truth is Too Scandal for You Tube' (September 23, 2008).

"In it, Ms. Giles blasted 'crude videos' that 'are in no way bettering American society' in general and You Tube 'habitually banning videos posted by UCLA Law Student James O'Keefe' in particular.

"That's the same James O'Keefe who played pimp to Ms. Giles' prostitute in the sensational ACORN videos, one of which resulted in a lawsuit against them.

"Unfortunately, this article appears to be problematic for both of them.

"Ms. Giles gushed:

'A young lawyer in training, full of prospects and dreams, O'Keefe takes no prisoners and calls things as they are. Currently, he has his sights set on unveiling the deep-rooted prejudices of Planned Parenthood. O'Keefe, and other dedicated students, are tackling the American abortion industry, by revealing the basis of its existence. Although Planned Parenthood may advertise itself as a place to abort/destroy the lives of innocent babies, it happens to be far more than that. Planned Parenthood's founder, Margaret Sanger was a massive advocate of negative-eugenics, and made the spread of 'race-hygiene' a personal goal of hers. In her book, The Pivot of Civilization, she says that, "each feeble-minded person is a potential source of endless progeny of defect; we prefer the policy of immediate sterilization, so that parenthood is absolutely prohibited to the feeble-minded."

'That right there is a head tilter and, ladies and gents, all O'Keefe wants to prove is that Planned Parenthood hasn't strayed far from its Hitleresque roots.'

"Ms. Giles should have stopped there.

"But Ms. Giles proceeded to relate a detail with respect to O'Keefe's prior great public service in exposing Planned Parenthood:

'In the summer of 2007 O'Keefe made phone calls to several Planned Parenthood clinics across the country. He only made these phone calls in states where it is legal to audio record without the other party's consent (i.e. Ohio, New Mexico, Idaho, Oklahoma). During the course of these calls, O'Keefe posed as a donor who expressed his desire to give money to Planned Parenthood. He would do so as long as they could guarantee his money would be used for the abortions of black babies, and went on to express his "belief' that there are just too many black people around. Every Planned Parenthood clinic he called assured him his wishes would be fulfilled. O'Keefe says, 'This only confirmed the evidence of Planned Parenthood's eugenic ideology is consistent with the agenda of their founder, Margaret Sanger."'

"See the problem?

"Last year Ms. Giles wrote: 'He only made these phone calls in states where it is legal to audio record without the other party's consent (i.e. Ohio, New Mexico, Idaho, Oklahoma).'

"That sentence is an acknowledgement that Ms. Giles knew last year that some states do not permit recording without 'the other party's consent' and suggests (but does not definitely state) that O'Keefe took state law on recording into account when he conducted his earlier Planned Parenthood sting.

"Did O'Keefe and/or Ms. Giles check Maryland and California law before conducting their ACORN sting this summer?

"Did he/she/they simply assume that surreptitious recording was permissible in Maryland and California?

"Did he/she/they misunderstand that law, or were he/she/they misadvised about it, or did they deliberately disobey it?

"After all, a year ago Ms. Giles made it a point to write that O'Keefe 'only made these phone calls in states where it is legal to audio record without the other party's consent.'

"That article also offers insight into Ms. Giles's views and dreams.

"Later in her article Ms. Giles reprimanded You Tube for 'hindrance of potential world changers,' explaining that 'O'Keefe is chasing down a story, he has done his research and he is getting results.'

"But there is no statutory exemption in either Maryland or California for 'potential world changers' 'chasing down a story' and 'getting results.'

"Ironically, Ms. Giles, now famous for being videotaped as a prostitute (and for her legs as well as her acting and bravery), also opined on 'inappropriate content,' including 'shocking' 'video...dedicated to filming up ladies skirts.'

"Ms. Giles concluded: '...double standards don't fly in this country. And in America, discrimination based on one person's desire to spread the truth, has never met a quiet end.'"

Double standards DON'T fly in this country.

What does Ms. Giles say about the appropriateness of O'Keefe's latest "escapade"?

Wikipedia (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/James_O'Keefe):

"Attempt to play practical joke on CNN correspondent

"In late September, 2010, CNN published details of O'Keefe's attempt to embarrass CNN and one of their journalists.

"O'Keefe and CNN investigative correspondent Abbie Boudreau held a meeting on August 17, 2010 in Lusby, Maryland to discuss the request by CNN to be on the set of a music video featuring O'Keefe. CNN was doing an investigative report on young conservative activists, which included O'Keefe. Boudrou drove to the agreed meeting place, a house located on a tributary of the Patuxent River, and was met by Izzy Santa, the executive producer of O'Keefe's non-profit organization Project Veritas. Santa got into Boudrou's vehicle and expressed moral reservations about what was planned to occur. She warned Boudreau that O'Keefe was planning to 'punk' her by getting Boudreau to board a nearby boat so that she could be secretly recorded. After Boudreau didn't get on the boat, O'Keefe left the boat and they had a brief exchange, ending with Boudreau canceling the meeting. Santa later sent a number of e-mails to CNN documenting O'Keefe's intent to set up the elaborate hoax involving sex toys and sexual conversation which was intended to embarrass both Boudreau and CNN.

"CNN eventually obtained a 13-page document titled 'CNN Caper' which outlined the details of the hoax. Santa confirmed the document's authenticity with the news organization. Although O'Keefe had attempted to get Boudreau to enter the boat, he later attempted to deny involvement, telling CNN 'That [the "CNN Caper" document] is not my work product. When it was sent to me, I immediately found certain elements highly objectionable and inappropriate, and did not consider them for one minute following it.'

"According to one of the emails released by Santa, O'Keefe was to record a video of the following script before Boudreau arrived:

'My name is James. I work in video activism and journalism. I've been approached by CNN for an interview where I know what their angle is: they want to portray me and my friends as crazies, as non-journalists, as unprofessional and likely as homophobes, racists or bigots of some sort....

'Instead, I've decided to have a little fun. Instead of giving her a serious interview, I'm going to punk CNN. Abbie has been trying to seduce me to use me, in order to spin a lie about me. So, I'm going to seduce her, on camera, to use her for a video. This bubble-headed-bleach-blonde who comes on at five will get a taste of her own medicine, she'll get seduced on camera and you'll get to see the awkwardness and the aftermath.'

"Izzy Santa has since been relieved of her responsibilities at Project Veritas, but is still on their payroll."

Hurray for Izzy Santa for doing the moral thing and blowing her whistle in time! Conservatives should be glad that her sense of common decency triumphed over the Alinskyite temptation.

© Michael Gaynor


The views expressed by RenewAmerica columnists are their own and do not necessarily reflect the position of RenewAmerica or its affiliates.
(See RenewAmerica's publishing standards.)

Click to enlarge

Michael Gaynor

Michael J. Gaynor has been practicing law in New York since 1973. A former partner at Fulton, Duncombe & Rowe and Gaynor & Bass, he is a solo practitioner admitted to practice in New York state and federal courts and an Association of the Bar of the City of New York member... (more)


Receive future articles by Michael Gaynor: Click here

More by this author

June 18, 2024
Who Will Make the Finals and Win the Upcoming Presidential Race?

August 7, 2023
Elections can be 'stolen' in many ways, and the 2020 U.S. presidential election is a 'perfect' example

April 11, 2023
'Politics ain't beanbag,' but investigation and prosecution of Donald Trump by rabid partisans must stop

January 16, 2023
Perhaps learning why the Pearl Harbor attack was a surprise in Hawaii but not in Washington can help us appreciate and learn from other federal government mistakes and move forward wisely

November 4, 2022
Free True the Vote's Catherine Engelbrecht and Gregg Phillips

October 3, 2022
Who Sabotaged the Nord Stream pipelines?

August 13, 2022
Mar-a-Lago raid shows Trump derangement syndrome has fortuitously worsened

July 5, 2022
From the Warren Court to Roberts Court to Thomas Court

May 21, 2022
Speaker Nancy Pelosi has been barred from receiving Holy Communion at last

November 19, 2021
Justice ultimately prevailed in the Kyle Rittenhouse case

More articles


Stephen Stone
HAPPY EASTER: A message to all who love our country and want to help save it

Stephen Stone
The most egregious lies Evan McMullin and the media have told about Sen. Mike Lee

Siena Hoefling
Protect the Children: Update with VIDEO

Stephen Stone
FLASHBACK to 2020: Dems' fake claim that Trump and Utah congressional hopeful Burgess Owens want 'renewed nuclear testing' blows up when examined

Pete Riehm
When the government is lawless, the people turn to an outlaw

Victor Sharpe
The left's lies: A warning for America's very survival

Michael Gaynor
Who Will Make the Finals and Win the Upcoming Presidential Race?

Stephen Stone
‘Teach Your Own’

James Lambert
Illegal alien entry through California border has dramatically increased of late

Rev. Mark H. Creech
‘No other gods before me’: The first commandment’s national significance

Linda Goudsmit
CHAPTER 23: Legalizing pedophilia—The Sorensen Report

Randy Engel
A Documentary: Opus Dei and the Knights of Columbus – The anatomy of a takeover bid, Part IX

Jerry Newcombe
A politically-incorrect prayer

Victor Sharpe
Who truly deserves a state? The Kurds or the Palestinians?

Pete Riehm
Father's Day: When men sing!

Cherie Zaslawsky
RFK Jr.: The silver-tongued spoiler
  More columns


Click for full cartoon
More cartoons


Matt C. Abbott
Chris Adamo
Russ J. Alan
Bonnie Alba
Chuck Baldwin
Kevin J. Banet
J. Matt Barber
Fr. Tom Bartolomeo
. . .
[See more]

Sister sites