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Fox News Sunday Pimps Sleazebag James O’Keefe As “Power Player Of The Week”

Reported by Ellen - March 13, 2011 -

Chalk up James O’Keefe as the latest recipient of Fox News’ Republican Rehab. Just as The O’Reilly Factor, Hannity and On The Record largely ignored the sleazier aspects of O’Keefe’s record - and completely overlooked his history of deceptive video editing - to promote O’Keefe’s latest stings against NPR, Fox News Sunday and host Chris Wallace took the Rehab to a whole new level today by making O’Keefe their “Power Player of the Week.”

In his introduction, Wallace gushed, “Whether you admire or condemn his tactics, there’s no debating that undercover activist James O’Keefe has taken on some big targets with some stunning results. Once again, he’s our Power Player of the Week.”

Wallace went on to report that O’Keefe’s ACORN videos “pushed Congress to cut off federal funding.” Wallace forgot to mention that ACORN was subsequently fully exonerated of any criminal wrongdoing whereas O’Keefe’s videos were found to be deceptively edited and some possibly the result of O’Keefe’s own criminal activity for having recorded people without their permission.

Instead, Wallace went on to say, “Now, he has struck again, masterminding a sting of NPR executives.” Wallace left out a few key details here as well. Once again, he forgot to mention questions about the integrity of O’Keefe’s videos. Questions about the editing have been raised by Slate, Media Matters and even Glenn Beck’s The Blaze. You’d think that might have been worth at least a few words on “We report, you decide” Fox News’ Sunday show.

Wallace continued admiringly, “We wanted to find out what drives the 26-year old O’Keefe… and what we discovered is an outrage with liberal hypocrisy.”

Wallace continued with a run down of O’Keefe’s previous stings. But somehow Wallace never got around to that embarrassing-to-O’Keefe incident in which he reportedly planned to seduce and humiliate CNN reporter Abbie Boudreau. And, as I previously pointed out, there was no discussion of the problems with any of the ACORN videos.

Wallace did bring up O’Keefe’s little federal arrest problem. But, not surprisingly, Wallace left out the original felony charge and reported, “O’Keefe has had problems. Last May, he pleaded guilty to a misdemeanor for posing as a phone repairman to get into Senator Mary Landrieu’s office.” Actually, what O’Keefe was originally charged with was posing as a phone repairman to tamper with her phones, a federal offense. But why bring up such unpleasantness when there’s a guy helping to take down an organization that Wallace’s boss, Roger Ailes, describes as “Nazis?”

Wallace might have put together a legitimate segment if he had fully examined O’Keefe’s disreputable behavior along with his treatment by the media and conservative activists. But that would potentially limit his usefulness to the conservative movement and, apparently, even one of Fox News' presumably “objective” news hosts doesn’t want to go there.

Instead, Wallace ended on this upbeat-for-O’Keefe note: “O’Keefe has also engineered an undercover sting of a public television executive and his groups says it will release that tape this week.”

One thing’s almost certain: Fox News will eagerly embrace it no matter what.

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