James O’Keefe is back with a new suspiciously-edited video designed to do for Lifeline phone recipients what he did for ACORN: i.e. tarnish the entire program with a few questionable smears. By the time ACORN was absolved of wrongdoing, it was too late. In the interim, O’Keefe has wracked up quite a record of ill-repute, including a $100,000 payment to a former ACORN worker smeared in one of O’Keefe’s “sting” videos, an arrest record and a planned sexual “prank” against a female CNN reporter. Oh, yeah, and a Power Player of the Week recognition by Fox News. But most of that was not mentioned on The O’Reilly Factor last night as O’Keefe was welcomed as a credible documentarian with a credible exposé of the Lifeline program.
Here’s how I summed up O’Keefe last year when a woman named Nadia Naffe came forward to accuse O’Keefe of harassment:
He’s already been arrested when he was caught trying to improperly gain access to Senator Mary Landrieu’s telephones. He was caught trying to seduce and humiliate then-CNN reporter Abbie Boudreau. He was punked to accept crackpipe money and in an effort to uncover voter fraud, he likely committed it himself. Now Mediaite is reporting that a woman named Nadia Naffe has started a series of blog posts about O’Keefe called, “My Time as an Accomplice to Convicted Criminal James O’keefe.” Naffe previously filed a criminal harassment complaint against O’Keefe (dismissed on jurisdictional grounds). Her latest accusations echo the Boudreau incident.
But what’s not to like if you’re Fox News and O’Keefe has a new video that portrays Lifeline phone recipients as greedy, welfare cons?
Media Matters notes:
The Lifeline phone program, which according to the Federal Communications Commission “provides discounts on monthly telephone service for eligible low-income consumers to help ensure they have the opportunities and security that telephone service affords, including being able to connect to jobs, family, and 911 services,” has existed for decades and was expanded to include cell phones during the Bush administration. Conservatives have criticized the program repeatedly, which they have called the “Obama phone” for years.
O’Keefe’s video, which coincides with the launch of his self-congratulatory book, purports to show O’Keefe’s actors receiving free cell phones after telling employees of a wireless phone company that they plan to sell the phones to pay for drugs, other purchases, or bills. The edited video includes a narration by O’Keefe asking if the employees would tell his actors “to sell the phones and break the law.”
The raw footage that O’Keefe also released doesn’t show any of the featured employees telling the actors to sell their free phones, despite the actors repeatedly saying that they intend to do so and asking about their resale value. As New York magazine’s Jonathan Chait explained, the employees only acknowledged that personal property, in the form of these cell phones, can be sold by their owners to buy other things. The raw footage also shows that none of the actors actually received a free phone—only information about how they could apply for a free phone and the eligibility requirements to receive one, with the actors walking away saying they’d bring their documentation later.
Bill O’Reilly, who acts as though every welfare dollar comes directly out of his pocket and straight into the undeserving coffer of some slacking welfare queen, treated O’Keefe as a serious journalist from the get-go. In his introduction, he called O’Keefe’s Project Veritas a “whistleblower group.” Later, he said “O’Keefe is “absolutely on target” with his video. His only real beef with O’Keefe’s previous record seems to be his failure to contest the Landrieu phone charges. He did not question the validity of O’Keefe’s video, though there was every reason to. By the way, this was not the first time “no spin, looking out for the folks” O’Reilly has overlooked O’Keefe’s shady history.
Later last night, Sean Hannity also hosted a discussion about O’Keefe’s latest videos and also gave him the cred he didn’t deserve. Juan Williams did a terrific job of defending the program and pointing out that the videos do nothing to discredit it as a whole. However, not even Williams pointed out O’Keefe’s sleazy record.
Taken together, the two segments very much suggest that the rehabbing of James O’Keefe is a Fox News effort that goes beyond any individual on-air personality.
3/19/19 update: The Mediaite video is no longer available.
Conservative activist James O’Keefe will pay $100,000 to settle a lawsuit filed by a former employee of the group ACORN, according to court records in San Diego.
As part of the settlement, O’Keefe says he “regrets any pain” suffered by Juan Carlos Vera, who was interviewed by O’Keefe and an associate in ACORN’s office in National City, Calif., near the U.S.-Mexico border, on Aug. 18, 2009.
Rest of the article here:
I know, I know. Facts are NOT important to O’Reilly or the rest of the idiots at FoxNoise.
Maybe FoxNoise should change its motto to “The only time we care about the facts is when the machine isn’t working.” (For those who don’t quite get it read “facts” as “fax.”) Or, perhaps, “FoxNews: We don’t let the facts get in our way. If we don’t like them, we make up our own.”
In the results, Gosnell is cited as a modern day back alley in the headlines. In the articles, he’s cited as a monster, a reckless opportunist, a killer, and “the face of the case anti-choice is trying to present.”
Yeah, they really support him there, “Matt.”
Oh, do you mean the part where they condemn Fox News for saying he represents all abortion, when in reality, he represents something like 0.1%? Because that’s not supporting him, either.
James O’Keefe, however… is supported by almost everyone at Fox News, and his claims are still peddled by 80% of the conservative media outside of the network. So I think there’s a better case that he speaks for conservative media than there is that Gosnell is the face of abortion- Or that MSNBC supports what he did, past being skeptical that it was real, and not just more pro-life slander initially.
Yes, some of those articles do admit that was what they thought at first. If you had actually read them, you’d know that. Later.
Edited by moderator.
It’s me, Mad Dog, the guy who will get countless different email addies and identities to keep commenting on News Hounds, my favorite site!
(edited by moderator for clairty)