Thursday, May 27, 2010

Conservative Activist James O'Keefe Pleads Guilty

From a Campbell Robertson article for The New York Times:
The conservative provocateur James O’Keefe and three other men pleaded guilty in federal court on Wednesday to a misdemeanor in a scheme in which they posed as telephone repairmen in Senator Mary L. Landrieu’s New Orleans office.

Magistrate Daniel Knowles III, who cited the defendants’ potential as investigative journalists though he was critical of this incident, sentenced Mr. O’Keefe, 25, to three years of probation, 100 hours of community service and a $1,500 fine. As Mr. O’Keefe was considered the ringleader, his fellow defendants, Joseph Basel, Stan Dai and Robert Flanagan, were given lesser sentences of two years of probation, 75 hours of community service and $1,500 fines.

On Jan. 25, two of the men entered the office of Ms. Landrieu, a Democrat, pretending to be telephone repairmen, one of them wearing a hidden video camera on his hard hat. Mr. O’Keefe was also in the office pretending to wait for a friend, but secretly recording the interaction, and another man was waiting outside. All four were arrested and eventually charged with entering federal property under false pretenses, a misdemeanor. The charge carries a maximum term of six months in prison and a $5,000 fine.

Mr. O’Keefe has said they were in the office because of reports that Ms. Landrieu’s constituents had trouble reaching her office during the health care debate, though a spokesman for the senator said that her voice mail and that of several other senators were jammed at the time by an unusually high volume of calls.

Mr. O’Keefe, whom the judge described as “extremely talented,” gained fame for secretly recording conversations with workers for Acorn, the community organizing group. In at least one video, Acorn workers advised a conservative activist who was posing as a prostitute how to conceal her criminal activities in the course of trying to buy a house. The heavily edited videos severely damaged Acorn’s reputation.
I am glad to see this piece of scum plead guilty to his crimes, but will he ever admit to his wrongdoings to his conservative backers? I'm sure that O'Keefe will take an Orwellian approach to his plea and subsequently claim vindication, much like his fellow conservative celebrity know-nothing, Sarah Palin.

The only thing that bothers me is that O'Keefe did not get a harsher sentence, and I am interested in why the judge referred to the amateur political activist and filmmaker as "extremely talented." For a judge to make such a statement would give the appearance that the ruling was biased - I will surely be looking into O'Keefe's case for further details, but for now I will settle for his guilty plea. Let us just hope that the media continues to run with this story, putting O'Keefe and his cohorts on the defensive...

Big Government made little mention of the plea, keeping their report short and to the point, but indicated that O'Keefe planned on conducting more undercover operations.
Conservative activist James O’Keefe has told a judge he regretted his attempt to surreptitiously film Sen. Mary Landrieu’s office, but said after the hearing he planned more undercover investigations…
Looks like the court's slap on the wrist didn't really do much to curb this activist's penchant for potentially illegal activities - maybe O'Keefe will pick up a law book before he picks up a video camera again, but I highly doubt it. O'Keefe's brand of investigative journalism involves playing ignorant to the law while simultaneously pretending to be the victim of some vast liberal conspiracy.

No comments:

Post a Comment

Please share your thoughts and experiences in relation to this post. Remember to be respectful in your posting. Comments that that are deemed inappropriate will be deleted.