You folks do realize that James O'Keefe never actually wore his ridiculous pimp costume into those ACORN offices on those doctored and illegally recorded video tapes, right? But, rather, he was filmed outside of the offices wearing his get-up, while appearing as the conservatively dressed boyfriend of a hooker trying to escape an abusive pimp when the cameras were rolling inside the offices. That's just one of many deceptions O'Keefe carried out.
Although Mr. O'Keefe appeared in all videos dressed as a pimp, in fact, when he appeared at each and every office, he was dressed like a college student - in slacks and a button down shirt.
Since Crazy Andy Breitbart, who released the phony video tapes on his propaganda website, didn't bother to man up and point that out before, during, or after posting them, or while appearing on Fox "News" and elswhere to promote both them and himself, or even after the reports came out, you may not have realized that salient fact.
You may also not have known that while both independent reports, the other one by the Congressional Research Service [PDF], found no criminal wrong doing by ACORN, they did find that O'Keefe likely the broke the law in at least two states by secretly recording the videos which had voice-overs deceptively edited into them later, "in some cases substantially," according to Harshbarger's report, so that it was "difficult to determine the questions to which ACORN employees are responding."
In other words, the videos were a scam perpetrated by both Breitbart and his employee O'Keefe, who now faces felony charges that Breitbart has been tweeting hisadorable angrylittle heart out over the last few days trying desperately to downplay. Who can blame him? Nothing less than whatever little credibility he ever had is on the line after all. No doubt P.T. Barnum faced similar circumstances as he plied his trade to the suckers born every minute. So do actual pimps. Like Andy.
But just imagine the years of outrage and endless repetition of the charges from the Rightwing media and their acolytes --- folks like Crazy Andy --- that would accompany four operatives allied with the Democratic Party, perpetrating a scheme to dress up as phony telephone company employees in order to access and manipulate the phone system in the office of a sitting Republican U.S. Senator.
Of course, it would be the Crime of the Century to the wingnuts, likely led by Breitbart, accompanied by cries of "What did Obama, Pelosi, Reid, ACORN, SEIU and Saul Alinsky know and when they did they know it?!" along with calls for resignations in disgrace because of it.
But when the "Liberal MSM" report on a very serious federal felony offense allegedly committed by four Republicans disguising themselves and attempting to interfere with the the phone system of a sitting Democratic U.S. Senator, well, that's just another example of the outrageously "Liberal MSM," at least according to Breitbart and O'Keefe's latest attempted gambit.
That's the embarrassing meme that the Rightwing propagandist and GOP operative Breitbart is busy Twittering himself to death in hopes of selling, as he desperately tries to reclaim any credibility that he or his GOP "news" outlets might have ever had.
Crazy Andy is angrily and frantically using the tried and true tactics of Republican Reframing Magic® in the wake of the felony arrest of his own employee O'Keefe, the dirty trickster, and junior propagandist-cum-failed-superspy. And given the rubes and dopes in the Not-Liberal-At-All MSM, it's likely they'll fall for it as hard as they fell for Breitbart/O'Keefe's ACORN video scheme. Case in point: The "liberal" New York Times is already running a fawning 2,250-word feature story on Breitbart and his gang of desperados in Sunday's paper. Can you imagine any such coverage of accused Democratic Party criminals like that?! And the GOP outrage that would accompany it if it did?!
But now that Breitbart and O'Keefe, as of Friday, have decided on a cover story (posted in full below), and seem prepared to stick to it and sell it, let's give it a look before it all falls completely apart, as it largely already has, even before I had time to finish this story which I got distracted from after beginning to write it yesterday...
It is my great honor to be part of a Tuesday, Feb 2 press conference to announce the formation of The American Prayer Hour. (Press released posted below.) Why am I doing this? Because the secretive group "The Family" and/or "C-Street" organizations of the far loony Right is the sponsor of the current annual Prayer Breakfast.
This is my chance as a straight, fifty-seven year old practicing Christian, father of three and grandfather of three to step up and show my solidarity with my gay brothers and sisters. It's also a chance to try and begin to restore the reputation of Christianity that has for far too long been violated by the Religious Right.
And since in years past (in the 1970s and 80s) my family and I played such a leading role in the formation of the Religious Right this is the least I can do to try and correct the horrible hate and polarization we (my late father Francis Schaeffer and I) personally helped set in motion...
...[F]rom 8 to 10 PM Eastern tonight, Rachel, Chris Matthews and I will be presenting a two-hour special report on the President's remarks (and answers) to the Republican Retreat (and wow did it live up to that name).
We will be aiming for analysis and perspective for sure, but not to the point of carving this up into little soundbites. We will be running, as they say, "large chunks" and then cutting back to the studio to see which one of our jaws can drop the closest to the floor.
Parenthetically, I always said the actual "Prime Minister's Question Time" on C-SPAN was one of my favorite tv shows but the thought of doing an American version gave me the mental image of all of our politicians running screaming into the streets after the first five minutes of questioning.
Apparently that would all but one of our politicians.
The event this afternoon, where Obama spent an hour and a half taking any and all questions from GOP House Members was, indeed, remarkable. As I tweeted at the time, "Can u imagine Bush ever doing anything like that? Ever?!"
If you missed it, we'll try to get video, or links to it, posted here shortly. Apparently, tweets emptywheel, "so many people want to see Obama's GOP talk that they've crashed CSPAN's servers. Has that ever happened before?"
It was sober, reasonable, helpful and historic and Obama came across as extraordinarily reasonable and Presidential. It was little surprise then that Fox "News," I read, cut away from the historic moment to...do something else.
[Update: Video of all 85 minutes of Obama's "Question Time" is now posted here with transcript, and embedded in full at the end of this article.]
A few clips follow below, courtesy of TPM's excellent coverage, along with an extended segment from their report. In one of the clips, for example, Obama tells the Republicans to portraying the "pretty centrist" health care bill as "some sort of Bolshevik plot"...
After just 37 minutes of deliberation, a jury in Kansas found Scott Roeder, the murderer of Dr. George Tiller guilty on all counts. The 51-year-old airport shuttle driver faces a mandatory life sentence with the possibility of parole in 25 years, though prosecutors have expressed they hope to get a "Hard 50" for him --- meaning he'd not be eligible for parole unless he lived to be 101.
Though during the trial the domestic terrorist Roeder told the court he'd decided as long ago as 1993 to try and kill Tiller, it wasn't until after months of increasing demonization by the rightwing media that Roeder finally found the courage to shoot Tiller in the head during a Sunday church service in Wichita last year.
Before his murder, Tiller, who for years had performed perfectly legal abortion procedures, had been villainized in an ongoing media campaign, led most notably by Bill O'Reilly of Fox "News." O'Reilly, who, despite his own false claims to the contrary had described him on air, time and again, as "Tiller the Baby Killer" and repeatedly told viewers on the most popular program on cable "news" that "This guy will kill your baby for $5,000, any reason. Any reason."
Roeder testified during the trial that he "did what I thought was needed to be done to protect the children. ... If I didn’t do it, the babies were going to die the next day."
Other related statements, for which O'Reilly has never been held accountable, include:
"In the state of Kansas, there is a doctor, George Tiller, who will execute babies for $5,000."
"For $5,000, 'Tiller the Baby Killer' --- as some call him --- will perform a late-term abortion for just about any reason."
"Tiller has killed thousands, thousands of late-term fetuses without explanation."
"No question, Dr. Tiller has blood on his hands."
" 'Tiller the Baby Killer' out in Kansas, acquitted, acquitted today of murdering babies."
"This guy will kill your baby for $5,000, any reason. Any reason."
"If we allow Dr. George Tiller and his acolytes to continue, we can no longer pass judgment on any behavior by anybody."
"If we allow this, America will no longer be a noble nation."
He "destroys fetuses for just about any reason right up until the birth date for $5,000."
He's guilty of "Nazi stuff,"
a moral equivalent to NAMBLA and al-Qaida
"This is the kind of stuff that happened in Mao's China, Hitler's Germany, Stalin's Soviet Union"
"operating a death mill"
"has blood on his hands"
"executing babies about to be born"
...Among many other similar statements.
While legal abortion providers have been forced to further defend themselves against continuing terror threats such as that carried out by Roeder, O'Reilly, who arguably helped foment the rage expressed by the murder of Tiller, remains on Rupert Murdoch's cable channel where he continues to "report" in similarly irresponsible fashion to millions of Americans each night.
VelvetRevolution.us has called on the U.S. Dept. of Justice to take the threat of domestic rightwing terrorism such as Roeder's, and the use of public and government-subsidized broadcast media to help foment it, seriously, via its StopDomesticTerror.com campaign. Please sign on to that campaign in you haven't already. [Disclosure: The BRAD BLOG is a co-founder of VR.]
Matt Drudge's poodle, anti-ACORN propagandist, GOP operative, and deranged wingnut Internet death threatener, Andrew Breitbart, is apparently hoping to become the new Orly Taitz.
Today's insane interview with David Shuster on MSNBC, discussing the felony arrest of his employee/operative James O'Keefe for allegedly attempting to manipulate the telephones of U.S. Senator Mary Landrieu (D-LA) earlier this week, goes a long way towards that goal. Lookin' good, Andy! Keep up the brilliant "journalism"!
Josh Marshall notes about the interview that it was "truly the most unhinged performance I've seen since Shuster made a laughing stock of and pretty much put an end to the fifteen minutes of fame of [Queen of the Obama 'Birthers'] Orly Taitz."
"At some level I admire Breitbart's insistence on turning any question about anything into an attack based on why the federal government hasn't turned itself over entirely to investigating ACORN," Marshall adds, "But this performance was definitely in shark-jumping territory. For the ages."
Indeed. Though despite Crazy Andy's seething rage about a lack of criminal convictions against ACORN, even as two recent independent investigations found no criminal wrong-doing by the pro-voter, pro-American Dream community group in the highly-doctored, and apparently illegally-obtained video tapes that Breitbart and O'Keefe posted for the U.S. media to broadcast widely, he's adamant that the rest of the world needs to retract, um, everything, while his continued, unsubstantiated allegations against, um, everybody else are just fine.
The wingnut that he was concurring with, Hugh Hewitt, was talking about Crazy Andy's employment of the accused felon O'Keefe. But the irony that they'd both just explained why ACORN isn't necessarily responsible for an employee of theirs who defrauds ACORN itself --- who is turned in by ACORN themselves to officials for prosecution --- apparently escaped both geniuses as they panicked to try and save Breitbart's quickly crumbling propaganda empire.
Anyway, here's the video of Shuster with Crazy Andy "jumping the shark" on MSNBC today...
IN TODAY'S AUDIO REPORT: The State of the Union: Obama does not back off the push for clean energy --- but will the Senate listen?; Big new funding for high speed rail ... PLUS: How much will it all cost? ... All that and more in today's Green News Report!
IN 'GREEN NEWS EXTRA': SEC calls for climate risks to be disclosed to investors; Budget freeze turns focus to Big Ag subsidies; California firsts: solar water heater subsidies and first-in-the-nation mandatory 'green' building codes; Ford CEO on the future of green cars; Honda tests Solar Hydrogen Fuel Pump ... PLUS: Even Plants May Not Like a Warmer World....
Info/links on those stories and all the ones we talked about on today's episode follow below...
UPDATE 1/28/10, 1:10pm PT:"Mandation Nation". Just flagging, for posterity, the three most noteworthy sideshow moments, as I had noted eacj in comments last night as they happened, since we now have the video of each, courtesy of Shannyn Moore's compilation (and AKMuckraker's "Mandation Nation"). Palin on Obama's "mandation for health care"; Matthews' racial forgetfullness; and Republican Justice Alito as the new Joe Wilson. All three videos now follow below...
So if ACORN itself is "guilty" for something or other, based on what some of their employees did, what does that make rightwing faux "journalist" and Matt Drudge poodle Andrew Breitbart, who has now admitted that accused felon James O'Keefe worked for him?
After Hewitt asked, "so he is an employee?" Breitbart impossibly demurred: "I'm not sure that's technically the thing, but yes, he's paid for his life rights."
Mmmm-kay. Having trouble seeing the distinction there. Nonetheless, what's clear is that Breitbart pays O'Keefe for his work, whatever the hell that "work" is.
But wait, this gets far more ridiculous as these two knuckleheads proceed to blow away years of their very own propaganda. In further comments, overlooked for the most part by others so far, made by Breitbart and Hewitt in that "interview," they succeed in moving this entire affair from the utterly ridiculous to the laughably absurd...
As the community group ACORN, which is accused of no federal felonies, awaits a decision on the release of federal funds that they were unconstitutionally barred from receiving, according to a federal judge, the man who apparently videotaped some of their employees illegally and then released highly edited and misleading versions of those illegally obtained tapes now faces federal felony charges related to wiretapping a U.S. Senator....
James O'Keefe, the rightwing operative, hero [update: and paid employee of faux journalist Andrew Breitbart] is already being sued and investigated for the illegal secret video taping of employees at ACORN offices in at least two different states. And now, he's been arrested and charged in an apparently botched scheme to bug the office of U.S. Senator Mary Landrieu (D-LA). One of his three cohorts was the son of Louisiana's acting U.S. Attorney Bill Flanagan.
According to the affidavit from FBI Special Agent Steven Rayes today:
On January 25, 2010, individuals entered and attempted to gain entrance to the office and telephone system of United States Senator Mary Landrieu, located in the Hale Boggs Federal Building, Room 1005, 500 Poydras Street, New Orleans, Louisiana 70130 for the purpose of interfering with the office's telephone system. The individuals did so by falsely and fraudulently representing that the [sic] were employees of a telephone company. Witnesses in and around the office identified the individuals as JOSEPH BASEL and ROBERT FLANAGAN. Subsequent investigation determined that JAMES O'KEEFE and STAN DAI aided and abetted FLANAGAN and BASEL in the execution of the plan.
But it's not illegal phone bugging, or even shades of Watergate! It's "journalism", right Mr. Beck? Mr. O'Reilly? Mr. Breitbart?
Reached for comment today, O'Keefe's actual pimp, the wingnut and similarly fake "journalist" Andrew Breitbart --- who recently tweeted out a death threat to The BRAD BLOG --- had, uncharacteristically, little to say. He did, however, go out of his way to try to distance himself from O'Keefe, who he helped make famous, and has long hailed as a hero, by hemming and hawing to TPMmuckracker [emphasis added]: "I need to find information on this. I'm out of the loop on this. I will make my determination then on when to comment."
Update: However, Media Matter reports that Breitbart has previously revealed, on a rightwing radio show, that he pays O'Keefe a "fair salary" for whatever is that O'Keefe does.
While the previous Breitbart/O'Keefe ACORN sting scheme received much publicity from Fox "News" and friends, the highly edited videos apparently revealed no illegalities according to two separate independent reports, other than O'Keefe's apparently illegal secret videotaping. On the other hand, if the Rule of Law still applies in either Louisiana or the U.S. --- even for the son of an Acting U.S. Attorney --- it would appear that O'Keefe, who spent last night in jail and is free on bail today, is likely in big big trouble.
Golly, we hope he doesn't become a convicted felon and lose his right to vote!
The BRAD BLOG has, for years, covered the GOP's continuing attempts to discredit ACORN, for little more than the fact that the community group has registered millions of legal low and middle-income voters to vote across the country. Our coverage of the most recent 2008 push to falsely discredit the group was documented on this special coverage page.
UPDATE 4:43pm PT: Predictably, Twitter is, um, all atwitter with today's news. Some of our favorites so far...
IN TODAY'S AUDIO REPORT: Your weather says cold, but your climate (and NASA) says HOT; Oil, oil, toil and more trouble; Plastic bag taxes --- do they work? ... PLUS: The Big Murkowski: Will Alaska's Senator block the EPA from enforcing the Clean Air Act? ... All that and more in today's Green News Report!
IN 'GREEN NEWS EXTRA': Debating coal with RFK, Jr.; Coal industry: adapt or die; Climate change denier George Will steps in it again; Cancun to host climate talks; Walmar, Dell, et al form Sustainability Consortium; Monsanto monopoly; GMO corn and soy linked to organ failure; Energy Star smacks LG refrigerators; Just don't call it a 'tax' .... PLUS: Smacking down GOP Pollster Frank Luntz's polls....
Info/links on those stories and all the ones we talked about on today's episode follow below...
And what they will never tell you on Fox "News," and probably not even on CNN or MSNBC, etc., is contained in the following three emails sent to Mikey Weinstein of the Nobel Prize-nominated Military Religious Freedom Foundation (MRFF), following an ABC News exposé last week on the bible verses that are encoded on the rifle scopes made by Trijicon, Inc., and used by our military serving in Iraq and Afghanistan.
The first disturbing email below is from a U.S. soldier who happens to be a Caucasian Muslim, horrified by the dangers of having such verse referenced on military equipment used in the Middle East, particularly in the event of capture. The soldier shares an appalling alleged account of his superior officer's description of the weapon as the "the Fire Arm of Jesus Christ." All the better, said the officer according to the soldier, than what they might have received, since "Uncle Sam had seen fit not to give us a 'pussy "Jewzzi" (combination of the word 'Jew' and Israeli made weapon "Uzi").'"
That account is then followed by two very short, anti-Semitic threats sent to Weinstein in regard to the same matter, following ABC's report. Moreover, a senior company executive is said to have described MRFF as "not Christian" to ABC, according to a letter threatening legal action sent to the company by the non-profit organization which counters that it's allied with thousands of Christian troops and organizations.
All three of the email missives are horrifying, though none of them are likely to receive the time of day in the bulk of the cowardly corporate media, where the real cause and effect of the Rightwing's modern day politicized religious agenda is rarely broached in any way, shape, or form...
IN TODAY'S AUDIO REPORT: Scientists' Himalayan glaciers mistake is more fodder for climate change deniers; FDA aims at BPA --- but powerless to do anything about it ... PLUS: Climate legislation, Scott Brown, the GOP's 49-51 majority, the Supreme Court and LOTS and LOTS of corporate money... All that and more in today's Green News Report!
Got comments, tips, love letters, hate mail, billions in corporate campaign cash? Drop us a line at GreenNews@BradBlog.com or right here at the comments link below. All GNRs are always archived at GreenNews.BradBlog.com.
IN 'GREEN NEWS EXTRA': President Obama's environmental report card; Asian Carp DNA found in Lake Michigan; Arctic tundra drying out; DOE hearts algae; The case for distributed renewable energy; Murkowski (R-AK) attacks EPA; "Just don't call it a 'carbon tax'" .... PLUS: Watch this video: Colbert hearts Mountaintop Removal ....
Info/links on those stories and all the ones we talked about on today's episode follow below...