January 29, 2010

When Activism Becomes Ocean's Ten

Justin Katz

Internet technology and revolutions in communications create a razor's edge between magnificent and dangerous. People are decreasingly held down by a lack of connections or resources, but by the same token, there is less of a vetting process for advancement, and the direct chute to stardom obviates a sense of long, slow investment in one's position.

So, it's disappointing, but not entirely surprising, to learn that one of the kids behind the revelatory ACORN videos appears to have dived too quickly into the movie in his head:

A conservative activist who posed as a pimp to target the community-organizing group ACORN and the son of a federal prosecutor were among four men arrested and accused of trying to tamper with phones at Democratic Sen. Mary Landrieu's office.

Activist James O'Keefe, 25, recorded two of the other suspects with his cell phone as they walked into the office dressed like telephone repairman and said they needed to fix problems with the phone system, according to an FBI affidavit.

The interesting blend of Candid Camera, political activism, and alternative media coalesced into an extremely powerful tool to expose ACORN. Turned toward nakedly partisan espionage, it's offensive and stupid.

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Did these asswipes ever hear of Watergate?They deserve to go to the slam if they're convicted.
besides,what Louisiana politician is still dumb enough to make incriminating comments on the phone?
OTOH,just remember that John Gotti was brought down by Sammy Gravano,a stone killer,not by Mother Teresa.
Acorn's offenses aren't diminished by this.

Posted by: joe bernstein at January 29, 2010 4:08 PM

joe bernstein writes:

"Acorn's offenses aren't diminished by this."

True as that might be in any moral system, it will not be helpful if a witness has to be brought from a jail cell to authenticate the videos. It certainly effects the "credibility" of a witness.

What is truly unfortunate is that Acorn went on so long and no one noticed. It reminds me of the ProJo's shock when Cianci's dealings became public.

It is unfortunate that this has happened. As I understand it, they did not acutally "wiretap" so the penalties will probably be light.

Posted by: Warrington Faust at January 29, 2010 6:35 PM

One definition of an A-hole is someone who spouts strong opinions but doesn't know what he is talking about. I'm going to wait for the facts to be revealed before forming an opinion.

I heard today that O'Keefe will tell his side of the story on Hannity Monday evening.

Posted by: BobN at January 29, 2010 10:08 PM

Who's the A-hole?

Posted by: Justin Katz at January 29, 2010 10:15 PM

Regardless of where you stand on ACORN, this is a classic example of youthful arrogance. Young O'Keefe felt because he had already been lionized in the conservative media, he felt he could do no wrong.
Instead, he's now the Stephen Glass of the right.
It's ironic that his downfall comes pranking Mary Landrieu, whose greed (along with Ben Nelson's) is more responsible for the downfall of the health care bill than any Republican.

Posted by: rhody at January 30, 2010 12:21 AM

Rhody, I didn't know you could read O'Keefe's mind. That's impressive.

Posted by: BobN at January 30, 2010 8:46 AM

Rhody writes:

"Young O'Keefe felt because he had already been lionized in the conservative media, he felt he could do no wrong."

True as this may be, it is a sad commentary on the media in general.

Acorn was getting a lot of the taxpayer's money, it is hard to understand why the MSM ignored the story until coverage was forced on them. The story was a corrupt use of government funding, why is that of interest only to "conservatives"?

Posted by: Warrington Faust at January 30, 2010 12:01 PM
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