UPDATE, 1/29, 12:46p: James O’Keefe has issued a statement with a great last line: “The public will judge whether reporters who can’t get their facts straight have the credibility to question my integrity as a journalist.”
UPDATE, 1/29, 7:20a: You gotta watch the explosive interview yesterday about James O’Keefe between MSNBC’s clearly biased reporter (as evidenced by his tweets) David Shuster and Big Journalism’s Andrew Breitbart. Breitbart shepherded O’Keefe on the release of his ACORN videos and hired him as well. Also at the link is Breitbart’s post, “How David Shuster lied to get me to appear on MSNBC.” (Video of interview comes at end of post.)
UPDATE, 1/28, 8:20a: Donald Douglas at the American Power blog has more info this morning.
1/27, 9:31p: I was shocked yesterday to read pro-life friend James O’Keefe had been apprehended as part of a ring apparently attempting a wiretap LA Senator Mary Landrieu’s New Orleans office.
The news was so surreal, indicating such stupidity, frankly, I had trouble believing it. I didn’t want to believe it.
And now as the dust begins to settle the 1st version of story appears to have been inaccurate. According to the Washington Post this afternoon…
An earlier Washington Post story incorrectly reported that O’Keefe and his partners were charged with entering the building under false pretenses as part of a plot to bug Landrieu’s phone. They are charged with entering the building under false pretenses to commit a felony, but as part of a plot to tamper with Landrieu’s phone.
O’Keefe et al are still in very serious trouble, having allegedly committed a crime with a maximum penalty of a $250k and 10 years in prison. But the emerging story makes more sense. Again, per WaPo:
Conservative supporters of O’Keefe claim he and 2 others entered Landrieu’s office in an effort to conduct another undercover video sting – to show on video that citizens trying to call the senator’s phones to complain could not get through.
Two of O’Keefe’s partners, prosecutors allege, pretended they were telephone repair workers to get access to the office receptionist’s phone, while O’Keefe was inside the office and using a cellphone to record them trying to call the line.
Opponents of the health-care reform legislation had complained earlier this year that they repeatedly heard busy signals when they tried to call Landrieu’s office to register their views. In the recent incident, prosecutors allege, both of the men impersonating repair technicians, Joseph Basel and Robert Flanagan, tried to call the unused telephone with their cellphones and Basel stated that he could not get through….
From the Wall Street Journal tonight:
Mr. O’Keefe’s father, Jim O’Keefe of Westwood, NJ, said he didn’t know what to make of the situation and was looking for more information. “I believe in him. He’s an honest kid, a good kid, and he’s trying to uncover the facts,” Mr. O’Keefe’s father said.
People who know the accused men describe them as earnest in their convictions and honest in pursuing them. But some suggested that, if the allegations are true, they might have gone too far Monday.
That’s where I’m at on this. I’m still James’ friend and am standing by him unless he is proven not to deserve my support.
UPDATE, 9:58p: Actually, I agree with how Andy Moore put it in a comment: “I’ll stand by him (not necessarily his actions) even if is proven not to deserve my support. We can all slip up from time to time….” Amen.
[Bottom photo via USA Today]