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The Secret Koch Brothers Tapes...


Decries 'inaccurate, misleading, unfair' coverage; Confirms no evidence of rightwing activist dressed as pimp in their offices
Seeks meeting with Times Public Editor after BRAD BLOG report...
By Brad Friedman on 2/10/2010 8:10pm PT  

"We have asked the Times and numerous outlets to correct their misstatements and implored numerous journalists to report on the discrepancies between the impression left by the edited tapes and the transcripts posted by the filmmakers themselves. And yes, we will ask again," wrote ACORN's Communication Director Kevin Whelan in response to my query seeking comment on our late Monday exclusive detailing the bizarre emailed comments from the New York Times Senior Editor for Standards, Greg Brock.

In those emails, which we published in full, Brock explained why his paper is standing by what appear to be multiple incidents of inexcusably erroneous reporting concerning the oft-repeated apparent-fiction that rightwing activist James O'Keefe posed, or dressed, as a pimp in his now-infamous, highly-edited, secretly-taped ACORN hit videos.

"The email chain you posted with Mr. Brock was troubling and disturbing," Whelan wrote. "We will be asking to meet with the Times Public Editor about the whole matter."...

--- Click here for REST OF STORY!... ---

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By Brad Friedman on 2/10/2010 11:55am PT  

Some folks have been ringing in on my exclusive yesterday on the embarrassing emails from Greg Brock, the NYTimes' Senior Editor of Standards, explaining why the once-great "paper of record" stands behind its gross misreporting on rightwing operative and accused federal felon, James O'Keefe as having "posed" as a pimp inside ACORN offices when he secretly made his highly-edited and apparently illegally-recorded hit videos --- since all public evidence shows that he was never dressed as a pimp in those offices!

I expect to have an official statement from ACORN soon on the Times' disastrous reporting of this key and oft-repeated element of O'Keefe's scam, as well as on Brock's extraordinary excuses for it (quickly summarized below).

[Update: ACORN's statement is now covered here...]

Until then, please see Marcy Wheeler of Emptywheel's quick take on the story: "NYT Thinks TeaBugger James O'Keefe Entitled to Own Set of Facts," as well as Eric Boehlert's over at Media Matters: "I'm not sure 'standards' means what the NYT thinks it does"

Also, I appeared on the Randi Rhodes Show yesterday (Randi was snowed in, so Nicole Sandler of Radio or Not was guest-hosting) to discuss this mind-blowing matter. You can download the interview here [MP3], or listen online (appx 15 mins) here:

For those who didn't get the time to read yesterday's lengthy, detailed story, which includes the amazing, complete email thread with the Times' veteran Senior Editor of Standards(!) who, in 2007, after working for the paper since 1995, identified himself as the "senior editor who oversees corrections," here's my best attempt at the very quickest of summaries of those remarkable emails...

--- Click here for REST OF STORY!... ---

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Times Sr. Editor for Standards cites Fox News, accused felon as sources for paper's ACORN report; refuses to back up additional claims made in contradiction of former state Attorney General
'No comment,' assertions of privacy, bizarre obfuscation, backtracking offered when asked by The BRAD BLOG to share alleged evidence...
By Brad Friedman on 2/8/2010 6:59pm PT  

"There is nothing for us to correct ... We stand by our reporting." That was the innocuous enough position from Greg Brock, New York Times "Senior Editor/Standards," in reply to a Letter to the Editor sent to the Times by a reader of The BRAD BLOG requesting a correction to recent reportage from the "paper of record" concerning rightwing activist James O'Keefe, on the heels of his federal felony arrest late last month. O'Keefe was arrested in New Orleans as an alleged ringleader in a conspiracy with three others, attempting to gain access, for reasons still unknown, to the phone system of Louisiana's Democratic U.S. Senator Mary Landrieu.

Incredibly, Brock originally cited claims by Fox News and O'Keefe himself as sources for why the New York Times stood by their apparently unverified and apparently incorrect report. "We believe him," Brock wrote, because he said as much on Fox News, apparently.

But the matter went from the absurd to the ridiculous in fairly short order, as Brock then seemed to contradict himself by claiming their source wasn't actually Fox or O'Keefe, but that the Times stood by their reporting because of a mysterious, unpublished video said to back up the claim, along with testimony from ACORN employees.

Though both the video and statements from ACORN employees were cited as evidence their story was right, Brock would refuse to share evidence for either of the claims. That, even after an independent report from the former Attorney General of Massachusetts --- released in early December, but never mentioned in the Times' recent report (or any report at the paper to my knowledge) --- directly contradicts their reportage....

--- Click here for REST OF STORY!... ---

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By Brad Friedman on 2/5/2010 11:06am PT  


Rep. Barney Frank (D-MA), in the video at right, describes on the floor of the U.S. House this week what anyone paying attention already knows: how the "Rightwing Echo Chamber" works. He describes a completely false charge by Wall Street Journal's professional liar and GOP operative, John Fund, last November alleging --- with no basis whatsoever --- that Rep. Barney Frank (D-VT) and Sen. Chuck Schumer (D-NY) would soon be introducing legislation for "universal voter registration."

Frank says, "It's a lie, it's a myth." But, he says, the "totally fictional allegation by John Fund with no basis whatsoever" was then picked up and reported as fact by the Washington Times, and naturally then repeated over the public's airwaves by Glenn Beck, Rush Limbaugh, and on and on throughout the wingnut echosphere, as hoped. When Frank called Fund on it, he says, in a letter [PDF] and then by phone, Fund admitted he was in error, said he "told a few people" that he was wrong, but hadn't published any actual retraction.

"He's not only a liar, he's a coward," Frank accurately noted in his comments this week on the House floor. And here we had recently thought Fund was out of fresh lies.

But what Frank doesn't note in his comments above, is that the tactic described, as oft used by Fund and so many others on the Right, actually works very, very well...

--- Click here for REST OF STORY!... ---

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...And a few of my own recent media appearances to discuss the ongoing crash and burn of rightwing hit-squad 'journalism'...
By Brad Friedman on 2/4/2010 5:46pm PT  

[See bottom of article for explanation of asterisk in headline]

If you're not on Twitter (you can follow The BRAD BLOG antics here), you probably didn't get to enjoy last night's extraordinary Twitter Tantrum by wingnut propagandist Andrew Breitbart (follow him here) in the wake of terrific coverage by Max Blumenthal yesterday at Salon pulling together the indisputable dots of Breitbart employee/accused felon/fellow wingnut operative James O'Keefe's years-long racist obsessions.

O'Keefe, of course, is the guy who was recently arrested with three other GOP operatives (one, the son of the acting U.S. Attorney) in Louisiana for attempting to commit felonies in Democratic U.S. Senator Mary Landrieu's office, and who did not dress up as a pimp in his secretly taped, heavily-edited and over-dubbed ACORN hit videos, despite continuing false claims to the contrary by Breitbart (and the mainstream media that felt for it --- but more on that part soon.)

A few lowlights from Breitbart's hilarious rant last night were reposted at Sadly No under "Breitbart Twitter Meltdown Enters Fifth Frantic Hour." Yes, Andy actually went on that long, longer in fact, desperate sad tweet after desperate sad tweet, essentially shouting out any racist-like comment he could find by any Democrat as a way to say, I guess, that some Democrats have made racist comments, so he's happy to employ someone whose a real racist. Or something. Who knows?

The entire meltdown was colorfully characterized by @KevinKross: "lonely man, hotel room, curtains drawn, on floor, stained underwear, empty bottles, frantically twittering away on his phone."

But it's Andy's employment and support of O'Keefe which he needs to answer for at this point, as today Blumenthal followed up his article from yesterday with more on O'Keefe's disturbing pattern of racism and race-baiting. At the end he asks Breitbart directly: "Why are you paying and defending a racist?"

Good question. I'm sure he'll answer that one, right after he answers these. Which is to say, um, never. While he has time to attack me incoherently on Twitter, he apparently doesn't have time to answer to those questions which I emailed him directly many days ago...

--- Click here for REST OF STORY!... ---

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By Brad Friedman on 2/2/2010 10:05pm PT  

Seriously, the Republican Party wasn't always this whacked out, crazy and utterly misinformed, were they? Were they?!

The Daily Kos has enlisted the "non-partisan independent pollster Research 2000" to survey "over 2,000 self-identified Republicans." The results of which, I'll have to agree with Kos here, are "nothing short of startling."

Writes Kos: "Ultimately, these results explain why it is impossible for elected Republicans to work with Democrats to improve our country. Their base are conspiracy mongers who don't believe Obama was born in the United States, that he is the second coming of Lenin, and that he is racist against white people."

Just one case in point likely to be of interest to readers of The BRAD BLOG (and there are many others, far more extreme), one in five (21%) of self-identified Republicans believe ACORN stole the 2008 election. Another 55% are "not sure" if they did or not. Still waiting for any one of them to present even a shred of evidence to suggest that even a single vote was cast fraudulently via ACORN in some way, of course. For the record, Obama reportedly won by about 10 million of them nationally. You think we'd have some kind of evidence by now from the "Fox 'News' Voter Fraud Unit."

Also, according to the poll, a majority of Republicans, 53%, believe "Sarah Palin is more qualified to be President than Barack Obama." Sigh...

How many elected Democrats will have to lose their jobs in 2010 and 2012 before they figure out who/what they're dealing with in this once-Grand, now just utterly insane (actually, just successfully and expensively disinformed) Old Party?

Poll "high"lights are here...

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By Brad Friedman on 2/2/2010 3:52pm PT  

It's up to the wingnuts. If they want to keep lying about Obama, then we'll do our best to set the record straight. If they want to bring up legitimate criticism, and there's plenty of it, then we'd likely join them, and we could all have an Obama bashing party together. But they're not that smart.

So as long as the wingnut media --- and thus, virtually the entire corporate media --- insist on using the people's airwaves to lie to the people (eg., Rush Limbaugh continues to repeat every day what a "complete failure" the economic stimulus package has been), I guess we'll just have to keep countering that phony message by posting the truth in order to try to offer some balance to the unending stream of lies from the GOP and their extremely effective mouthpieces across the near-entirety of the corporate media.

Rachel Maddow did the same last week in her lead-up piece to Obama's first State of the Union address, in which she brutally attacked the Administration's call for a partial spending freeze, even as the economy, thanks in no small part to Government investment, struggles to come out of its tailspin.

Before her critique however (which I hope you'll watch in full --- it's embedded below), she also pointed out the salient, indisputable facts of how responsible actions taken by the Obama Administration, whether you liked them or not --- and as opposed by virtually every single Republican in Congress --- have, in fact, with all of their many failings, helped shore up, and even reverse for now, what had been a near-death spiral by the time Obama finally took office.

Here are two charts from her report which highlight that point quite simply, and help to counter the loud, GOP-spun political/partisan nonsense echoed, naturally, by the gullible tea baggers...

[NOTE: Since Maddow's report last week, the GDP figures for the 4th quarter of last year have now been announced and the up trend continues. As her original chart included data only through the 3rd quarter of last year, we've augmented that original chart below to reflect the recently announced 5.7% growth in GDP for the 4th quarter of '09]:

Love him or hate him, or anything in between, recognition of the overall effect of the broad points of Obama's emergency economic policies --- quickly passed at an historic moment of looming disaster --- is due. At least along with any honest appraisal of those policies.

* * *

Maddow's entire report, both praising and critiquing Obama and those policies --- something known as "fairness and balance" --- can be watched below...

--- Click here for REST OF STORY!... ---

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By Brad Friedman on 2/1/2010 5:26pm PT  

AP's investigative unit produces an appropriate criminal investigative report today on the background of the Republican Party operatives --- and there appear to be more than just four --- behind James O'Keefe and Andrew Breitbart's "TeaBugger" operation at U.S. Senator Mary Landrieu's (D-LA) office in Louisiana last week.

Compare and contrast that with the shameful, fawning 2,250 word Sunday New York Times article attempting to turn the accused federal felons into folk heroes.

And, again, as we have in our coverage to date, we'll ask the following simple questions, among others, which everyone should be asking --- loudly:

1) When will GOP operative/propagandist/con-man Andrew Breitbart tell his BigGovernment.com readers and Fox "News" dupes that he's been lying to them, and that his employee James O'Keefe never appeared as a pimp in the offices of ACORN?

2) When will snake-oil salesman Andy release O'Keefe's complete, unedited, illegally-obtained ACORN video tapes publicly?

3) Why hasn't he done so already?

4) Could it be because two independent investigations found they were heavily-edited, likely illegally-obtained, heavily over-dubbed, and showed [PDF] "no evidence that action, illegal or otherwise, was taken by any ACORN employee on behalf of the videographers"?

5) When will "Orly Taitz" Andy share the existence of Marcy "emptywheel" Wheeler's evisceration of his employee O'Keefe's failure of a cover story for the alleged Louisiana "TeaBugger" felonies with his own readers? He claims to be a "journalist" (ironically enough) decrying the "biased" "Liberal Media," who selectively report things, right?

6) Why does GOP operative Andy think his employee O'Keefe should be presumed "innocent until proven guilty" as he's tweeted time and again, when he's shown no such benefit of the doubt for ACORN, ACORN employees, or even Gitmo detainees who may face punishment of death?

7) Why is ACORN itself "guilty," according to Angry Andy, of something or other, based on what he believes their employees did, but faux "journalist" Andrew Breitbart, who admits accused felon O'Keefe is on his payroll, is somehow not "guilty" of anything?

There are, of course, many more such question that the cowardly and professionally-deceptive Mr. Breitbart won't be answering. But I thought it'd be nice to give Andy --- and perhaps the "Liberal MSM" --- a chance to start ignoring the above right away.

P.S. We have sent the above questions to Andy, with a promise to post his answers in full here, if he cares to offer them. Unlike his political hit-man "Big" sites, we have no interest in being unfair to anybody here, and have no fear of sharing all sides of any story.

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Discredited wingnuts lawyer up with high-powered GOP attorneys, downplay crime, go on offensive, blame the 'liberal media'
Latest public explanation for alleged crime quickly shredded...
By Brad Friedman on 1/30/2010 10:19pm PT  

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.

As one of two independent investigations of the incidents which clear ACORN of wrong-doing noted, this one by former MA Attorney General Scott Harshbarger [PDF]:

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 his adorable angry little 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...

--- Click here for REST OF STORY!... ---

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By Brad Friedman on 1/29/2010 1:40pm PT  

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."

O'Reilly also said of Tiller:

  • 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.]

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MSNBC interview 'in shark-jumping territory. For the ages.'...
By Brad Friedman on 1/28/2010 3:11pm PT  

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.

Unfortunately, Shuster didn't ask Andy about the admissions that he'd made on the night of O'Keefe's arrest, when he concurred that "Lots of people work for lots of corporations, and do dumb and sometimes illegal things that are not within the scope of their employment."

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...

--- Click here for REST OF STORY!... ---

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Admissions during 'interview' with fellow wingnut Hugh Hewitt hang the arrest of James O'Keefe around Breitbart's own neck
Derails years of his own propaganda attacks on ACORN...
By Brad Friedman on 1/27/2010 12:56pm PT  

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?

In a rather embarrassing "interview" (really a staged dog and pony show, ostensibly meant to try and help Breitbart out of his apparent jam of being found to have been 'palling around with federal felons') conducted by rightwing propagandist Hugh Hewitt yesterday on the public's airwaves following O'Keefe's arrest in an alleged scheme to tamper with the phones of a U.S. Senator, Breitbart admitted that he "paid a fair salary" to the alleged felon.

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...

--- Click here for REST OF STORY!... ---

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Breitbart's anti-ACORN activist/videographer arrested with U.S. Attorney's son, two others, attempting to bug U.S. Senator's office...
By Brad Friedman on 1/26/2010 2:27pm PT  

[Updated numerous times at bottom of article.]

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...

--- Click here for REST OF STORY!... ---

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Even those who supported Scott Brown overwhelmingly support 'public option'
Evidence counters GOP/media 'conventional wisdom' that Dems must pull even more punches...
By Brad Friedman on 1/20/2010 3:08pm PT  

By way of offering a rather convincing counterpoint to Frank Schaeffer's editorial posted here earlier today, in which he asserted his opinion that Republican Scott Brown's reported win in MA last night for the U.S. Senate seat was the fault of "the ideological purist Left" who undermined Obama and the Democrats, a Research 2000 poll conducted last night after the election, surveying 500 Obama backers who voted in the Senate election and 500 backers who sat it out, would seem to suggest the exact opposite. (Much as almost all of you did in comments)...

--- Click here for REST OF STORY!... ---

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By Brad Friedman on 1/20/2010 11:51am PT  

Via Eric Boehlert...

EricBoehlert RT @peterdaou LOL RT @thegarance Village Voice: "Scott Brown Wins Mass. Race, Giving GOP 41-59 Majority in the Senate" (via David Kurtz)
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