Patterico's Pontifications


Washington Post Interviews James O’Keefe (Updated)

Filed under: Media Bias,Race — DRJ @ 12:50 pm

[Guest post by DRJ]

On the same day the New York Times published an article on James O’Keefe (the maker of and a participant in the ACORN videos), the Washington Post published this interview with O’Keefe that adds more details:

“[Hannah] Giles had not personally met O’Keefe when she called him in May, O’Keefe said. She had written about a video O’Keefe had produced that was aimed at Planned Parenthood, he said. They traded e-mails and messages on Facebook before O’Keefe finally drove south to meet her.

Though O’Keefe described himself as a progressive radical, not a conservative, he said he targeted ACORN for the same reasons that the political right does: its massive voter registration drives that turn out poor African Americans and Latinos against Republicans.

“Politicians are getting elected single-handedly due to this organization,” he said. “No one was holding this organization accountable. No one in the media is putting pressure on them. We wanted to do a stunt and see what we could find.”

However, it seems the race-based details were volunteered by a helpful Washington Post reporter or editor because now the Post has added this correction at the top of the article:

Correction to This Article

This article about the community organizing group ACORN incorrectly said that a conservative journalist targeted the organization for hidden-camera videos partly because its voter-registration drives bring Latinos and African Americans to the polls. Although ACORN registers people mostly from those groups, the maker of the videos, James E. O’Keefe, did not specifically mention them.”

No media bias there.

Bonus point: O’Keefe mentions visiting ACORN’s LA office when they were in California. If there are more ACORN tapes, as rumored, one of them may involve LA.


UPDATE: Even before the correction, Powerline and Mark Steyn were not impressed with the Washington Post’s report. And Andrew Breitbart says he won’t rest until Giles and O’Keefe “receive a grant to continue their partisan artistry from the National Endowment for the Arts.” Heh.

27 Responses to “Washington Post Interviews James O’Keefe (Updated)”

  1. That’s quite a correction.

    Kate (414f9a)

  2. A correction costs money. That’s space not useful for news or advertising. That’s an editor’s time which could be used on something like, say, news.
    There is a cost.
    Is it deducted from the reporter’s pay?
    If not, why not?
    Especially when, instead of getting something wrong by mistake, they made up a slanderous pos out of whole cloth just for effect.

    Richard Aubrey (a9ba34)

  3. I’ve updated the post with some pre-correction thoughts from Powerline, Mark Steyn, and Breitbart.

    DRJ (b008f8)

  4. Now all we have to do is wait for Howie Kurtz to lambaste the WaPo’s disgraceful bias….

    (crickets chirping)

    Dmac (a93b13)

  5. Hey, DRJ, isn’t “Heh” under an instaTM?


    I like the “Heh.”

    Dan S (c77713)

  6. The Leftist meme-of-the-day appears to be that Vega sought advice from a family member who is in law enforcement, which somehow proves this is all an evil racist conspiracy.

    The reporter that inserted that racist pre-correction should be fired.

    JD (f8a65c)

  7. Comment by Dan S — 9/22/2009 @ 1:28 pm

    It (Heh!) might only be TM’ed if it stands alone as its’ own para.
    (close snark)

    AD - RtR/OS! (5b5739)

  8. Fired, JD? Hell, that punk will be promoted to the editorial board at the rate they’re going.

    Dmac (a93b13)

  9. The cowards at the WaPO have now closed comments on the article.

    Dr Carlo Lombardi (663f70)

  10. The reporter that inserted that racist pre-correction should be fired.

    It could have been an editor, “making it better,” as we reporters like to say.

    Brother Bradley J. Fikes, C.O.R. (138141)

  11. I’d been seeing another “O’Keefe said ….” non-quote quote from an AP/San-Francisco Chronicle article used on many blogs to illustrate that he “admits his racist motivation”. I’d even put some time into composing a respectful email to info@ap and the SFChronicle “readers rep” to question if he really said that, but thought I’d better search the sfgate site for a correction before I hit “send. Lo, and Behold: A correction has been issued, but somehow one does not see it if one comes from link to the original article.

    Douglas2 (62fec6)

  12. I subscribed to the Post for a short while when I lived in Northern Virginia. I only subscribed to the weekend editions, and then it was primarily for the coupons and circulars. Unfortunately, I wasn’t able to resist picking up the Opinion section. My wife was glad when we dropped the subscription. There was a whole lot less cussing around the house on Sundays when the paper stopped coming.

    SomeOtherSteve (6ced76)

  13. “The congressional legislation intended to defund ACORN, passed with broad bipartisan support, is written so broadly that it applies to “any organization” that has been charged with breaking federal or state election laws, lobbying disclosure laws, campaign finance laws or filing fraudulent paperwork with any federal or state agency. It also applies to any of the employees, contractors or other folks affiliated with a group charged with any of those things.
    In other words, the bill could plausibly defund the entire military-industrial complex. Whoops.
    Rep. Alan Grayson (D-Fla.) picked up on the legislative overreach and asked the Project on Government Oversight (POGO) to sift through its database to find which contractors might be caught in the ACORN net.
    Lockheed Martin and Northrop Gumman both popped up quickly, with 20 fraud cases between them, and the longer list is a Who’s Who of weapons manufacturers and defense contractors.

    Ahh, they made a booboo

    bored again (d80b5a)

  14. This kind of strikes me as akin to the Judge telling a jury. “disregard what you just heard.”

    It’s one thing to issue a retraction. It’s another to actually get it out of people’s heads once it’s in there…

    Steve B (5eacf6)

  15. On a related note, looks like ACORN’s really serious about cleaning house:

    This man is the vilest scum of the earth, IMHO – not only did he knowingly send three innocent people to jail, he’s never apologized for it…ever. Defund these clowns NOW.

    Dmac (a93b13)

  16. Although ACORN registers people mostly from those groups, the maker of the videos, James E. O’Keefe, did not specifically mention them.

    They still have to slip the knife between the ribs, don’t they?

    O’Keefe not only didn’t “specifically mention them,” he was talking about a completely different aspect of ACORN’s malevolence entirely.

    ACORN tried to present itself during the campaign as a non-partisan organization. Since this story broke they’ve complained about becoming a target because they admittedly promote progressive causes and support Barack Obama’s agenda.

    During the campaign, we were supposed to accept the lie on face value, now that they need the troops to rally around them the mask comes off and they ask their co-conspirators to support them.

    What happens? The co-conspirators at the WaPo rally to the cause and lie about O’Keefe’s motivations. O’Keefe was motivated by the fact that ACORN has never been honestly examined by the media. Much like BHO himself.

    What happens? The WaPo reporters respond by defending the organization and the reasons the liberal press will never, ever honestly examine them. Because they are largely minority, as is our President and thus beyond criticism.

    And anyone who does criticize or even honestly questions them must be racist, the standard defense.

    Hence the non-retraction retraction. O’Keefe didn’t specifically mention those groups, but your betters at the WaPo knows he must be thinking about them.

    They can’t admit that O’Keefe never came close to identifying any racial motivation whatsoever for his sting because they don’t believe it. They themselves are race obsessed as they believe everyone is, but they believe their own prejudices to be the proper ones. If you aren’t rallying to the cause of liberal orthodoxy you’ve failed the racial tolerance test. They reinforce the notion that, based on the nature of ACORN he must be suspected of having such motivation, but studiously avoided mentioning it.

    Their retraction serves as further indictment of the media.

    Steve (ea9f22)

  17. Never let a crisis go to waste. Bertha Lewis is using this to raise funds, with the help of an anonymous benefactor now.

    JD (959071)

  18. On the bright side, the WaPo racist sliming of O’Keefe provided good fodder against YANLJWDTB (Yet Another Lefty Journo Who Denies There’s Bias).

    This is fun . . .

    Brother Bradley J. Fikes, C.O.R. (a320fb)

  19. Brian Haas is a mental midget, Bradley. I seriously wonder how you maintain your sanity dealing with people like that on a routine basis. Brian Haas is the kind of person that would piss on your leg, tell you that he is not pissing on your leg, it is raining, and then claim you are a violent racist warmonger when you punch him in the face for pissing on you.

    JD (959071)

  20. JD,
    Fortunately, I don’t have to work with people like Brian Haas on a routine basis.

    And on Web sites like Romenesko, I don’t let dismissals of media bias go unchallenged. The lefties are not used to other journos calling out left-wing bias, so it discombobulates them. And when I draw attention to their own ideology, it tends to shut them up rather quickly.

    Brother Bradley J. Fikes, C.O.R. (a320fb)

  21. Sorry, wrong link. Here is the correct one.

    I was responding to this guy:

    Define bias
    Posted by Alex Dering 9/23/2009 12:35:29 AM

    “Bias” can be defined in several ways. For instance, it is biased, for instance, to say that all Republicans are only interested in money an… “Bias” can be defined in several ways.

    For instance, it is biased, for instance, to say that all Republicans are only interested in money and power. It’s also biased to say Democrats are all tirelessly working toward the day when all citizens are forced to have “Socialist” branded on our foreheads in three-inch high (sorry, 7.5 centimeter high) letters.

    But it’s also biased to say that gravity exists because there’s a tiny group of wingnuts who insist gravity is an invention of … I don’t know, I guess the people who supply scales for the post office.

    And something like six percent (a Gallup Poll, I believe) think the Moon Landings were faked. Even if you flew them to the moon and showed them the 40-year-old bags of urine, they’d still insist it was all done on a sound stage in Arizona.

    Exactly where does “bias” begin? Is it bias to say the earth is not 6,000 years old? Is it bias to say that evolution — which, like all scientific explanations must be falsifiable through testing — does a better job of explaining the issue of where and how humans arose than a non-testable story that has as its first condition that you are not allowed to question or challenge it?

    So how about we clear up the issue of exactly which definition of bias (or definitions, plural) we’re all toiling under? No vague screamings about how bias is what the liberal press in thrall to its masters the Illuminati performs daily for the Obamassiah.

    Just some plain, rational, calm definitions.

    Brother Bradley J. Fikes, C.O.R. (a320fb)

  22. Brother Bradley – The people like Brian Haas do not realize that they are denying a fundamental and objective truth, much like what they decry in others.

    JD (959071)

  23. JD,
    Brian Haas can be considered a victim, a tool. The real villains are those who pretend to be academics but push political agendas on journalists.

    I left a note on Romenesko about the left-wing history of these so-called academics who lecture the media on how those mean conservatives had it in for wonderful ACORN.

    Expect to see this garbage in the news, without any scrutiny of the authors’ own politics.

    Brother Bradley J. Fikes, C.O.R. (a320fb)

  24. Brother Bradley, I admire your perserverance…but have to side with JD: Haas is a mental midget.

    I thought about stepping into the wading pool over there with you, but since, according to Haas, I can’t read, I thought better of it.

    EW1(SG) (edc268)

  25. EW1(SG),

    Never fear. Supposedly objective journos like Brian Haas and John Law (the one who snarked about “teabaggers” being illiterate) seem to go away after being challenged. And for good reason: they’ve invariably left an Internet trail of posts exposing their left-wing views. Their pretensions to being unbiased can’t survive the scrutiny.

    Brother Bradley J. Fikes, C.O.R. (0ea407)

  26. I forgot about that John Law one. Now that was one piece of … work.

    JD (12ebb1)

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