Patterico's Pontifications

2/28/2012

The Naffe/O’Keefe Incident for Short Attention Span Readers

Filed under: General,Nadia Naffe — Patterico @ 7:41 am

Let’s sum up how Olbermann and Shuster defamed James O’Keefe.

They called him a convicted felon when he’s not.

Olbermann said O’Keefe was on parole when he wasn’t.

Olbermann and Shuster portray the incident as a “rape allegation” (Current site) or an “alleged sex assault plan” (Shuster Twitter) when Naffe never even alleged that what happened that night was harassment, or that she was touched or threatened in any way.

Olbermann and Shuster portray the incident as O’Keefe possibly drugging Naffe and trying to keep her overnight at a barn where he was present, only to drive her away when she threatened to call the police. In fact, Naffe alleged that O’Keefe had threatened not to return to a makeshift office furnished with a bed, bathroom, and kitchen, until Naffe, feeling sick from what she believed was alcohol, threatened to destroy his computers and call the police — whereupon O’Keefe returned with another man and tried to persuade her to stay.

Olbermann said Naffe had discovered items “stolen” from her suitcase when she had said only that, after feeling sick from alcohol, she later found items “missing” from her suitcase (which she could have left behind herself).

Shuster said Nadia Naffe claimed she was paid money “to be silent” when she said only that she had been offered money (which could have been to cover travel expenses).

Shuster claimed a judge had “urged” Naffe to pursue O’Keefe in civil court when he merely had noted that as an alternative option after telling her that he did not find probable cause that O’Keefe’s actions in the barn constituted harassment.

Are you starting to see why Shuster and Olbermann are headed for a big fat lawsuit?

44 Responses to “The Naffe/O’Keefe Incident for Short Attention Span Readers”

  1. Note the coordination in the other thread, this is not merely about Olbermann and Schuster,

    narciso (87e966)

  2. While I don’t agree with what either Shuster or Olbermann did, I don’t see them worrying in the least about getting sued.

    First, they would be represented by corporate counsel so it’s not going to cost them any money. Two, they and their fans would see getting sued as a victory. (a perverse perspective to be sure, but who says their fans are sane?). Three, as O’Keefe doesn’t have the cleanest reputation, it will be hard to claim the slander has cost him much of anything quantifiable, thus eliminating any potential of a big payday, both for O’Keefe and for his attorney.

    steve (369bc6)

  3. Three, as O’Keefe doesn’t have the cleanest reputation

    As a felon, thanks to MSNBC et al. And now as a rapist. He has a bad reputation largely because of his ACORN expose, which some still distort into ‘dishonestly edited video’ when it was actually truthful.

    And yeah, for the Landrieu stunt. But I don’t see how that is even in the same galaxy of reputation as felon rape plotter, so I think O’Keefe’s got a case. I’m no expert, but I do see that something very wrong has happened. These guys wouldn’t be running hog wild with this smear if they didn’t think it made O’Keefe look worse.

    I think steve has a terrific point that some of these folks would take being sued as a victory. They would martyr themselves and *when* they lose the suit, they can lie about what the court ruled, making up some injustice to further drive the suckers.

    Dustin (401f3a)

  4. And you know what? I see convicted mass bombers sue people for defamation for merely saying they were convicted. I see Neal Rauhauser trumper that kind of lawsuit as justified, and call the guy who noted the accurate record of the terrorist a stalker.

    Now he is among those who is supporting Shuster’s lying.

    Why is it that these rules can be twisted to the breaking point to show how it’s OK to lie, and twisted to the opposite breaking point to show that it’s not OK to tell the truth?

    Dustin (401f3a)

  5. True, Current TV, ‘don’t know what that is, better check the cables’ is the likely response, but what’s
    the next step with these weasels

    narciso (87e966)

  6. my feeling is that several monies what had belonged to the Olbermann and the Shuster should now belong to Mr. O’Keefe, cause of how malicious they are

    happyfeet (a55ba0)

  7. what? the lawsuit hasn’t been filed yet?

    milowent (1b563e)

  8. “First, they would be represented by corporate counsel so it’s not going to cost them any money.”

    steve – If they are sued as individuals and Current is left out of it, the wording of their insurance will govern. Their conduct appears so willful, beyond mere negligence, that their carrier may argue it does not have a duty to defend.

    daleyrocks (bf33e9)

  9. Nadia evidently is a Jeb Bush conservative:

    http://biggovernment.com/author/nnaffe/

    Resides in Atlanta area working in Education Management.

    Ahem.

    gary gulrud(MN#6, Anabaptist) (1de2db)

  10. Steven @ 2:

    You have no idea the amount of damage a defamation suit against a media outlet can do. O’Keefe’s lawyers are going to demand massive amounts of discovery with respect to the behind-the-scenes vetting of this story. The are going to want internal communications, emails, TM’s, copy drafts, etc., anything to show that Olby/Shuster and/or their staff knew the allegations they were making were false. They will depose every staffer about the production of the story.

    In the end, it might not be worth a lot of $$ to O’Keefe for a variety of reasons, but it has the potential to cost Olby/Shuster/Current TV an enormous amount of money and energy.

    All O’Keefe needs is a supporter with deep pockets to agree to fund the expenses, and it could be a crippling blow to Olby world.

    shipwreckedcrew (2e6c61)

  11. This is not a rape or planned sexual assault allegation. Olbermann and company are (perhaps deliberately) mischaracterizing it.

    This is an unlawful imprisonment allegation, except that isn’t right either. Legally it probably doesn’t qualify and her real complaint is about what started happening three weeks later.

    On the night of Sunday, October 2, 2011, Nadia Naffe had been driven to the home of O’Keefe’s parents and had no way of getting back home. She had traveled by train to Newark to work on something about Occupy Wall Street that James O’Keefe planend to do. While going on the car to the O’Keefe family home, they picked up some alcohol. Once in the house, they apparently began talking about what O’Keefe planned to do, (and maybe drinking) and she heard more details about what O’Keefe wanted her to do, and she disagreed, and he wouldn’t back down and so she wanted to leave. Only he wouldn’t drive her back, wanting to keep her overnight either in hopes she would change her mind, or because it would interfere with his schedule, or because she was quite drunk by then and maybe thought she was refusing to do what he wanted only because she was drunk.

    And then O’Keefe left.

    When he just left her there (with no way of getting back home) she got very disturbed and annoyed. She called him on his cellphone and texted him but he wouldn’t come back and take her back to the train station. She then threatened to call the police and that didn’t work. Finally she threatened to destroy his computers and so then he did interrupt what he was doing and come back, coming back with another man.

    They argued some more, but finally the two men took her back to the train station. While in the car, she actually passed out from the alcohol.

    When she got home she discovered some things were missing including a wireless mouse and underwear. (which she could have unpacked and forgotten.)

    On Sunday October 23, James O’Keefe contacted her again and tried to give her some money. She complains of harassment at that point so possibly he wanted her to do something. Most likely, if that’s the case, keep silent about something about his methods of investigation. Since she is not saying anything it might be to legally commit herself NEVER to say anything, unless subpoenaed. Perhaps he wanted her to sign a contract not to reveal anything.

    Whatever he wanted, he asked her again later on maybe more than once. She didn’t like that and brought a complaint against him for harassment because he wouldn’t accept a no from her.

    Sammy Finkelman (d22d64)

  12. #10: even if a judge were to allow such discovery, you overplay the impact by describing it as ‘crippling’. So staffers have to go to a deposition? And IT has to produce copies of emails? BFD.

    And while people can do with their money as they wish, there are a lot of better ways of pissing off the left than wasting it backing a lawsuit that isn’t going to amount to much more than a hassle. O’Keefe can get a far better return with more exposes.

    steve (369bc6)

  13. I bet steve’s analysis of Shuster’s view is something like “our audience hates O’Keefe… we can drag out this controversy and get lots of attention and credibility with O’Keefe haters… this is worth whatever the litigation will cost us”.

    And maybe he’s right.

    Dustin (401f3a)

  14. Steve: Have you ever been deposed? Ever been told that you must appear at a date/time certain with every shred of your documents, no matter how personal? Never told exactly how long you may expect to endure seemingly endless questioning? Ever had to spend your own money (or in my case borrow it) to hire your own attorney to protect yourself even if you were not even peripherally involved with the issue? Ever had to explain to your boss why you needed an uncertain amount of time off from work? I went through it about 10 years ago and remember it like it was yesterday. It is one of the most demeaning and frightening things that can happen to a person. I hope you never have to experience it.

    Old Coot (38271e)

  15. I have, goes with the territory.

    Dustin: you nailed it.

    steve (369bc6)

  16. Dustin, liberals need to DESTROY anyone who opposes their Statist goals/mission. O’Keefe and Breitbart THREATENED Olberrwoman and Shitster by daring to suggest a STING on the OBAMA OCCUPOOOOP BOWEL movement.
    The whole OCCUPY FREAK SHOW, was brought to you by ACORN,OBAMA and the GOOOOOONIONS. It was sponsored, set up, funded and glorified in the MSM. To paraphrase Bernard Goldberg.
    CLOWNS DON’T KNOW THEIR GOOFY.
    Olberdouche and Shitstain, do not know their nuts. They think everyone else is.

    [note: released from moderation. –Stashiu]

    Gus (36e9a7)

  17. steve – There could be a divergence of interests here if Current TV is named. Seems like Olbermann and Shuster clearly clearly screwed up. As Current TV I would not want to drag anything out and be on the hook for bigger bucks. As individuals, Shuster and Olbermann may let their egos get in the way.

    daleyrocks (bf33e9)

  18. “O’Keefe can get a far better return with more exposes.”

    – steve

    Which is what it’s all about anyway: O’Keefe’s returns.

    Leviticus (870be5)

  19. Patterico, you make an interesting case, but don’t you think O’Keefe tries to lie low? At some point, he’ll have to consider putting his face on the major TV news, but these days, he’s still a stealthy figure. I’d guess he won’t pursue a defamation suit, at least not right away.

    Just Some Guy (36b595)

  20. As I read here, Patterico is having direct discussions with O’Keefe–I would guess that he has a good idea of O’Keefe’s current thinking.

    Personally, I would be hard pressed to avoid running a civil action against some of my top “enemies”. As far as I know, there is no 5th amendment against self-incrimination for civil cases.

    O’Keefe will have any piece of paper/digital record that even tangentially mentions the names of anyone involved from the news organization(s) and the several people involved.

    I would guess that O’Keefe probably has direct communications from times past (before this current set of blatherings) where he has clarified that there was no Felony conviction for O’Keefe (if not direct on air recordings of reporters involved report that fact).

    Add that these folks also (apparently) have direct access to the woman and her court documents–To double down on slander/liable will probably make it easier for O’Keefe to start the deposition ball rolling.

    At this point, the only downside for O’Keefe is that civil depositions are a two-way street. He will have to undergo the rectal exam by their lawyers too (does O’Keefe have some right to limit “fishing” expositions outside of his action?).

    -Bill

    BfC (2ebea6)

  21. (does O’Keefe have some right to limit “fishing” expositions outside of his action?).

    DRJ and perhaps nk noted recently that in defamation cases, the reputation of the plaintiff is also on trial to show how badly damaged they were, and that means this aspect would be ugly.

    Dustin (401f3a)

  22. I just love the equivocating. After they get proven wrong wrong and wrong again on the occurapes, instead of even lying and saying, “gosh, we seriously had no idea!” they go full retard and MAKE UP a rape allegation that breitbart supposedly covered up.

    One hand, denying that dozens of women and at least one deaf guy were raped. Other hand? Not commenting on a harassment charge that isn’t relevant to anything.

    See? The right covers up rape, too! Now it’s justified if we ignore it. Or lie about it. Or cover it up, and then lie about it, and hope everyone else ignores it.

    Ghost (525593)

  23. Ghost, Shitser and Olderwoman are protecting the STATIST AGENDA. The OCCUPOOOOP movement was created to sew a MEME that CORPORATIONS ARE BAD, WELFARE IS GOOD. The OCCUPOOOOOP movement was loosely organized by GOOONIONS, ACORN and other Obamatard accolytes. OLDERWOMAN and SHITSTER are just trying to protect their DEAR LEADER and his SOCIALIST agenda.

    Gus (36e9a7)

  24. This story makes me think of modes in music. All you are doing is playing the major scale (do re mi)but your ear hears the note in the background and it changes the whole thing.

    Noodles (3681c4)

  25. In possibly Weinergate related news:

    http://www.nytimes.com/2012/02/29/nyregion/lius-campaign-treasurer-arrested-on-fraud-charges.html?_r=1&hp

    The campaign treasurer for City Comptroller John C. Liu was arrested on Tuesday as a part of a widening investigation into Mr. Liu’s fund-raising practices.

    The treasurer, Jia Hou, faces charges of fraud and obstruction of justice for what federal prosecutors say was her role in funneling illegal campaign money to Mr. Liu by using straw, or phony, donors…

    Meanwhile Weiner’s old district may survive. The
    Republicans in the State Senate want to preserve it and the speaker of teh Assembly, Sheldon Silver, considers it a Democratic district

    Redistricting has just been thrown into the hands of a judge. A special primary for Conmgressional Districts has already been scheduled for June (because they can’t hold it in September, as ballots for military persoinnel won’t be able to be printed in time – the federal law however only covers federal offices so we can hold another election in Sept. The politicians in the state lkegislatgure don’t want a primary election in June and many don’t want to put it before Labor Day.

    Now the special election to succeed resigned crooked State Sen Carl Kruger will be on March 20, and the presidential primary in April. Five elections in all here, this year when you add the November election.)

    What really held up redistricting was Rangel’s district. This was a dispute among Democrats. A bill couldn’t even pass the New York Stgate Assembly. Assembly Speaker Sheldon Silver believes a judge will pay special regard to whatever the legislature draws up. Or even a one house bill. So he wasn’t even interested in passing a bill since Gov Cuomo threatened to veto it. But the Democrats in the Assembly couldn’t agree among themselves.

    You see, every census the size of CDs gets bigger. Rangel’s district is now, in its current lines, barely 25% black. It was about about 45% in 2010. It goes down to about 88 St on the upper west side. There a now a lot of Hispanics, also whites. Blacks leaving because of higher rents and whites coming in. It’s the great bane of urban black politicians: Gentrification. If things get bad and people vote with their feet the lines are just expanded to help them because of the 1982 amendments to the voting Rights Act but if things get better and other people vote with their feet and move in, they could be in real trouble.

    This isn’t really voting rights and is a distiortiuon of the principle, although it is true that Congress actually has the power to pass laws about redistricting for congressional districts. But the whole thing is double talk. It’s not even an out and out law about redistricting which woiuld be clear and could be amended.

    Now, even without the Voting Rights Act amendments, they’d probably want to preserve Rangel’s district. It’s about the second oldest hostorically black district. The plan was to expand it into the Bronx and Westchester but the couunty leaders there wanted a rule that if it became necessary to replace a nominee in a general election (if Rangel quit or retired or resigned or his life ended) all three would have to agree. Many incumbents actually get picked without primaries in special elections.

    They accused Manhattan of colonizing the Bronx and Westchester. Well, they did that already here in 1992.

    Manhattan is now really entitled to just about 2 districts aas of the 2010 Census. It has 3 and a fraction. I mean it slops over – population has to be equal – but it has got three incumbents based there.

    My district is about 60% in Brooklyn I think. A good portion of the district was joined to the west side of Manhattan and some of other portions carved out to create an “Hispanic” district. The districts are very thin. If you don’t have a map -hard to get and available mainly from the league of Women Voters and then hard to read the boundaries – you won’t know what distyrict you are in. You can take a walk of less than a mile and pass through 5 CDs not far from here.

    Solarz decided to run in the Hispanic district claiming in part as sort of an excuse that since he was a Sephardic Jew he could claim to be Hispanic. This didn’t help anything – but then that was just to save face among liberals. Then, just before the primary, Congressman Ted Weiss died. The district leaders had to pick a new congressional candidate. But since first a candidate for the remainder of the term from November to January 3 1993 had to be picked, it was only the people from the old district (the district leaders) that picked, it even though the new district was 60% in Brooklyn. They picked Jerrold Nadler, who did have some roots in Brooklyn, in Bensonhurst. And inasmuch as he was the candidate for the old district he was also picked as the candidate for the new district.

    The district wasn’t much changed after the 2000 Census so for all these years, a good portion of Brooklyn has had a Congressman from the Upper West side of Mnhattan who gets no primary challenges except the occasional super liberal. And Brooklyn is a majority of the population of the district.

    Now the Assembly may pass a bill. Without any bill at all, the judge’s special master may really scramble the districts. And petitioning starts March 20. This delay was probably intentional on the part of Sheldon Silver. It’s a hardship to change the lines too much with so little notice so maybe the judge will keep most of the lines he draws.

    Sammy Finkelman (d22d64)

  26. Olbermann? Is he still around?

    I thought he shuffled off to Nonentity TV…

    mojo (8096f2)

  27. Gus, when I first read that, I thought you were lumping me in with those two assclowns (Ghost, Shuster, and Olderwoman). Then I realized that you were just addressing me. I was about to go off. Ha!

    Yeah they’re circling the wagons something awful right now. I never thought I’d see the day where ardent feminists denied rape.

    Ghost (525593)

  28. What Ghost said at 22…yep. That’s exactly right.

    Lee Stranahan (708cc3)

  29. Olbermann? Is he still around?

    — Considering his current level of girth?
    Yeah, he’s still a-round.

    Icy (cfcee1)

  30. I would like to see people who are willfully dishonest in public discourse be held accountable. But that seems much easier said than done. Good night.

    MD in Philly (3d3f72)

  31. The first (re felon status) is textbook; the second (re on parole) is almost as solid.

    The third is plausible, but begins to get out of the realm of unequivocal cold facts that are established as a matter of public record. And all the rest quickly get into factual pissing matches and arguments about what’s fact versus what’s opinion. I wouldn’t recommend that O’Keefe sue for defamation over anything but the “felon” and “on parole” arguments.

    Beldar (bdfdef)

  32. Remember, it’s not enough for O’Keefe merely to prove that his potential defendants were negligent in making false statements about O’Keefe that injured his reputation. O’Keefe is a public figure, and his potential defendants are all media defendants. He’s going to have to meet the NYT v. Sullivan “actual malice” standard separately for each allegation.

    I think he can meet it on the “felon” and “parole” defamations because those are traditional, indeed textbook, examples of the kind of objective, factual statement that can be subjected to independent verification. It’s so easy to confirm those particular matters definitively that getting them wrong is almost always never justified, and almost always at least reckless. And there is probably evidence specific to Shuster and certainly to Olbermann which will tend to show that before they made the defamatory statements, they had actual, subjective knowledge that only misdemeanors were involved in O’Keefe’s plea and that no “parole” was involved.

    But everything else gets rapidly into “I saids” and “she saids.” Maybe O’Keefe can end up winning all those pissing matches when it’s all picked apart with tweezers and put under a microscope through talented cross-examination. But under no scenario are these other factual matters as straight-forward — and therefore as inexecusable to screw up — as the “felon” and “parole” assertions.

    The obvious strategy is to leave aside the complicated, difficult, messy, credibility-based issues and focus with vigor on the crystal clear ones.

    If he choose to sue even just on his strong claims, however, O’Keefe may still be forced to deal with all this stuff about Naffe if the defense brings it up and the court agrees that it’s relevant to the question of other publicity that might have previously or concurrently affected O’Keefe’s representation. But getting into arguments over this Naffe stuff is a rabbit-trail for O’Keefe, not something he wants to encourage and instead something he may have to put up with as a distraction. It’s fine to argue on the blogs and in the public arena that Shuster and Olbermann are douche-bags for their misstatements and distortions about Naffe, but in my opinion it would be a strategic disaster for O’Keefe to try to build a court case on it.

    Beldar (bdfdef)

  33. I tend to agree — but I do think the clear misrepresentation of her allegations is consistent, one-sided, and so sloppy as to arguably rise to actual malice.

    But it’s way messier. I suspect O’Keefe will stick to the easy stuff. As Beldar suggests, he probably should.

    Patterico (feda6b)

  34. The third is plausible, but begins to get out of the realm of unequivocal cold facts that are established as a matter of public record.

    Yeah . . . but no matter how you slice and dice it, it’s not a “rape allegation.”

    I’d be tempted to include that particular phrase in my complaint were I O’Keefe. It might be a dangerous temptation, though.

    Patterico (feda6b)

  35. It’s the defendants’ briar patch. It’s where they’d rather play, and it’s where they could make the lawsuit prohibitively expensive and resource-devouring.

    Beldar (bdfdef)

  36. And it’s easy to prove Shuster has malice for O’Keefe. It showed itself in ‘Watergate Jr’ and from that Shuster got fired which would make him angrier.

    The only problem is the publication trail… from what I can sell, the misinformation actually started with Chris Harris, found it’s way to Gawker, and then to Shuster et al.

    By the time it reached Shuster, the story was already distorted. Frankly

    Auntie Fraud (2f38aa)

  37. This may already have been quoted, but here’s a blurb from the Politico article she mentions in her complaint:

    Another activist, Nadia Naffe, who worked with O’Keefe on the “To Catch a Journalist” project, backed out last month, before the project was completed, alleging in an email to O’Keefe and the Project Veritas board that O’Keefe treated her disrespectfully.

    In response, O’Keefe’s attorney, Ben Light, fired off a letter accusing her of “working with others to smear my client’s reputation” and threatening a lawsuit. Light said he was also preparing a lawsuit against Templar for breaching a confidentiality agreement.

    Read more: http://www.politico.com/news/stories/1111/68628_Page2.html#ixzz1nkZhKw2j

    That seems to be quite true, at least now.

    MayBee (081489)

  38. https://twitter.com/#!/DavidShuster/status/174745146213150720

    Shuster apologizes for the felon comment

    Auntie Fraud (2f38aa)

  39. He should totally sue Current, as well. This appears on their site:

    D.C. correspondent David Shuster calls right-wing blogger Andrew Breitbart a hypocrite for his silence on the subject of the rape allegation facing his conservative activist protégé James O’Keefe, even as Breitbart accuses Occupy protestors of failing to report rape. Shuster characterizes Breitbart as a “frequently unstable, publicity-seeking hack” and implores him to “get some psychological help.”

    And the comments happened on their channel, and remain on the web site.

    sarainitaly (6fd66f)

  40. sarainitaly,

    I agree, and I think I made that exact point in my long post about the transcripts.

    I’m feeling good about Shuster and Olby’s chances of being sued. If O’Keefe is smart he’ll include Current in the suit as well.

    Patterico (feda6b)

  41. What’s smart about a lawsuit?

    nk (dec503)

  42. Update: Shuster just tweeted this message:

    Correction; when reporting on James Okeefe’s arrest, I misspoke and said OKeefe is a convicted felon. He’s not. I apologize for the error.

    Sounds like someone wised up and decided to try to ward off being served.

    WaynesterAtl (b65341)

  43. What’s smart about a lawsuit?

    Comment by nk —

    At the very least, O’Keefe warning people not to lie shamelessly about him will carry weight.

    Dustin (401f3a)


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