Sheesh. How hard is this?
Conservative video provocateur James O’Keefe filed a lawsuit on Wednesday against Keith Olbermann, his Countdown guest host David Shuster, and their employer Current TV, for saying he’d been convicted of a felony and accused of rape. It must be infinitely frustrating to Shuster, who actually made the error, that he was close — O’Keefe has pleaded guilty to a misdemeanor “with the intent to commit a felony,” and accused of harassment. But that’s not what Shuster said.*
O’Keefe most certainly did not plead to a misdemeanor “with the intent to commit a felony.” On the contrary, as I have explained many times (most recently here), the U.S. Attorney conceded that there was no evidence that O’Keefe intended to tamper with the phone system or commit any felony. This is from a document signed by the U.S. Attorney:
You’d think, when reporting on a libel suit where the defendant mischaracterized the plaintiff’s criminal record, you wouldn’t want to mischaracterize the plaintiff’s criminal record.
Were I The Atlantic, I would issue a very prompt and gracious apology and retraction. O’Keefe doesn’t really seem to be in the mood to be defamed without consequence these days.
UPDATE: A correction has been issued. H/t Dustin via email.