James O’Keefe has given his side of the Abbie Boudreau kerfuffle. Essentially, he says that his plan to “punk” Abbie Boudreau was not what has been represented by CNN.
Given CNN’s history, I’m willing to give O’Keefe the benefit of the doubt. He notes:
CNN has falsely reported on every major investigation we’ve ever been a part of. For example, on September 10, 2009 CNN broadcasted we were “basically thrown out“ of the ACORN offices we visited. We weren’t. When the other tapes were released, it was shown we were not “thrown out” of any offices. (We’re still waiting on their correction.) On June 1st, 2010, CNN falsely reported we “plead guilty following an attempt to tamper.” We didn’t and they issued a correction. Now this.
So I’m not sure I would accept CNN’s version as gospel. Let’s look at the facts.
The written plan for punking Boudreau was really stupid. There is no defending it. However, O’Keefe says he agrees it was far too over the top, and he did not plan to implement it as written. It is beyond dispute that O’Keefe did not author that plan. The document revealed by CNN says it was authored, not by O’Keefe, but by someone named “Ben.”
O’Keefe has disavowed any intent to carry out the plan as written, saying: “I was repulsed by the over-the-top language and symbolism that was suggested in the memo that was sent to me, and never considered that for a moment.” He says: “Ms. Boudreau was never going to be put in the bizarre situations outlined in the document CNN reported. There were no mirrors, sex tapes, blindfolds, fuzzy handcuffs, posters of naked women, or music.”
But according to CNN stories by Boudreau and Scott Zamost, there are e-mails where O’Keefe indicates that he planned to execute the plan. I haven’t seen any such e-mails. Such e-mails may be consistent with O’Keefe’s claim that he was going to do a much milder “punking,” and that he had orally told the other planners he was not on board with the more over-the-top aspects of the written plan.
So is there any proof that O’Keefe is telling the truth? Actually, there is — and in a flashback to the Friedman/Boehlert claims re ACORN, it has to do with how O’Keefe was dressed. The written plan calls for O’Keefe to be dressed like a 1970s sex creep, with gold chains and the like:
So was O’Keefe truly dressed with slicked-back hair, an exposed chest, and gold chains? (I’m tempted to ask: was he dressed like a pimp?) He says he was not — and that Boudreau knows he was not, because she saw him:
The sexually explicit document CNN is now “reporting” on was never going to be implemented as written. She saw how I was dressed that day, with my usual blazer and collared shirt. In the document she reported as being “authentic,” I was supposed to have been dressed with my chest exposed, slicked backed hair, with gold chains. That ought to have been a red flag the document was not a reflection of my true intentions.
Zamost’s story confirms that Boudreau saw O’Keefe that day:
A short time later, O’Keefe emerged from a boat docked behind the house. In that brief conversation, Boudreau told O’Keefe that he did not have permission to record her, and reminded him that the meeting was solely to discuss the upcoming music video shoot, and he had never mentioned that he wanted to tape their meeting.
Boudreau ended the meeting and left.
Notice what that doesn’t say? It doesn’t say that O’Keefe was dressed in gold chains, with an exposed chest and slicked-back hair.
Don’t you think that if he had been dressed that way, she would have said so? After all, that would be corroboration for the claim that O’Keefe intended to execute the plan as written.
What this tells me is that Boudreau knows facts that are inconsistent with the written plan, and is not telling the public about those facts.
Look: this is no defense of O’Keefe’s plan. It sounds like it was not going to be funny at all — even without the over-the-top elements. I think Boudreau feels like she was going to be treated in a sexist manner, as if the work of an attractive journalist couldn’t possibly be anything but a sort of high-class prostitution.
And so, offended as Boudreau is — I would say with some justification — she is probably perfectly content to leave the public with the impression that the completely over-the-top written plan was going to be carried out to the letter. And if she knows facts that are inconsistent with that plan — such as O’Keefe’s dress that day — she probably isn’t going to be eager to divulge those facts.
That’s why I think that she will ignore me or stonewall when I write her to ask how O’Keefe was dressed that day.
I guess the question is whether it’s fair of her to withhold facts that tend to show O’Keefe is telling the truth — just because his plan seems offensive with or without the over-the-top elements.
Me, I say no. One of the main problems with media people is that they manipulate facts to make the story as dramatic as possible. If Boudreau can create a false impression that O’Keefe was planning something far creepier than he was actually planning, it may serve her personal sense of grievance, but it doesn’t serve the truth.
The most difficult time to defend the truth is when it leaves you open to attack by cynical people with an agenda. I know that by pointing out Boudreau’s silence on O’Keefe’s dress, the Boehlerts and Friedmans of the world will accuse me of defending a creepy sex plan to creepily seduce a woman in a creepy creepified sexist way that is creepy. The fact that I have explicitly said I am not defending the plan is their opening to say that I am. That’s how they operate.
Still, the truth is the truth. And liars like them are liars. So there you have it.
P.S. Speaking of the truth, the media is still lying about him:
He first got on the media’s radar in Sept. 2009 through his undercover videos posing as a “pimp” outside ACORN offices (and “boyfriend” inside) — several clips of which ran on Big Government — and earlier this year for tampering with Louisiana Democratic Senator Mary Landrieu’s phone lines.
Uh, no, Michael Calderone. He did not tamper with her phone lines. Correction, please.
UPDATE: Calderone also has a “correction” which reads as follows:
Correction: This article originally stated the O’Keefe posed as a pimp inside ACORN’s offices. That is incorrect. He actually posed as the “prostitute’s” boyfriend when speaking to ACORN staffers inside while wearing an outlandish “pimp” outfit outside in the video clips.
He actually posed as a pimp inside ACORN. You muttonhead.