You are hereThe Brad Blog: Breitbart May be Pulled into ACORN-Related San Diego Lawsuit Against O'Keefe, Giles

The Brad Blog: Breitbart May be Pulled into ACORN-Related San Diego Lawsuit Against O'Keefe, Giles

By FZ - Posted on 02 October 2011

PLUS: Local media outlet reports story accurately!...

-By Brad Friedman

September 30, 2011- The civil trial against Republican propagandist and con-artist Andrew Breitbart's salaried employee James O'Keefe --- a convicted federal criminal as well as propagandist and con-artist in his own right --- continues in San Diego where a former ACORN employee has sued both O'Keefe and his partner Hannah Giles for violations of California's privacy act.

The case arises from the secret video taping by O'Keefe and Giles of then ACORN employee Juan Carlos Vera, as part of the deceptively edited hit videos the pair would later release on Breitbart's several propaganda websites. Vera was terminated after the release of the videos, despite having committed no wrongdoing --- he had even notified local police about the pair, after he suspected they were up to no good --- as confirmed in a detailed report by the California Attorney General last year. O'Keefe and Giles, on the other hand, as the CA AG found, most likely "violated state privacy laws." While they were given criminal immunity by the AG in exchange for the raw, unedited video tapes, they remain liable for civil violations of the that law.

Now it appears Breitbart himself may be pulled into the case, and we're likely to soon learn how much he paid O'Keefe and Giles for their hit tapes.

U.S. Magistrate Judge Mitchell D. Dembin has adjudicated a discovery dispute by ordering both O'Keefe and Giles to disclose payments Breitbart made to them, as well as email communications and other relevant documents concerning the illicit video taping of Vera.

While that is likely to offer an interesting expansion of this story soon (and we'll offer a few more details from the court's ruling below), more than anything what caught our eye in this story for the moment, was the reporting by local journalist Heather Johnson of Courthouse News. She broke the story this week, and managed to actually report accurately on the details of O'Keefe and Giles' ACORN hoax.

On the other hand, the "paper of record" New York Times is still unable to do similarly. Even though we'd already forced a number of other corrections to their repeated misreporting on this, they've still managed to misreport the facts of O'Keefe's ACORN "pimp" hoax as recently as late last June and then again in late July.

So, to offer you (and, actually, the New York Times) an idea of what accurate reporting on O'Keefe --- a man who has, since his ACORN con, also pled guilty to a scheme involving an attempted wire-tap plot of a sitting U.S. Senator --- looks like, just read the first three grafs of Johnson's coverage this week...

Activist and pseudo-journalist James O'Keefe must produce video footage and other communication in a discovery dispute connected to an invasion of privacy suit filed by an employee of the Association of Community Organizations for Reform Now (ACORN), a federal judge ruled.

The lawsuit stems from an attempted video "sting" conducted by O'Keefe, accompanied by defendant Hanna Giles, dressed as a prostitute.

Many media reports characterized O'Keefe as posing as a pimp since he wore "stereotypical 1970s pimp garb" in the opening and closing scenes of certain videos he released, but he wore a shirt and tie in the actual encounters, identifying himself as Giles' concerned boyfriend, according to the California Attorney General's Office.

Now, is that so hard, New York Times??? Apparently so. The rest of Johnson's report is equally accurate. So our thanks to Johnson for bothering to cover the story and to get it right. Particularly, since it seems that virtually nobody else in the media has been willing to do so over the full two years since O'Keefe/Giles/Breitbart's hoax tapes succeeded in shutting down one of the nation's largest, oldest, and most important community organizing groups at the end of a years-long Republican witch-hunt against them due almost solely to their good work in legally registering millions of low- and middle-income (read: Democratic-leaning) voters to participate in their own democracy


Mark Crispin Miller
Progressive Democrats of America