You are herePolitico: James O’Keefe's plans derailed by infighting, lack of funding
Politico: James O’Keefe's plans derailed by infighting, lack of funding
-By Kenneth P. Vogel
November 17, 2011- After pulling off the brazen hidden camera sting credited with bringing down the liberal organizing group ACORN, James O’Keefe dreamt up an even bolder plan: to build a permanent undercover video operation that would expose institutions of the American left.
But things have not gone according to plan.
O’Keefe’s vision, pieced together from court filings, interviews and tax records filed by his nonprofit Project Veritas, has been hampered by bitter infighting, lack of funding and even his own fame.
And O’Keefe has begun to fight back, preparing lawsuits against two former associates-turned-critics — one who claims O’Keefe had little to do with his biggest post-ACORN exposé, focused on NPR, and another former colleague who says she backed out of a project last month because of O’Keefe’s lack of professionalism.
The mounting turmoil comes as O’Keefe’s recent efforts — including an apparently ongoing media bias exposé called “To Catch a Journalist” and an effort to highlight the hypocrisy of Occupy Wall Street protesters — have mostly fallen flat.
While O’Keefe’s allies staunchly defend his work and accuse the media of minimizing it, some also concede he may need to adapt in order to live up to conservative hopes that he would lead a new wave of potent conservative activist journalism.
“There are a lot of people who want to destroy him, so I’m sympathetic to him and I understand that, like me, he is going to have to figure out how to manage people and how to manage this imperfect environment,” said Internet entrepreneur Andrew Breitbart, an O’Keefe mentor.
“People are drawn to wanting to enter James O’Keefe’s more exciting, aggressive form of journalism. So it doesn’t surprise me that there are behind-the-scenes ego problems between people,” said Breitbart, who posted O’Keefe’s blockbuster ACORN videos and defended them against criticisms of misleading editing. Breitbart attributed the squabbles buffeting O’Keefe to a liberal establishment intent on “exploit[ing] a weakness in his operation or a weakness in one of his presentations.”