You are hereOpEd News: Does Breitbart's Rape Rant Apply to James O'Keefe's Alleged "Barn" Plot?
OpEd News: Does Breitbart's Rape Rant Apply to James O'Keefe's Alleged "Barn" Plot?
-By Gustav Wynn
February 24, 2012- Citing at least a dozen incidents, Andrew Breitbart insists that Occupy members shirked a responsibility to report rapes as they are documented. Breitbart however, has made no effort to report on or comment on an disturbing potential rape plot alleged in a criminal complaint by one of his own bloggers, Nadia Naffe.
Ms. Naffe, a relative unknown, contends she was repeatedly urged to spend the night in a barn as she lost muscle control while drinking with Andrew Breitbart's star reporter, James O'Keefe.
To hear it from Andrew Breitbart, the proportion of alleged assaults at Occupy sites signals a true "culture of rape" where OWS members keep silent to protect the image of the movement. What then of Breitbart's choice not to talk about O'Keefe and the serious sexual harassment allegations within his own camp? Breitbart's silence shows no desire to get to the truth and demand justice.
It seems James O'Keefe, while on probation, either slipped Naffe a "mickey" - or else Naffe is making it up. This is inconvenient for Breitbart, who launched O'Keefe's career with a series of sting videos informing a Congressional vote to defund ACORN which was later ruled unconstitutional.
Breitbart has whitewashed the entire incident, even after Ms. Naffe hauled O'Keefe into a probable cause hearing, filing a criminal complaint of harassment which included her testimony that "[i]t was his intent to persuade me to spend the night in the barn". In court, Naffe hesitated to state plainly O'Keefe drugged her, but eyewitnesses say Naffe describing her mysterious inability to walk under her own power and then passing out left only one possible impression.
According to Naffe, she was asked by O'Keefe to take part in an undercover video targeting OWS. They met at the Newark train station Oct. 2. O'Keefe stopped to purchase alcohol before bringing Naffe to his parent's home in Westwood, NJ.
A dispute arose as Naffe backed out of the video scheme, but she claims O'Keefe refused to drive her to a train station, becoming verbally abusive and "relentless", insisting she crash out in his parent's barn instead. When she threatened to call police, she says O'Keefe and a friend drove her to Penn Station in NYC. This could have violated O'Keefe's reported parole terms - he needs proper permissions to leave the state.
Naffe says her condition had deteriorated until she couldn't manage to get into the car herself - she then passed out completely. After traveling by train from NYC on to Boston where she attends Harvard, Naffe testified her underwear and other items were missing from her luggage. Then, she says she was contacted by O'Keefe with offers of money, followed by harassing messages.
On Nov. 17, Politico reported Naffe was one of several O'Keefe collaborators "in-fighting", noting she said she'd been treated "disrespectfully". The same day, Naffe claims O'Keefe posted a video describing her as "filthy, dirty" and a "tramp", but just as abruptly removed the video.
By Nov. 21, Naffe authored a criminal complaint but in a Westwood Municipal courtroom on Dec. 21, it was dismissed by Judge Alan Karch on a jurisdictional ruling which found there was insufficient evidence to show O'Keefe's alleged harassment originated in Westwood.
It's not known whether the case was dropped because the judge in the sleepy bedroom community was simply lazy - the Westwood Municipal court only holds sessions on the first, third, and fourth Wednesdays of each month at 3:30 p.m.
But this hometown judge also could have been saving money and headaches - O'Keefe has cost jurisdictions around the US hundreds of thousands in investigative and prosecutorial costs and manpower, addressing criminal and civil cases in which O'Keefe has a team of heavyweight DC lawyers helping his defense, from the Center for Individual Rights and the toney law firm Orrick, Herrington & Sutcliffe, LLP with financial support by Richard Mellon Scaife and the Koch brothers' billionaire donor network.
It's not clear what Ms. Naffe's next step may be, but Judge Karch himself suggested she take it to civil court. O'Keefe has previously settled out of court with an associate in exchange for her silence after she alleged O'Keefe planned a "prank" seduction including sex toys, pornography and handcuffs of another attractive female reporter who'd also come over to discuss business. But in this case, O'Keefe seems to have considerable advantages over Naffe - fans on Breitbart's blog tell Naffe supporters to "give it the hell up already".
Breitbart Admits Staging Rant for Attention
Mediaite reports here that Breitbart did admit his unhinged rant calling OWS demonstrators 'rapists' and 'freaks' was a publicity stunt designed to get people talking about the rapes at Occupy sites. When asked why he was deliberately smearing the entire movement as pro-rape, representing it as a central issue, he went coy and intimated it was a tit-for-tat move in revenge for the left calling Tea Party members racists out of proportion -- only a few signs showed Obama with a bone through his nose.
When Cenk Uygur of The Young Turks asked Breitbart to defend his infamous Shirley Sherrod article sensationalizing "black racism", Breitbart notes he included Sherrod's redemptive statements in lesser noticed portions of his article, showing he knows how to intentionally touch off a firestorm, safely burying his CYAs for later justification after garnering maximum attention.
Breitbart has already been called out for selectively exploiting the rape issue, advocating for the alleged victims in the cases of Julian Assange and Democrat David Wu and in OWS but not within his ranks and not much ink in defense of victims of systematic rape and cover-ups in the military, unreported rapes of undocumented immigrants, detainees raped and sexually humiliated in black sites or kids raped by Catholic priests.
Breitbart's call for pro-active steps in discouraging sexual assault will ring hollow until he gets his house in order. If he wants to vouch for O'Keefe, he should do so and weigh in. Or if he feels this should be handled in the appropriate court of law, or through another process, he should say so.
But whitewashing this serious a legal charge between two of his contributors gives James O'Keefe a distinct advantage, implying Naffe's perspective doesn't merit comment and doesn't matter. Breitbart keeps the controversy out of the news in order to protect the image of his operation - exactly what he accuses Occupy of.
Breitbart also wants to preserve the donations from anonymous multimillionaires that fund his propaganda mill. It's one thing for Breitbart to admit he is a publicity-seeking charlatan in the heat of partisan media wars, but if he is protecting someone who could be hurting or drugging people, it's another story.