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Politoco: James O’Keefe abandoned by powerful conservatives
October 4, 2010- Heralded last year as epitomizing a new form of “activist” journalism, James O’Keefe now finds himself abandoned by some of the powerful conservatives who championed him. And a multi-million dollar effort designed to offset what many conservatives regard as the leftward tilt of the mainstream media has been undermined by a series of increasingly bizarre incidents.
“Just because conservatives have what I believe is a well-grounded beef with the establishment press, doesn’t mean that they don’t have to abide by rules themselves,” Brent Bozell, founder of the Media Research Center, told POLITICO. “I have been telling my fellow conservatives that if we are going to accuse liberals of not following rules of journalistic ethics, then by God, we better follow them or we open ourselves up to all sorts of accusations, and one of them is hypocrisy.”
Even Andrew Breitbart, the conservative internet entrepreneur who has promoted O’Keefe and defended his tactics, backed away a bit from his protégé Monday, telling POLITICO that “in this instance, it’s not going to be others who are going to defend him. He is an adult and he now has to defend himself.”
O’Keefe, 26, became a superstar on the right last year when he and an associate named Hannah Giles released secretly recorded videos on Breitbart’s website showing employees of the liberal community organizing group ACORN supposedly offering advice on setting up an underage brothel. The videos prompted House Republicans to introduce a resolution praising O’Keefe and Giles’ “exemplary actions as government watchdogs and young journalists uncovering wasteful government spending.”
Praise was in short supply last week, though, after CNN reported that O’Keefe planned to secretly record himself acting out an over-the-top seduction – complete with sex toy props, strawberries and champagne – of a female CNN reporter seeking to interview him for a documentary about the increasing prominence of young conservative video activists who use ambush and undercover recordings to expose the left.