Andrew Breitbart's pet pimp impersonator, James O'Keefe, was just sentenced last week to three years probation, 100 hours of community service, and a $1,500 fine for having trespassed the offices of a United States senator in Lousiana under false pretenses. He pleaded guilty to reduced misdemeanor charges in order to avoid prosecution for a felony. But this experience has apparently failed to moderate his proclivity for criminality.
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O'Keefe's latest adventure in psuedo-journalism was revealed today on Breitbart's BigGovernment, as well as ABC's Good Morning America with George Stephanopoulos. The new effort was aimed at alleged waste and/or corruption at the Census Bureau. O'Keefe, armed with a camera, and a smug disregard for ethics, set off to embark on a career in the federal bureaucracy where he says that...
"What I found were census supervisors systematically encouraging employees to falsify information on their time sheets."
First of all, it's kind of funny that O'Keefe has been reduced to investigating incorrect time cards (his own). It's not as if there aren't other scandals percolating (I heard something about some oil in the gulf). At least he isn't railing about Census Bureau concentration camps in Idaho.
O'Keefe only worked for the census for two days of training. He never actually performed any census field work. In the new video he says that a census crew leader told him to use a false time sheet as a template for filling out future time sheets. However, it was not a "false" time sheet. It was a practice time sheet used for training. But O'Keefe characterized the crew leader's instructions during a training session as a directive to falsify the later forms. Never mind that the crew leader in the video said explicitly to use the practice form as a template. So when the crew leader said to fill the form out the same way every day, he simply meant to follow the instructions, not to input the same hours and other data. That would be obvious to most people, but O'Keefe has a blind determination to mislead, which he continues to do as the video proceeds.
In the portion where O'Keefe "confronts" the crew leader at a Dunkin's Donuts, he asks whether it will be a problem that he quit working at 3:30 or 4:00. The implication is that his time sheet reflected something different. But we can't see the time sheet that the crew leader is reviewing, so for all we know it said 3:45. A bigger problem is that if you watch the time code on the video, almost a full minute was edited out between the time O'Keefe asked his question (3:59:04) and the time the crew leader responded (4:00:00). So when the crew leader responded saying "No, that's not a problem," he could have been responding to a different question entirely. And given O'Keefe's history of deceptive editing, the last thing he should be given now is the benefit of a doubt.
But there's another revelation in this video that ought to attract the attention of the authorities. O'Keefe noted that the time sheets contain a warning at the bottom just above where they are signed that says:
Employee's Certification - Under penalty of fine and/or imprisonment, I certify that the information on this form is true and correct to the best of my knowledge.
In the video, O'Keefe sought to portray that as applying to his supervisor. But the actual time sheet shows that this is only applicable to the employee. The supervisor has a somewhat lower standard of certification that relies on representations made by the employee:
Supervisor's Certification - I certify that I have reviewed the entries made and they appear to be reasonable and accurate.
So what we have here is O'Keefe confessing again to a crime. He knowingly signed the time sheet despite his having lied on it about the hours he worked. He knew that it was unlawful to do so, yet he did it anyway. This couldn't be a more clear cut case. What's more, there are laws against interfering with the conduct of the census. Since O'Keefe never intended to provide the services to which he agreed upon on employment, he could be liable for additional charges in that regard. And that's not all. The Washington Post reports that O'Keefe may also have broken laws relating to surreptitiously recording Commerce Department conversations. Stephen Buckner, a Bureau spokesman told the Post that...
"In his video, Mr. O'Keefe, an admitted criminal, does not disclose that he previously worked for the Census Bureau for nearly two months in 2009 without incident, allegation or complaint.
"That employment with us was well before his indictment and prior to his conviction of a federal crime last week. The Census Bureau obviously does not condone any falsifying of or tampering with time sheets by its employees."
In his appearance on Good Morning America, Stephanopoulos asked O'Keefe if he regretted having broken the law in the affair at the senator's office in Louisiana. While fudging on the matter of regret, he did concede that he would be more "careful" in the future. But his actions in this new episode show that he is an incorrigible criminal with no intention of respecting either the law or the standards of ethical journalism. And on top of all of that, he is an arrogant SOB who considers himself a victim. In his article at BigGovernment he whines that...
"The government took our camera, so I bought another. The government put us in jail and deleted our tapes, but we got out and we'll just make more."
It's pathetic that O'Keefe needs to be reminded that the government didn't put him jail. He put himself there by breaking the law. I'm sure Charles Manson has the same position on his incarceration as O'Keefe does, but it doesn't make sense for either one of them. O'Keefe belongs in jail for his unrepentant criminal behavior. And the terminally choleric Andrew Breitbart ought to have a nearby cell for his role in facilitating O'Keefe's crimes. And remember, this latest crime was committed while O'Keefe was on probation. So he is not only liable for the new violations of the law, but he could have violated his probation as well.
Finally, it would be huge mistake for other media outlets to give these charlatans any additional exposure. Breitbart is already bragging about having been on GMA and is touting that appearance as opening the door to more press. The media was fooled before by these phonies. They were duped into thinking that they had "missed" the ACORN story, but when the whole story was revealed, it was clear that Breitbart's crew had deceptively altered their video, and the only crimes were those committed by O'Keefe and company.
These people are confessed criminals, exposed liars, and they do not deserve to be treated as legitimate producers of news. Which is why they will probably be all over Fox News for the next couple of weeks. O'Keefe and Breitbart are already promising more videos, and O'Keefe says that he is assembling an "army" of citizen journalists. I guess we'll have to assemble an army of debunkers. And Jon Stewart's writing staff is going to have their hands full.