Amateur Hour: Did James O'Keefe Target Media Matters' Eric Boehlert?

That video is James O'Keefe describing his journalist "sting" project. In this specific case, he describes his "sting" investigating journalists for misinformation, bias and coverups, especially with respect to Huffington Post reporter Sam Stein.

It makes one wonder whether Media Matters' Eric Boehlert was a target of O'Keefe's grand plan.

Via Ryan Grim at the Huffington Post, a story of a bogus Verizon representative asking some very weird questions. Evidently this "Verizon employee" stopped by Boehlert's house to take a customer satisfaction survey. Verizon confirms they do not send people door to door for customer satisfaction surveys, however. After asking some fairly routine questions, it started to get weird.

"So he gets to the last questions, and he's really reading intently off of his clipboard, and he says something about making the kind of salary I do, working from home, something something about the 99 percenters," Boehlert said.

The man claiming to be a Verizon representative finally asked his question. "After he mentioned my salary and that I work from home, all the bells went off, and this is not who this guy says he is. Therefore, I kind of lost track of the exact wording of the question, but it definitely was like very accusatory of me and I'm a hypocrite and how do I have this supposedly cushy job while I'm writing about real workers and the people of the 99 percent," said Boehlert.

"So there was this pause, and I said, 'You work for Verizon?' And he just sort of looks back at me and [says], 'Will you answer the question? Will you answer the question?' And I said, 'Can I see your Verizon ID?' And he wouldn't produce any Verizon ID, and I think he asked me another time to answer the question. And basically I just said, 'I'm done so you can leave now.'"

My interaction with Eric Boehlert has been limited to Twitter, but my take on him is that he is not easily fooled, intimidated, or otherwise pushed around. And he wasn't here, either.

Boehlert decided to follow him to obtain his license plate number. By now he had realized that the man was likely pulling a political stunt, and James O'Keefe's notorious "To Catch a Journalist" project came to mind as a possibility.

"The only sort of comical part was he forget which way he was supposed to run in case I started following. He ended up sort of in the road, and he sort of turned left and then right," said Boehlert. "The last I saw him he was in a full sprint down my street running away from my house."

The police and Verizon were called. The only thing missing from this story is James O'Keefe's emphatic denial. There doesn't appear to be anything like that on the record, though Andrew Breitbart has categorically denied any involvement in this particular stunt.

In response to an instant message asking if he was responsible for the fake Verizon representative, Breitbart said no.

So what gives, James O'Keefe? Don't you think that as the director of an organization subsidized with taxpayer funds, you should step up and tell us whether you targeted Boehlert or not? A simple yes or no will do.

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