I felt obligated to watch the FreedomWorks webcast Monday afternoon, if only to capture a few golden moments with
star videographer lying liar James O'Keefe. O'Keefe was sharing his secrets of successful videography with the FreedomWorks crowd, while tossing in an occasional pitch for that bastion of integrity, the Franklin Center and their MediaTrackers project.
I took the liberty of editing the video to save you seventeen minutes of O'Keefe's peculiar brand of smirk-laced bravado, but I think I caught the essence of what he was trying to say in just under five minutes.
Here are O'Keefe's Five Rules, summarized:
- Force a consequence: A different way of saying this is "Be the story." When O'Keefe addressed the criticism he's gotten for the editing he did to create a false narrative, he didn't deny he did it, but justified it by saying laws were changed after he released those videos. He failed to note that the consequences of the 47 percent video weren't forced, but were the quite natural consequence of seeing Mitt Romney, up close and unscripted.
As to the laws changing, yes, they did but unfortunately they aren't laws that serve society in the least. They're laws that only serve conservatives who would love to limit voting rights to old white land-owning folks.
Oddly, no one there reminded O'Keefe that ALEC had more to do with the Voter ID law changes than O'Keefe ever did, because his videos proved no voter fraud was taking place. Well, no voter fraud except for the voter fraud O'Keefe and his associates committed, anyway. Maybe not so odd, now that I think about it.
- Be disruptive! O'Keefe is counting on the demise of mainstream media in order that all news consumers will simply choose a silo and cling to it. This enables dishonest reporting, which is O'Keefe's specialty. James would like for the more respected (and I use the term loosely) media outlets to look to people like him, and of course, the Franklin Center for their news. Just for fun, click that image to your right for a look at the current landing page. The last story is dated March 3rd, and there are two tributes to Andrew Breitbart on the front page.
News, just the way you like it.
- World Domination, Pinky! - Rules 1 and 2 on steroids.
- Tinker, Change, Repeat - Let's ask ACORN, NPR, Planned Parenthood, the SEIU and the NYU School of Journalism how they feel about this one. Also, Bloomberg, given that the soda story appears to be the latest target of tinkering, changing, repeating.
- Make Media Cry - You get the media you deserve, I guess.
I expect we will be seeing much more of Mr. O'Keefe in the days and months to come. After all, he has a book to pimp, wingnut welfare to earn.
Snark aside, when I hear Ted Cruz tell a bunch of bloggers who are partying down with Foster Friess at CPAC that mainstream media is no longer the gatekeeper, I worry for our democracy. Citizen journalism is just fine, but O'Keefe's style of citizen journalism will send us down a rabbit hole we will never escape.
O'Keefe hasn't reformed. He's just gotten more confident about being the guy who shouts into the echo chamber first.