When it comes to the arrest of James O'Keefe, patron Andrew Breitbart is not jumping to conclusions. The MSM may want to convict O'Keefe, but Breitbart is waiting for the facts, so that he can ignore the inconvenient ones.
Here's Andrew's first full blog post on the O'Keefe's little plot to "interfere" with the phones in Sen. Mary Landrieu's office, after he gave a couple ass-covering statements about having no idea what O'Keefe was up to:
I'm sure [the liberal media] would like to believe O'Keefe is stupid enough to try to "wiretap" a sitting U.S. senator in broad daylight during office hours, while recording the entire sequence of events on his cell phone camera. And they'd like you to believe it, too.
But there is absolutely no allegation in the criminal complaint that "wiretapping" or "bugging" is any part of this case, just the charge that O'Keefe and the others entered Sen. Landrieu's office in New Orleans "for the purpose of interfering with the office's telephone system."
Right. Well, maybe they just wanted to... disconnect the phones? Or, hell, maybe they were there to fix the phones! We can't possibly know until we have all the facts.
An official close to the investigation said one of the four was arrested with a listening device in a car blocks from the senator's offices. He spoke on condition of anonymity because that information was not included in official arresting documents.
And, hell, do you honestly think O'Keefe would be dumb enough to try to record his own illegal activities (which still might not involve wiretapping!) himself, with a cell phone? Ridiculous! The MSM wishes he was that dumb! Which is why they report that "O'Keefe later admitted to agents that he recorded the event."
After being hailed as a hero for dressing in an incredibly stupid costume and illegally filming his interactions with random ACORN employees, then actually getting news organizations and elected officials to run with the heavily edited and impossible to verify viral video of his hilarious "sting," O'Keefe presumably just thought he could get away with literally anything. This plan is hardly dumber than that one was—it just involves committing felonies and aiming higher than "the nameless employees of a lobbying organization for poor people."
And Breitbart playing dumb about the activities of his newest pet conservative media darling strains credulity. First of all, O'Keefe was Tweeting that he was up to something. If O'Keefe was truly a free agent, wandering the nation taking down liberals on his own time and selling the videos to the highest bidder, then sure, Breitbart didn't know. But O'Keefe's on the BigGovernment payroll.
Read this interview Breitbart did with Hugh Hewitt yesterday. Breitbart says the last time he talked to O'Keefe was "weeks" ago (but less than a month ago). Hewitt asks how much Breitbart paid O'Keefe for the ACORN video:
HH: And are you free to tell me how much you pay him?
AB: I'll…perhaps at another date, but he's paid a fair salary.
HH: Is he…so he is an employee?
AB: I'm not sure that's technically the thing, but yes, he's paid for his life rights. And he's, you know, he's still…we reserve the right to say yes or no to any of the stories that he puts up on our site as we do to any other contributor who comes to the site.
HH: Will it be a mischaracterization to say he was working for you when he went about this?
AB: Well, I mean, no. He was not involved in anything that was related to Big Government, or Breitbart.com.
HH: And I think that's the key thing. Lots of people work for lots of corporations, and do dumb and sometimes illegal things that are not within the scope of their employment. And this was not within the scope of his employment.
AB: Yes, absolutely. That is absolutely the case.
So... Andrew's websites pay O'Keefe a salary and have right of first refusal for the work he produces as an "independent filmmaker." But the work he did when he attempted to film himself and his friends sneaking into the office of a US Senator to tamper with her phones does not count as work done for Andrew's sites. (I guess because it wasn't finished?) Lots of people do illegal things "that are not within the scope of their employment," sure, but O'Keefe's job is actually sneaking into places under false pretenses and filming it without permission, for Andrew's websites.
And O'Keefe is such a media whore that we're guessing everyone he knows knew what he was up to. Look at the disclaimer on this two-week-old interview: "To protect their ongoing investigations, I can't say exactly when or where the interview was conducted...." Isn't it fun to play Investigative Reporter?
The hypocrisy of Breitbart demanding that everyone wait until "all the facts are in" before condemning someone for alleged illegal activity is so routine that it's hardly worth noting. (But for the record we are still waiting for those federal racketeering charges against ACORN, for the crime of giving bad tax advice to fake pimps.) What's more interesting is Breitbart's habit of picking the worst possible conservative icons to champion and promote. Besides this O'Keefe kid, you know who else is helping Breitbart "investigate" the shadowy ACORN network? This guy Derrick Roach, who heroically recovered ACORN documents the old fashioned way: by waiting until nightfall and illegally breaking into a locked dumpster behind their office.
Roach, a Republican whose run for the 79th Assembly seat held by Mary Salas fell well short last year, said he was driving home to Chula Vista on Oct. 9 when on a whim he stopped by the ACORN offices on West 35th Street.
He said he saw people discarding excessive amounts of trash in an unlocked bin and decided to return that night to inspect it.
Roach drove past a "No trespassing" sign to get to the trash, but said yesterday that when documents like the ones in question get mixed with garbage, they are "public domain."
"It almost seems like it was divine intervention," he said.
A whim! Divine intervention! Andrew insisted this was legal. It really doesn't seem to be. And California Attorney General Jerry Brown seems more concerned with who hired Roach to break into a locked dumpster than he was with the apparent "crime" of throwing away documents.