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September 29, 2010

James O'Keefe's Odd Prank

CNN writes this up to seem as scandalous as possible.

"The plans appeared so outlandish and so juvenile in tone, I questioned whether it was part of a second attempted punk," Boudreau said.

But in a phone conversation, Santa confirmed the document was authentic. Listed under "equipment needed," is "hidden cams on the boat," and a "tripod and overt recorder near the bed, an obvious sex tape machine."

Among the props listed were a "condom jar, dildos, posters and paintings of naked women, fuzzy handcuffs" and a blindfold.

According to the document, O'Keefe was to record a video of the following script before Boudreau arrived: "My name is James. I work in video activism and journalism. I've been approached by CNN for an interview where I know what their angle is: they want to portray me and my friends as crazies, as non-journalists, as unprofessional and likely as homophobes, racists or bigots of some sort....

"Instead, I've decided to have a little fun. Instead of giving her a serious interview, I'm going to punk CNN. Abbie has been trying to seduce me to use me, in order to spin a lie about me. So, I'm going to seduce her, on camera, to use her for a video. This bubble-headed-bleach-blonde who comes on at five will get a taste of her own medicine, she'll get seduced on camera and you'll get to see the awkwardness and the aftermath.

"Please sit back and enjoy the show." Boudreau, who has won multiple awards for her investigative reporting, called the comments "ridiculous."

I am guessing that by "seduce" he was joking. She wanted the story "James O'Keefe is a weirdo" so he was going to deliver that, playing a sexual deviant, let her run her story, and then reveal it was all a prank.

It's not the greatest expose because a reporter really can't be blamed for reporting about you what you tell them, you know? But still, it would have been good for a laugh. Not a great scandal, but a funny punking.


There's a context here: The New Republic ran a story called "Spring Breakdown" in the 90s depicting out-of-control sexually bestial conservatives going wild at CPAC. That story was by Stephen Glass. It was completely made up.

But no one questioned it much because, hey, conservatives suck, right? Everyone knows that, right?

Although O'Keefe is being depicted by CNN as if he intended to actually "seduce" this reporter, I think he means "seduce" as in "mentally seduce" as in "con." He was going to play to her preconceived biases to the hilt, and just get ridiculously jiggy with it, and then expose her for having not picked up on what would seem in retrospect like an obvious scam.

If it turns out he did really mean to seduce her, well, that's weird, and I'll eat my words But I think he just meant to be silly.


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posted by Ace at 02:49 PM

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