O’Keefe’s latest: A small-time probe of the Census

Posing as a U.S. Census trainee, the former "pimp" is back to his old tricks of selective editing. But why bother?

Topics: James O'Keefe, Media Criticism, Andrew Breitbart,

O'Keefe's latest: A small-time probe of the CensusJames O'Keefe makes a statement after leaving the federal courthouse in New Orleans, Wednesday, May 26, 2010. O'Keefe who was accused of trying to tamper with the phones in Sen. Mary Landrieu's New Orleans office was sentenced to three years probation, 100 hours of community service and a $1,500 fine, after pleading guilty to misdemeanor charges. (AP Photo/Bill Haber)(Credit: Bill Haber)

To a world in crisis, the latest antics of James O’Keefe and Andrew Breitbart are of no great import, but they may provide a few minutes of comic relief. Last seen pleading guilty to a misdemeanor for invading Sen. Mary Landrieu’s office under false pretenses (with his cronies in Village People drag), O’Keefe has since moved on to even smaller targets. Still under the patronage of Breitbart’s Big Government website, O’Keefe signed up as a U.S. Census employee, presumably playing to conservative paranoia about the constitutionally mandated decennial survey.

He didn’t find much to expose, beyond his own pettiness. During two days as a Census trainee, O’Keefe reveals, he was paid for between three and four hours more than he actually worked. Evidently the training each day was completed by 3:30 or 4 p.m., but the crew supervisor allowed the new workers to file forms saying they had worked until 5 p.m. (He also let them take an extra 10 minutes for lunch!) Shocking, right? Especially when the Census trainees are probably unemployed, desperate people whose families might need that extra $30 or $40.

But for O’Keefe, this is serious federal “corruption” that requires naming and taping the crew supervisor and his superior, even though there is no evidence that they derived any personal enrichment or political advancement from the inaccurate time sheets. As always, his video editing style is to slice away any exculpatory material that might complicate his imaginative storyline.  



Media Matters provides a heavily annotated package on this intrepid probe into nothingness, including tart observations by Eric Boehlert, plus a few amusing clips from “Good Morning America,” in which host George Stephanopoulos deftly demonstrates the absurdity of the entire project, while allowing guests O’Keefe and Breitbart to articulate their arrogant pretensions. As usual, both of them utter a variety of falsehoods and exaggerations, with O’Keefe insinuating that Sen. Landrieu is “corrupt” without a shred of evidence, and Breitbart claiming that ACORN employees “set up a prostitution ring in every single office” — a lie so fantastic that even he must know it isn’t true.

Soon enough, O’Keefe will be on to his next target. Are you an Amtrak conductor who gave incorrect change? A sanitation worker who took a long coffee break? A schoolteacher who used too much chalk? Beware.  

Joe Conason is the editor in chief of NationalMemo.com. To find out more about Joe Conason, visit the Creators Syndicate website at www.creators.com.

More Related Stories

Featured Slide Shows

  • Share on Twitter
  • Share on Facebook
  • 1 of 11
  • Close
  • Fullscreen
  • Thumbnails
    Burger King Japan

    2014's fast food atrocities

    Burger King's black cheeseburger: Made with squid ink and bamboo charcoal, arguably a symbol of meat's destructive effect on the planet. Only available in Japan.

    Elite Daily/Twitter

    2014's fast food atrocities

    McDonald's Black Burger: Because the laws of competition say that once Burger King introduces a black cheeseburger, it's only a matter of time before McDonald's follows suit. You still don't have to eat it.

    Domino's

    2014's fast food atrocities

    Domino's Specialty Chicken: It's like regular pizza, except instead of a crust, there's fried chicken. The company's marketing officer calls it "one of the most creative, innovative menu items we have ever had” -- brain power put to good use.

    Arby's/Facebook

    2014's fast food atrocities

    Arby's Meat Mountain: The viral off-menu product containing eight different types of meat that, on second read, was probably engineered by Arby's all along. Horrific, regardless.

    KFC

    2014's fast food atrocities

    KFC'S ZINGER DOUBLE DOWN KING: A sandwich made by adding a burger patty to the infamous chicken-instead-of-buns creation can only be described using all caps. NO BUN ALL MEAT. Only available in South Korea.

    Taco Bell

    2014's fast food atrocities

    Taco Bell's Waffle Taco: It took two years for Taco Bell to develop this waffle folded in the shape of a taco, the stand-out star of its new breakfast menu.

    Michele Parente/Twitter

    2014's fast food atrocities

    Krispy Kreme Triple Cheeseburger: Only attendees at the San Diego County Fair were given the opportunity to taste the official version of this donut-hamburger-heart attack combo. The rest of America has reasonable odds of not dropping dead tomorrow.

    Taco Bell

    2014's fast food atrocities

    Taco Bell's Quesarito: A burrito wrapped in a quesadilla inside an enigma. Quarantined to one store in Oklahoma City.

    Pizzagamechangers.com

    2014's fast food atrocities

    Boston Pizza's Pizza Cake: The people's choice winner of a Canadian pizza chain's contest whose real aim, we'd imagine, is to prove that there's no such thing as "too far." Currently in development.

    7-Eleven

    2014's fast food atrocities

    7-Eleven's Doritos Loaded: "For something decadent and artificial by design," wrote one impassioned reviewer, "it only tasted of the latter."

  • Recent Slide Shows

Comments

0 Comments

Comment Preview

Your name will appear as username ( settings | log out )

You may use these HTML tags and attributes: <a href=""> <b> <em> <strong> <i> <blockquote>