Convicted scam artist James O'Keefe has crapped another pair of videos into the world, and while the videos have been burning up social media via the pro-Trump pro-Breitbart crowd, the cable news media has yet to fully pick up the story -- at least that I'm aware of. Nor is it getting much traction among rational normals elsewhere. But the videos are out there, and we can expect the press to make all the same mistakes, chief among them believing the "revelations" in the video are real, or, at the very least, giving the revelations the benefit of the doubt...
...even though it's highly likely the videos are bogus.
We'll circle back to that, but for what it's worth, here's the gist of the two-part "Project Veritas" bombshell. O'Keefe and his team of Breitbart hooligans scammed their way into meetings with two Democratic Party operatives, specifically Scott Foval from Americans United For Change, along with Robert Creamer from Democracy Partners. The two consultants allegedly revealed that they not only orchestrated communications between the Hillary Clinton campaign and super-PACs via intermediaries including the DNC, but they also apparently coordinated dirty tricks to incite Trump supporters into violent outbursts.
This is the extent of the revelations -- that is if the content of the videos is to be believed, and it shouldn't be. Obviously. Why? Because James O'Keefe has yet to produce a single sting video that's held up to scrutiny. He's a known faker. All of his major videos have been proven to have been deceptively edited, most recently 2015's Planned Parenthood videos alleging that the organization was selling fetus parts on the black market. While O'Keefe himself didn't create the videos, his footprint is all over that trove of fraudulent videos and many others produced by friends and colleagues. The Planned Parenthood videos turned out to be highly edited and ultimately debunked, just like all the others.
Most famously, O'Keefe posted a series of videos alleging to indict the community organizing group ACORN for offering "advice" to a pimp, laughably played by O'Keefe, in a human trafficking scheme. Another video included footage of O'Keefe, again dressed as a pimp, appearing to receive tax evasion advice from an ACORN employee. The press and the GOP went absolutely bananas, to the point of successfully voting to de-fund ACORN. The organization was forced to filed Chapter 7 in 2010 and ceased to exist. Yet the GOP continued to vote on resolutions to de-fund ACORN for many years after it closed its doors.
The ACORN videos were proved to be deceptively edited by the Government Accountability Office, as well as numerous fact-checking organizations. If this sounds like a familiar routine, it is. It happens every time. The videos circulate the globe; Republicans rend their garments; and then reasonable people debunk all of it.
Another video targeted an NPR official for seeming to confess that the GOP had been hijacked by Islamophobia and "seriously racist, racist people." The video also alleged that NPR had colluded with the Muslim Brotherhood, which is ludicrous on its face. This time it was Glenn Beck's The Blaze that debunked the videos, comparing the edited footage with the later-released unedited video.
Meanwhile, O'Keefe was convicted for breaking into the offices of Sen. Mary Landrieu with the intention of bugging her phones.
Back to the new "October Surprise" videos. Are they fake? We don't know for sure yet, but past is prologue so they very likely are. O'Keefe hasn't released the unedited footage yet, but looking at the videos it's easy to see how the key bits of audio and video were packaged to make them seem unsavory. The unedited footage will likely prove otherwise.
Tuesday's headlines ballyhooed the firing of Scott Foval, who figures prominently in the new allegations. And, of course, Trump supporters are taking this as vindication for O'Keefe and the content of the videos. But this isn't the first time figures who were caught up in O'Keefe's Jackass-like stunts were fired. In fact, an ACORN employee, Juan Carlos Vera, who was fired for appearing in O'Keefe's videos sued O'Keefe, forcing the prankster to pay him $100,000 in compensation. And you might recall the name Shirley Sherrod, who was fired after being caught in a Breitbart/O'Keefe production saying something she didn't actually say. She was later exonerated.
Oh, and you can absolutely expect Trump to mention the videos during Wednesday night's debate. Hopefully, Hillary is prepared for it with the roster of O'Keefe scams, settlements and, naturally, his conviction in the Landrieu break-in.