James O'Keefe is an independent American journalist from Westwood, New Jersey. He is notable for using deceit in producing undercover videos alleging ACORN's corruption and Planned Parenthood's racism in its pro-abortion stance.
In 2006, O'Keefe had Lila Rose, a pro-life advocate, go to Planned Parenthood and pose as a pregnant teenager while O'Keefe secretly taped. The staff attempted to persuade Lila to lie about her age so that she could be eligible for an abortion. When the tape was released, Tennessee lawmakers voted to end a $721,000 contract with Planned Parenthood.
In 2007, O'Keefe recorded audio of a visit to Planned Parenthood where he posed as a donor. He requested that his donation would fund abortions only for minorities, to which Planned Parenthood vice-president Autumn Kersey laughed and said it was understandable. When the audio was released, Kersey was suspended and Planned Parenthood apologized for their staff's actions.
O'Keefe, along with Hannah Giles, posed as a pimp and a prostitute at many ACORN offices asking for housing arrangements to run their human smuggling business while secretly video taping everything. Unsurprisingly, the ACORN staff gave advice, despite being told by the pair that they planned to smuggle young girls from El Salvador. Even more shocking is that the pair was given advice on how to avoid paying taxes on the smuggled girls income. Video excerpts were released, which resulted in the U.S. House of Representatives voting to end all federal funding of ACORN. The U.S. Senate, the IRS, and the Census Bureau also all voted to end funding for ACORN.
In 2010 California Attorney General Jerry Brown (now the Democratic governor of California) and his Justice Department released a report on ACORN and O'Keefe's video. The department determined that ACORN "failed to recruit, train and monitor its employees to ensure compliance with California law," but found that there was not enough evidence to show "that the ACORN employees in California violated state criminal laws in connection with their conversations with O'Keefe and Giles." Additionally, the department stated that "the video releases were heavily edited to feature only the worst or most inappropriate statements of the various ACORN employees and to omit some of the most salient statements by O’Keefe and Giles."
In January 2010, O'Keefe was arrested along with two friends for conspiring to tamper with Senator Mary Landrieu's office phones. He pled guilty to a misdemeanor charge of entering a federal building under false pretenses. As a result, O'Keefe was sentenced to three years probation, 100 hours of community service, and a $1,500 fine.
Attempting to embarrass and undermine the credibility of CNN, O'Keefe, along with fellow members of Project Veritas, staged a plan to seduce Abbie Boudreau, an investigative reporter for the network. His accomplice in the plan tipped Boudreau off before the plan was underway. O'Keefe has attempted to distance himself from the scheme.
In March 2011, O'Keefe released an undercover video sting of NPR officials. Men posing as sympathetic Muslims attempted to donate $5 million to NPR executives. On tape, the VP is heard bashing the Tea Party movement as racist. This action revealed the partisan nature of the taxpayer-funded media company. The affects were immediate, NPR's President resigned and their VP retired early.
The usual lamestream media cover-up began in defense of liberal NPR. NPR claims that they knew something was fishy, “we repeatedly refused to accept.” Now O'Keefe is set to release another tape showing not only was that statement false, but NPR offered to hide the funds from showing up in their donor records. O'Keefe did release a second video, which resulted in another NPR official being placed on leave.
Thanks to O'Keefe, calls to defund NPR in Congress just got louder. These calls were unfortunately unsuccessful. This may have been due to establish backlash against the edited videos released--The Blaze, citing an interview with Fred Barnes suggested the editing was "concerning." However, both The Blaze and Fred Barnes equivocated and failed to clearly take a stand on both the outcome and the videos themselves.
- Report of the Attorney General on the Activities of Acorn in California
- Stephanie Condon. "James O'Keefe Avoids Jail Time." CBS News. May 26, 2010
- Project Veritas: NPR Planned to Accept Donation from Muslim Brotherhood Front Group and Hide Origins From Government, BigGovernment.com, March 10, 2011