Big Government: ‘James O’Keefe Arrested in New Orleans’
Statement from Andrew Breitbart:
“We have no knowledge about or connection to any alleged acts and events involving James O’Keefe at Senator Mary Landrieu’s office. We only just learned about the alleged incident this afternoon. We have no information other than what has been reported publicly by the press. Accordingly, we simply are not in a position to make any further comment.”
Associated Press: ’4 Charged in Phone Scheme at La. Senator’s Office’
Activist James O’Keefe, 25, was already in Landrieu’s New Orleans office Monday when Robert Flanagan and Joseph Basel, both 24, showed up claiming to be telephone repairmen, U.S. Attorney Jim Letten’s office said Tuesday. Letten says O’Keefe recorded the two with his cell phone.
Flanagan, the son of acting U.S. Attorney Bill Flanagan in Shreveport, and Basel asked for access to a phone at the reception desk. Then they asked for access to a phone closet so they could work on the phone system. The men were directed to another office in the building, where they again said they were telephone repairmen.
They were arrested later by the U.S. Marshal’s Service. Details of the arrest were not available. A fourth man, Stan Dai, 24, was also arrested, but Letten’s office said only that he assisted the others in planning, coordinating and preparing the operation.
I obviously don’t know enough about this to say one way or another, and feel as though it’s only right to sit back and reserve judgment on this one. Of course, I’m not certain whether or not I’d extend the same benefit of the doubt to a liberal in James O’Keefe’s position, but my bias isn’t at issue here.
The issue here is that the liberal media will push this story for as many news cycles as it can (watch as they still call Umar Farouk Abdulmutallab an “alleged” bomber while consider O’Keefe tried and convicted), what with the State of the Union tomorrow and all. They will undoubtedly use this arrest to discredit the work done by O’Keefe and Hannah Giles in ACORN offices from coast-to-coast, and while it may work for some people, they’re likely the ones who never really saw the problems with ACORN’s conduct in the first place.
Everything else aside, I will say that credibility is very difficult to earn but extremely easy to lose, and in that O’Keefe should be careful. While the net gain in terms of exposing corruption in ACORN no doubt outweighed any possible de minimis fines resulting from disregarding wiretapping statutes–in good faith or otherwise–I cannot help but wonder about the cost-benefit tradeoff here. Only time will tell and, in the meantime, we should remember that there’s a certain strategy to anything and everything O’Keefe and Andrew Breitbart have done — so perhaps patience is warranted.
UPDATE: HotAir.com has more — here, and here. Yeah, it doesn’t look good. It looks to me as though O’Keefe got a little overzealous. The only thing that makes me wonder is just how amateurish the whole thing was. The only way it could look more junior varsity than it did would have been if the group used a flower shop van with a periscope sticking out of it.