Red Eye: Is James O’Keefe the Crispin Glover of New Media Conservatism?

THIS is the guy ACORN believed was a pimp. Of what? Land's End? ACORN deserves what it got. Boudreau? Not so much.

You know him. You love him. Or, perhaps, you don’t. He’s the lovable pimp who wasn’t dressed as a pimp at all in the highly touted, Maddow-ridiculed ACORN videos made popular by Andrew Breitbart.

But is James O’Keefe a new media conservative hero, or a fringe wackjob? Perhaps, the answer lies in his most current kerfuffle.

As Greg Gutfeld reported on “Red Eye” last week, young O’Keefe was recently caught with his hands in the cookie jar when a possible attempt to punk (or sexually assault) CNN reporter came to light. It seems like O’Keefe was planning on luring the flailing news network’s Abbie Boudreau aboard a boat, where he would taunt here with sex toys and attempt to “seduce” her, all caught on film. The most vicious description of the plan supposedly called for Boudreau to be reduced to tears, begging for mercy.

Today, O’Keefe responded to those allegations, publishing a statement on Breitbart’s “Big Government.”

When the CNN idea was pitched to me, I’ll admit that I liked the basic absurdity of meeting Abbie Boudreau on a boat and the idea of counter-seduction satire executed in a tame, humorous, non-threatening manner. After all, as all liberal reporters do, she was trying to “seduce” (a metaphor) me so she could get more for her story. It would be fun, I thought, to turn the tables in jest. However, I was repulsed by the over-the-top language and symbolism that was suggested in the memo that was sent to me, and never considered that for a moment.

In my version, the reporter was never going to be placed in a threatening situation. She would have had to consent before being filmed and she was not going to be faux “seduced” unless she wanted to be.  If a CNN reporter would be willing to engage in such a folly, it might even be more newsworthy than Rick Sanchez’s firing.  (CNN also has Elliot Spitzer on payroll. He’s done more outrageous things than anything I’ve ever gotten in my in-box).

Boudreau was quick to respond

I am not interested in debating James O’Keefe about what his plans were for me on his boat. His statement reinforces what we reported in our documentary.

Mediaite has the documentary – or the part of it referencing O’Keefe – here.

On this week’s first “Red Eye” episode, Breitbart returned as a guest to talk about O’Keefe, his rebuttal and the entire scandal. When Gutfeld first broached the subject, Breitbart said

I gotta go!

A bit later on, Breitbart defended his odd protege, making several statements I’m stringing together, because I can’t remember where the ellipses should go. (Call it a heavily edited paragraph)

I was happy to be interviewed by CNN where I thought they were giving us a fair shot. I will grant him this. I don’t think it was right to go after Abby Boudreau. CNN has been conspicuously vicious to O’Keefe. They’ve lied every step of the way. He’s a new media entity who wants to get publicity for his takedowns. I think he should go on national TV.

I know we’re all supposed to think of O’Keefe as a Big Effing Hero for taking down ACORN, but his sad antics and ridiculously “fly” pimp outfit made me feel the same way I did when I watched Crispin “Hellion” Glover essentially destroy his career on David Letterman some years ago.

To be fair, I’m glad Hannah Giles and O’Keefe were successful in their attempt to take down ACORN. What a sucky organization! Still, his showing up on Fox & Friends in the pimp coat was just sort of pathetic. There’s “gotcha” journalism, and then there’s abstract performance art. Unfortunately, O’Keefe’s seeming need to focus on the latter almost destroyed the point of the former, and it certainly has with the Boudreau fiasco.

Even if one buys O’Keefe’s explanation that his version of the “punking” was a much watered down version of the initial proposal, what does that mean? Only 5 dildos? Leather restraints, but lined with sheepskin? How much sexual humiliation or “faux” seduction is an appropriate amount?

On the other hand, while liberals and many conservatives alike are smearing O’Keefe, the rabid left seemed to find the punking of Ron Paul completely appropriate, even amusing.

As Gutfeld pointed out, there may be a reason for this

They don’t seem to mind when you punk a guy, but when you punk a girl…

And, also

It is natural for anyone on the right to think they’re going to be picked off somehow, because that’s what happens. Bloggers and media hacks galore get away with perverse stuff when they talk about Coulter and Malkin

Many liberals seemed to think this was hysterical! So, I guess they’re secretly snickering at the fate that awaited poor Abbie Boudreau. Not surprisingly, conservatives who hated Cohen’s “Bruno” have also found O’Keefe’s plans loathsome.

Can we all agree that – just maybe – sexual harassment isn’t as funny as people seem to think it is?

Or, as many people put it on Twitter, why manufacture these ridiculous situations when there are plenty of real issues to cover?

Come on, O’Keefe. You have lots of talent and ambition, but let’s stay classy, shall we?

Red Eye” air date – October 5, 2010. Guests: Shira LazarJim Norton and Andrew Breitbart. Cast: Host – Greg Gutfeld, Sequential Hermaphroditic Sidekick – Bill Schulz and Ombudsman – TV’s Andy Levy

The views in this post are entirely my own (except where I’m quoting.) Neither “Red Eye” nor Fox News endorse or support my “Red Eye” posts. I am not affiliated with the show in any way, other than being an avid fan.

Help a hard working “Red Eye” fan. Support the campaign to get my posts mentioned on the show (just once!) Write to “Red Eye” and mention this blog.

3 Responses to “Red Eye: Is James O’Keefe the Crispin Glover of New Media Conservatism?”
  1. Andrea says:

    I don’t really see how this guy is being like Crispin Glover or Sasha Baron Cohen. It seems like WordPress editors are using a bad metaphor with those examples. Crispin Glover and Sasha Baron Cohen are good actors who played characters with DAvid Letterman appearances. This James O’Keefe guy did something that was more genuinely bizarre and without a sense of humor and did not even succeed in accomplishing it. At least Crispin Glover and Sasha Cohen’s appearances are genuinely entertaining. James O’Keefe just seems like a jerk.

    • First off. WordPress is a company that makes blogging software and hosts blogs. They have nothing to do with MY blog, other than that it’s hosted on their servers.

      Second. Comparing O’Keefe to Cohen and Glover isn’t really a metaphor. In the case of Cohen, it’s what I like to call a direct comparison.

      You may think Glover and Cohen are “good actors,” but I think they’re both talentless hacks. Did you even watch the Cohen video? It wasn’t a Letterman appearance. It was an interview with a person in which he traps and sexually intimidates him. If you find that entertaining, more power to you. I think it’s creepy.

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