Thursday, September 30, 2010

James O'Keefe's Misunderstood Lyrics

CNN reporter Abbie Boudreau summarizes the bizarre scheme under which James O'Keefe would pretend to seduce her in order to... somehow... discredit her.
For months, I had been working on a documentary about the young conservative movement. James had called me about concerns he had regarding an upcoming shoot. He asked me to meet him to talk about the shoot. I agreed to fly to Maryland and then drive to his "office" for a face-to-face conversation with him.

When I showed up, there was no office, as promised. Instead, he wanted to get me on a boat, which we later learned, was staged as a "pleasure palace." One of his colleagues, Izzy Santa, who was in Maryland that day, told me about the plan and stopped the punk before it happened.

Izzy told me he had "strawberries and champagne" waiting for me on the boat, and that he planned to "hit on me" the entire time. She said it would all be captured on hidden cameras that had been set up on the boat and in the back yard. She said the sole purpose of the "punk" was to embarrass me, and to make CNN look bad.

I would soon learn the details of the plan, in a 13-page document titled, "CNN Caper."
Part of the script for this scheme envisioned O'Keefe reading into the camera,
My name is James, I work in video activism and journalism. I've been approached by CNN for an interview where I know what their angle is: they want to portray me and my friends as crazies, as non-journalists, as unprofessional and likely as homophobes, racists or bigots of some sort…

Instead, I've decided to have a little fun. Instead of giving her a serious interview, I'm going to punk CNN. Abbie has been trying to seduce me to use me, in order to spin a lie about me. So, I'm going to seduce her, on camera, to use her for a video. This bubble-headed-bleach-blonde who comes on at five will get a taste of her own medicine, she'll get seduced on camera and you'll get to see the awkwardness and the aftermath.
That description of the reporter is a reference to Don Henley's "Dirty Laundry", although the song is old enough that a lot of people seem to be missing the reference. Boudreau comments, "They just saw my blonde hair. And the ironic thing is that I'm really a brunette", which isn't the best response given that it's inherent in the term "bleach blonde" that the target of your comment isn't a natural blonde; also there's nothing ironic in the statement. There's a better response, which is to turn to the lyrics of the song itself:
Dirty little secrets, dirty little lies,
We got our dirty little fingers in everybody's pie,
Love to cut you down to size, we love dirty laundry.

We can do the innuendo, we can dance and sing,
When it's said and done, we haven't told you a thing.
We all know that crap is king, give us dirty laundry.
Isn't that a pretty accurate summary of O'Keefe's plots, past and present, and not far off as a description of his boss's modus operandi? Kick 'em when they're up, kick 'em when they're down.


  1. O'Keefe might actually piss off his handlers with this one. Not because of the possibility of hitting on (and perhaps coercing) a CNN reporter, but because it's just so lame. Fuzzy handcuffs? '80s music? Honestly, if this were an Onion spoof none of us would blink.

  2. It does read like an Onion spoof, although in this case the authors inadvertently made themselves the punch line.


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