>ACORN film-maker arrested

>From the New Orleans Times-Picayune:

Alleging a plot to tamper with phones in Democratic Sen. Mary Landrieu’s office in the Hale Boggs Federal Building in downtown New Orleans, the FBI arrested four people Monday, including James O’Keefe, 25, a conservative filmmaker whose undercover videos at ACORN field offices severely damaged the advocacy group’s credibility.

Also arrested were Joseph Basel, Stan Dai and Robert Flanagan, all 24. Flanagan is the son of William Flanagan, who is the acting U.S. Attorney for the Western District of Louisiana, the office confirmed. All four were charged with entering federal property under false pretenses with the intent of committing a felony. According to the FBI affidavit, Flanagan and Basel entered the federal building at 500 Poydras Street about 11 a.m. Monday, dressed as telephone company employees, wearing jeans,  fluorescent green vests, tool belts, and hard hats. When they arrived at Landrieu’s 10th floor office, O’Keefe was already in the office and had told a staffer he was waiting for someone to arrive. 

When Flanagan and Basel entered the office, they told the staffer they were there to fix phone problems. At that time, the staffer, referred to only as Witness 1 in the affadavit, observed O’Keefe positioning his cell phone in his hand to videotape the operation. O’Keefe later admitted to agents that he recorded the event. After being asked, the staffer gave Basel access to the main phone at the reception desk. The staffer told investigators that Basel manipulated the handset. He also tried to call the main office phone using his cell phone, and said the main line wasn’t working. Flanagan did the same. 

They then told the staffer they needed to perform repair work on the main phone system and asked where the telephone closet was located. The staffer showed the men to the main General Services Administration office on the 10th floor, and Flanagan and Basel went in. There, a GSA employee asked for the men’s credentials, after which they stated they left them in their vehicle.

Well, is anyone really surprised? There were questionable tactics this guy used in the first place. I mean, what pimp actually dresses as tacky as this guy did in this picture?

Also, what legitimate, fact-finding film-maker would misrepresent himself or herself just to obtain information? Anyone who takes his or her craft seriously can tell you that you should never damage your credibility just to gain information. If this so called film-maker was really concerned with ACORN’s shady practices, he would have taken his “mission” seriously and gathered information in a tactful way.
Well, he got the information out to the public and put a spotlight onto ACORN’s practices? The means justify the ends, right? Well, not really, in my opinion. It’s well-known that O’Keefe edited the videos and ACORN was eventually cleared of any illegal activity. So, what greater good could come out of an “investigation” that starts out tampered in the first place? What unbiased and insightful information could an investigation conducted by a well-known conservative fanboy produce? It should be noted that BigGovernment refers to O’Keefe as an “investigative journalist” and a film-maker. Well any (respectable) investigative journalist will tell you that you should never compromise your credibility and misrepresent yourself just to obtain information.
Any respectable journalist knows the means don’t justify the end.