Fox News Never Contacted About Failed James O’Keefe Stunt

As details emerged over conservative activist James O’Keefe’s remarkably ugly and failed attempt to lure CNN’s Abbie Boudreau onto a boat “filled with sexually explicit props and then record the session,” a number of media watchdog sites have predictably weighed in to reasonably vilify O’Keefe’s plan. Media Matters also reported the potential involvement by their arch nemesis Fox News. But a FNC spokesperson tells Mediaite that the cable news network knew nothing of the plan.

First some background.

Earlier today CNN reported that O’Keefe had attempted to punk Boudreau by getting her on a boat “filled with sexually explicit props and then record the session.” The stated goal of the stunt? Best to let CNN report:

According to the document, O’Keefe was to record a video of the following script before Boudreau arrived: “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.

Nearly everyone – from both left and right – rushed to decry the alleged actions of O’Keefe, including liberal media watchdog Media Matters (which predictably inserted Fox News into the controversy) Writer Joe Strupp’s in-depth report on the ill-fated and sordid affair included the following:

Documents later obtained by CNN reportedly include an elaborate plan by O’Keefe and his associates to embarrass Boudreau with some kind of seduction scene.

Other documents indicate an alleged plot to set up Boudreau or another CNN reporter with a false story about Sarah Palin or the Tea Party and later expose that it was false, possibly through Fox News.

“They call Fox the ‘friendlys’ and their allies,” Boudreau says about the documents. “It was a very detailed plan to trick myself or another CNN reporter to report a false story and then give the heads up to Fox News.”

O’Keefe first gained notoriety with his infamous (and now debunked) short films shot with hidden camera that effectively took down ACORN. When that story first broke on Big Government, it was immediately picked up across nearly all of Fox News shows, including both their news and opinion programs. So it certainly stands to reason that O’Keefe would consider Fox News a “friendly,” as Strupp quoted Boudreau to say.

However, Mediaite contacted Fox News for comment, to which they responded, “FOX News had no knowledge of the stunt and no one on any of the news or opinion shows were contacted about it.”

Abbie Boudreau Reveals Stunning Details of Failed James O’Keefe Prank

CNN correspondent Abbie Boudreau was interviewed by Rick Sanchez this afternoon regarding the now-dominant story of ACORN pimp James O’Keefe’s attempt to lure her onto a boat “filled with sexually explicit props and then record the session,” a “prank” that even conservative media figure Brent Bozell called an “attempted assault.”

In the extensive interview, Boudreau recounts much of what has already been reported, but she does reveal one new detail from the “CNN Caper” document that has been partially posted online: the “script” called for the prank to end with Boudreau in tears, begging to be let off of the boat.

Related:

James O’Keefe Attempts To Punk CNN Correspondent With “Palace Of Pleasure” Boat

Right Of Center Media Leave James O’Keefe Stranded Over Latest Stunt


“Taliban Dan” Webster Answers Alan Grayson’s “Anti-Woman” Charge

FactCheck.org has already debunked Rep. Alan Grayson’s “Taliban Dan” ad, which is quickly becoming the most controversial one of the midterm season. And today Daniel Webster decided to further his own case on Fox News, where he responded to Grayson’s attack.

Webster told viewers what the speech that Grayson edited was really about, explaining that he was originally “talking about the idea of praying for your wife, but don’t pray — don’t pray — the verses that say, ‘Submit to me.’ ” This echoes FactCheck’s assertion that Grayson “edited video to make his rival appear to be saying the opposite of what he really said.”

While some in the media cite previous smear campaigns that Republicans have used against Democrats (the swiftboating of John Kerry first comes to mind), Webster doesn’t see that as an excuse for Grayon’s attack. The Fox News reporter, however, seemed delighted by how Grayson has inadvertently “energized his opponent’s base.” She also brags that polls have Grayson “way behind” Webster with women voters.

Webster confirmed the FNC anchor’s comments, saying that Grayson’s attempts have indeed boosted his fundraising. “I wouldn’t want to try to help my campaign this way,” he said. “But it has helped.”

Right Of Center Media Leave James O’Keefe Stranded Over Latest Stunt

As more details emerge over conservative activist James O’Keefe’s ugly attempt to lure CNN correspondent Abbie Boudreau onto a boat “filled with sexually explicit props and then record the session,” many are waiting to see what the reaction from the online right will be. Early indications are that O’Keefe may find himself adrift, as the founder of conservative watchdog Media Research Center has scathingly denounced O’Keefe, and even O’Keefe mentor Andrew Breitbart shows signs of distancing himself from his onetime star.

MRC’s Brent Bozell makes efficient use of space in vaporizing O’Keefe on Newsbusters:

The MRC unequivocally denounces James O’Keefe for his attempted assault on CNN. It isn’t just childish and immature; it’s ugly, dishonest and filthy. There is no place in the conservative movement for this type of behavior and that’s exactly what I warned about in a commentary piece I submitted to CNN.com just two days ago.

“Could the Citizen Journalist abuse the public trust?” I wrote in this piece that should run in the next few days. “Hypothetically, of course. Conservatives must all guard against this. Let there be scrutiny, by all means.” And I repeat: there must be scrutiny.

Bottom line: We want nothing to do with O’Keefe or his dirty antics.

Additionally, O’Keefe mentor Andrew Breitbart has popped up on Twitter, not to defend O’Keefe, but to respond to this tweet by Media Matters’ Oliver Willis:

wow, @andrewbreitbart’s crew strikes again. o’keefe planned to seduce cnn reporter on boat with sex toys

Breitbart responded by saying:

@owillis ‘@andrewbreitbart’s crew’? do you want to get sued for libel?

To be fair, Breitbart wouldn’t confirm that he was “distancing himself,” but the fact that he waded into the O’Keefe issue without offering his support is telling.

While Boudreau’s account of the incident is compelling in its own right, it is the excerpts of the 13-page “CNN Caper” document that really tell the tale. The sexually hostile trappings of the setup, corroborated by O’Keefe’s would-be accomplice, make this incident nearly impossible to defend, but here’s what will really force conservatives to denounce, rather than just ignore, O’Keefe’s misadventure: as part of the proposed script, they anticipated Boudreau’s objection that she’s a married woman:

AB: You can’t be serious. I’m married.

JO: Abbie, there’s never going to be a right time for you and I. There’s only right now.

The document also urges O’Keefe to have a “more sleazy persona than normal,” and that he should be “touchy-feely.”

It’s touches like these that will make it impossible to shrug this off as a mere “prank,” rather than an “assault,” as Bozell characterizes it. Look for more conservative denunciations to follow. Not only is this incident radioactive, but as I reported earlier this year, O’Keefe isn’t nearly as beloved by conservatives as you might think.

Rep. Michele Bachmann Begs Supporters To Defend Her Against… Bill Clinton?

Congresswoman Michele Bachmann, who’s known both for making puzzling but impassioned speeches and for having a difficult relationship with the truth, says former president Bill Clinton is out to get her.

This afternoon, members of Human Events magazine’s listserv received a special message from Bachmann, who’s running for reelection this year. The email kicks off with a sentence that sounds a little, well, paranoid, especially out of context: “Bill Clinton will stop at nothing to raise money to defeat me.” (Yes, Bachmann bolds her lede as well.)

See, Clinton hosted a “high-dollar fundraising event” for Bachmann’s opponent, Tarryl Clark, and he also sent out “an email soliciting funds to defeat me” last week. This surely means that Clinton and his “money machine” are specifically targeting poor, persecuted Bachmann, rather than working to raise money for pretty much any Democrat running for office in November.

The only way to defeat the evil Clinton—and other members of the liberal elite like Nancy Pelosi, Howard Dean, Barack Obama, and Walter Mondale, all of whom, apparently, are personally working to destroy Bachmann—is to help the beleaguered Congresswoman raise $20,000 in the next 24 hours. Those who wish to give Bachmann an “emergency donation” can do so at this page.

Which TV Network, And Show, Has The Most LGBT Characters?

GLAAD is out with their annual report on “Where We Are On TV” – a comprehensive look at the presence of LGBT characters on television.

Here are some of GLAAD’s findings:

• On network television, ABC was #1, with 7.2% of regular characters that are LGBT, while CBS was last, just .8%. Here’s more from the report:

Of the 587 series regular characters counted across 84 programs on the five broadcast networks (ABC, CBS, The CW, Fox and NBC), 23 are LGBT, an increase of five from 18 LGBT characters counted in the previous year. This modest rise stands out considering that the total number of series characters has actually decreased. With 11 LGBT series regular characters out of 152 total,

• On cable, HBO had the most LGBT characters, and the show with the most LGBT regular characters was True Blood. Here’s more:

After two consecutive years of decline, the number of series regular LGBT characters on mainstream cable channel has begun to rebound. In 2007, 40 regular LGBT characters were counted, but that number fell to 32 in 2008 and 25 in 2009 for a total drop of 38%. This year, the count has increased by 40% to 35 series regulars with an additional 18 recurring characters for a grand total of 53.

HBO features the greatest number of LGBT characters on cable with 10, but ABC Family has an edge in the number of regular characters it features with seven to HBO’s six.

Check out the full report here.

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Aaron Sorkin On The View: Facebook Is To Socializing What Reality TV Is To Reality

Aaron Sorkin, creator of the West Wing and writer of the much-anticipated Mark Zuckerberg biopic The Social Network thinks Facebook is bad. Sorkin appeared on The View this morning and told the ladies there that the social networking site is “divisive.”

It’s a device that’s meant to connect us, to bring us closer together. I think, and I know I’m in the minority, at minimum there are 500 million people who disagree with me, I think it’s pushing us further apart [applause]. I think socializing on the Internet is to socializing what reality TV is to reality.

And the table says amen (he got a lot of applause for this). Presumably Sorkin forgot that Elisabeth Hasselbeck got her start on Survivor. Hasselbeck meanwhile did not mention it but did say sometimes good things things have come out of shows like American Idol so maybe something good will come out of Facebook. Sorkin readily concedes this in true…particularly in the case of organizing political events, but on the whole it is perhaps not the healthiest addition to our lives. Watch the clip below. I think the lesson here is that try as we might eventually technology will make us sound like old fuddy duddys.