I was enraged when I learned that the jugglers, clowns and fact-twisters on Fox Fiction were referring to the punk with the camera phone as a "journalist." James O'Keefe is no more a journalist than Dan Quayle was John F. Kennedy. Applying the term to him is an insult to the craft I served, and to those professionals in places like the McClatchey Washington Bureau who pursue the truth with dedication and integrity.
It was O'Keefe who posed as a pimp to film a "sting" of the community organizing group called ACORN. His shoddy work made the Foxies giddy with ecstasy and sent the hypocrites in Congress scurrying to take away the organization's government aid. He was arrested last Monday in an apparent attempt to bug the phone system of a Louisiana senator. O'Keefe is just one more worm in a line that traces back to the Nixon administration.
Even before the infamous "plumbers" brought down his presidency in the Watergate scandal, Nixon's White House employed one Jack Caulfield, an ex-New York cop, to be a political spy. At various times Caulfield was commissioned to pose as a reporter to get dirt on Ted Kernnedy; to infiltrate the opposition and gather blackmail material on the Democratic National Committee chairman, Lawrence O'Brien, and to find candidates for the infamous "enemies list." From 1970 to 1973 the Republican Gestapo grew bolder and more ambitious. One plan, masterminded by a secret operative named Fred LaRue, proposed to kidnap ("surgically remove") antiwar and civil rights leaders by "drugging them and taking them 'across the border.'"
Over subsequent years, as extremists of the right took full control of the party, the propensity for black ops appears to have become part of the Republican DNA. Hence the punk with the camera phone (who could use a lesson in spycraft from G. Gordon Liddy, a former FBI agent who was a key player in the Watergate crimes).
Concomitant with the evolution of Republican espionage is the increasing ugliness of the party's hate talk. Presumably media gassers like Limblow, Beck, O'Reilly and Coulter have inspired this contribution to public discourse.
The Nixonites at least confined their most hateful diatribes to deleted expletives in the privacy of the Oval and other White House offices. These days Congressmen and Supreme Court Justices publicly abandon 200 years of traditional decorum for presidential addresses to Congress. A Republican senator-to-be smiles approvingly when a supporter at a public meeting calls upon him to "shove a hot curling iron up her a--," in reference to his opponent. Gun-toting Obama-haters shout racist slogans, circulate racist jokes on the internet and make loathsome references to the First Lady and the two Obama daughters. For this they are hailed by Republican party officials as patriots and grassroots political heroes.
No one is surprised that the President's call for civility in public discourse at the Republican party retreat in Baltimore has brought only derision from the windbags of the right. It's in their political genes.
As for the O'Keefe kid, one might aptly paraphrase the voice-over on the jelly commercial on TV: "Call him anything, but don't call him a journalist."