On Monday, Project Veritas, the brainchild of perennial wolf-crier James O’Keefe, released a ‘bombshell’ of a video. In the video, O’Keefe is shown crossing the U.S.-Mexico border in Texas. In what is supposed to expose fully how easy it is to cross the border for dangerous terrorists, O’Keefe dons an Osama Bin Laden mask and then crosses the Rio Grande without being stopped by border patrol agents. Considering that O’Keefe was assisted in his ‘sting’ video by a local sheriff, to say this whole thing is an idiotic setup that should NOT be taken seriously is an understatement. However, as soon as it was released, conservative news sites and blogs started hyping the video as another great investigative achievement by O’Keefe and his organization.
Per Adam Weinstein at Gawker, O’Keefe relied on Sheriff Alvin West to give him information about how the border is not secured. Weinstein helpfully highlighted West’s history to reveal the type of person he is. He also pointed out how wrong West and O’Keefe were in the video when stating that there are miles and miles of unpatrolled stretches of the border.
Here are some fun facts you may not learn about West from O’Keefe’s fawning video treatment: The sheriff is famous for arresting celebrities, from Willie Nelson to Fiona Apple, whose pot-filled tour buses use the nearby stretch of Interstate 10; he’s been found guilty of illegally arresting an El Paso police officer and violating his civil rights; and he has a reputation for being a right-wing and anti-immigrant media hound who calls President Obama “full of shit.”
Since 2005, West has gotten so much money for border protection that he’s hired five new deputies and cut crime in half. But EVIL illegals and the DRUG CARTELS who run them are ready to DO MURDER any day now, West says. “[S]ome question whether his other salty tales are based firmly in reality or instead are constructed to drive millions in state and federal money to his department’s coffers,” the Texas Tribune has reported.
All in all, a perfect source for James O’Keefe.
Weinstein also points out that, unlike Jorge Ramos in a piece for Fusion TV last month, O’Keefe conveniently doesn’t show any footage of the perilous hazards, obstacles and patrolled roads that migrants need to cross in order to get to the shallow stretch of the Rio Grande he shows in the video.
Weirdly, in his “six mile” trip from the river border to I-10, O’Keefe’s video never shows him crossing the well-patrolled road that runs parallel to the river, the multiple irrigation canals, the well-maintained parcels of farmland, the two-lane Highway 192 (also called “Esperanza Road,”) or any of the other obstacles that stand between the border and I-10 in every place there isn’t already a permanent outpost. (You can see them for yourself on Google Maps.) Although, at one point, you can see miles and miles of truck-tire tracks in the dirt around O’Keefe and West on the U.S. side of the border, where they’re talking about how desolate and unprotected it is.
Nope, all O’Keefe does is show him speaking with West, claiming that there aren’t enough agents on the border and then does his little skit where he crosses the Rio Grande twice, once dressed as Bin Laden. He doesn’t show how he makes the six-mile trip to get to the river. He shows footage along the U.S. border and states that agents are nowhere to be seen. Of course, the AP has a photo of Border Patrol agents patrolling that exact same area where he and West were standing and lamenting the lack of security. All in all, it is just more of the same from O’Keefe — a heavily-edited video with no real context that is meant to show some kind of evil truth that liberals want to keep secret.
We’ve been down this road with O’Keefe many times. Thankfully, aside from conservative media, nobody really takes him seriously anymore. After legitimate media sources had been pulled into his ACORN scam, which actually led to the organization’s dismantling despite them eventually being vindicated of any wrongdoing, more scrutiny was placed on his little sting videos. After he had to settle with a former ACORN employee for invasion of privacy after misrepresenting his actions and statements on video, along with his pleading guilty to a reduced charge regarding his break-in at Senator Mary Landrieu’s office, mainstream media basically said they were done with O’Keefe.
Apparently, due to this lack of faith in his ‘work,’ O’Keefe is now forced to beg for money to finance his videos. With the lack of mainstream interest in his special brand of investigative journalism, O’Keefe is asking for donations on the Project Veritas website to cover the expenses of this latest video. O’Keefe is claiming that he spent $74,242 and he is looking to recoup the funds. It looks like he doesn’t have big donors bankrolling his little endeavors anymore. I guess that’s what happens when you constantly burn bridges and make those who support you look like idiots down the road.
Justin Baragona is the Managing Editor at Politicus Sports as well as Senior Editor at PoliticusUSA. He was a political writer for 411Mania.com before joining PoliticusUSA. Politically, Justin considers himself a liberal but also a realist and pragmatist. Currently, Justin lives in St. Louis, MO and is married. Besides writing, he also runs his own business after spending a number of years in the corporate world. You can follow Justin on Twitter either with his personal handle (@justinbaragona) or the Sports site’s (@PoliticusSports).