After pleading guilty to what is apparently the misdemeanor of “Entry by false pretenses to any real property, vessel, or aircraft of the United States” (18 U.S.C. 1036), James O’Keefe has joined a long list of political activists convicted of charges related to their political activism. He’s just the only conservative one. Nonetheless, we look forward to the mainstream media enshrining him in its current pantheon of heroes of civil disobedience. And to elephants flying.
Like Al Sharpton and Jesse Jackson, with their like-clockwork arrests protesting whatever is in the news at any given moment, O’Keefe’s antics were apparently designed to make a political point. In this case, the point seemed to be to show that the local staff of Senator Mary Landrieu (D., La.) was making up stories about her telephone system’s being down in order to dodge calls from outraged constituents decrying the health care reform bill.
It being a conservative point, rather than a left-wing attempt to raise racial tensions or extort money from cowardly corporations, we have not seen much sympathy for O’Keefe’s plight.
Of course, it is unfair to compare O’Keefe to lefty icons Sharpton or Jackson – unfair to O’Keefe. The precocious O’Keefe helped blow the lid off ACORN’s twisted willingness to break not only the law but also the most basic tenets of moral decency in order to assist what its representatives understood to be child sex slavers, leading to ACORN’s welcome demise. In contrast, Sharpton is a notorious charlatan who has spent years dodging the judgment against him entered after the Tawana Brawley charade, and Jesse Jackson is a noted shakedown artist, adulterer and father of a love child.
Their shabby shenanigans share nothing with the truly risky, truly brave civil disobedience of a Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., and others during the Civil Rights era who battled a Democratic political apparatus in the Solid South that would have murdered them if it thought it could have gotten away with it.
Neither do O’Keefe’s actions — although, unlike his leftist counterparts, he has never made any explicit or implied to claims King’s mantle, and he has not even expressly claimed that his acts constituted “civil disobedience.” For him to do so would be ridiculous; it is ridiculous when people like Sharpton and Jackson do.
The fact is that O’Keefe pleaded guilty to a minor offense not unlike the disorderly conduct, trespassing and blocking traffic charges that characterize most of the traditional left-wing civil disobedience arrests. This was hardly the “Watergate, Jr. ” that leftist hacks like David Shuster – prior to his MSNBC Twitter muzzling – were going orgasmic anticipating.
You can almost feel their letdown knowing that this young conservative has escaped with his life unruined. On the bright side, however, it is nice to see that the mainstream media and other liberals on the side of law enforcement – for a change. We would really be getting somewhere if only they would be as hard on terrorists as they are on people who allegedly enter real property of the United States government dressed as telephone repairmen.
While plenty on the Left are seething and huffing that O’Keefe somehow “got off easy” – apparently being conservative is an aggravating circumstance justifying turning a minor misdemeanor into a capital felony – his notoriety likely made it go harder with him than it otherwise would have. Most anyone else would have gotten off with a warning – it’s not like the United States Attorney in New Orleans doesn’t have better things to do then setting a team of crack prosecutors loose to wipe out the scourge of poorly thought-through pranks that plagues an otherwise peaceful, not-at-all-corrupt city. This was a “crime” in only the narrowest, most literal definition of the term, one that actually should never have been charged, and which constituted a waste of valuable and expensive prosecutorial resources.
But you won’t hear that from the mainstream media. Instead, you’ll hear somber newscasters, eyes downcast because this young man will not be going to prison, fretting about unequal justice and disappointed that O’Keefe will pay a small fine, do some community service, and be on probation for three years.
And for the hacks, scolds and non-entities at Media Matters, it is currently unknown whether his conditions of probation require him to wear a pimp hat whenever exposing the eagerness of left-wing organizations to assist in the sexual abuse of children.