In Megan McArdle’s piece “A Tape Too Far” of January 26th, 2010, Ms. McArdle repeatedly refers to an alleged wiretapping plot by James O’Keefe at the offices of Sen. Mary Landrieu:
James O’Keefe, the guy who did the ACORN sting, doesn’t seem to understand the difference between a completely legal recording of an interview between you and someone else, and a completely illegal and reprehensible wiretapping of someone’s phones. Journalists are not spies, and there are very good reasons that you need a warrant to bug a telephone system or otherwise eavesdrop on third-party conversations.
Like many 24-year olds, he may not have fully appreciated why what he was doing was wrong, but if the allegations are true, I hope that the judge explains it to him while handing down a stiff penalty.
There are no allegations of any wiretap plot in the FBI affidavit, and a law enforcement official has conceded that the four men were not attempting to wiretap or intercept calls. Furthermore, legal representation for the accused has gone on record stating there were no intentions to bug phones in the Senator’s office. The Atlantic’s own Politics blog recently published a post acknowledging there was no attempt to wiretap.
We kindly ask you to issue a correction/retraction to the story.
We have been/will be making similar requests of other news sources to correct similar errors. Some, such as the Washington Post, MSNBC’s David Shuster, and Talking Points Memo already have posted corrections or retractions.
In addition, Mr. O’Keefe is 25-years old.