Recent reports indicate the four men accused of tampering with the phones in U.S. Sen. Mary Landrieu’s New Orleans office were not attempting to place a wiretap but instead may have been attempting to elaborately prove her staff’s disinterest in answering constituent phone calls. I have a pretty hard time believing all of that planning went into proving something that could have been tested by simply calling the office and recording the conversation from the privacy of your own parents’ house in New Jersey.
Since four men were arrested by the FBI for illegally entering U.S. Sen. Mary Landrieu’s New Orleans office, many news media outlets have been quick to identify one of them, James O’Keefe, as a journalist – often an “investigative journalist.” They’ve also identified O’Keefe as a guy who dressed as a pimp and entered ACORN offices with a woman dressed as a prostitute to discuss scams for government funding.
Tuesday’s news that four men have been charged with attempting to commit a felony after an attempt to tamper with the phones in U.S. Sen. Mary Landrieu’s office in New Orleans has become a big national story. Talking Points Memo has been out in front, reporting on the backgrounds of the four men involved with the plot: Stan Dai, Joseph Basel, James O’Keefe – who famously shot incriminating video of ACORN employees doling out inappropriate legal advice to a man looking to launder prostitution profits – and Robert Flanagan, who is the son of acting U.S. Attorney in Shreveport, James Flanagan.