James O’Keefe is back, apparently. And even after all of his legal troubles, he still doesn’t understand the concept of a “sting.”
James, buddy; a “sting” is where you put someone in a position where they commit some sort of illegal act, or act in a way that undermines their credibility. This video makes me want to double my donation to NPR. I just heard that Vivian Schiller has resigned, and Ron Schiller was forced out earlier than planned over this. Why the hell does anyone pay any attention to anything O'Keefe does? For Chrissakes, folks; why isn't anyone asking to see the unedited video, at the very least?
Seriously, getting two NPR execs to tell you how they honestly feel about racist elements in the Tea Party isn’t really much of a “get.” And I’m sorry, but just WTF are “citizen journalists”? All journalists are “citizens” of their respective countries. If you mean, “two journalists with no credentials," then just say it.
Basically, O’Keefe had two actors pretend to be “Muslim men” show up in a limo to take two NPR execs, Ron Schiller and Betsy Liley, to lunch, where they were recorded by a hidden camera. The two phony Muslims were supposed to be representatives for the Muslim Education Action Center (MEAC) Trust, an entirely fictitious group made up by the O’Keefe horde on the fly. They even set up a phony web site, which they have since taken down and replaced with one for their “scampy” organization, which they laughingly call Project Veritas. Veritas was the Roman goddess of truth, get it?
Only, they set up a fake web site and told NPR execs they were something they were not.
The concept of irony just isn’t in the right wing DNA, I guess.
The purpose of this video is to smear two entities; NPR and Muslims in general, with a swipe taken at the Muslim Brotherhood in particular. It fails miserably on all counts.
The video is heavily edited, and context is provided (once again) by a voice-over narrator. Though the narrator advises us that the execs were told that the phony MEAC was a “Muslim Brotherhood front group,” the only mention of the Muslim Brotherhood is a remark that their “organization was originally founded by a few members of the Muslim Brotherhood in America.” Big fricking deal.
I’m sure O’Keefe is aware that among the contributors to his favorite causes include members of the Council of Conservative Citizens, doesn’t he? If he doesn’t, his mentors Breitbart and Ailes certainly do.
Anyway, their attempt to portray the phony MEAC as some sort of quasi-terrorist organization falls flat. Note that they point you to the phrase at the bottom of one block on the web site, in which they are promoting “the Sharia,” while encouraging you to ignore the rest of that block, in which they say they are dedicating to promoting a “proper understanding of Islam,” and to make Muslims safe from “intolerance and fear.” I urge you to freeze the frame at 00:40 and read it yourself.
Ironically (again, people on the right simply have no concept of it), their assumption that “Sharia” is something nefarious shows an incredible ignorance of Islam that makes anything else he does meaningless. Sharia simply means “God’s Law.” It is believed to have been set down by Muhammad, but also Jesus, Abraham and Moses. Different Muslim groups see Sharia differently. The Mullahs in Iran see Sharia one way, while Sunni Muslims in Egypt see it another way, for example. It would be like all American Christians being branded based on what Mormons do. All Christians don't wear magic underwear, and all Muslims don't believe in killing non-Muslims. Most branches of the Muslim Brotherhood are made up of Sunnis, and most branches are political in nature and they preach non-violence. The Muslim Brotherhood was one of the first groups to condemn the terrorist attacks that took down the World Trade Center, for example.
In other words, what we have here, dear readers, is James O’Keefe using his incredible ignorance about Islam to smear Muslims unfairly and attempt to smear executives at NPR. Again, they fail miserably. As you watch this video, think about this; two (fake) Muslim men were looking to distribute at least part of $5 million to NPR. They took the execs, whose job it is to procure money to keep their non-profit company running, to a nice Georgetown restaurant in a limo to take them there. And note the goading these two fake Muslims use to get responses from the NPR execs. Apparently, O’Keefe doesn’t understand the difference between a “sting” and “entrapment.”
But more than that, I challenge ANYONE to refute anything this NPR exec says. The Tea Party’s message is muddy, it’s overtly racist, and there is a phony “Christian” feel to it that should make anyone who actually follows the teachings of Christ cringe. Liberals ARE more educated, fair and balanced than the teabaggers. The fact that we get to call them teabaggers should cinch that concept.
Lastly, there is a little bit of “Jew-bashing” going on here on the part of the fake Muslims, and O’Keefe makes a little hay of that, but the fact is, the NPR execs did not respond while they were doing it, and corrected it nicely. And finally, regarding what these execs say about Juan Williams, I can only say “Bravo!”
Here’s the video. After you watch it, send messages to Ron Schiller and Betsy Liley and tell them how proud you are. And maybe send a few bucks to your local NPR station. They deserve it.