By Luther Turmelle | February 19th, 2010
Ever heard of James O’Keefe III? If you care about journalism, you owe it to your occupation to find out more about him.
O’Keefe has been sullying the good reputation of our craft by invoking the efforts of investigative journalists to justify his actions on behalf of conservative political causes.
The 25-year-old Rutgers University graduate first entered the public consciousness last September when he and a female friend posed a prostitute and her pimp and secretly videotaped meetings with representatives of the community organizing group, the Association of Community Organizations for Reform Now. The video tapes appeared to capture ACORN representatives advice on how to break the law.
Then last month, O’Keefe and three associates were caught inside the office of Louisiana Senator Mary Landrieu. The men were posing as telephone repairmen and O’Keefe contends the reason they were in the office was they were intent on exposing Ms. Landrieu’s supposed inability to respond to constituents’ call
In both cases, O’Keefe claims his actions are in the best tradtions of investigative journalists.
If O’Keefe had majored in journalism at Rutgers instead of philosophy, he’d know that while investigative journalists are interested in exposing the truth, they don’t break the law doing it.