Conservative reaction to James O’Keefe‘s alleged plot to sexually humiliate CNN correspondent Abbie Boudreau has been almost uniformly harsh. Until now, aside from a few tangential tweets, O’Keefe mentor and benefactor Andrew Breitbart has been silent on the matter. Those waiting to take their cues from the influential conservative media figure can now let the pigeons loose, as Breitbart has released a statement in which he praises Boudreau, and calls O’Keefe’s plot “patently gross and offensive.”
The plot called for O’Keefe to lure Boudreau, under false pretenses, onto a boat “filled with sexually explicit props and then record the session. According to Boudreau, the “script” called for the prank to end with Boudreau in tears, begging to be let off of the boat.
Mediaite has obtained the following statement from Breitbart: (also available on Big Journalism)
I proudly stood behind James O’Keefe on his groundbreaking ACORN investigation. I also defended him when the media, including CNN — during a previous regime, “the Rick Sanchez era” — falsely reported the Sen. Mary Landrieu story as a “wiretapping” plot gone wrong.
In all these cases the left-leaning media exposed its obvious bias against James because of his contrarian point of view and because the targets of his investigations are protected institutions of the Democrat Media Complex.
However, in my dealings with Ms. Boudreau, she and her producer, Scott Zamost, conducted themselves professionally, and I believe James owes them a candid and public explanation.
From what I’ve read about this script, though not executed, it is patently gross and offensive. It’s not his detractors to whom he also owes this public airing. It’s to his legion of supporters.
Breitbart’s critics will, no doubt, focus on the fact that the statement leaves open the possibility that there is an “explanation” for these actions, but given his extreme suspicion of mainstream news outlets like CNN, this is a significant repudiation. Others, myself included, will take issue with his characterization of O’Keefe’s past work. All in all, though, Breitbart shows laudable decency in coming to Boudreau’s defense, and in condemning O’Keefe’s plan.
It is important to note, however, that the qualifier “though not executed” should not be construed as any sort of mitigation. According to Boudreau’s reporting, the only reason it was not executed was because she was warned of the plot, and she told Media Matters that, even then, O’Keefe still tried to lure her onto the boat.
Finally, as an interesting side-note, Breitbart’s statement may well be the first example of a past-tense reference to “the Rick Sanchez era.”
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