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Problems of Amateur Journalism

Freedom of the press is not absolute. Professional journalists generally know their limits. Apparently the guys behind the ACORN sting operation didn’t, and are now facing felony charges.

The FBI, alleging a plot to wiretap Democratic Sen. Mary Landrieu’s office in downtown New Orleans, arrested four people Monday, including James O’Keefe, a conservative filmmaker whose undercover videos at ACORN field offices severely damaged the advocacy group’s credibility.

FBI Special Agent Steven Rayes alleges that O’Keefe aided and abetted two others, Joseph Basel and Robert Flanagan, who dressed up as employees of a telephone company and attempted to interfere with the office’s telephone system.

A fourth person, Stan Dai, was accused of aiding and abetting Basel and Flanagan. All four were charged with entering fedral property under false pretenses with the intent of committing a felony.

While I’m sure Landrieu has skeletons in her closet she’d not like seeing the light of day, there are good reasons why it’s unlawful to tap a Senator’s phone or bug an office. Senators, particularly those who sit on some key oversight committees, have access to information that’s sensitive for national security purposes. O’Keefe did good work taking down ACORN, but he went too far here. He’ll be lucky if he beats a felony rap on this one.

10 Responses to “Problems of Amateur Journalism”

  1. tjbbpgobIII says:

    They were probably overawed by their own appearences and press. Too bad the good some do often turns to shit.

  2. Flighterdoc says:

    Yeah, too bad…but one oh, shit wipes out a million atta-boys….

    Dumbasses.

  3. Dod says:

    It’s probably worth noting that a Senator probably would not be discussing classified national security matters on an unsecured phone, particularly from a local office.

    • Bitter says:

      No, but a local office is more likely to deal with casework for constituents that features sensitive information. /says the former Congressional intern who did a stint in a district office

  4. Dod says:

    Very true. And illegal either way. :-)

  5. A) Think this guy even know what to do once he got access to the wires?
    B) Who the hell uses a land line for anything anymore?

  6. Ronnie says:

    I smell a set-up here. It could have been a payback orchestrated by the Obamabots. O’Keefe did really do a number on their beloved ACORN after all.

  7. Sebastian says:

    Apparently they were caught in the act, so I don’t think it was a setup.

  8. tom says:

    It smells like a set-up to me, too. Watch for the well-connected son to walk away scot-free.

    And I doubt they were trying to bug any phones – I suspect, since they were recording the escapade, that they were trying to show how lax security is at senator’s offices.

    Nobody records themselves committing a felony, and everybody knows that wiretapping is a felony.

  9. Laughingdog says:

    In case you hadn’t seen more recent things, bear in mind that “interfering” does not equal “tapping/bugging”.

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