O'Keefe Has Trouble Answering Questions About His Tactics

Blog ››› ››› ERIC BOEHLERT

In the wake of his NPR video sting unraveling, James O'Keefe sat for an interview with an independent journalist who pressed him about his editing tactics. O'Keefe was recently interviewed by NPR's "On The Media" co-host Bob Garfield who posed lots of questions about the misleading approach O'Keefe used in the NPR gotcha, but O'Keefe seemed to have trouble justifying his actions.

For instance, when Garfield highlighted the fact that O'Keefe had taken out of context Schiller's quote that Tea Party activists are racists (Schiller was actually quoting what Republicans had said about the Tea Part activists), O'Keefe claimed that Schiller agreed with the "racist" comments. How could O'Keefe tell? By watching Schiller's "body language" on the tape. But of course, O'Keefe didn't post the sting videos online based on Schiller's "body language." He posted them online based on what he was claiming Schiller said about Tea Party activists, even though it turns out that's not really what Schiller said.

Then Garfield pressed O'Keefe about why he took out of a context a Schiller laugh captured during the undercover lunch and suggested the laugh came in response to a comment about the spreading of Sharia law around the world. In truth, the Schiller laugh came when he related a comment from a restaurant employee about his lunch reservation. O'Keefe's response? Broadcast journalists use that kind of editing approach "all the time." Really? ABC and NBC News routinely take bits of interview audio, lift them out of context, and then drop them down into other parts of the conversation to give the comments new and more sinister meaning?

Also, in the full "On The Media" interview, O'Keefe claimed the Schiller laugh wasn't supposed to be associated with the question of Sharia law and that the edited chuckle came five or ten seconds after O'Keefe's video mentioned Sharia law. In fact, the Schiller laugh came immediately following the mention of the Muslim doctrine.

Here's the NPR interview:

James O'Keefe
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