When young conservative mischief-maker James O'Keefe filmed his 2009
"sting" on ACORN, in which O'Keefe dressed as a pimp and asked for tax
advice, he became a grassroots conservative folk hero. But his arrest
for attempting to tap the phones of Democratic Senator Mary Landrieu's
Louisiana office have ended all that.
O'Keefe, who responded to his arrest by tweeting "I am a journalist. The truth shall set me free," has become a figure of mockery and scorn. On Twitter, users adopted hashtags like "#teabugger" and "#superspy" to identity O'Keefe-related humor. We've whittled it down to the eight funniest--and sharpest--barbs slung against him, plus one serious insight.
- You Know Who Could Help O'Keefe? The Washington Independent's David Weigel quips, "Y'know, a criminal record can make it tough to find a job. Is there some community group that could help O'Keefe out? Oh."
- 'Tea-Bugger Facts' Senior Daily Kos editor David Waldman provides several. Two highlights: "O'Keefe takes his juice boxes shaken, not stirred." And, "SUPERSPY James O'Keefe tried telling FBI agents making the arrest, 'These are not the droids you're looking for.'"
- 'Future O'Keefe Plots' Media Matters's Oliver Willis suggests, "Going undercover as cartoon character to find out who really framed Roger Rabbit."
- 'Hard Out There For a Pimp' So quips Balloon Juice's DougJ, alluding to the Oscar-winning song by Three6 Mafia. He adds, "You know, part of me feels a little bad piling on a 23 year-old white pretend pimp like this, but all that ACORN pimp-and-ho bullshit had real political consequences. So this story needs to be played up."
- Sounds Like a Bad Porno Huffington Post's Jason Linkins muses, "The funniest thing about this O'Keefe arrest is the whole 'I'm here to check the phones' operation sounds like the set-up for a porn movie."
- Breitbart's Next Site Duncan "Atrios" Black scoffs at O'Keefe's long-time backer, conservative blogger Andrew Breitbart, who posted Keefe's videos on his sites Big Hollywood and Big Government. Black tweets, "new breitbart site: Big Felon"
- Life Lesson Daily Kos editor HunterDK notes that the reaction could have been a lot harsher. "Little life lessons: if you're going to commit a felony, make it a hilarious one"
- What Conservatives Will Say Wonkette's Jim Newell predicts. "Then again, all we really know now is that the FBI is 100% ACORN-staffed, which we knew already, but still... uh... the poor black people started it!"
- What If He Had Been Arab? Beneath all the jokes are serious points as well. David Waldman raises an important question: What if O'Keefe, rather than a comically inept young conservative, had been a comically inept young Muslim-American? "Imagine the same act as O'Keefe's in tapping a federal building's phone network... perpetrated by an Arab." Would our reaction be the same? Probably not.