Monday, November 28, 2011

Insurgent Videos Still Whining After Being Busted Lying About Missouri Professors

If you recall, a while ago Andrew Breitbart and Dana Loesch were caught red-handed pushing blatantly dishonest, highly-edited video designed to falsely claim that professors at the University of Missouri St. Louis and Kansas City were advocating violence. They were busted by Media Matters and Crooks and Liars, and I documented how Loesch had led the smear campaign locally by literally chopping words out of the beginning, middle, and end of the professors' sentences to change their meaning.

Like typical right-wing hacks, they won't apologize for their lies even though the full video clearly shows them for what they are. Yet for some strange reason, they refuse to say who actually did the video editing. Why, it's almost as if they know they're guilty.

But, without naming an actual person, they did push off blame about the editing on a group called "Insurgent Videos." And recently, Insurgent Videos along with Breitbart's site have been whining about the fact that various groups noticed connections between this smear job and disgraced smear merchant/clown James O'Keefe. Last week, in a lame attempt to defend Breitbart's sites for inventing a claim that a murder in Savannah had something to do with the Occupy movement, failed Congressional candidate and current editor for Breitbart Joel Pollak wrote the following:
The irony is that Media Matters and Boehlert often make false allegations based on little or no evidence. One small, representative example occurred when controversy erupted over video of radical classes at the University of Missouri in May. A Media Matters blogger speculated, falsely, that conservative filmmaker James O’Keefe “has something to do with this whole smear campaign.” No proof, update or correction was ever posted.
Pollak links to a Big Journalism post falsely claiming that Media Matters said that O'Keefe was "behind" their smear campaign against the University of Missouri system. Similarly, Insurgent Videos has a new, whiny post up, writing the following about Crooks and Liars:
2. C&L blames James O'Keefe
Without any reason to do so other than to assume that if it's 1) video + 2) center-right, it must be James O'Keefe.
Oddly enough, Insurgent Videos does not directly deny that O'Keefe is affiliated with the group.

Notice that in both cases, the groups are attacking a straw man: someone who claims that O'Keefe is "behind" the video. However, in both cases, the blogs were actually just pointing out real connections between people involved in the campaign and O'Keefe, which are relevant whether or not O'Keefe had anything to do with the actual smear campaign.

First, Phil, the student who sent the full videotapes to someone connected with Breitbart and then sat quietly as they lied about his teachers and classmates, was previously involved in an event on the Washington University campus with James O'Keefe. After that event, O'Keefe posted highly edited and dishonest video from a hidden camera that was designed to smear the Washington University administration. Like the UMSL tapes, it failed miserably. And also like the UMSL situation, Phil was initially silent about the smear attempts against his university and later wrote a column explicitly pushing O'Keefe's discredited attacks.

Likewise, as documented at Crooks and Liars, the original "Insurgent Videos" website did list someone named "James O'Keefe" as a contributor. It sure would be a remarkable coincidence if it was a different O'Keefe, and why couldn't Insurgent Videos just say so?

But the real point is, whether or not O'Keefe had anything to do with the execution of this particular smear campaign, his connections with the people involved are relevant. Why? Because he practices a dishonest and discredited brand of journalism, and people who choose to associate with that brand are endorsing the same dishonest tactics. The videos they presented were obviously dishonest, as anyone can see from watching them. So instead of admitting this fact, Breitbart's cronies instead demanded that we just trust the word of Insurgent Visuals and Phil instead of our own lying eyes. But even this lame distraction is flawed, because why would anyone trust people directly associated with James O'Keefe to provide a credible account of a politically-charged controversy?

This whole fiasco was a huge disaster for Breitbart and Loesch, so it's not surprising that they're working overtime to try to rewrite history.


  1. Insurgent Visuals' "About" page is really a bit special.

    The guy at the bottom (Jim O. of Columbus, Ohio) looks a teensy bit like James O'Keefe wearing a wig and glasses.

    Misty J. of Oklahoma City is a Kazakhstani woman who has listed herself on a few foreign brides sites.

    Dallas J. of Wichita is a Norwegian comic artist (I think) named Tor Lier.

    Frank C. of Kansas City is a Norwegian statistician/researcher named Torbjørn Skarðhamar.

    Google Reverse Image Search comes up empty for where they got the Rich K. image. It might actually be someone they know. Stranger things, right? Still, for the author(s) of the site to state on their Mission page "We are truthtellers" and then on another page of THE SAME SITE to just straight up LIE in such a blatant and easy to uncover way... It's just absurd. I have to wonder it's a "joke" of some sort that I'm not "with it enough" to "get".