James O’Keefe Loses Defamation Suit

Remember when right wing gadfly and King of All Frat Boys James O’Keefe and some of his buddies went into Sen. Mary Landrieu’s office in Louisiana dressed as phone repairmen and tried to gain access? He pleaded guilty to charges from that and then sued a website who reported that they were “trying to tamper with Landrieu’s phones.” And lost.

Conservative filmmaker and provocateur James O’Keefe has lost another legal battle: on Monday, a federal court in New Jersey dismissed a libel suit O’Keefe filed against legal news website MainJustice. In August 2013, MainJustice published an article referring to a 2010 incident in which O’Keefe and his associates posed as telephone technicians to gain access to the offices of then–Sen. Mary Landrieu (D-La.). O’Keefe and three others ultimately pleaded guilty to the misdemeanor charge of entering federal property under false pretenses.

In its original article, MainJustice said that O’Keefe was “apparently trying to bug” Landrieu’s offices. After O’Keefe complained, the website changed the sentence to read that O’Keefe and his associates “were trying to tamper with Landrieu’s phones.”

The judge said:

Regardless of whether the article used the words “apparently trying to bug” or “trying to tamper,” the few words challenged by the Plaintiff, taken in context, do not alter the fundamental gist of the paragraph… Therefore, the words “trying to tamper with,” understood in the colloquial sense, convey the substantial truth of the Landrieu incident and do not alter the ultimate conclusion of the paragraph—that Plaintiff was guilty of a misdemeanor.

I’m so terribly sad for him.

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  • http://motherwell.livejournal.com/ Raging Bee

    Minor quibble: “King of All Frat Boys?” Was O’Keefe ever in a frat? I thought he got kicked out of school in his first year. Or maybe he was only kicked out of his dorm?

  • http://artk.typepad.com ArtK

    @ Raging Bee

    Clearly Ed is referring to his pattern of behavior, not his specific membership in some Greek organization. The “King of All…” phrase is clearly hyperbole, so I don’t understand why you would take part of the statement as literal while ignoring the hyperbole of the rest.

  • illdoittomorrow

    Obviously, this is just another incident proving America has been overrun by activist judges serving a liberal agenda!!!!

  • http://motherwell.livejournal.com/ Raging Bee

    ArtK: O’Keefe’s pattern of behavior may be on the same level of immaturity as frat-boy behavior, but it’s not really the same. He seems more of a hateful lonely loser, trying to hurt anyone else he can, who would have faded into friendless obscurity were it not for some right-wing pond-scum who found a use for him.

    Real frat boys do a lot of stupid, dangerous and hateful things, but they do them as a pack, because they’re more social assholes. They generally don’t pose as pimps or phone technicians and make edited-to-the-point-of-fabrication videos, or try to pretend they’re journalists bravely uncovering horrible scandals no one else ever saw.

  • raven

    IIRC, this is the third time O’Keefe has lost in court.

    Convicted criminal for trying to bug Landrieu’s phone. Settled out of court with a payout of money for something to do with Acorn. And now lost a defamation lawsuit.

    O’Keefe = loser.

  • http://www.pandasthumb.org Area Man

    Darn. I was hoping he lost a defamation suit that he was a defendant in.

  • Jared James

    I’m still unclear how any lawyer in the country believed James O’Keefe III had a reputation that could possibly be damaged by anyone more than James O’Keefe IIi.

  • ehmm

    @6 Same here.

    Still, sometimes the gods are good to me.

    And we still have the Glenn Beck defamation suit to look forward to…

  • D. C. Sessions

    Convicted criminal for trying to bug Landrieu’s phone. Settled out of court with a payout of money for something to do with Acorn. And now lost a defamation lawsuit.

    So far all it’s cost him is other people’s money, and in return he’s managed to completely wipe out ACORN and get at least one government official fired (although reinstated, it gave the Administration a black eye with just about everyone.)

    Pretty good bang for the buck, actually.