James O’Keefe Loses Defamation Suit

James O’Keefe Loses Defamation Suit April 3, 2015

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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