Stupid stunt by 'citizen journalists' backfires

Last September, I made a big deal about so-called citizen journalists James O’Keefe and Hannah Giles. They are the couple who posed as a pimp and prostitute and were offered housing help from ACORN to set up a house of prostitution.

James O’Keefe is now in some serious trouble. He was arrested last week in what the FBI alleges was a plot to "interfere with a telephone system" in the office of Democratic U.S. Sen. Mary L. Landrieu in New Orleans. Federal court records show that O'Keefe admitted that he worked with three accomplices, two of whom entered Landrieu's office posing as telephone repairmen while O'Keefe recorded them with his cell phone camera. If convicted, the four face up to 10 years in prison and a $250,000 fine.

A good summary of Okeefe’s stunt and resulting situation can be found here, written by Samuel Ebersole, professor of Mass Communications at Colorado State University - Pueblo:

James O’Keefe and his cohorts would have done themselves a favor if they had joined the National Association of Citizen Journalists and taken a few of the webinars, which teach citizen journalists to do unbiased, accurate and fair reporting.

They also would benefit from a leisurely read through the 15 core values that the NACJ believes citizen journalists should embrace. We have been presenting those values - one each month - in the "Citizen Journalist Post." All 15 are compiled in a section of our new book, Handbook for Citizen Journalists.