James O’Keefe is arrested, and Rightbloggers tell you what the real crime is — the liberal media coverage!

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When word broke that James O’Keefe, the conservative reporter who’d previously made news by dressing like a blaxploitation movie pimp and confounding ACORN workers, was arrested with three cohorts for funny business with phones at the offices of Democratic Sen. Mary Landrieu, it seemed a grand comeuppance.

O’Keefe’s ACORN adventures had been attacked by opponents as something

other than legitimate journalism — though conservatives, including

Andrew Breitbart, the man who ran O’Keefe’s videos and later hired him,

defended these as little different from the sort of methods used by traditional investigative reporters.

O’Keefe’s arrest suggested to some that maybe the young muckraker wasn’t playing by the rules, or even with a full deck. U.S. News and Word Report’s Robert Schlesinger

wrote that though O’Keefe was “defended as a fearless investigative

journalist … the Landrieu stunt, if proven, would blow a hole in that

defense. If he is willing to break the law, wouldn’t he be willing to

shade the truth in the ways the ACORN supporters have accused?”

Some top rightbloggers, like Michelle Malkin, admitted it looked bad for O’Keefe and let it go at that; other conservatives took a wait-and-see approach.

This seems sensible. Whatever they might think about Landrieu or any

other of O’Keefe’s targets, the arrest of their hero was not, as Malkin

wrote, “a time to joke nor a time to recklessly accuse

Democrats/liberals of setting this up — nor a time to whine about

media coverage double standards.”

But not everyone thought so: A strike force of O’Keefe defenders spun

the event furiously into yet another indictment of the treacherous

mainstream media.

Categories: News