Right-wing pseudo-journalist James O'Keefe decided to do an expose on the teachers unions. So he sent one of his flunkies to a bar after a teachers' conference to buy drinks for a special education teacher named Alissa Ploshnick, and prompt her to dish about incompetent colleagues while secretly recording her. One of Ploshnick's stories was that a colleague of hers referred called a student a nigger" and was demoted but not fired. She was clearly outraged. Guess what happened? O'Keefe released the recorded, and got Ploshnick suspended for using the n-word [note, she used the N-word in a quote that criticized the colleague for using the N-word]. Yes -- the teacher who, in what she thought was a private setting, complained about a colleague using a slur is suspended. Here, per Zaid Jilani of Think Progress, is O'Keefe's video ambushing Plotnick outside her home.
Women are O'Keefe's favorite targets. Adding to O'Keefe's creepiness are the recurring themes of sexual power and humiliation behind his so-called investigations.
Let's review some history:
In a stunt that garnered lavish praise from conservatives, O'Keefe inhabited the role of a pimp sexually exploiting minors. Then he publicized heavily edited videotape to falsely discredit an organization that registers the poor to vote. One of the women he portrayed as cooperating with his prostitution scheme actually called the police on him. O'Keefe didn't bother to reveal that. When the original, unedited videos and the facts were reviewed by investigators, the organization was cleared of wrongdoing.
Then there was O'Keefe's failed scheme to ply a female reporter with alcohol, have sex with her and publicly humiliate her afterward. In my book, attempting to have sex under such false pretenses isn't investigative reporting; it's attempted rape.
The idea behind the stunt wasn't that it would expose wrongdoing. O'Keefe simply thought he could discredit this woman by getting her drunk, seducing her, filming the seduction and publicly humiliating her. The fact that O'Keefe considers himself a journalist and that he thought the female journalist having sex with him would discredit her but not him reveals everything you need to understand about O'Keefe's mindset. The piggishness of his double-standard is breathtaking.
Now O'Keefe sends out a flunkie to chat up a woman in a bar, buy her drinks and prompt her to reveal private thoughts about her coworkers. Afterward, O'Keefe publicly betrays and deliberately humiliates the innocent woman, causing serious harm to her career.
O'Keefe's latest target did something millions of public and private sector employees, union and non-union, do every day. They gossip about bosses and co-workers they dislike. And remember, she didn't do this spontaneously. She was plied with alcohol and encouraged to share her opinions about co-workers by someone she probably believed was flirting with her. The woman was guilty of nothing except being insufficiently cynical and distrustful. Moreover, we learn, O'Keefe's victim is a hero:
[In 1997] Alissa Ploshnick risked her life to save the lives of a dozen Passaic schoolchildren. She threw herself in front of a careening van to protect her students and landed in the hospital with broken ribs, a fractured wrist, a badly bruised pelvis and glass cuts in her eyes.
When you think it can't get worse, it does. New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie disgraced himself by applauding O'Keefe's actions. I wonder how Christie feels about drugging and raping women? Would it be okay if it helps the Republican Party?