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Is Fake Pimp James O'Keefe Involved In The Latest Breitbart Smear Campaign?


This post originally appeared on County Fair, the blog of Media Matters for America. Since then, Resnikoff posted a follow-up, which you can findhere.

After weeks spent attacking two Missouri labor studies professors with heavily edited footage of their classes, Andrew Breitbart's Big Government ran a lengthy "first-hand account" from a conservative college student named Philip Christofanelli. In this account, Christofanelli said that he was not associated with Insurgent Visuals, the group that posted the spliced video. He wrote:

Since that time, an organization known as Insurgent Visuals has released videos of the class, which have gained considerable media attention.  To be clear, I am not Insurgent Visuals, nor am I associated with them.  I did not edit any videos or put them online. I did, however, download the original videos off of the class website and give them out in their entirety to a number of my friends in order to obtain other opinions on the propriety of what occurred in the class, and of the steps I should take moving forward.

He sketched a similar timeline today during an interview with Big Journalism editor Dana Loesch on her radio program, The Dana Show. There, he said:

I gave the whole classes to a couple of-- I mean, a few of my friends, and I didn't expect it to really blow up from there. It was when Insurgent Visuals released their videos that I really saw that it had become a huge issue.

It's unclear how the tapes made their way to Insurgent Visuals. But it is worth noting* that on at least one occasion Christofanelli has collaborated with Andrew Breitbart's favorite smear artist, James O'Keefe. 

In 2009, O'Keefe stopped by Washington University in St. Louis to film the school administration's efforts to shut down a mock gulag erected on campus by the right-wing group Young Americans for Liberty. A couple of months later, Christofanelli penned a column in the campus newspaper defending "our gulag event."

Which brings us back to those tapes Christofanelli distributed. Was one of the lucky recipients his Facebook friend and past collaborator James O'Keefe?

County Fair/Media Matters For America / By Ned Resnikoff

Posted at May 12, 2011, 11:48am

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