Some Asshole Sending Wonkette Stupid Letters In James O'Keefe's Name
And it isn't even James O'Keefe.
The first thing you may notice about this "lawyer" letter is that it is whining about "defamation" in a story that is more than six years old. This will send you googling for "defamation statute of limitations" and learning that it is ... not six years. Did some schoolchildren bury this letter in a time capsule to be opened by the far future Apocalypse People in the year 2019? Based on all available information, Occam's Razor suggests "yes."
Then you will probably be like "I wanna read this awesome James O'Keefe story, which Wonkette broke by the way, where is it please?" Not afraid to be servicey, it is right here! It is indeed titled, not captioned, "Wonket Sexclusive: Totally Blameless Crime-Stopper James O'Keefe to Pay $100,000 to ACORN Criminal." Does O'Keefe want us to retract "blameless" and "crime-stopper"? Probably. That guy is of bad moral character and also has done more than one crime!
Then you will notice that "John Sullivan, General Counsel" is mad about BESMIRCHES! Is "John Sullivan, General Counsel" actually Diamond and Silk? Probably. He is about as good at libel law.
But here is something that will not just jump out at you. You will have to read the source material (viz "Wonket Sexclusive: Totally Blameless Crime-Stopper James O'Keefe to Pay $100,000 to ACORN Criminal") to learn that in the midst of denying that O'Keefe had selectively edited and wildly misrepresented the dude he gave $100,000 to out of the goodness of his heart and with no admission of wrongdoing EVER, he ... selectively edited the first half of our sentence citing O'Keefe's "tacit admission of guilt" to wildly misrepresent what we'd written! Here, have a picture we just took of the thing you just read:
Now have the sentence he cut in half, in which we were quoting someone, as journalism allows you to do:
Still, as Vera's attorney Gene Iredale suggested to us in a telephone interview, O'Keefe's willingness to pay this exorbitant sum is, by itself, a tacit admission of guilt.
Wow, what a fucking asshole!
But all is well that ends well! For shits and giggles we got in touch with Matthew Phelan, who with his journalism partner Liz Farkas originally broke this scoop for us, and we hadn't talked to that guy in aaaaages! Not only did he still have all the court filings, including one he labeled "discovery haggling," he was quite happy to go through them and take
twenty-seven 8 x 10 colored
Glossy photographs with circles and arrows and a paragraph on the back of
Mainly, obviously, I would direct you to the "Reason Why [...]" paragraphs and the language there: "This issue goes to the Plaintiff's allegation that defendants released private and misleading information regarding Mr. Vera to the public." And: "Plaintiff wishes to show that O'Keefe illegally recorded ACORN employees, including Plaintiff and then engaged in selective and misleading editing of the tapes, followed by the publication of these selectively edited videos designed to harm Plaintiff's and others' reputations. These tapes will, he believes, show a pattern of such impropriety."
So, to review, the gist of the sleight of hand that O'Keefe's lawyers are trying to pull is: 1.) focus on the fact that the lawsuit was brought out citing California's 1967 Invasion of Privacy Act (Penal Code sections 630-38) and make it seem like allegations of selective editing or bad faith pseudo-journalism are really not at issue here; and then 2.) ignore the clear record of court filings indicating that the determination of damages, had this suit gone to trial, would have included detailed charges of selective editing, misrepresentation, and etc.
As you may recall, the California AG's office got ahold of the unedited videos and conducted their own investigation in 2010. Here's the press release about their determination that the videos were deceptively edited: https: //web.archive.org/web/20100403065738/http://ag.ca.gov/newsalerts/release.php?id=1888 (I'm attaching the pdfs of their full report too.)
Anyway. It's nice to have an excuse to say, "Hello."
It is indeed! NOT ONLY THAT, but Matthew then called Mr. Vera's attorney from all those years ago, and they had a nice little howdy-do too, for 13 minutes in which the attorney, Mr. Gene Iredale, quite adamantly wished Matthew would quote him calling James O'Keefe a "filthy racist" and a "BAD MAN" as well as like a dishonest piece of shit or something, it was 13 minutes of audio recorded WITH PERMISSION, JAMES O'KEEFE, but I didn't take notes and I'm not going back and listening to it again even though it was DELIGHTFUL and MAD ABOUT MANY THINGS! All of that, by the way, is OPINION and is not actionable EITHER, "JOHN SULLIVAN, GENERAL COUNSEL."
Look, we know all the hip kids are suing everyone regardless of whether their stories are true, opinion, or even satire, hoping to be at the front of the line when Trump and Clarence Thomas "open up the libel laws." But we're pretty sure even you, John Sullivan, general counsel, know how baseless your letter is, considering you don't even bother threatening a suit. Sheeit, Devin Nunes suing a goddamn cow.
As to your demand for a retraction, Mr. Sullivan if you even exist and honestly we don't think you do, thank you, but in the immortal words of Melville's Bartleby the Scrivener, LOL go fuck yourself.
Owner and publisher,
Keep your Wonkette rolling in lovely money to piss off all the proper idiots and keep paying our writers a living wage. Please to walk your liberal talk if you aren't already! We love you!