About James O’Keefe and That Robert Taft Club Event

By
Wednesday, February 03, 2010 at 8:00 pm

Max Blumenthal’s story about “James O’Keefe’s race problem” leads with an account of an August 30, 2006 after-work event hosted by the Robert Taft Club in Arlington, Va., where John Derbyshire and Kevin Martin joined Jared Taylor — the editor of the white nationalist magazine American Renaissance — to discuss “race and conservatism.” Earlier today, I posted my own account of that event and some context about the culture of see-what-we-can-get-away-with political correctness among young conservatives.

Apparently, the One People’s Project is citing me as a corroborating source on the event — but there are aspects of their story I can’t confirm. While their photo of O’Keefe is definitely from the event, I took it on the photographer’s word that O’Keefe was pictured “as he maintained a literature table near the panelists.” I can personally confirm that he was there, but not that he was manning the table — nor that O’Keefe “planned” the event (as Blumenthal put it) with Marcus Epstein, who was president of the Robert Taft Club.

Here’s how I came across the story: On Jan. 27, the photographer (who goes by the name Isis) from the One People’s Project called to ask me if I had any photos of the event. She remembered seeing me there — it was one of several RTC events I attended, including one where Rep. Ron Paul (R-Texas) spoke. I explained that I didn’t, but compared my version of the event with hers. She told me that she had photos of the event, but the full photos had been taken by the FBI in a raid. All she had on hand were cropped headshots of people who were at the event.

She emailed me the photo of O’Keefe, and I immediately recognized him from the event. And she told me that, unfortunately, the cropping had removed the table he was sitting at, which included copies of American Renaissance magazine. I remembered the table — curious, I’d grabbed a copy of the magazine, which was, of course, incredibly racist — and took her word that the photo showed O’Keefe sitting there. In the photo, after all, we can see a man walking out the door and O’Keefe’s head is much lower than his. But could I personally confirm that O’Keefe was manning the table at an event I attended four years and several phones/cameras ago? Well, no. I suggested that the story didn’t really have legs if O’Keefe wasn’t selling literature or hadn’t planned the event, as, well, people like me had shown up. It was a debate, after all, with two people — one of them African-American — ganging up on the truly ridiculous Taylor.

Fast forward to today and the Blumenthal article. Blumenthal writes that One People’s Project founder Daryle Jenkins was the source for the “manning the table” claim. But I can’t confirm that, because I don’t remember who was at the table at any particular time. All I know is that O’Keefe was there and he was working for LI at the time.

If OPP is able to retrieve its original photo and clear this up, it should do so.

Follow David Weigel on Twitter


Categories & Tags: |

Comments

42 Comments

D. Aristophanes
Comment posted February 3, 2010 @ 8:50 pm

Curiously, Breitbart is relying on Weigel’s lack of recollection about an event from four years ago to ‘disprove’ the OPP account that O’Keefe ‘manned a table’ offering racist literature.

You’d think Breitbart could just ask O’Keefe and report back what he says.


» James O’Keefe vs. Max Blumenthal: How the Left Distorts, Invents and Lies - Big Journalism
Pingback posted February 3, 2010 @ 9:44 pm

[...] ever telling Mr. Jenkins that Mr. O’Keefe was “manning the table.” Indeed, he has already gone on record denying he said [...]


Bloggasm » James O’Keefe responds to Salon’s accusations of his “race problem”
Pingback posted February 3, 2010 @ 10:17 pm

[...] and based on false sources, with the source admitting as such.” The link he gave led to a David Weigel piece in the Washington Independent in which Weigel doesn’t necessarily deny claims in the Salon [...]


Skippy Thebushkangaroo
Comment posted February 3, 2010 @ 10:58 pm

“you’d think breitbart could just ask o’keefe and report back what he says.”

maybe breitbart doesn't have o'keefe's mom and dad's phone number.


stevenbannister
Comment posted February 3, 2010 @ 11:18 pm

“the truly ridiculous Taylor”

Jared Taylor is ridiculous? Really Mr. Weigal?

From what I've seen, Jared Taylor is a very intelligent man who has probably contributed more to a frank, rational discussion of race than almost anyone in this country. Have you read his work Mr Weigal? Did you speak with him?

I certainly know you didn't debate him – I'd love to see that!


theo669996
Comment posted February 3, 2010 @ 11:24 pm

You should've made clear in your original post about all this that you had no knlwedge or recollection that O'Keefe was manning a table distributing racist literature.

It's pretty obvious this is an orchestrated defamation campaign against O'Keefe.

While you, David Weigel, were purposely and eagerly attempting to help the smear artists in their orchestrated defamation of O'Keefe in your first post on this subject, I'm glad that you had enough morals to – finally – state clearly what you know and what you don't know about O'Keefe and the table distributing racist literature. Why did it take you so long to be clear?


TMLutas
Comment posted February 3, 2010 @ 11:37 pm

There's an allegation of an FBI raid which took the Isis photos. That's something that can be checked. The FBI is supposed to provide a list of property taken. Surely Isis can produce this record at the very least. Perhaps the FBI can be persuaded to shake loose a copy of the original photo, or the prosecuting attorney can be persuaded to do it.

Right now the FBI raid cries out for followup but nobody seems interested in doing it. Pity, if it's a search for truth that's going on.


D. Aristophanes
Comment posted February 3, 2010 @ 11:58 pm

You should do it, TMLutas. Probably have to wait until office hours tomorrow, though.


b
Comment posted February 4, 2010 @ 12:48 am

Forget the table. Just his diary proves what a racist he is


Palin4Prez
Comment posted February 4, 2010 @ 2:13 am

Update Feb. 1, 2010
California lawyer-dentist Orly Taitz, a vocal member of the “birther” movement, is hitting the nation's capital to try to persuade a federal judge here in Washington that President Barack Obama is not a qualified United States citizen to hold the office of president.
Taitz's latest suit, filed Wednesday in the U.S. District Court for the District of Columbia, resembles those she has unsuccessfully filed on behalf of clients in other courts. Taitz filed the suit in Washington pro se as the sole plaintiff.
Taitz said in the complaint that letters, e-mails and faxes to the Justice Dept seeking answers have gone unreturned.“This game of hide and seek by the Attorney General Holder and US attorneys was infantile at best and treasonous at worst, and National Security is on the line,” Taitz writes.
The suit demands, among other things, that Secretary of State Hillary Clinton provide a copy of Obama’s birth certificate. The case has been assigned to Chief Judge Royce Lamberth.


monkey99
Comment posted February 4, 2010 @ 2:34 am

It will be dismissed with prejudice, and placed in the round file, along with Taintz's other frivolous garbage, where they belong. The issue is dead….like Taintz's claims. and her veracity.

Stick to the subject matter. Unless you believe racism in this case is prudent, which is why you attempt redirect.

It's funny how racism, in example after example, is dismissed by right-wing apologists, but the hue and cry can't be loud enough when there is even the slightest hint that a Dem is either misquoted or misunderstood. O'Keefe keeps showing his true “colors”, and his apologists can't jump in to defend him fast enough. Notice how it is on the other side? The reality is loud and clear.

O'Keefe is racist. Accept it.


theo669996
Comment posted February 4, 2010 @ 5:16 am

In a previous post, David Weigel wrote:

“The Taylor appearance was buffeted by controversy and moved, at the last minute, to a location a few blocks away from its original location near the Clarendon metro stop in Virginia. It was strange enough to draw out people like me and a photographer for the One People’s Project, who snapped pictures of the attendees, wrote a report — and then, unfortunately, had most of the photos seized by the FBI. A zoomed-in headshot of James O’Keefe (after the jump), then working for the Leadership Institute, survived, although it cropped out the table he was sitting at, covered in controversial literature.”

Now David Weigel finally tells us he has no idea whether O'Keefe was manning the tables.

Wow.

David Weigel also never told us that the event was held at Georgetown University, and was a debate on race and politics, not some kind of pro-racist event.

Shame on David Weigel. If you read his first post on this, you were basically lied to. This makes David Weigel a liar who was helping out a defemation campaign against someone.

We're not gonna take this sort of BULLSHIT anymore, Mr. Weigel. Shame on you. You're not an honest journalist. You're a piece of lying shit. *spit*


theo669996
Comment posted February 4, 2010 @ 5:40 am

David Weigel wrote: “If OPP is able to retrieve its original photo and clear this up, it should do so.”

But you, Mr. Weigel, weren't interesting in being clear yourself. Now you're pretending you want matters cleared up? LOL Figures you're known for getting much of your shit from propaganda outlets like Media Matters.

That scuzzy blog that specializes in defamation – Little Green Footballs – had a big post on all this today which ended with:

“Dave Weigel confirms the report by One People’s Project.”

That's what happens when people like YOU, Mr. Weigel, were far less than clear.

Shame on you.

*SPIT*


robertstacymccain
Comment posted February 4, 2010 @ 5:40 am

Dave, your expression — “the culture of see-what-we-can-get-away-with political correctness among young conservatives” — is almost perfect, except of course that you meant say, political INcorrectness.

Many young conservatives attend colleges where PC norms are so absurd and stifling that, when they rebel against the conformist press, they sometimes exceed the bounds of what is tasteful or fair. It is important, I think, to understand their words and actions as a response to a stimulus — i.e., to ask, “What are they reacting against?” — and not to judge these incidents in isolation.

If O'Keefe's mere presence at a Taft Club event is a permanent and conclusive indictment of his character — the “A-Ha!” proof of his bad faith — then there are scores of others similarly indicted. And if everyone condemned by the One People's Project and/or Max Blumenthal is to be added to that indictment, then the anathema list will be quite long indeed.

Perhaps we can get Marcus Epstein to convene an RTC panel discussion about what I've called the Ransom Note Method — prosecutorial accusations of racism based upon a highly selective use of evidence, combined with the Links-and-Ties style of guilt-by-association (cf., Laird Wilcox), which has been the source of so much mischief in recent years.

And then, of course, everyone who attends that discussion can be added to the anathema list!


Bilby
Comment posted February 4, 2010 @ 7:36 am

This is all pretty sleazy of you. Only three hours after the Blumenthal article was posted you put up an piece containing this:

“A zoomed-in headshot of James O’Keefe (after the jump), then working for the Leadership Institute, survived, although it cropped out the table he was sitting at, covered in controversial literature. O’Keefe’s position at the Leadership Institute gave him some ownership of the event, but in general the crowd consisted of conservatives and libertarians who wanted to see some controversy, some fireworks — not so much of people who agreed with Taylor.”

You didn't phrase it as claims made by someone else. It's apparently your recollection of the event. Now in this article you say:

“Apparently, the One People’s Project is citing me as a corroborating source on the event — but there are aspects of their story I can’t confirm. While their photo of O’Keefe is definitely from the event, I took it on the photographer’s word that O’Keefe was pictured “as he maintained a literature table near the panelists.””

Well, gee. I wonder why they're citing you as a corroborating source? After all, you just regurgitated their claim as if you corroborated it.

I also noticed this part “O’Keefe’s position at the Leadership Institute gave him some ownership of the event..”

How coincidental that a couple of hours later Village Voice posted a story leading off with:

“James O'Keefe, the videographer famous for taking down ACORN (and infamous for trying to take down Senator Landrieu), organized a speaking forum for white supremacists, and was even photographed manning the event's merchandise table.”

It reads almost as if you, Blumenthal, and Thrasher at VV are going by the same playbook. Nah, can't be.

At around 6 PM you posted a piece highlighting Breitbart's tweets which you ended with:

“I’m curious to see what Breitbart goes after — I was at the 2006 event that leads Blumenthal’s story and can confirm all the details about it.”

At that time you were still “confirming all the details” given by OPP and Blumenthal (and presumably Thrasher).

Now in this post, two hours later you act all surprised that people are citing you as a source. NOW you're saying there are aspects you can't confirm when only two hours ago you could confirm “all the details about it.”

What happened? Did you get a call from an attorney? It looks to me like some defamation is going on with this story.


Antiqued Sandstone wallpaper, Andrew Breitbart and James O’Keefe Joined at Hip « The Long Goodbye
Pingback posted February 4, 2010 @ 10:45 am

[...] there, but it is unclear as to what POV he was pushing if any according to David Weigel – About James O’Keefe and That Robert Taft Club Event. Apparently, the One People’s Project is citing me as a corroborating source on the event — but [...]


Busted: Max Blumenthal Organizes Speaking Forum for White Supremacists!
Pingback posted February 4, 2010 @ 11:03 am

[...] The Washington Independent: About James O’Keefe and That Robert Taft Club Event [...]


strangely_enough
Comment posted February 4, 2010 @ 11:32 am

And hilarity ensues…


The Greenroom » Forum Archive » First They Ignore You. Then They Mock You. Then They Attack You. Then…
Pingback posted February 4, 2010 @ 12:03 pm

[...] ever telling Mr. Jenkins that Mr. O’Keefe was “manning the table.” Indeed, he has already gone on record denying he said [...]


Shot in the Dark » Blog Archive » First They Ignore You. Then They Mock You. Then They Attack You. Then…
Pingback posted February 4, 2010 @ 12:23 pm

[...] ever telling Mr. Jenkins that Mr. O’Keefe was “manning the table.” Indeed, he has already gone on record denying he said [...]


Purp
Comment posted February 4, 2010 @ 2:01 pm

Ha, ha, ha. You want us to believe you recognize someone, and supposed table literature, from 4 years ago? Someone who had nothing distinguishing about them at the time because they weren't famous yet, just another student age guy attending some event at a university.

I've got a better chance of the Easter Bunny being real than this story.


Carter
Comment posted February 4, 2010 @ 2:34 pm

Another amazing scoop, Wiggles. The way you've overcome your disabilities to become a Pulitzer Prize deserving reporter inspires us all.


jcadams
Comment posted February 4, 2010 @ 4:12 pm

The whole campus conservative experience seems to spawn a really vicious group of political operatives. (Such as Lee Atwater, Karl Rove, Donald Segretti, etc.) In photographs Mr. O'keefe has a creepy, sinister look. When you engage in despicable work — after a while your demeanor reflects your environment.


TMLutas
Comment posted February 4, 2010 @ 4:23 pm

Request's in, let's see where this leads.


Montana
Comment posted February 4, 2010 @ 6:09 pm

Jimmy is a real loser. Keep plucking that chicken.


Oh Jimmy Mack, When Are You Coming Back? « Around The Sphere
Pingback posted February 4, 2010 @ 6:40 pm

[...] David Weigel at Washington Independent [...]


NOT_AXJ
Comment posted February 4, 2010 @ 7:07 pm

Waa waa waa waa waa waa. Waa waa waa waa waa. Your posts all read as if you're Charlie Brown's parents. Go put your tinfoil hat back on and return to your bomb shelter you little piss ant.


NOT_AXJ
Comment posted February 4, 2010 @ 7:09 pm

Go Oily Titz! (esq) Hopefully, this time, the judge will throw this stupid idiot in jail.


NOT_AXJ
Comment posted February 4, 2010 @ 7:12 pm

O'Keefe is easily recognizable. He looks a lot like Dylan Klebold from the Columbine shootings.


NOT_AXJ
Comment posted February 4, 2010 @ 7:13 pm

I thought the same. O'Keefe looks a lot like one of the Columbine shooters.


NOT_AXJ
Comment posted February 4, 2010 @ 7:15 pm

It's so funny to read your posts. You're such a f*ing idiot.

*SPIT*


» Correction Request: Max Blumenthal, Salon.com - Big Journalism
Pingback posted February 4, 2010 @ 8:28 pm

[...] Weigel as his source for the claim that Mr. O’Keefe was manning the table.  Mr. Weigel has denied that Mr. O’Keefe manned the table and has no knowledge to suggest Mr. O’Keefe was [...]


Darren
Comment posted February 5, 2010 @ 12:22 am

Well, hey, since O'Keefe “looks sinister”, let's go ahead and conotate that's he's a bad, foul person. Especially in this Weiggel's outright denial that he could confirm O'Keefe's part the race debate in question.

“after a while your demeanor reflects your environment”

jcadams;

I do believe you watched Star Wars Episode III one too many times.


Darren
Comment posted February 5, 2010 @ 12:23 am

Yeah, there's logic for ya. Connect O'keefe with mass murderes


Subotai
Comment posted February 5, 2010 @ 6:40 pm

“Here’s how I came across the story: On Jan. 27, the photographer (who goes by the name Isis) from the One People’s Project called to ask me if I had any photos of the event.”

Amazing. She obviously recognized you as a kindred spirit.


StewartIII
Comment posted February 5, 2010 @ 9:00 pm

NewsBusters: Left-wing Websites Don't Bother With Truth in Smearing James O'Keefe
http://newsbusters.org/blogs/lachlan-markay/201…


ellid
Comment posted February 5, 2010 @ 9:33 pm

Gee, wasn't Little Green Footballs the conservative blog that *disavowed* the junk the teabaggers are spewing? Could that be why it's suddenly “a scuzzy little blog”?


Left-wing Websites Don’t Bother With Truth in Smearing James O’Keefe - www.hostzi.com - deepWeb
Pingback posted February 5, 2010 @ 10:46 pm

[...] Blumenthal and OPP based their "facts" (yes, those are snarky quotation marks) on a blog post by the Washington Independent’s Dave Weigel, who claims to have attended the event in question. Weigel supposedly validated the wild claims made by Blumenthal and OPP, saying on his blog that he could "confirm all the details" of Blumenthal’s story. But Weigel later clarified his remark: [...]


Left-wing Websites Don’t Bother With Truth in Smearing James O’Keefe : Natural Diabetes Treatment
Pingback posted February 6, 2010 @ 8:25 am

[...] Blumenthal and OPP based their "facts" (yes, those are snarky quotation marks) on a blog post by the Washington Independent’s Dave Weigel, who claims to have attended the event in question. Weigel supposedly validated the wild claims made by Blumenthal and OPP, saying on his blog that he could "confirm all the details" of Blumenthal’s story. But Weigel later clarified his remark: [...]


“Retracto” The Correction Alpaca « Constitution Club
Pingback posted February 6, 2010 @ 9:16 am

[...] Weigel as his source for the claim that Mr. O’Keefe was manning the table.  Mr. Weigel has denied that Mr. O’Keefe manned the table and has no knowledge to suggest Mr. O’Keefe was involved in [...]


minoritybabble
Comment posted February 22, 2010 @ 2:26 pm

It's unfortunate your source is a right wing website that doesn't bother with the truth.


minoritybabble
Comment posted February 22, 2010 @ 7:26 pm

It's unfortunate your source is a right wing website that doesn't bother with the truth.


RSS feed for comments on this post.

Sorry, the comment form is closed at this time.