On the one hand, there’s this new book, probably the best thing to come from someone attached to Andrew “Big Daddy” Breitbart’s conservative Big Government sites. Peter Schweizer’s Throw Them All Out details the practice of “honest graft” in Washington, D.C., where politicians can use their inside knowledge about upcoming legislation for their own economic benefit with no legal consequences. Two of the subjects of the book are Republican Speaker John Boehner and Democrat Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi, both of whom evaded questions on their own seemingly-shady financial dealings when they were asked by 60 Minutes, who were working on a piece inspired by Schweizer’s book.
You can hear an interesting talk with Schweizer by the great Mike Pesca of NPR over here. Further suggested reading is this Slate piece. Strongly suggested if you want to keep some Breitbart animosity alive, as it features descriptions of him showing off his house to reporters.
On the other hand, there’s James O’Keefe. The only connection between him and Schweizer is, again, Breitbart, who POLITICO lists as his “mentor”. O’Keefe has a lot to learn — Breitbart knows how to troll the hell out of liberals and is super well-organized at doing it, if you say nothing else about the man.
Not to so much with O’Keefe. Read the whole POLITICO piece if you’d like, but the gist of it is, O’Keefe’s hokey and dishonest brand of conservative activist journalism doesn’t pair well with piss-poor organizational and personal skills. (O’Keefe, you may remember, released some deceptively-edited videos of ACORN people and, later, the president of NPR.) They quote one anonymous source close to him as saying, “What people around him learn about O’Keefe is that he doesn’t plan or research anything he does.” Sounds about right.
So, mark up one loss and one win for conservative journalism, Internet Scorekeepers.