Talk about hubris... Dirty trickster James O'Keefe's foray into gonzo porn has ended disastrously for him. O'Keefe schemed to seduce CNN investigative reporter Abbie Boudreau in front of hidden cameras. The right wing media activist, who recently pleaded guilty to charges of attempted phone tampering, tried to lure CNN's ace investigative reporter to a small boat, excuse me, a "floating pleasure palace," stocked with sex toys, strawberries, champagne, hidden cameras, and Mr. James O'Keefe.
Boudreau agreed to meet privately with O'Keefe as part of her research for a documentary about young conservative activists. He promised to meet with her in his office but instead directed her to a remote private residence with a boat in back. At the last minute, one of O'Keefe's confederates took Boudreau felt so guilty that she took the reporter aside and confessed to everything.
Luckily for us, covert geniuses O'Keefe and his friend and collaborator Ben Wetmore put his plan to film a sex tape in writing, and CNN got ahold of a memo by Wetmore outlining the caper. For mood music, the memo suggested "Alicia Keys", and "80s romance songs, things that are typically James," noting "avoid Marvin Gaye as too cliche." Nacht. (Correction, I wrote that O'Keefe wrote the memo but it was actually Wetmore.)
The memo suggests that O'Keefe bring some "Viagra and stamina pills," which suggests that the goal wasn't just to get Boudreau into a compromising position for the sake of the caper and then stop the action. O'Keefe wanted to create a sex tape of Boudreau without her consent.
O'Keefe even had pre-written patter, "Abby [sic], I want to take you to a higher place. CNN must be a tough place to work, let's make some headline love."
James also planned his persona for the caper: "James should have a more sleazy persona than normal, with slicked back hair and exposing his chest. It should be entirely over the top. The person should be very touchy-feely, ideally, wearing gold chains and with cigarettes." I wonder if he thought this extra sleaze factor would increase his changes with Boudreau, or whether he thought he was so blisteringly sexy that his outfit and hygiene didn't matter.
The memo even sets out the motive for the caper. O'Keefe wants to destroy Boudreau because he doesn't like the tone that he suspects CNN is taking in its documentary on conservative activists. "Abby, who works for Anderson Cooper at CNN, at network notorious for journalistic malpractice, wants to lull me into thinking she's my friend so that she can use me and hurt my career," O'Keefe said in a prerecorded statement quoted in the memo. (Why write a memo in the first place? Probably because you're looking for funding from some third party. Who might that be?)
The memo argues that Boudreau deserves what the conspirators hope she's about to get: "The joke is that the tables have been turned on CNN. Using hot blonds to seduce interviewees to get screwed on television, you are faux seducing her in order to screw her on television."
O'Keefe feared that Boudreau might get the better of him as a journalist, so he plotted to destroy her with sex. Once again, male privilege and misogyny eclipse common sense.
O'Keefe's above-ground career as a conservative activist may be over for the time being. He won't go away, of course. He'll just be pushed deeper in the shadows. There's always work for a dirty trickster in politics. I look forward to reading that O'Keefe has been arrested for a fourth-rate burglary.