It’s Hard Out There For A Pimp

-Submitted by David Drumm (Nal), Guest Blogger

OKeefeJuan Carlos Vera will receive (US)$100,000 in a settlement of his lawsuit against James O’Keefe. The money is to be paid within 30 days and, as part of the settlement, O’Keefe “regrets any pain suffered by Mr. Vera or his family.” Vera was an employee of ACORN in National City, California, when, in 2009, James O’Keefe, posing as a law school student boyfriend (not a pimp) and Hannah Giles, dressed similarly to a prostitute, surreptitiously video-taped the encounter. A “severely edited” version was published by the late Andrew Breitbart and Vera was subsequently fired.

During the encounter, O’Keefe and Giles proposed smuggling young women into the United States to work as prostitutes. Unbeknownst to O’Keefe and Giles, Vera called his cousin, Detective Alejandro Hernandez of the National City Police Department, to report the incident. Breitbart worte: “Juan Vera called [his police officer] cousin LONG after videos were filmed.” However, according to a report from the California Attorney General’s Office, Vera called his cousin “Immediately after the couple left.” The detective, in turn, contacted a federal task force that deals in human smuggling.

The California Invasion of Privacy Act expressly bars secretly recording someone’s voice or image. O’Keefe and Giles were given immunity from prosecution in exchange for the complete and unedited videos. That immunity doesn’t apply to private lawsuits and Giles settled last summer for an undisclosed amount.

O’Keefe tried to obtain a motion for judgement on the pleading by claiming that he was protected by the First Amendment since he was a “journalist”. In his denial of the motion, Judge M. James Lorenz properly noted the Supreme Court of California case SHULMAN v. GROUP PRODUCTIONS INC, where the court found:

… no constitutional precedent or principle of which we are aware gives a reporter general license to intrude in an objectively offensive manner into private places, conversations or matters merely because the reporter thinks he or she may thereby find something that will warrant publication or broadcast.

Eugene Iredale, attorney for Vera, said O’Keefe and his people “requested confidentiality and we said no.”

Settling was a smart move for O’Keefe. It avoids the multiple news stories of the day-to-day proceedings of a court trial. One news story in the media about the settlement and that will soon be forgotten. Although O’Keefe has called the lawsuit “meritless,” the conservative media has not echoed his claim, preferring to keep the faithful ignorant.

H/T: Conor Friedersdorf, Stefen BC, Brad Friedman, Matthew Phelan and Liz Farkas, Erik Wemple, Rick Unger.

32 thoughts on “It’s Hard Out There For A Pimp”

  1. Elaine,

    I’m not saying so much in method as I’m saying they’ve slipped in execution.

  2. Gene,

    Slipped a notch? I’d say they are still following along the path laid down for them by their fearless leader.

  3. Nal,


    Yeah, those Brietbart boys and girls have sure slipped a notch since losing their leader.

  4. Paul Krugman:


    OK, I’m an evil person — and my scheming has paid off.

    On Friday I started hearing from friends about a fake story making the rounds about my allegedly filing for personal bankruptcy; I even got asked about the story by a reporter from Russian television, who was very embarrassed when I told him it was fake. But I decided not to post anything about it; instead, I wanted to wait and see which right-wing media outlets would fall for the hoax.

    And came through!

    Now, if you’ll excuse me, I have to go give a lavishly paid speech to Friends of Hamas.

  5. “Bad people don’t repent.” – Matt Johnson

    “I’d do it all the same if I had it to do over again.” – Dick Cheney

  6. nick spinelli
    1, March 9, 2013 at 2:17 pm
    Only the truly strong can forgive when a bad person repents.
    Bad people don’t repent.

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