James O’Keefe: Failure Genius at Work

James O'Keefe in mid-self-own. (Dalton Bennett/The Washington Post via Getty Images)

James O’Keefe has a genius for failure. The Washington Post recently reported on a likely attempt by Project Veritas, O’Keefe’s dark money-funded conservative propaganda organization, to trick the Post into publishing a made-up allegation against Alabama’s alleged child molesting Republican Senate candidate Roy Moore. The attempt backfired — spectacularly. In the midst of a stunt meant to expose its supposed liberal bias and lack of factual rigor, the Post used its factual rigor and lack of bias to expose the ruse. Not only did O’Keefe fail to make the point he wanted to make, he also made a convincing case for the very opposite point. In doing so, he committed an almost flawless self-own, made more complete by his insistence that he did, in fact, own the Post.

This is not the first time O’Keefe has owned himself. In 2010, he pleaded guilty to a misdemeanor for a stunt that involved entering Louisiana Senator Mary Landrieu’s office under false pretenses. During a 2016 attempt to “investigate” George Soros’ Open Society Foundations, O’Keefe failed to hang up his phone while leaving a voicemail, and then blabbed about the plan for the sting while being recorded by its target. His operation’s slipshod work is causing so much litigation, even his insurance company is abandoning him.

You might wonder how being capable of such impressive failure affects O’Keefe’s day-to-day life, so we did some wondering for you. What follows is an account from O’Keefe’s daily log.

6:30 a.m.: Alarm. Breakfast. The Cap’n Crunch box says one cup is a serving, but if you fill your bowl with milk first, and you fill it all the way up, you can only fit a fourth that amount before the milk gets everywhere. This saves cereal, and it still tastes like a whole meal! Definitely worth the milk stains on my deck shoes. And yes, it’s whole milk in there. Unpasteurized.

7:15 a.m.: Hungry and gassy. Gassy and hungry. Ooof. Mom usually does a better job picking out the crunch berries. Sure, the berries are gone by the time I pour out the cereal, but she must have left some berry crumbs if my tummers hurts like this. We should have a talk about her recent performance. Will ping her later.

8:30 a.m.: Replayed the message on my phone from my gastro Dr. Epstein. He claims I have “textbook” lactose intolerance and he wants just five minutes of my time. Sorry Doc, I didn’t get this far in undercover journalism without recognizing a Soros op when I hear one. Nice try, Georgie boy. I turn on Imagine Dragons, LOUD. Feel pumped for another day exposing hypocritical liberals.

8:45 a.m.: Secondary alarm. Time for what I’ve told Dr. Epstein is my “medication” for my “lactose intolerance.” Mom brings out a big oozing disc of brie (unpasteurized), and I bite off a hunk. The brie was donated to Project Veritas through one of our many unaccountable, often anonymous, funders. It tastes extra good knowing it is technically charity. We laugh about how riled this must make all those Soros lackeys at my doctor’s office. Can’t bring up the crunch berry situation now, I love her too much. Viscous cheese flecks stick to my face, and Mom picks them off. I feel sad. These are the traditional family pleasures the left won’t allow themselves to have. I shed a tear for the liberals who know they are owned, and another for those who don’t. Mom wipes off both.

9 –11:15 a.m.: Stuck in bathroom, indescribable pain. Bad. Bad. Bad. Do I fire Mom myself or have the intern do it?

11:30 a.m. – 1:30 p.m.: Went to office. The whole team was there. These ragtag former real estate loan officers are my heart. As always, we put in the work to find the best approach to every hot-button issue the liberals don’t want us to touch. Take abortion, for instance. We thought about it and decided to find someone to go undercover at a clinic and then selectively edit the footage to make the clinic look bad. Then someone asked, “what about the media’s left-wing bias?” Our solution: have someone go undercover in a newsroom and then selectively edit the footage to make the newsroom look bad. Local organizers fomenting an Antifa revolution? It took a while, but we decided to have someone go undercover at a local protest organizing meeting and then selectively edit the footage to make the organizers look bad. Damn, I love being an undercover journalist. Damn, I love knowing how journalism works.

2 – 3 p.m.: Work hard, pray hard. Imagine Dragons worship hour.

3:01 p.m.: I prayed on it. The intern will fire Mom.

3:30 – 4 p.m.: Date time. Just because I’m taking on the machine — the Matrix — doesn’t mean I don’t yearn for more. So I head to Starbucks to see a special lady. I’m good at dating, so I remember to ask her, whatever-her-name-is, questions about herself. Asking “which liberal’s pain gives you the most pleasure?” did not kick off the intimate convo I hoped for. Weird. I don’t fear being hated by the mainstream media, but a woman’s judgment is something else. Maybe she’s shy. So I switch to my favorite topic: undercover investigative journalism. Leaning in close, I ask: “have you heard of Planned Parenthood?” She nods. “I exposed them,” I murmur, before playing selectively edited videos of low-level Planned Parenthood staffers. I can tell she’s getting hot and bothered because she says “James, you really gotta put that away, my manager has warned you before.” She’s angry, which I’ve learned is a good response to get from people, and never a sign I might be wrong in any way. Anger tells me I’m on the right track. Then she says those special words: “James, grande latte for James,” and I leave. Everything went perfectly, once again.

4:01 p.m.: Wiped out, headed home. The mainstream media has zero clue how hard real undercover journalism is.