In a bizarre account, CNN has acknowledged that James O'Keefe, a prankster best known for posing as a pimp to ACORN employees, had planned an ill-conceived stunt to embarrass one of its network's correspondents. His scheme was to coax Abbie Boudreau onto a boat filled with sexually explicit props in order to showcase "the awkwardness and the aftermath." It isn't clear how or why O'Keefe thought "seducing" her on camera would reflect poorly on CNN and other media outlets he said were trying to "spin a lie" about him. Still, the plan, which was foiled by a nervous O'Keefe associate who alerted the correspondent, certainly brought out the awkwardness. Pundits are having a field day sorting out the details of the still-confusing scenario. Or, as Politico's Ben Smith succinctly put it, O'Keefe's time in the spotlight has most-likely hit "Minute 16."
'Trainwreck' observes Slate's David Weigel, who posted a list of the props that the prankster was about to use. "It's really something. The Boudreau plan is the really awful part ('Using hot blondes to seduce interviewees to get screwed on television, you are faux seducing her in order to screw her on television'), but another proposal was to falsify a recording of Tea Partiers yelling obscenities at Rep. John Lewis (D-Ga.), get CNN to air it, and then nail them for getting suckered."
'He Lacks Wisdom' notes a more sympathetic Matt Lewis at Politics Daily. "What is really needed here is some adult supervision to properly channel this energy into a productive cause. Conservatism can be stodgy and boring, and so there is a need for young activists who can inject energy into it. My guess is that this thirst has caused some conservatives to be too lenient when it comes to tolerating some of the amateurish actions of O'Keefe and his ilk."
'Reads Like Bad Fiction' finds The Washington Monthly's Steve Benen. "The problem isn't that there are far-right activists who engage in their brand of 'investigative journalism.' The problem is that these activists appear to be idiots."
I Don't Get What The Point Is writes a perplexed Doug Mataconis at Outside the Beltway. "There are many on the right for whom O'Keefe has become some kind of bizarre folk hero thanks to the ACORN videos...but his actions since then have been, to put it nicely, odd. The Landrieu stunt was apparently intended to address claims by some that her Senate office was not answering phone calls from opponents of health care reform, but it ended up resulting in actions that violated the law. A few months ago, he came out with a video that essentially provided the rather obvious conclusion that government workers cheat on their time cards every now and then. And now there's this."