This is not a “woe is me” book. Mr. O'Keefe fought the machine and won. His arrest gave birth to the following veritas maxim: “The law will always surround you. Learn it.” Probation forced him to take his craft to a new level. Rather than star in his videos, he directed others via painstakingly executed scripts that were vetted by world-class lawyers, and with technology, he could call off a mission in New Hampshire from his parent’s house in Bergen County, N. J. While on probation, Mr. O'Keefe shook up the funding and personnel at NPR, and helped changed voter-ID laws in six states, all for pocket change.
Imagine, the smile on Mr. O'Keefe’s face when Mr. Holder was before the House Judiciary Committee and was asked how a person a fraction of his age and of a different race could have been offered the ballot of the attorney general of the United States without showing identification. Mr. Holder’s remark was testament to the evolution of Mr. O'Keefe and his organization, Project Veritas: “You know, I mean it’s an attempt to show something, I suppose. But I think what I drew from that — the video was that that guy was very careful not to say he was Eric Holder. Not to actually get a ballot. He did not do the things that would have subjected him to criminal .”
While Mr. O'Keefe’s ends are detested by the left, the means he employs have a pedigree that can be traced to the philosopher-tactician of community organizing, Saul Alinsky, author of the must-read “Rules for Radicals.” Mr. Alinsky’s 10th rule for radicals: “The major premise for tactics is the development of operations that will maintain a constant pressure upon the opposition. It is this that will cause the opposition to react to your advantage.” This captures the O’Keefe experience to the core.
But there is more to being “O’Keefed” than falling for the tactics of Alinsky. Project Veritas’ “cinema verite” is written with “Rules for Radicals” grammar and Tom Wolfe’s “Mau-Mauing the Flak Catchers” prose. Channeling his inner Wolfe, Mr. O'Keefe said the following in a deposition: “I don’t think pimp protocol requires the wearing of chinchilla. Pimp protocol requires the whoring out of underage girls.”
The blend is a sure recipe for “Breakthrough” and summertime best-sellers. Veritas rule No. 1: “Content is king. Without strong content, nothing else matters.”
David DesRosiers is president of Revere Advisors.