Controversial conservative journalist/activist James O'Keefe claims he was falsely tarred as a felon and accused rapist on “Countdown”
Conservative journalist/activist James O'Keefe has often been accused of skewing the truth with his work. And now O'Keefe has charged others of doing the same to him.
O'Keefe's hit pieces on Planned Parenthood, ACORN and NPR have made him a hero of the right wing but have gained him a reputation for dishonesty in other circles. Now he's filed a defamation lawsuit against Current Media — the parent company of Al Gore's Current TV — as well as "Countdown" host Keith Olbermann, and guest host David Shuster, claiming that he had been falsely branded as a "convicted felon" who had been accused of rape during a December episode of "Countdown."
Read the full complaint here.
According to O'Keefe's complaint, which was filed in New Jersey Superior Court, during the December 22, 2011 edition of "Countdown," Olbermann called O'Keefe a convicted felon" on "federal parole after he was charged with [a] felony for attempting to maliciously interfere with Senator [Mary] Landrieu's office telephone system in New Orleans."
The suit further claims that on the Feb. 24, 2012 edition of "Countdown," guest host Shuster stated that there is a "rape allegation facing…conservative activist…James O'Keefe."
In actual fact, O'Keefe's lawsuit claims, he pleaded guilty to a misdemeanor of entering a federal building under false pretenses in connection with the Landrieu incident, and an investigation did not uncover any evidence that O'Keefe and his cohorts actually intended to tamper with Landrieu's phones.
With regard to the rape claim, the lawsuit notes that a harassment complaint filed by O'Keefe's associate Nadia Naffe — the seeming origin of the rape allegation — was dismissed by a judge on Dec. 21, and that Naffe had not charged that O'Keefe made physical contact with or raped her.
A current TV spokesperson told TheWrap that she had no information of import about the suit.
O'Keefe is no stranger to defamation lawsuits; in January, he filed a complaint against the New Jersey Star-Ledger, claiming that the paper had also falsely accused O'Keefe of committing a felony by "fraudulently obtaining a ballot in the name of another person: and violated New Hampshire law "by recording another person."
Pamela Chelin contributed to this report.