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February 03, 2010

Video: My GRITtv interview with Laura Flanders

Yesterday, I sat down with Laura Flanders of GRITtv to talk about the alleged phone-tamperers who were arrested last week for dressing up as phone repairmen and attempting unsuccessfully to access to the main telephone cabinet for Sen. Mary Landrieu's office. One of the four, Stan Dai, is a former assistant director for a intelligence recruiting program funded by the Office of the Director of National Intelligence. My fellow guest, Dr. David Price is an anthropologist who monitors the intelligence community's attempts to insinuate itself into academia.

Media Consortium outlets have been scooping the established press left and right on the phone tampering story. Check out some of the highlights in the latest edition of The Weekly Pulse.


Great job on camera!

It is certainly a story that they allegedly tried to bug the phones of the Senator/Gangster from Louisiana, but is it really that big a story?

We won't know how big the story is until after the trial, if there is one. If it turns out that they were just idiotic rabblerousers who just wanted to make a silly movie about Mary Landrieu's phones and not actually hurt anything, then it's not that big a deal. If it turns out that they had a plan to sabotage her phone, or set her up to make her look like she wasn't answering her phones, or (worst of all) actually bug her phone--then it's a huge deal, especially given how plugged in these guys are to the mainstream Republican and conservative media establishments. O'Keefe has the status of a national newsmaker and the fact that he's gotten caught doing something so stupid and irresponsible, if not downright sinister, casts doubt on everything he does and everyone who associates with him. (Looking at you, Andrew Breitbart.)

Of course, it should be a big legal deal for these particular guys no matter what. We just can't have political operatives messing around with Senators' phones. Even if they just planned to distribute a video showing the configuration of Landrieu's main phone cabinet, that is Not Cool. Amongst other things she's on the Homeland Security Committee and lots of people far nastier than O'Keefe and his dyspeptic pranksters would be very interested in how her phone system is hooked up.

First of all, you're freaking me out in that video. In my head you still have the traditional Lindsay Beyerstein look: short-haired, simple, edgy. Lindsay Beyerstein 2.0 is looking so much more like a serious journalism professional that I don't think I would have recognized you out of context.

Second, I noticed Flanders didn't name your blog. I think if you're going to keep up the serious journalism thing, Majikthise is not going to make it. The reference is a bit obscure for straight journalism, I think, and when you say it out loud it sounds...let's just say not very lady-like.

Third, in all seriousness, kudos to you for playing it straight. It's so easy for partisans to play this as a vast right-wing conspiracy or a simple harmless prank, depending which way they lean. I like the way you took the middle ground of admitting there's just a lot we don't know.

Windyundit, probably not a few right-wingers might be glad to see this blog gone -- but very few of its regular readers would.

Phantom, Heaven knows Sen. Landrieu has her shortcomings, but she no more deserves to be called a "gangster" than you do. Perhaps you are making the same mistake O'Kee Da Pimp did when, in talking to Hannity (and why didn't O'Keefe's lawyer forbid that?), he spoke of the senator obtaining $300M in pork for Louisiana as if she had taken a bribe for herself. I won't defend her dealings with Voyager Expanded Learning, but they weren't extortionate, and anyway were not O'Keefe's focus.

That's not Lindsay

Can't be

Dabodius, (is that handle a Chicagoism?) I don't think the blog has to go away, but the name, though brilliant, just sounds funny. Who's going to take Lindsay seriously when she runs a blog with a name that sounds like one of the Bond girls?

Windypundit, the handle is pseudo-Roman, not Lithuanian or 'roid-'rageous (the O is long, as in "Chicago.") I did live in Rogers Park, the near NW side, and then Lakeview back in the Nixon years, but now my senator is Mary Landrieu; Vitter doesn't count.

I believe this blog was named for a philosopher in Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy.

when you say it out loud it sounds...let's just say not very lady-like.

Uh, what now? You can't be serious.

I thought Lindsay appeared very professional, composed, and detached, with just a hint of amusement in her expression.

When I say amusement, I don't mean she takes the event lightly, but it's hard not to guffaw at idiotic Republican cobags.

I just saw the video this morning.

Good job, Lindsay.

Go get 'em

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