CNN accuses James O'Keefe of bizarre prank

There’s no way to summarize this story. It’s simply too detailed and too weird, so take the time to either watch the clip below at Mediaite or read CNN’s write-up (and Boudreau’s blog post) about what went down. Here’s my best try: She says she was invited to meet O’Keefe to talk about a documentary on young conservatives that CNN was making. One of his colleagues allegedly approached her when she arrived and told her that it was a set-up, that she was going to be invited onto a boat and then pranked by O’Keefe hitting on her during their chat while hidden video cameras rolled. Boudreau decided to leave, and then O’Keefe’s colleague e-mailed her a series of e-mails and a “script” for the prank showing that the boat was set up to be an over-the-top “palace of pleasure” replete with strawberries, champagne, a “condom jar,” fuzzy handcuffs, and, er, sex toys. (In the clip, Boudreau claims that some parts of the document are so explicit that they can’t reveal all of it.) The idea, supposedly, was to embarrass Boudreau as retaliation for the embarrassment that young conservatives would suffer from CNN’s sure-to-be-unfair documentary.

When CNN asked O’Keefe if the script was real and whether he approved of it, here’s what he said:

The document states it was written by “Ben.” According to the e-mail chain obtained by CNN, Ben Wetmore sent the document to O’Keefe and Santa. In a statement e-mailed to CNN, O’Keefe wrote: “That is not my work product. When it was sent to me, I immediately found certain elements highly objectionable and inappropriate, and did not consider them for one minute following it.”

As you’ll see in the clip, Boudreau doesn’t believe him. And, as Tommy Christopher notes, she adds a new detail about the script: Apparently it raised the prospect of her being reduced to tears and asking to be let off the boat, which, if true, turns this from a phony seduction into something else altogether. Brent Bozell of the Media Research Center says the prank was “ugly, dishonest and filthy,” and Caleb Howe at Red State calls it “sick” and salutes O’Keefe’s colleague for tipping her off before it happened. I was hoping O’Keefe would respond at length to CNN somewhere online tonight, but presumably that’ll come later this week. What I can’t quite grasp is how, if he and his team really did intend to follow the script and film Boudreau on the boat with sex toys scattered around, they could have conceivably released the resulting video and thought people would like it. That may be their best defense, actually — that no one seriously could have thought this was a good idea and that the script was just a raunchy joke being circulated among the team, never meant to be implemented. (The other defense, presumably, will be that the colleague who tipped off Boudreau is lying.) In any case, you’re now up to speed. We’ll hear O’Keefe’s side of it soon enough, I’m sure. Click the image to watch.