James O’Keefe’s partner talks about the CNN boat prank

ESQUIRE: Broadly speaking, what’s your reaction to CNN’s report?

BEN WETMORE: There are things they’re spinning, and there’s further context they aren’t adding. They know the document wasn’t final. If CNN wants to write stories about every idea on my laptop, it’ll keep them busy for awhile.


ESQ: But the stunt was aborted “minutes before it was supposed to happen.”

BW: I wasn’t there during the meeting with Boudreau, but the document was never intended as a final plan. This is a brainstorming issue, combined with an event that didn’t happen, so it’s all speculation about how things would’ve happened. Everybody expects that it would’ve played out just like in the initial framing.

ESQ: People are accusing you of misogyny and worse. What did you hope to achieve?

BW: It was humor. There was a joke to it — James isn’t a lothario of sexual conquest at all. It was going to be awkward, not sexually aggressive. It was meant to be outlandish and ridiculous. When you dissect and sterilize a joke, it’s not funny anymore — when you read the transcript of an SNL skit, you’re not going to laugh, but you do when it’s performed. It seems one way in print, but the video would’ve looked very different.

I could get very anxious about whatever the blogs are saying, but it’s entertaining. It adds a little spice to life. At the end of the day, this stuff is fun.

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