James O’Keefe, whose hidden camera outfit Project Veritas claimed another major scalp today with the resignation of NPR CEO Vivian Schiler, departed from his usual symbiotic relationship with conservative media guru Andrew Breitbart in releasing his latest project.
As Mediaite notes, some observers are questioning if this reveals fissures between the two. O’Keefe posted his famous ACORN videos to Breitbart’s “Big Government” but gave news site The Daily Caller first crack at his latest video. Breitbart turned on O’Keefe in the press last year after a colleague of O’Keefe’s revealed to the press that the conservative filmmaker was planning an elaborate prank in which he would lure a CNN reporter onto a boat with a hidden camera and attempt to seduce her.
“From what I’ve read about this script, though not executed, it is patently gross and offensive,” Breitbart said in a statement at the time. “It’s not his detractors to whom he also owes this public airing. It’s to his legion of supporters.”
Breitbart denied a split in an interview with Mediaite, however, saying “I’ve said all along that James needs to be an independent journalist. His ACORN videos weren’t posted exclusively on Breitbart sites.” He added, “The mainstream media uses me as a way to marginalize James … and James as a means to marginalize me.”
TPM put in a request for comment to O’Keefe, but has not yet heard back.
Benjy Sarlin is a reporter for Talking Points Memo and co-writes the campaign blog, TPM2012. He previously reported for The Daily Beast/Newsweek as their Washington Correspondent and covered local politics for the New York Sun.