Emmett Tyrrell

WASHINGTON -- Irving Kristol, the recently deceased godfather of neoconservatism, once said to me, "Fairness is not a liberal value." I thought about his asseveration while observing the liberals' colossal indignation over conservative activist James O'Keefe's entry under false pretenses into the district offices of Sen. Mary Landrieu, D-La. O'Keefe is the merry prankster who entered the offices of the left-wing community action group ACORN under the false pretense of being a pimp. Repeatedly and in ACORN offices across the country, the ACORNiacs counseled this faux pimp on how to be a successful sex entrepreneur. He taped them! The tapes exposed ACORN for the criminal enterprise it has become. O'Keefe became a hero to some conservatives but a scoundrel to all liberals.

Now O'Keefe is under threat of indictment for bringing a couple of fellow pranksters into Sen. Landrieu's office, though he has toned down his act. This time, his associates claimed only to be employees of the telephone company, which I guess is understandable. One would not expect a United States senator's staff to counsel young men on success in the sex trade. For that matter, I doubt that the senator's staff would even counsel them on phone sex. Rather, it appears that O'Keefe wanted surreptitiously to film Landrieu staffers working the telephones. His intent had something to do with a controversy about telephone callers' not getting through to Landrieu's office. At any rate, all hell has broken loose because O'Keefe and his faux telephone repairmen were up to something tricky on federal property.

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Now, if they claimed to be members of a protest movement and were disorderly in a senator's office, liberals would remain tranquil. In fact, liberals did remain tranquil when this happened at Sen. Joe Lieberman's office last November. Or if they claimed to be environmentalists, they could disrupt a member of Congress' office with no liberal outrage. This happened in 1997 in Rep. Frank Riggs' office. Or for that matter, they might claim to be associates of filmmaker Michael Moore and disrupt various congressional offices with cameras and microphones and general unpleasantness.

Emmett Tyrrell

R. Emmett Tyrrell Jr. is founder and editor in chief of The American Spectator and co-author of Madame Hillary: The Dark Road to the White House.
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