Hannah Giles | Media Matters for America

Hannah Giles

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  • Judge Refuses To Dismiss Former ACORN Worker's Lawsuit Against O'Keefe and Giles

    Blog ››› ››› ADAM SHAH

    Last year, James O'Keefe and Hannah Giles were sued by former San Diego ACORN worker Juan Carlos Vera for allegedly illegally taping their confidential conversation. This lawsuit came after O'Keefe's and Giles' claims that ACORN workers systematically assisted them in trying to set up a purported child prostitution ring were exposed as a hoax.

    After having his conversation with O'Keefe and Giles, Vera reportedly contacted California law-enforcement officials (actions that put the lie to suggestions by O'Keefe, Giles, and their patron Andrew Breitbart that no ACORN workers refused to help them with their scheme).

    The lawsuit contends that by taping their talk with Vera, O'Keefe and Giles violated a California law that prohibits people from recording confidential communications without the consent of all parties to the communication.

    This week, as law professor and blogger Eugene Volokh noted, a federal judge denied motions by both O'Keefe and Giles to have the lawsuit thrown out.

    O'Keefe had argued that the California statute was unconstitutional under the First Amendment. Giles contended that because she was not the one actually taping the conversation with Vera, she could not be held liable under the statute.

    You can read the judge's decision here.

  • Is There Legal Tension Between James O'Keefe And Hannah Giles?

    Blog ››› ››› ERIC BOEHLERT

    Still dealing with the legal fallout from their undercover ACORN sting from 2009, Talking Points Memo reports that lawyers for James O'Keefe and Hannah Giles are busy responding to a California lawsuit that claims the two conservative activists broke state law by secretly tape recording ACORN workers and then releasing the recordings without permission, according to a report from Talking Points Memo.

    What's interesting is that O'Keefe and Giles, who performed as an undercover team in the ACORN tapes, have different sets of lawyers and apparently very different sets of defenses.

    From TPM:

    A team of four lawyers is defending O'Keefe on a pro bono basis in the suit filed by one of O'Keefe's targets, and they're citing everything from the writings of James Madison to Ashton Kutcher's MTV show "Punk'd" to a Woody Allen segment on "Candid Camera" to claim O'Keefe's ACORN sting is protected by the First Amendment.

    So O'Keefe's team is going to fight the charges on constitutional grounds. Giles' team? Not so much:

    Lawyers for O'Keefe's partner in the ACORN sting, Hannah Giles (who posed as a prostitute in the videos), are arguing that Giles shouldn't be held responsible because she wasn't the one doing the actual recording.

    And who was doing the recording during the California sting? James O'Keefe.

    This is reminiscent of the approach Andrew Breitbart was forced to take last year when it became obvious that O'Keefe had misled everyone with regards to the ACORN tapes and the false premise he presented that he entered ACORN offices wearing a pimp costume. In the end, Breitbart, who sponsored the dishonest sting, placed the blame squarely on O'Keefe's shoulders, claiming he "didn't know" what was actually on the tapes, and that O'Keefe brought the tapes to him so O'Keefe was responsible for any "discrepancy."

  • Hannah Giles needs your money for her defense -- and more pink pens?

    Blog ››› ››› KARL FRISCH

    The Washington Independent's David Weigel has obtained a letter soliciting cash for Hannah Giles' legal defense fund and one thing is abundantly clear... James O'Keefe's undercover ACORN video partner loves to annotate her pleas for help with plenty of pink pen -- stars, underlines, double underlines, circles, double parenthesis, arrows... you name it! Other than that, the missive is exactly what you'd expect - chock-a-block full of attacks on ACORN and President Obama.

    Weigel writes:

    Here's a fundraising letter sent by the Liberty Legal Institute's Hannah Giles Legal Defense Fund to offset legal costs incurred by Giles - the star of last year's ACORN sting - as a result of a lawsuit filed against her by ACORN and some of its former employees. The mailing was produced by Base Connect, a firm that does work for Republican campaigns.

    Here's the first page. Be sure to check out the entire letter.

  • Breitbart walks back his charges of ACORN "criminality" -- will Fox News?


    Andrew Breitbart wrote in a March 2 post that the "ACORN tapes were less about 'criminality' than facility with which employees all knew how to work system for any lowlife wanting govmnt $." However, Breitbart, along with James O'Keefe and Hannah Giles, and other media conservatives have accused ACORN of engaging in or abetting criminal behavior.

  • Daily News law enforcement source: O'Keefe and Giles "edited the tape to meet their agenda"

    Blog ››› ››› MEDIA MATTERS STAFF

    From a March 1 Daily News article:

    Brooklyn prosecutors on Monday cleared ACORN of criminal wrongdoing after a four-month probe that began when undercover conservative activists filmed workers giving what appeared to be illegal advice on how to hide money.

    While the video by James O'Keefe and Hannah Giles seemed to show three ACORN workers advising a prostitute how to hide ill-gotten gains, the unedited version was not as clear, according to a law enforcement source.

    "They edited the tape to meet their agenda," said the source.


    Investigation confirms: No evidence of illegal actions by ACORN in videographer scam

  • An Open Letter to Retracto, the Correction Alpaca

    Blog ››› ››› BRIAN FREDERICK

    Dear Mr. Alpaca,

    I'm not really sure where you came from -- Andrew Breitbart's imagination, presumably -- but we need you now more than ever. But Breitbart likes to use you as a device to demand corrections of others and somebody even wrote a catchy song about you.

    Now it's high time you paid Breitbart himself a visit.

    You see, Hannah Giles today reportedly said "we never claimed that" fellow filmmaker James O'Keefe "went in with a pimp costume" into ACORN offices."It was purely b-roll," she claimed.

    But yet, Breitbart and Fox News have claimed that he did dress up as a pimp and visit ACORN offices.

    As Media Matters has pointed out, in a Sept. 21, 2009 Washington Times column, Breitbart wrote [emphasis added]:

    When filmmaker and provocateur James O'Keefe came to my office to show me the video of him and his friend, Hannah Giles, going to the Baltimore offices of ACORN - the nation's foremost "community organizers" - dressed as a pimp and a prostitute and asking for - and getting - help for various illegal activities, he sought my advice.

    And during a September appearance on Fox & Friends, in which O'Keefe appeared in his pimp costume, co-host Steve Doocy stated: "He is dressed exactly in the same outfit that he wore to these ACORN offices up and down the Eastern seaboard. This is what you think a pimp looks like?" O'Keefe did not correct Doocy, merely stating, "I guess this is a stereotypical pimp costume, comes to mind. Yeah."

    It's clear that Breitbart and Fox News should correct their claims immediately.

    As has been stated stated previously:

    The story's gonna come out whether they like it or not
    If they told it like it is they wouldn't be in this spot
    Lyin' to the people gets a psychotic reaction
    But Retracto calls them out now they're makin' retractions


    We need the news not projection
    Or he's gonna demand a correction
    We need the news not projection
    Or he's gonna demand a correction

    Go get 'em.

  • Hannah Giles: "We never claimed that [O'Keefe] went in with a pimp costume"

    Blog ››› ››› MEDIA MATTERS STAFF

    From a February 19 Washington Independent article by David Weigel, who reports that he spoke to Hannah Giles at CPAC 2010:

    I asked Giles about a criticism that's often been leveled against them -- that they hyped up the video by wearing outrageous clothes in promotional materials and the videos' introductions that they didn't wear in the actual stings.

    "We never claimed that he went in with a pimp costume," said Giles. "That was b-roll. It was purely b-roll. He was a pimp, I was a prostitute, and we were walking in front of government buildings to show how the government was whoring out the American people."

    In fact, in a Sept. 21, 2009 Washington Times column, Andrew Breitbart wrote [emphasis added]:

    When filmmaker and provocateur James O'Keefe came to my office to show me the video of him and his friend, Hannah Giles, going to the Baltimore offices of ACORN - the nation's foremost "community organizers" - dressed as a pimp and a prostitute and asking for - and getting - help for various illegal activities, he sought my advice.

  • The increasingly lame defenses of James O'Keefe

    Blog ››› ››› SIMON MALOY

    I'd wager there aren't many people right now who would count themselves among James O'Keefe's supporters -- at least, far fewer than there were before he was arrested for entering Sen. Mary Landrieu's New Orleans office under false pretenses with the purpose of committing a felony. But what friends he does have left are doing their damndest to exonerate him in the court of public opinion. The problem is they clearly don't have a whole lot to work with.

    Andrew Breitbart -- O'Keefe's patron and mentor -- got the ball rolling with the absurdly concocted smear that the U.S. attorney's office and the Justice Department conspired with the media to "frame" O'Keefe while he sat in a jail cell (a theory that O'Keefe himself did much to undermine). Breitbart's evidence for this allegation has been, well, nonexistent, though he would like to think that U.S. attorney Jim Letten's recusal from the case shows that he's on the right track. Unfortunately for him, Letten recused himself the day after the arrests were made -- days before Breitbart's conspiracy theory took shape.

    And then there's Hannah Giles, O'Keefe's partner in the undercover ACORN "pimp" videos, who posted a missive on BigGovernment.com this morning lauding her colleague's actions in New Orleans for "strip[ping] away the MSM's mask of neutrality, revealing the bias below." Giles also informed us what she's learned from the whole situation: "the MSM is the primary force of the Democratic Party. If the MSM is lying to you, guess who else is? Someone has to feed them stories. Time and time again the MSM has been caught in a self-created web of lies, and the vast majority of these reports do one thing, and that is mask the true, ugly face of liberalism."

    You can try and recast O'Keefe's arrest as some sort of heroic exposé of the mainstream media's alleged bias, but here's the thing -- there are great sectors of the right-wing new media that devote every waking moment to "exposing" the "bias" of the media, and they do so without getting arrested. She's praising him for risking jail time in order to achieve something the bias sleuths at NewsBusters claim to do (ineptly, I might add) every day. That's not "citizen journalism," that's stupidity.

    Giles also accuses Landrieu's office of "vastly exaggerat[ing] the situation" and writes that "Landrieu's overreaction to O'Keefe's video project ought make [sic] the public wonder what the heck is actually going on in the office." According to Giles, the "overreaction" and "exaggeration" Landrieu is alleged to have engaged in was a statement from the senator reading: "This is a very unusual situation and somewhat unsettling for me and my staff. The individuals responsible have been charged with entering federal property under false pretenses for the purposes of committing a felony. I am as interested as everyone else about their motives and purpose, which I hope will become clear as the investigation moves forward."

    So the senator is unsettled and curious as to why four men were arrested in her office, and accurately stated the charges filed against the alleged perpetrators. This counts as an "exaggerated" "overreaction"?

    Anyway, Giles wrapped things up with a swipe at conservative blogger Michelle Malkin for, in Giles' words, "call[ing] for an example to be made out of [O'Keefe], and instructing other young journalists to not follow in his footsteps." There's not much that Michelle Malkin and I agree on, but we're on the same page when it comes to not teaching kids to get arrested in the name of political activism posing as journalism.

  • Hannah Giles responds to O'Keefe's arrest: "I am shocked by the reports of this behavior"

    Blog ››› ››› MEDIA MATTERS STAFF

    From a January 27 post on National Review Online's blog The Corner:

    I am shocked by the reports of this behavior. I am well aware that following the law is an integral part of being a good investigative journalist. I take that responsibility and accountability very seriously. I certainly hope these reports are untrue.


    Giles, O'Keefe reportedly being sued by ACORN for violating Maryland privacy law