David Shuster 'Giddy' to Cover James O'Keefe Arrest

Update - 1/28, 10:25 AM | Lachlan Markay: Law enforcement officials have clarified that O'Keefe is not being charged with an attempt to wiretap phones. Will Shuster issue a retraction?

It's often said that bias shows through in what journalists decide to cover or not cover. So it was telling when Politico's Michael Calderone tweeted today, "@DavidShuster just said he's off to New Orleans to report on the O'Keefe arrest." "He's giddy," added Mediaite's Steve Krakauer.

Shuster's Twitter account, meanwhile, was lighting up with scorn for activist filmmaker James O'Keefe, who was arrested yesterday after an alleged attempt to tamper with phone lines in an office of Sen. Mary Landrieu (D-La.). After O'Keefe tweeted, "I am a journalist and the truth will set me free" yesterday, Shuster responded: "a) you are not a journalist b) the truth is you intended to tap her phones c) it's a felony d) you will go to prison."

So Shuster is personally invested in O'Keefe's fate and convinced not only that he tried to tap Sen. Landrieau's phones--a contention that the affidavit does not support, not that that has stopped others in the mainstream media from reporting it as fact--but that he is, without a doubt, guilty.

RedState's Caleb Howe compares Shuster's reaction to the O'Keefe saga with his tweeted statements after the Fort Hood shooting. Far from presuming guilt or extrapolating contentions not supported by the available evidence, Shuster issued an "Amen" to Jake Tapper, who noted "No word on motive yet and at a time like this ppl should listen to their better angels."

Lest readers gather that Shuster was trying not to politicize the massacre, consider this tweet: "Hasan e-mails intercepted during Bush admn. But some conservatives are blaming Obama???" So we should all listen to our better angels until we know more in the case of a mass murderer who we now know--and then suspected--was acting out of a radical hatred of the United States military.

But by Shuster's standard, jumping to conclusions and issuing erroneous accusations and premature proclamations of guilt are just fine in this case.

Shuster also made sure to cite a Media Matters post in the latter Tweet, and another reissuing MMFA's latest potentially slanderous claim, this one falsely asserting that Andrew Breitbart was somehow involved with O'Keefe's arrest and behind the alleged plot to tamper with the Senator's phone lines.

Howe concludes: "Does David Shuster care more about James O’Keefe filming ACORN than Nidal Hasan murdering Americans? Well … let’s just say the word allegedly and leave it at that."

At the very least, as NB's Mark Finkelstein has noted, Shuster "really lets it all hang out on Twitter."

UPDATE: A law enforcement official told MSNBC yesterday (via Patterico):

[T]he four men arrested for attempting to tamper with the phones in the New Orleans office of Sen. Mary Landrieu (D) were not trying to intercept or wiretap the calls

Will Shuster admit he jumped the gun? I'm not holding my breath.

Media Bias Debate Labeling Double Standards Covert Liberal Activists Crime ACORN Fort Hood Shooting MSNBC Online Media Web 2.0 Blogs Media Matters Twitter James O'Keefe

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