A few weeks ago, conservative prankster Hannah Giles asked a court to release her from a lawsuit filed by National City ACORN employee Juan Carlos Vera, who was fired after Giles and fellow right-wing imp James O'Keefe secretly videotaped Vera in 2009.
Giles' argument: While, sure, she was posing as a prostitute, it was O'Keefe, playing her skeezy boyfriend, who was actually holding the hidden camera that supposedly captured Vera giving advice on human trafficking. Therefore, under California's Privacy Act, which bars surreptitious recordings, O'Keefe is the only one culpable.
Vera was fired after Giles and O'Keefe went public with their ACORN videos. A California Attorney General investigation later found that the tapes were heavily edited to be misleading and that Vera had contacted law enforcement immediately after the incident.
Vera's attorneys are firing back against Giles' motion by citing a boisterous performance on FOX's Hannity in which Giles not only took credit for the video, but bragged about how the whole series of stunts, perpetrated across the country, was her idea.---
From the show's transcript:
HANNITY: Guys, welcome to the program. I've got to give you both a lot of credit. Where is "60 Minutes," where is "20/20," where is investigative journalism? Tell us how you came up with this idea and how it all got started.
O'KEEFE: Well, my friend Hannah, messaged me on Facebook and suggested — we're both activist, we've both done a lot of activism in the past and she suggest just — she was walking by in ACORN one day and she said, "What if I went in dressed as a prostitute?"
And she messaged me this and I said, "Well, I could be a pimp." And we took it from there. We created a situation as ridiculous as we possibly could. We came up with underage girls. And...
HANNITY: Yes and this — Hannah let me start with you — so it was really your idea to bring this to light. Why don't you walk us through — you walked by these offices, you come up with the idea. Was it hard to play a prostitute? But tell us how it all came together.
GILES: Well, Sean, it's amazing what girls think about when they are jogging. And that was just something that popped into my head. I had never seen an ACORN office, I really didn't even know that they existed and I jogged into the wrong part of town, saw some homeless people and street ladies and I put two and two together when I turned around to get back into a safe neighborhood.
And it's like — what if these people went into ACORN — a prostitute and what would come from that? No bills, no nothing — would they get a house? Could they start a business? So we put it to the test.
Vera's attorneys argue that they don't have to prove Giles was personally wired up with recording gear; under California law she admitted to conspiracy to commit a crime.
The brief also counters Giles and O'Keefe's First Amendment claim, citing a U.S. Supreme Court decision that found that the news media "has no special immunity from the application of general laws."
Read the brief here.