James O’Keefe and Hannah Giles, the “pimp” and “prostitute” of the notorious ACORN scam attempted to invoke the First Amendment as a hedge against a $75,000 lawsuit filed by ACORN employee Juan Carlos Vera under the California Privacy Act.
California federal judge M. James Lorenz has dismissed the argument, stating that since O’Keefe and Giles had established a mutual understanding with Vera that the conversation would remain confidential, rules protecting journalists did not apply.
Additionally, Giles attempted to shift the onus of the blame for the prank entirely to O’Keefe, in that he wore the camera used to record the conversations. Judge Lorenz denied that motion as well, ruling that the Law “is directed to the surreptitious recording of confidential communications and not the manner or method of recording the conversation”, meaning Giles bears equal culpability in the suit.
David Ferguson is an editor at Raw Story. He was previously writer and radio producer in Athens, Georgia, hosting two shows for Georgia Public Broadcasting and blogging at Firedoglake.com and elsewhere. He is currently working on a book.
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