'Pimp' in ACORN video shares story

'Pimp' in ACORN video shares story

James O'Keefe calls himself a progressive radical and an investigative journalist without formal training. ACORN's tactics had made him angry, he says.

by: | publication date: September 19, 2009 | Publication: The Washington Post |

"The proposition was outrageous, outlandish and right up James E. O'Keefe III's alley. Hannah Giles was on the phone from Washington, D.C., and she was asking him to dress as her pimp, walk into the offices of the ACORN community activist group, openly admit to wanting to buy a house to run as a brothel and see what happened.It was serendipity, O'Keefe said Thursday. On that day in May, he was still burning mad after watching a YouTube video of ACORN workers breaking padlocks off foreclosed homes and barging in. "I was upset," he said.O'Keefe, 25, packed his grandfather's old wide-brimmed derby hat from his swing-dancing days, his grandmother's ratty chinchilla shoulder throw, and a cane he bought at a dollar store, then drove from his parents' home in northern New Jersey to Washington to execute the idea with Giles, 20.What happened next was a scandal that has shaken ACORN to its core. O'Keefe and Giles secretly videoed ACORN workers in Washington, Brooklyn and Baltimore as they coached the two on how to evade taxes and misrepresent the nature of their business enterprise to get into a home. . ."

An interview/profile of O'Keefe after the ACORN sting.

Access to online material.