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Thu May 22, 2014, 08:21 AM

Inside a Hollywood Hit Job: How James O’Keefe Tried and Tried to Sting His Latest Victim [View all]

Caitlin Dickson

Sting artist James O’Keefe says anti-fracking filmmaker Josh Fox is one of his latest victims. But Fox says his own secret tape reveals O’Keefe’s true methods.


On Wednesday, conservative activist and renegade filmmaker James O’Keefe made his Cannes Film Festival debut with a new, secretly recorded 20-minute video that he says exposes the hypocrisy of two environmentalist documentarians and two Hollywood actors. At the end of the clip, after Josh and Rebecca Tickell, Mariel Hemingway, and Ed Begley Jr. appear to have unwittingly agreed to accept financing for an anti-fracking film from Middle East oil interests, O’Keefe claims he’s caught other allegedly altruistic actors and filmmakers in his trap, teasing a clip of a phone conversation with filmmaker Josh Fox.

But this time, O’Keefe wasn’t the only one making secret recordings. Left a bit paranoid by years of vicious—and often surreptitious—attacks from the natural gas industry and its supporters following the premiere of his 2010 Oscar-nominated anti-fracking documentary, Gasland, and its 2012 sequel, Gasland II, Fox taped his interaction with one of O’Keefe’s minions and documented the elaborate lengths they went to entrap him.

It all started last December, when Fox began receiving emails from an unfamiliar group called Beacon International, claiming to represent overseas donors interested in funding his next anti-fracking film. Naturally, he was dubious. After scouring the Internet for information on the company and finding only a bare-bones website that “basically looked like a joke site put up overnight,” Fox concluded that the emails were a scam and decided to ignore them. But they kept coming. In early March, Fox returned to his Brooklyn apartment from out of town to discover about a dozen Beacon International business cards plastered to his front door and shoved in his mailbox. After much deliberation with fellow filmmakers Steven Tabakin and Margaret Whitton over whether to respond to these mysterious financiers, Fox decided to make a call. He asked Tabakin to be in the room with him, and he turned on his recorder.

“I should not be able to detect this,” Fox told The Daily Beast on Wednesday. “The only reason I was able to detect this is because I’m used to it. Like, why am I recording phone calls? It’s crazy.”

Less than three months later, Fox’s paranoia would pay off.

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http://www.thedailybeast.com/articles/2014/05/22/inside-a-hollywood-hit-job-how-james-o-keefe-tried-and-tried-to-sting-his-latest-victim.html

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Reply Inside a Hollywood Hit Job: How James O’Keefe Tried and Tried to Sting His Latest Victim [View all]
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