From where might we have learned such a lesson? From video scandals past. Think ACORN and think Shirley Sherrod: job- and organization-crippling scandals in which the media blindly aided and abetted. Note too that O’Keefe is a political point-scorer, and here he is scoring from a soft-target. It was shrewd to approach a fundraiser—someone whose arm is easily bent into agreement (and here, stupidity) with the mention of money—for the project. But it would have been braver, and perhaps more damning, to entrap a journalist (if you’re going to entrap at all).
Either way, it will be interesting to watch the fallout from today’s video release. And it will be interesting to see who waits for the full fallout before stepping into the ring to throw their punches.
UPDATE: David Folkenflik has just tweeted that the board for NPR News has ousted CEO Vivian Schiller in the wake of the scandal. Poynter has a statement from the board of directors on Schiller’s resignation. Joyce Slocum, SVP of Legal Affairs and General Counsel, will be interim CEO.