James O’Keefe’s Bizarre (and brilliant?) Landrieu Dance

Say what you will about James O’Keefe, the videographer and self-described journalist famous for his ACORN and NPR stings, but after today, you can’t deny the man has a pretty wicked sense of humor and a moderate-to-above-average sense of rhythm.

Overnight at Andrew Breitbart’s Big Government website a music video for the song “Landrieu Dance” appeared, posted by its director, Christian Hartsock, in which O’Keefe and his sometime accomplice Anthony Dini sing and dance to a tune that raises a big ol’ middle finger to his critics. (The title is a reference to O’Keefe’s arrest for tampering allegedly attempting to tamper with the phones in Landrieu’s office last January.)*

After a trumped-up sizzle reel featuring a slew of angry MSNBC hosts and some rather heroic shots of our often pimped-out hero, the song begins with O’Keefe’s mock-arrest. Then, after he ousts the cigarette he smokes with all the cool of Olivia Newton-John circa the last five minutes of Grease, the singing begins.

And it’s not Rebecca Black bad.

Sometimes wearing the fluorescent yellow vest and hardhat of a telephone worker, sometimes donning a suit and drinking the cheapest-looking cocktails I’ve seen outside of Chillis, O’Keefe’s stylings are something of a late-90s Justin Timberlake. (Okay, maybe Nick Lachey.) But the lyrics are a little more of-the-moment. “Listen to my basics,” he insists. “Open your mouth and taste it, give up your 100 K solution…”

The chorus—which comes at about the 3.35 mark (check out that lead-in!)—is more remarkable for the choreography than the insight, but the tune’s half-catchy.

We need a bit of action, That will give this the traction, As a matter of fact-tion, Won’t you bring me [indecipherable] down.

It gives us satisfaction, When you take civil action, We’ll go out and attack them, Investigate them, hit the ground.

I’m not sure I see much validity to whatever is being said in this freshly dropped disc. Or that this will do much to assuage any critics. But hey, it’s pop music, so I’m not going to think too hard. And on that level, the whole thing is just a tad brilliant, really. Charming if not convincing.

Look for the hilarious Michael Jackson tribute at the end. “Heavily edited,” indeed!

*Note: thanks to padikiller for pointing out an oversight—O’Keefe was arrested on an attempt charge rather than for actually tampering with the phone lines. Good summary here.

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Joel Meares is a former CJR assistant editor. Tags: , , , , ,