Call it the new Abscam. The James O’Keefe Green edition. Hollywood’s anti-American celebs, directors and producers insist that they’re really patriots. But would they have any problems taking money from a Muslim figure associated with a Middle Eastern oil country to undermine energy independence in the United States?
Does Al Gore live in a giant mansion?
Journalist James O’Keefe, known for his controversial undercover sting operations aimed usually at liberals — is set to unveil at the Cannes Film Festival on Wednesday the first of a group of videos that he says will reveal hypocrisy among Hollywood environmentalists.
In the video, obtained exclusively by The Hollywood Reporter and embedded below, actors Ed Begley Jr. and Mariel Hemingway are duped by a man named “Muhammad,” who is looking to make an anti-fracking movie while hiding that its funding is coming from Middle Eastern oil interests.
Muhammad, accompanied by a man pretending to be an ad executive, seemingly has the two actors agreeing to participate in the scheme, even after he acknowledges that his goal is to keep America from becoming energy independent. The meeting, which appears to have been secretly recorded, took place a few months ago at the Beverly Hills Hotel.
But the real target of the sting operation appears to be Josh and Rebecca Tickell, a husband and wife team known for their environmental movies, such as 2008’s Fuel, which won an award at Sundance and was later screened at the White House for members of President Obama’s administration.
Begley and Hemingway are of course belatedly claiming that they knew it was a scam all along and were only doing a favor for the Tickells.
Hemingway says she played along to avoid ruining things for her friend Tickell. “I was polite because I knew it meant so much to Josh,” she recalls. “I didn’t go after him and say ‘you’re a fraud.’”
In an on-camera Fox News interview Tuesday night, Hemingway criticized O’Keefe’s tactics, saying he purports to expose dishonesty yet sets up a taped meeting with an impersonator: “That’s not dishonest?”
If Hemingway knew Muhammad was a fraud, what was she afraid of ruining? And it doesn’t seem like she understands the concept of a hidden camera investigation.
A spokesman for Tickell, Jonathan Franks, adds: “We flat out deny any implication of impropriety. This tape reflects a very preliminary meeting with a potential investor … Clearly a necessary part of the due diligence process would have been to examine the motives of any potential investor, but we flat out reject as flawed the notion being of Middle Eastern origin necessarily disqualifies one as an investor.”
Sure. Or admitting to working to undermine the American economy. Tickell accepted serving the interests of an enemy of the United States.
No impropriety to see here.