The crusading reporter has already made so many headlines in his young career he’s written a book on his experiences with advice for other do-it-yourself journalists called “Breakthrough: Our Guerrilla War to Expose Fraud and Save Democracy.”
O’Keefe became an overnight celebrity in 2009 by almost single-handedly bringing down ACORN, the Association of Community Organizations for Reform Now.
He needed only a shoestring budget to make a series of videos that eventually doomed the liberal “community organizing” group repeatedly convicted of voter fraud after helping elect President Obama in 2008.
O’Keefe posed as a pimp, and accomplice Hannah Giles portrayed a prostitute in an undercover sting that caught ACORN employees advising the pair on how to secure housing to set up an underage prostitution ring and avoid the IRS.
More success would follow, as O’Keefe brought down top executives at National Public Radio who made disparaging remarks about Republicans and tea party members.
O’Keefe also uncovered voter fraud in New Hampshire during the 2012 primary by using the names of recently deceased voters.
But O’Keefe’s success made him a target.
After a botched sting in the New Orleans office of Democratic Sen. Mary Landrieu of Louisiana, O’Keefe pled guilty in a plea bargain deal to a misdemeanor charge of entering federal property under false pretenses.
The unusually severe sentence included three years of probation, severely limiting his ability to travel and work.
O’Keefe recently finished probation and spoke with WND about his book, why he wrote it and why people should read it:
One of a number of surprising things about O'Keefe is his emulation of leftist agitator Saul Alinsky, although it is really the radical's tactics he admires.
O'Keefe's book contains the many rules he has learned and is his own take on Alinsky's of "Rules for Radicals."
WND asked O'Keefe describing why he believes "content is king" and the importance of the "butterfly effect."
O'Keefe rejects being labeled a conservative, referring to himself as a radical.
He worked for a while at Breitbart.com and has had offers to work for other media outlets, but he prefers to make his own rules.
O'Keefe founded his own company in 2010, Project Veritas, "to investigate and expose corruption, dishonesty, self-dealing, waste, fraud, and other misconduct in both public and private institutions in order to achieve a more ethical and transparent society."
WND asked what people should know about his work and how it differs from the establishment media:
O'Keefe calls his type of do-it-yourself reporting "citizen journalism."
WND asked O'Keefe what is the most important thing he has learned as a citizen journalist and what advice he has for those who aspire to follow in his footsteps.
He began with a warning not to expect to make much money, and, in fact, to expect to pay a price:
O'Keefe finds a particular aspect of his work fascinating.
He says he is not an advocate and doesn't have a platform, yet has come across what he believes is a very effective tool for making real change for the good.
O'Keefe discussed how his work will affect the future of journalism, and perhaps, the country: