Of the three people involved in a video James O'Keefe shot at an ACORN office in San Diego, one, Juan Carlos Vera, had his reputation ruined. One, O'Keefe, agreed to pay Vera $100,000 as a result. Now we learn that this was only after the third — Hannah Giles — paid $50,000 last summer.
Salon.com today republished a report from journalist Brad Friedman, who spoke with Vera's lawyer. Friedman reports that the agreement between Giles and Vera was finalized last July; the headline of his article suggests that Giles has already paid the settlement amount. (A report from San Diego City Beat last summer reported the agreement, but not the agreed upon amount.)
Friedman also notes how the payout compares to the amount O'Keefe and Giles earned for their work from the late Andrew Breitbart.
During the course of Vera's lawsuit, it was revealed that Breitbart, who died in March of 2012, had paid the pair some $125,000 for their hoax tapes, with O'Keefe collecting $65,000 to Giles' $60,000, most of which she has now been forced to turn over to Vera.
This is the video at issue, which, oddly, is still online.
Friedman makes his feelings about O'Keefe and Giles very clear in his piece, requiring that Salon do a bit of (unacknowledged) editing. The following qualifiers were removed from the Salon version of the article: "pretend journalist," "professional liar," "con-man," "without any fact-checking whatsoever." To whom or what they apply is left as an exercise for the reader.
It's hard not to feel some small amount of sympathy for Giles — she's certainly not innocent, having been featured in the video and helping O'Keefe produce it, but she couldn't hold a candle to O'Keefe in terms of manufactured outrage and public profile. Her Facebook page — where she claims credit for the idea behind the ACORN videos — it suggests that she now works for something called American Phoenix Foundation, a non-profit media entity which features her image prominently and frequently.
Incidentally, Giles's most recent Facebook update reads: "Rather than love, than money, than fame, give me truth. -Henry David Thoreau"
Hopefully she's at least got love.
This article is from the archive of our partner The Wire.
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