Who Was Trying to “Gotcha” Eric Boehlert?

Here’s a scary little story. Last Friday, around 10:30 a.m., the doorbell rang at the Montclair home of Montclair journalist Eric Boehlert, and a guy in a Verizon uniform with clipboard asked if he would answer some questions for a survey. Boehlert thought it was legit and played along until all of a sudden the guy asked a question that didn’t make sense.

“The gotcha question was, ‘You have this cooshy job, but you’re writing about the 99 percent,'” Boehlert says. Immediately, Boehlert, a senior fellow at Media Matters for America, thought of James O’Keefe, a right-leaning blogger who has tried to embarrass journalists on video in his “To Catch a Journalist” series.

“When he asked his gotcha question, I’m sure there was an extended pause on my part,” Boehlert says. But then he tried to see if he could find a license plate to read and wound up chasing the fake Verizon worker into the street: “It ended up with him sprinting down Montclair Ave.”

Verizon confirmed that it didn’t have any employees at his door, and said it never does surveys in person anyway, and Boehlert reported the incident to the Monclair police. He doesn’t think the impostor had a hidden camera, either. “My hunch is if there was video, it would be posted by now.”

Nevertheless, it is — as Boehlert says — “slightly creepy.”

“I’m not sure what the payoff would have been,” he says. “But sadly this is the direction right-wing guerrilla media has gone.”

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70 COMMENTS

  1. Gotcha questions…. Michael Moore does and the Libs love it, O’Keefe does it and the Libs whine. heh heh

  2. When I see Boehlert I think of the left leaning Media Matters of where he is a senior fellow and the conservatives that they try to embarrass.

  3. Isn’t the real question, why would ANYONE think that Verizon is conducting “door-to-door” surveys? And then waste the time to answer?

    And that he was home at 10:30 on a Friday is all the proof you need to know about the “cooshy job”. I mean, it’s not like he’s a prof, you know.

  4. So, the “question” still stands. As part of the 1% in the country (he IS a Soros minion afterall), how does he suqare his hatred of the 1%? Would you trust a social commenter with no common sense?

    Oh, by the way, here’s a RE-Tweet of his from Nov 20:

    RT @NewYorkology: OWS will bring a 24-hour drum circle to Mayor Bloomberg’s townhouse, 17 E. 79th St., starting at 2pm today https://t.co/zCaunY0b

    By Re-Tweeting, without comment to the contrary, he’s supporting the laying of a siege on Mayor Bloomberg’s private residence.

    #MASSIVE HYPOCRITE

  5. James O’Keefe “a right-leaning blogger who has tried to embarrass journalists”

    Boehlert- “senior fellow at Media Matters for America”

    Never mind that Mr.Boehlert works MMA a far left website that calls for all out war against Fox and conservatives. David Brock , Mr. Boehlerts boss, and the founder of MMA called for an “all-out campaign of ‘guerrilla warfare and sabotage'” against FoxNews.

    I just can’t see why just a little mention about his employers agenda would be mentioned. Hummmmm…….

  6. So, the “question” still stands. As part of the 1% in the country (he IS a Soros minion afterall), how does he suqare his hatred of the 1%? Would you trust a social commenter with no common sense?

    I would trust a commentator who gathers his opinions from the available facts, not one who considers how it affects him personally. But, you keep doing what you do.

    Wasn’t O’Keefe the guy who got arrested while posing as a telephone repair guy? Now we’ve got Verizon guy in this story. What, are there “I Wannabe a Fake Right Wing Journalist” kits that Roger Ailes hands out?

  7. This is my favorite line ….. “But sadly this is the direction right-wing guerrilla media has gone.”

    And what direction would it be that the lame stream left-wing media has gone?? Turning it’s nose on any story that makes Obama The Saviour look bad? Absolute in the can reporting that is basically a front for the White House talking points? Helping to keep an adminstration in place that is driving this country into the toilet with its horrendous policies?

    Why don’t you do some in-depth reporting on Solyndra Boehlert? Or how about where all the money went in the failed $787 billion stimulus bill? Or better yet, how Obama is a big fat hypocrit — wasn’t he the one who said “everyone must sacrifice for the greater good….everyone must have some skin in the game?” And yet here he goes on ANOTHER vacation — 17 days to Hawaii!! This man is a farce, as he goes around the country campaigning on the taxpayers dime. But hey, let’s not focus on that, let’s attack those right-wing guerrilla media types hiding behind every bush!!!! What a joke!

  8. Being part of the 1% doesn’t mean you’re not allowed to sympathize with the 99%. In fact, many do – look at Warren Buffet. The point is that the 1% needs to pay their share, not that they shouldn’t exist.

  9. Being part of the 1% doesn’t mean you’re not allowed to sympathize with the 99%. In fact, many do – look at Warren Buffet. The point is that the 1% needs to pay their share, not that they shouldn’t exist.

    And, to CMEinmontclair, complaining about the number of vacation days Obama has taken — as of mid-August he had taken 61 days while Bush had taken 180 by the same point in his presidency. Talk about hypocrisy!

  10. Nomo — HARDLY comparable — Bush took a lot of so-called vacation days on his TX ranch while working there. He met with some foreign leaders there. He didn’t drag a giant entourage around the world with him at taxpayer expense. He didn’t have pizza flown in from Chicago because Laura wanted it.

  11. Nomo — HARDLY comparable — Bush took a lot of so-called vacation days on his texas ranch while working there. He frequently met with foreign leaders there. He didn’t drag a giant entourage around the world with him at taxpayer expense. He didn’t fly pizza in from Chicago because Laura had a craving. We have a joke of a president in the White House.

  12. Yeah, everyone knows Bush was a work horse who started his day early and worked late and never took naps and took all those “working” vacations.

  13. mikey91: “I would trust a commentator who gathers his opinions from the available facts, not one who considers how it affects him personally. But, you keep doing what you do.”

    How do you know that he uses facts to arrive at opinions? If you read much of what he produces, you might think otherwise, if you were to suspend your bias for just a moment. (FAUX NEWS!!! FAUX NEWS!!!) You cannot prove Media Matters’ accuracy by resorting to the hackneyed, sloganized anti-Fox mantra. But you keep doing what you do.

  14. mikey91 — AND you still haven’t addressed the core of the post — that Boehlert is a massive hypocrite for complaining about his detractors visiting his home, while he supports the same sort of activity against those he doesn’t support. Checkmate.

  15. NOMO —

    Please, no-mo of this drivel about paying the “fair share”. Especially when that 1% pays 40% of the national bill, and 47% pay nothing. At this point, I would be fine with the 1% retreating from the economy entirely and leaving that hole for the rest of us to fill.

    When did Americans become so jealous and communistic to think they DESERVE the wealth of others? Pitiful.

  16. Uh – if he were in the 1%, I think his home would be on Upper Mountain Ave and not Montclair Ave. I am not sure you understand the meaning of the 1%. I also can’t believe that you think this is all Obama’s fault – this all started over 20 years ago with blame enough to go around for everyone.

    Meanwhile O’Reilly is in the same boat [although not sure about the reaction] https://www.huffingtonpost.com/2011/12/08/bill-oreilly-activist-umbrella-ambush_n_1136834.html

    Everyone is doing the same things from both sides. It is all a mess – and both extremes make all worse.

  17. ou cannot prove Media Matters’ accuracy by resorting to the hackneyed, sloganized anti-Fox mantra. But you keep doing what you do.

    Where did I mention Boehlert? I just think saying a journalist who criticizes a group he’s part of “lacks common sense” is dumb.

    that Boehlert is a massive hypocrite for complaining about his detractors visiting his home, while he supports the same sort of activity against those he doesn’t support. Checkmate.

    Protesting a public official from a public street is a little different than impersonating a utility man to ask weird questions, don’t you think? Oh, and YAHTZEE.

    Please, no-mo of this drivel about paying the “fair share”. Especially when that 1% pays 40% of the national bill, and 47% pay nothing

    Tired and disproven. A lot of that number is retired people. They should keep paying though, right? Got to keep those millionaires happy. Again, go look at the increase in incomes for the 1% in the last 30 years and tell me if you think its fair. Sadly, though, I don’t think you’ll find it on Faux News.

  18. (So the top 1% don’t pay 40+%?)

    This is why I object to the “fair share” mantra. Rather, asking those with more to help out is more like something I could stand behind.

    But to make it seem like I’m stealing, or cheating? Sorry. That “fair share” talk is false.

    So when my gardener asks for a raise, and mentions that I can afford it because I just bought a new car, I’m offended. But when my butler asked for a raise and mentioned that he’s facing foreclosure, I was quick of give it to him.

    See the difference?

  19. Since the top 1% controls 40% of the wealth, the tax revenues collected from them overall should indeed be a greater percentage. Yet when you look at numbers that reveal what the average exceptionally wealthy person pays in taxes as a percentage of their earnings, it’s often quite a lower percentage than that of the average person because so much of the income, and often all of money earned is not the the form of a taxable salary. They are not paying their “fair” share because the majority of the middle class is paying a much greater percentage of their very small (by comparison) incomes.

  20. But jg, isn’t that just a function of math?

    The % of a bigger number will still leave the rich gal with “more.” The point is not the aggregate number, but the percent.

    That you make 10 million, doesn’t mean you should pay 75% in taxes, when I’m only paying 20% because I make 50k.

    THAT is not fair.

    I believe in a progressive tax, but not with the numbers some want.

    But asking those with more- as I stated above- to help more because they can- is the American way. Playing this “fair share” stuff is class warfare, which is what we have.

    (Oh, and what to make of that good Dem, Corzine?)

  21. I believe in a progressive tax, but not with the numbers some want.

    Prof, when the Bush tax cuts were implemented, the rich benefited more than anyone else, despite the fact that for the last 30 years, everyone’s income has been stagnant (when adjusted for inflation), while the rich’s income has increased enormously. The transfer of wealth from the middle class to the tiny minority is unprecedented, unfair, and totally purposeful. Class warfare, like the Republicans keep bringing up, has been going on, but not the way they mean. Go do a search for US Income inequality and see what you find.

    But now, we’re just supposed to say, oh they’re just lucky, or smarter than us. Bull.

  22. But jg, isn’t that just a function of math?

    Not really. If your earnings are in the form of capital gains, for instance, and you earn $10 billion you will only pay 15% on that. And there will never be a general consensus on what’s “fair”, but the making the tax code fair is why there is a progressive tax in the first place.
    And the rich have indeed benefitted greatly over the past few decades, largely as a result of policies that favor them.

  23. “Bush took a lot of so-called vacation days on his texas ranch while working there….”

    Working??

    Funniest post of the day.

  24. JG the actual data says you are wrong!
    2010 IRS Income Data:
    Top 1%: $380,354
    Top 5%: $159,619
    Top 10%: $113,799
    Top 25%: $67,280
    Top 50%: >$33,048

    2010 IRS Effective Rate Data
    Top 1%: 23.27%
    Top 5%: 20.70%
    Top 10%: 18.71%
    Top 25%: 15.68%
    Top 50%: 13.65%

  25. Here’s what everyone is missing — paying “fair share” is really a bunch of bologna. Because handing more money to the government will in NO WAY help those without any more. All the government does is waste money, perpetuate inefficiencies, and can never compete with the private sector — PERIOD. If you deny that in any way you are fooling yourself. Spend a day at the DMV.

    Let’s keep everyone on unemployment for ten years, that will solve the problem. Handing more money over isn’t going to do it. Government was intended to be, and should be, a shadow in our lives that provides the things we can’t do ourselves — i.e. military & police. NOT mandating what type of lightbulbs we have to use, or providing endless unemployment, or bailing out banks! Let the free market dictate the outcome — You would think we live in the early 1900s and there were no programs to help people in this country!!! Do you know illegal aliens in NJ and NY get full health care if they provide a letter stating they earn less than 23,000 a year?? ILLEGAL ALIENS. Libs don’t see it – but I think a lot more people are starting to wake up. And for that I thank Obama, because it took such an extremist to make people realize, this is NOT what American stands for — and this administration has got to go.

  26. “You would think we live in the early 1900s….”

    And if the GOP takes the White House next year, then it’s a safe bet that America will be returning to the early 1900’s.

    Good Times !!

  27. Michael Moore does and the Libs love it, O’Keefe does it and the Libs whine

    Once again, like a broken clock that tells the right time twice a day, herb makes a good point.

    And that he was home at 10:30 on a Friday is all the proof you need to know about the “cooshy job”.

    I know it was meant as a joke, prof, but it didn’t come off, for the same reason that the goyim aren’t funny when they joke about the jews.

  28. Well, CME will have an opportunity to worship at the latar of the free market if the Republicans take the White House. Right? That’ll fix those wetbacks who are soaking up all the healthcare dough!

    https://articles.latimes.com/2011/oct/23/nation/la-na-romney-healthcare-20111024

    Ooops!

    Well, at least the DMV is better in private hands!

    https://www.nytimes.com/1995/07/12/nyregion/new-jersey-daily-briefing-privatization-pains-at-dmv.html

    The Free Market Uber Alles!

  29. CMEinmontclair- It’s time to turn of Fox News. Not only do you regurgitate the same vitriolic talking points, but you’ve taken on their same shrill tone. Put your coat on, open your door, talk a walk, get some fresh air.

  30. Frau, why not tell Mike91 to take a walk and get some fresh air? How are his talking points and his tone? But you must agree with Mike’s daily KOS and open-society approved talking points so it’s okay for him to rant with the same level of rage.

  31. Hi Nerd- Mike’s talking points and tone are fine, thank you. I find his responses to the posted right wing agenda to be quite reasonable and his tone anything reach a level of rage.

    Get some air too. It’s a nice day.

  32. This summer I agreed to participate in a phone survey on NJ politics. The questions gradually slid into a framework in which there was no way to respond except to compliment Christie:

    “Which of Christie’s accomplishments do you find most important:
    A: Increased aid to public education.
    B: Tax cuts for Senior citizens
    C: Balancing the Budget”

    I wound up telling the survey taker where to put his questions & hung up.

  33. CME, you hit several nails squarely on the head.
    Who wants to live in a country where you have leave the room for 15 minutes should you accidentally break a light bulb? How does this improve our lives? I’m just waiting for the fluorescent light bulb police to come knocking on our door one day.

    And the illegal entitlements? Don’t get me started. Health care, food stamps, college educations, you name it.

    But to be fair, it’s not just Obama’s fault, he is just the latest incarnation in this whole mess. Both parties have collective amnesia when it comes to remembering what the true role of the government is.

    I agree, he has to go, but to be replaced by whom? That is the question and it gets tougher and tougher to answer each day.

  34. Huh? What point nerd? That Mike is able to present a logical case for his points rather than blathering?

    Better get outside, it gets dark early these days. And bring a sweater, it’s chilly.

  35. ok people, let’s keep on the course we currently are on. let’s see the shape of America after four more years of Obama. Martta – the way I see it, it’s got to be Romney. I think the stock market would go through the roof if he won, I think he’d put policies in place that would reverse this disaster course (firstly Obamacare) and I think he’s the most electable. It’s better than the course we’re on…anything is.

    And believe me, I get plenty of fresh air reality Fraushmuck — it’s you who has their head buried in the sand.

  36. You mean Romneycare, don’t you CME? Your posts are just too funny.

    The funniest thing, you have no idea where I stand on anything, yet, you claim I have my head buried in the sand.

    Thank you for brightening my Friday with your blather!

    Frauschmuck bids you a fond adieu!

  37. “Michael Moore does and the Libs love it, O’Keefe does it and the Libs whine

    Once again, like a broken clock that tells the right time twice a day, herb makes a good point. ”

    —wrong! Herb has once again baffled you with his immense logic.

    when Moore does this, he doesn’t dress up in a disguise to mask his real intentions. it’s very straightforward.

    it’s yet another of the Teabaggers’ endless false equivalencies.

    don’t fall for this tripe.

  38. Nerd: Top 1%: $380,354. That is where the very very bottom rung of the top 1% starts. Around here that’s considered middle class. Most of us in that category hit AMT every year too. And Kevin, I am not confusing income with capital gains. To you both, the people at the very very top make millions to billions and for many the vast portion of that does not come in the form of salary and therefore is not taxed the way income for the rest of us is.

  39. “he way I see it, it’s got to be Romney. I think the stock market would go through the roof if he won”

    —that settles it for me! Romney it is!!

    “this disaster course (firstly Obamacare)”

    —from a Romney supporter!!! bwahahahaha!!!

  40. Romney is just a conservative in name only. I would not vote for him as his policies are too much like the current President’s. I was going to vote for Herman Cain but we all know what happened there. Also, he was beginning to sound a lot like my cat when she’s hungry…too much whining, but not as cute. The pickins’ are kind slim right now: Gingrich, Bachmann, Santorum, Perry. Ron Paul doesn’t have the backing.

  41. ok people, let’s keep on the course we currently are on. let’s see the shape of America after four more years of Obama.

    Sure is better than handing the reins over to people that got us in this mess in the first place.

    Not that I see Obama losing in a general election to Gingrich anytime soon, who has more baggage than Amtrak. Face it, unfortunately for you, the Republican party is pretty broken. The wingnut wing won’t let someone electable like Romney win the nomination without bowing on their altar of irrationality, so at best he comes off as a hypocrite. I can’t wait until a smart guy like Romney is forced to say something nice about intelligent design.

  42. Mike, he’s already been forced to change his position on climate change. It’s only a matter of time before he’s saying that the jury is still out on evolution. It’s just a theory, you know?

  43. If there was a candidate that would end ALL of the wars we’re in by bringing the troops back home, I’d vote for him in a heartbeat. Maybe we could put them to work combating the debris from the last snow storm!

  44. How are Romney’s positions too much like the current administration, please explain this. He was considered the too-conservative candidte in 2008! Has anybody listened to what he has to say? Maybe he appears stiff to you, but what I hear is killing Obamacare (which is vastly different than the state program in MASS), doing away with regulations that are crippling small business in this country, an understanding of business and economics that frankly, none of the other candidates has (except Herman Cain who I also like but has no political experience and no chance). How is he liberal?? I just don’t see it.

  45. So when my gardener asks for a raise, and mentions that I can afford it because I just bought a new car, I’m offended. But when my butler asked for a raise and mentioned that he’s facing foreclosure, I was quick of give it to him.

    Ah, I get it now. You’re in support of rich people paying higher taxes if we ask the right way. Say, on our knees? Or with their behinds on our lips?

    Or maybe we make them pay higher taxes, and when they eff up the economy, we’ll shovel taxpayer money into their pockets. Oh, wait…

  46. which is vastly different than the state program in MASS

    Vastly different? Absolutely not. Romney has to back off it now, but its clear one bill inspired the other.

    Which means that if Romney gets the nomination, then the Republicans would have just nominated the inspiration for legislation they hate the most. Ha ha ha ha ha ha ha!

  47. I think the entire Republican line up is worthy of a hearty ha ha ha ha. That’s what happens when you get caught up in trying to appease the dumbasses in the party. Instead of trying to unwind the circus and get the smarter conservatives on board, they have pandered to the lowest common denominators of the party. People who are either swayed by their religious beliefs, or believe the propaganda being paid for by the powerful special interests who love the status quo.

  48. How sad that old whatsup gave it a shot. He tried, he really did, to write something— anything— that made sense. Anything to avoid falling back into the old d-bag schtick.

    But old habits die hard, and after all he really isn’t very smart.

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