Everybody’s talking about this slapdown David Shuster had with Andrew Breitbart, the guy who employs chief TeaBugger James O’Keefe.

Aside from all the yelling, what I find notable about this is the way Breitbart succeeds in preventing Shuster from explaining what O’Keefe has been charged with: entering US property “for the purpose of willfully and maliciously interfering with a telephone system operated by the United States of America.”

And the TeaBuggers don’t deny that claim–they now say they wanted to cut off Landrieu’s phone system to see how she’d react.

I’ll have more to say about this going forward. But even accepting the TeaBuggers at their word, that makes several things very clear.

  1. They had the intent of illegally shutting down tampering with the phone systems of a member of the Senate Committee on Homeland Security
  2. They planned to do so to get a reaction out of Landrieu (and, apparently, to film that reaction)

Now, given that O’Keefe’s prior film on ACORN was about framing people and editing video of that frame for political maliciousness, it’s probably safe to assume that if O’Keefe’s current story is true, he had the same intent to falsely frame Landrieu and then edit his film to exacerbate her reaction.

Maybe that’s why Breitbart is so desperate to prevent Shuster from explaining that to his viewers.

Update: TPM got a response from Landrieu to the TeaBuggers’ latest excuses.

“Senator Landrieu believes this feeble explanation is a clear and calculated effort to divert attention away from the fact that his client stands accused of a federal crime that could land him in prison for up to 10 years,” said Landrieu Press Secretary Rob Sawicki, in a statement to TPMmuckraker.