#10: James O'Keefe
O'Keefe is perhaps best known as a contributor to Breitbart.com, a website whose namesake, Andrew Breitbart, would have appeared on the list instead were it not for the fact that he is dead; obviously there's no need to warn the media against interviewing him anymore.
The Breitbart website, however, still lives on, and it has courted absolutely nothing but controversy.
Some of Breitbart.com's "greatest hits" include reporting on Anthony Weiner's sexually explicit photos, and the out-of-context video excerpt smearing USDA official Shirly Sherrod as a racist.
Most infamous of all, Breitbart organized an undercover "sting" in which two individuals posing as a pimp and a prostitute recorded themselves asking employees of ACORN how to evade taxes on their "underage sex slavery business."
Two separate investigations later found that the footage had been heavily edited to make ACORN's responses appear more sinister, but not before a Tea Party witch hunt resulting in the organization's subsequent demise.
James O'Keefe was the individual recruited to play the role of the pimp. It was blatant fraud, both on account of the role he played, and on account of the heavy editing that was done to the video after the fact. But you will still have trouble explaining to O'Keefe why this was such a reprehensible thing to do.
Andrew Breitbart's last obsession was with Occupy Wall Street. Specifically, Breitbart devoted his final days feverishly to fabricating evidence that the OWS protestors were all rapists.
But before then, O'Keefe dressed up in a businessman costume and wandered around the OWS camp with a camera following him. He then proceeded to tell the OWS protestors that he actually worked on Wall Street, apparently in the shallow hopes that someone, anyone, would pick a fight with him.
Andrew Breitbart, the people like James O'Keefe who worked for him, and the people who continue to work for Brietbart.com after his passing, are not interested in reporting the facts. They are interested in winning.
More than that, they have proven, first with ACORN, then with Shirly Sherrod, and then with Occupy Wall Street, that they also don't care how they win and that they are willing to entertain any tactic, no matter how unethical, in order to win.
Even, as was pointed out by Keith Olbermann, accusing members of OWS of the very assaults in which they were the victims.
The only reason James O'Keefe ranks #10 is because, up until recently, he and the rest of his cohorts at Breitbart.com were nothing more than lackeys. A fair share of the blame for O'Keefe's actions lies with Breitbart himself, a man who absolutely would have received a (much higher) spot on the list were he not well beyond the reach of the media for any commentary in the future.
But that's not to say O'Keefe etc. are off the hook either. They were accomplice to the activities of Andrew Breitbart and should be treated as such in the future.