ACORN remix

No one could have predicted this:

The videos that have been released appear to have been edited, in some cases substantially, including the insertion of a substitute voiceover for significant portions of Mr. O’Keefe’s and Ms. Giles’s comments, which makes it difficult to determine the questions to which ACORN employees are responding. A comparison of the publicly available transcripts to the released videos confirms that large portions of the original video have been omitted from the released versions.

I’m going to see if I can get the ombudsmen at the Times and Post to admit that this story is bullshit and that they don’t need to have special reporters running around “investigating” everything they hear about Glenn Beck.

Update. As Cerberus points out, the media person who looks the most stupid right now — partly because he had some credibility to begin with – is Jon Stewart.






116 replies
  1. 1
    mellowjohn says:

    the words “fat chance” come to mind.

  2. 2
    Zifnab says:

    Good thing this is coming out three months after Congress tried to fund rape the organization. And thank god our liberal media took the time to fact check the story before jamming it all over the airwaves.

  3. 3
    JenJen says:

    How odd that Joe Scarborough and Pat Buchanan didn’t discuss this at length today. Weird. Huh.

  4. 4
    Cerberus says:

    You mean that the same guy who did the same thing to Planned Parenthood did the same thing to ACORN?

    Say it isn’t so!

    I don’t care about the MSM, I want to see Jon Stewart apologize for airing the bullshit twice now on his show, once when it broke and a second time to get taken in on the Climate Change mini-scandal BS.

    He’s unfortunately the only one with any journalistic integrity.

  5. 5
    Zoogz says:

    But…. but Michael Moore’s still fat! Who can we trust now??

  6. 6
    cleek says:

    the defense will be “but ACORN paid for this report! bwah!”

  7. 7
    geg6 says:

    @Cerberus:

    Agreed on the Jon Stewart apology. He’s been getting rolled by assholes a little too much lately. By stories that are self-evidently crap to anyone with a brain. And I always thought Stewart had a brain. It seems to be misfiring a lot. Perhaps he needs a vacation from the stupid. It seems to be catching.

  8. 8
    Belafon (formerly anonevent) says:

    @geg6: I think he’s trying to look balanced, at least a bit. He’s trying to keep himself in a position of criticizing all things stupid, whether the come from the Democrats or the Republicans. But when you have so much material from the Republicans, and a president who doesn’t do drama, scraping for stuff on the Democrats can be tough.

    Even though I don’t believe he’s trying to do “balanced” in the sense of CNN or the evening news, when your story subjects are “Republican X is being a dumbass,” “Republican Y is being a dumbass,” “Republican Z is being a dumbass,” you want something to shake it up.

  9. 9
    Cerberus says:

    @geg6:

    Might be. Hope not though. I like Rachel Maddow and Jon Stewart not sucking.

  10. 10
    TDE says:

    This is an internal/independent review. I’m a sincere defender of ACORN, but I just need something more than this before I yell it from the rooftops.

    All ACORN needs to do is keep calm and carry on, secure it’s congressional funding (for which they are suing) and continue its work, like this: http://www.acorn.org/index.php.....f7bfd2f3ff

    To be fair I gave up on the media and it’s ‘liberal bias’ long ago and expect nothing from them.

  11. 11
    Q says:

    …and in other news, the latest right-wing hissyfit leads Memeorand— er, I mean, Drudge II.

  12. 12
    JenJen says:

    @Q: Ahhh, that explains why Joe Scarborough and Pat Buchanan weren’t interested in the ACORN story this morning. They were too busy pushing the Harry Reid “story.”

  13. 13
    mistermix says:

    ACORN has definitely been scapegoated by the noise machine and their attendant stenographers. But cleek is right — that report won’t get any traction because it was commissioned by ACORN. You just can’t fight the bad PR that ACORN got from that video by putting out a white paper written by a hired gun.

  14. 14
    BR says:

    Folks from WV and elsewhere –

    (Does this include Mr. Cole?) We need to call Sen. Rockefeller and others today about the Medicare buy-in for 55+. It’s a good idea but as posed now it has a problem: it’d only be open to those over 55 who are uninsured or work at a very small business. We need to pressure for it to be an buy-in for 55+ regardless of their employment or insurance circumstance.

  15. 15
    kay says:

    You just despair at stuff like the ACORN set-up.

    It didn’t occur to any major media outlet that there might be a problem with the two people who created the whole set up submitting a video?

    It isn’t obvious that there was a 99% chance they edited the thing? We just took the partisan warrior’s word for it?

    They were dressed in costumes playing a role.

    No editor, anywhere said “ya know, that video submitted by the young Republican operatives might be edited for effect. Maybe we shouldn’t just throw it up as fact.”

    I mean, Christ. It occurred to me the first time I saw it.

  16. 16
    Jim says:

    It’s funny, not ha-ha funny, that even Stewart seems to have gotten caught up in the Village mindset that he has to make an effort not to appear “biased” by over relying on reality and its well-known liberal bias. Seems to me he made a reference last week to “the Olberman-Hannity spectrum”, I can’t remember exactly the phrase, as if the two were mirror images of each other. “Both sides are just as bad”/Cokie; I’d rather be accused of bias than choose Cokie as a role model.

  17. 17
    debit says:

    @kay: Oh you and your logic.

  18. 18
    peach flavored shampoo says:

    This will be the GOP M.O. from here forward. Release bullshit video/audio, allow the ignorant/careless media to run with it, so much so that when the truth comes out, nobody cares and the damage is done.

  19. 19
    cleek says:

    Seems to me he made a reference last week to “the Olberman-Hannity spectrum”, I can’t remember exactly the phrase,

    wasn’t that in the context of his “there are conspiracy theorists everywhere” guest ?

  20. 20
    Chad N Freude says:

    @DougJ: Cerberus didn’t say JS looked stupid, he/she said JS should apologize. I don’t think Stewart looks stupid for being taken by the deception. Did anyone here do an analysis of the authenticity of the released videos?

    I do think Stewart should talk about it on his show. I am not impressed by the current cultural trend to demand an apology for making mistakes or saying something someone else disputes or dislikes, but I think Stewart ought to address the revelation of the fraud.

  21. 21
    Andrey says:

    If anything, I doubt Jon Stewart will offer an apology per se; if he revisits the topic it will still be in a humorous manner. Which is fine. Jon Stewart is not a journalist or a reporter; he’s a comedian on a comedy network. It’s quite amusing that he gets things right more often than many actual news networks, but it’s understandable that he doesn’t have time to debunk every single thing that comes across his desk.

  22. 22
    Zifnab says:

    Jon Stewart has a small budget on a basic cable comedy show. When you make him the anchor of CBS, you can start wagging your finger at him for improper investigative journalism. :-p

    And, ultimately, it was so trivial that it doesn’t even matter what was said. It was two women in a single office caught in an awkward and obviously staged situation. This, after the film crew had been turned away numerous times from other offices and even been reported once to the cops as a prostitute / pimp.

    They never had a case. This was a hit job from the start. We all knew it. The media had failed epically in the run up to the story. This last turd on the shit pile doesn’t change much.

  23. 23
    Randy P says:

    @cleek:
    Already there in the TPM comments on the story.

    Acorn internal review exonerates Acorn – this is news?

    HAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHA!

  24. 24
    kay says:

    @mistermix:

    It’s going to come right back and bite them in the ass.

    There are hundreds of millions of federal dollars funneled to Right wing charitable organizations.

    They targeted ACORN for two reasons, it’s a secular organization, and it’s liberal.

    Every staffer in every one of those quasi-religious right wing orgs better be reading the rules.

    I personally would like a full audit. Every dollar, where it is going. If it’s good enough for ACORN, it’s good enough for Catholic Charities, or Lutheran Home Services, or any of the other myriad groups who are now wholly dependent on federal funding.

  25. 25
    Randy P says:

    @Randy P:

    I miss “edit” already.

    The HAHAs were from the commenter, not me.

  26. 26
    Elizabelle says:

    I’d guess ACORN detractors will say Harshbarger analyzed a doctored up video, but theirs was the real scoop. Couldn’t say, since didn’t follow this whole clusterfright. Sounded preposterous and one has to selectively choose among the various outrages du jour served up by Fox and its friends. Too exhausting.

    However: sounds like a Stephen Glass/Jayson Blair award for special videography achievement is in order for the filmmakers.

    Say: wasn’t that an ambulance at Tiger Woods “complex” again this morning? Get your bright shininess here.

  27. 27
    Jim says:

    @kay:

    They targeted ACORN for two reasons, it’s a secular organization, and it’s liberal.

    don’t forget “urban”

  28. 28
    SGEW says:

    Disinformation campaigns are a hell of a thing, aren’t they? The problem is, they work. Well.

    See, e.g., ACORN, “ClimateGate,” “death panels,” the nativity of Barack Obama, and the invasion of Iraq. Among many others.

    Not to Godwin all over the thread, but: big lies, primitive simplicity of the broad masses of a nation, impudence to distort the truth so infamously, etc. etc. Old hat stuff, really, but still pretty hard to fight.

  29. 29
    itsbenj says:

    entirely agreed re: Jon Stewart. he was shamefully bad on this story, seemed like he was just waiting to “balance” his criticisms of Fox News with a salacious story about black people cheating the government. it was weird, not his normal style. he fucked up, big time on this one, and should really apologize.

  30. 30
    Chad N Freude says:

    @Jim: I can’t fault Stewart for hammering the left when something bad or stupid surfaces. He’s already considered a tool of the left by the right, and to ignore obvious targets of satire would make it easier for the charge of bias to stick.

  31. 31
    Why oh why says:

    He’s unfortunately the only one with any journalistic integrity.

    Jon Stewart doesn’t have any integrity. With Democrats in power, he found it easier to move to Hotair-like sneering and “joking”, instead of criticizing Obama from the “left”.

    That’s why he finds “Climategate” so fascinating, and treats someone like Friedman with kid gloves, while trashing Chris Matthews (who was against the Iraq war).

  32. 32
    iLarynx says:

    The MSM doesn’t need to investigate everything they hear about Glenn Beck???

    Shouldn’t that read, “The MSM doesn’t need to investigate everything they hear from Glenn Beck”?

  33. 33
    kay says:

    @debit:

    It was the first thing that occurred to me.

    “Wow. That’s sketchy, and not fair. The people who engineered the sting also created and submitted the video?”

    Imagine if it were you. They arrive, ask you a couple of questions, and your “responses” appear on television.

    Just imagine what some creative editing could do to any simple conversation.

    How did this happen? Can I do this? Can I go ask Sarah Palin a couple of questions and then edit my questions and her responses?

    I’ll just rearrange the whole thing, for best effect. Maybe I’ll wear a costume.

  34. 34
    SpotWeld says:

    In all fairness Jon Stewart had a points.
    The media in general were not extending any effort to look carefully at anyone; banks, morgage bunders, Bernie Madoff, ACORN, etc.. they were all pretty much just inviting folks in to chat and maintain “blanace”.

    I may be equivocating here, but if 20/20 or some other news magazine actually did the work of actually (and honestly) looking at ACORN there probably wouldn’t have been as much of an information vacuum for the “pimp tapes” to fill.

    (Or course if they had done a story on ACORN it would have been fairly bland and uneventful, which means they would have had to let a GOP senator have time to accusen them of vote fraud or something…)

  35. 35
    Jim says:

    @Chad N Freude:

    I don’t disagree, and I do get that he’s a comedian, but he does sometimes seem to be forcing himself to criticize/mock Teh Left in a quest for balance, and when he does, it’s usually un-funny.

    As to my earlier comment, maybe he simply doesn’t like Olberman, I do, but I get that a lot of people don’t. But I think even his (liberal) critics would agree that drawing an equivalence between KO and Hannity is lazy and dishonest.

  36. 36
    Robin G. says:

    @Cerberus: In fairness, this isn’t just spinning bullshit, it’s active fraud. While we know we’ll never go broke assuming Republicans are making shit up, voiceovers *are* a bit beyond the norm. Unless Stewart did some major investigative journalism (not his job, it’s a comedy show), he wouldn’t have known. And, again, as a comedy show, it’s kind of hard to skip a story about tax deductions for pimps.

    I wouldn’t be surprised if it came up, though, because now it’s even funnier.

  37. 37
    blahblahblah says:

    This is a Public Relations or government black ops disinformation campaign. They don’t care about the truth or even their own grandchildren’s lives. They are not human.

  38. 38
    MattF says:

    I’m finding it hard to get worked up about Jon Stewart being an unreliable source. In fact, it looks to me like a sign of desperation– “The comedian we all trusted had faulty news judgment” . Well, d’oh…

    Don’t get me wrong– I’m glad Stewart is out there injecting a note of actual sanity into the political conversation now and then. But the weirdness and the sickness in the world of political information is systemic, and Jon Stewart is no cure for that.

  39. 39
    ChrisS says:

    It’s well-known that logic has a pervasive liberal bias.

    Almost as pervasive as the liberal bias GE, Disney, and Viacom try to instill in all of their media outlets. The bastards.

  40. 40
    Kryptik says:

    @SGEW:

    That’s the problem, isn’t it? It feels like getting anything true and done is an impossible task, because it’s easier to just throw bullshit out and be given instant credibility, wheras if you’re the ‘wrong’ sort of person, any and all study you can do will be met with ‘YOU WERE PAID OFF! SOROS PATSY! COMMUNIST FUCKERS GET OUT!!’

    I’ve literally torn my hair out at the sheer ease with which stupidity has become truth.

  41. 41
    batgirl says:

    @kay: Missed the third reason: they register non-white people and get out the vote. The Republicans would like to return to the day when only landed white men were allowed to vote.

  42. 42
    kay says:

    @Jim:

    I think the fact that they’re not affiliated with a religious group was key to their vulnerability.

    Inexplicably, that religious veneer is powerful protection.

  43. 43
    cleek says:

    Just imagine what some creative editing could do to any simple conversation.

    the Daily Show, of all shows, should know how that goes…

  44. 44
    Morbo says:

    @Chad N Freude:

    He’s already considered a tool of the left by the right, and to ignore obvious targets of satire would make it easier for the charge of bias to stick.

    So are Olympia Snowe and Susan Collins. Such charges are meaningless when they consider anyone to the left of Dick Lugar to be a tool of the left. The fact that he’s taking the bait because of that charge does nothing to exonerate him.

  45. 45
    DougJ says:

    Did anyone here do an analysis of the authenticity of the released videos?

    No, but the whole thing was bullshit, regardless. Five people told them to get lost, one played along, then told the police.

    You’ll have to explain to me how that constitutes a big story.

  46. 46
    Cerberus says:

    @Chad N Freude:

    Not an analysis on the tape itself (I’m not really much of a video buff), but I did notice when it first broke out that the same guy had a history of “manufacturing” these sorts of things owing to recognizing the name from my pro-choice feminist ties and I did bring that up.

    I agree that I don’t think Jon Stewart should be pilloried. Anyone can have a brain fart, but I’d love to see him correct the record and more importantly stop falling for this sort of crap. Just as a personal desire.

  47. 47
    matoko_chan says:

    Yeah…..look for a brutal smackdown on Breitbart from Stewart.
    He’ll be pissed that Breitbart spoofed him, and the revenge skit will be epic.
    Conservatives are just terminally stupid. Kinda like Palin larding her “book” with fake Plato quotes ripped from Quotegarden to look “smart”. Did she think people wouldn’t check?
    Google FTW!
    Because the conservative base is stupid, conservative leadership thinks they can get away with epically stupid lies.
    Those days are gone.
    I think google has made conservatism obsolete.
    ;)

  48. 48
    Comrade Mary says:

    Stewart has played the same outrage game over Climategate. I couldn’t believe that he repeated the claim that priceless data had been destroyed. ONE copy of that data is gone: the original data is still with the people who collected it. But the fast takeaway, from TDS and everywhere else, is that the data is gone for good. For fuck’s sake.

  49. 49

    So…. I guess the wingers are going to claim the videos were “fake but accurate,” huh?

  50. 50
    GregB says:

    Shut up you infidel dogs!

    Hannah Giles is our Joan of Arc in a ho dress.

    We will praise Jesus while fap-fapping away.

    -The Heartland Horndogs

  51. 51
    SGEW says:

    @Robin G.:

    In fairness, this isn’t just spinning bullshit, it’s active fraud.

    Please explain the fundamental difference between the ACORN scam and any of the arguments about, say, “death panels,” Barack Obama’s foreign birth, the CRU climate data hack, or the official justifications for the invasion of Iraq.

    “Active fraud” is the modus operandi, I’m afraid.

  52. 52
    Xanthippas says:

    Actually, did anybody predict that the tapes were substantially edited? I’m not asking to be snarky…I really don’t remember anybody saying that. Insignificant and ridiculous yes, but edited or faked?

    As to Jon Stewart…I think I agree with belafon. I don’t think he’s trying to be “balanced” though. I just think he’s trying to be fair. But I agree, it’s harder to be fair and yet not constantly take shots at conservatives, because they’re so much more ridiculous and petty than liberals/democrats.

  53. 53
    kay says:

    @batgirl:

    I think the press are loathe to attack religious organizations. Let’s face it: religious scare the shit out of them. They don’t want and can’t handle the pushback.

    I think the standards for defaming would have been higher had ACORN been sanctioned or commissioned by one of the Big Two Religions. If ACORN were a Catholic Charities organization, would media have played that video without inquiry into it’s veracity? You know they wouldn’t.

    You know which religion would not have offered protection.

  54. 54
    Kryptik says:

    @Comrade Mary:

    I think the takeaway here is this:

    The Bullshit is coming so fast, thick, and relentlessly that even Jon Stewart is being taken in. And that’s a worrisome sign.

  55. 55
    Kryptik says:

    @Xanthippas:

    I remember some people in the week following actually noting the differences in the videos and the transcripts offered, but nothing more in depth than that.

  56. 56
    Cerberus says:

    @Robin G.:

    I believe you are right. Or rather, I hope you are right.

    I know Rachel Maddow will address it this week at least.

    I suspect Stewart’s main problem is that he underestimates just how evil the republicans are. I think he views them as very dumb or just having different values or annoying dweebs and doesn’t realize just how devious and nasty they really are.

    Which, I don’t mind all that much. Thinking TOO well of people is a good flaw to have if you’re going to have a character flaw.

  57. 57
    drillfork says:

    Stewart is awesome, but he effs up sometimes. Nothing was worse than his groveling Kissinger interview some years back.

    Not happy about his ACORN response, because you knew the BS would leak out eventually. But admittedly, for a right-wing psych-op, this one was pretty legit looking for awhile.

    Hopefully he follows up…

  58. 58
    kay says:

    @cleek:

    It makes me laugh, because people bitch that regular newspaper reporters mischaracterize their responses, and sometimes that is true.

    They’re working from a transcript, and still the intent or nuance of the response is lost. That happens.

    Imagine if they could re-order the questions and responses? Take out the predicate paragraph of a question? Drop the last sentence of a response?

  59. 59
    Cerberus says:

    @Xanthippas:

    I believe I said something along the lines of “I suspect the tapes were substantially edited” at the time, but I didn’t make a definite claim, cause I’m not exactly an expert in videos (I do biology and writing).

  60. 60
    Xanthippas says:

    @kryptik

    I remember some people in the week following actually noting the differences in the videos and the transcripts offered, but nothing more in depth than that.

    I wonder why nobody made a bigger deal out of that? Usually lib bloggers quickly find and explode any wrong-headedness on the part of the right-wingers. Maybe we were focusing on the bigger picture of just how ridiculous the whole bit was.

    Anyway, I really don’t think Jon Stewart looks the most stupid right now. I don’t see how anyone can possibly say that, given the vast stupidity he’s up against on the right. But hopefully this will teach him and his writers to be a little more careful about even the most apparently justified right-wing complaints. Even at the center of their vast whining, there is almost always at least a little kernel of deceit and hypocrisy.

  61. 61
    Waynski says:

    The only thing Stewart should ever have to apologize to his audience for is not being funny. It’s a sad comment on the state of our media that we’re now looking for journalistic standards in the fake news guy, because he’s the only one who comes close to having any in the first place.

  62. 62
    Cerberus says:

    @Waynski:

    Yeah, that’s pretty much what I think too and was my basic point. It shouldn’t be that Stewart is the only one with integrity and actual news, but it is and I’d like to see an apology or at least an awesome take-down not because he owes it, but because he’s one of the few out there with said integrity.

  63. 63
    kay says:

    @SGEW:

    I think it crosses the line because it defames individual, ordinary people.
    They were targeting members of Congress with the death panels bullshit.
    You can’t determine from reading the transcript and viewing the edited video what question the targeted individuals were responding to?
    They destroyed these people. Just regular individuals.
    I think it’s probably important that we determine what question the ACORN employers were responding to. Now that we’ve completely defamed them, as individuals.

  64. 64
    Will says:

    I would love for nothing more than for this whole thing to turn out to have been a hoax.

    However…

    Why is this the first time we are hearing about the video being edited? Why on Day One didn’t ACORN shout from the rooftops that their employees were being railroaded based on fake questions edited over the actual conversation? That their employees answered different questions than the ones that ended up in the released video? Why didn’t those employees come forward immediately and say “the conversation you are hearing in the video is not the conversation we had in our office with those people–the video has been doctored.” Why did ACORN fire them immediately, instead of defend them against this obvious slander?

    Yes, it could be the media failing all over again–no surprise there. It could also be that ACORN just panicked and either didn’t know or felt incapable of using the “video doctoring” defense at the peak of this frenzy months ago.

    But really, I’m going to need more evidence than this before rushing to their defense yet again.

  65. 65
    SGEW says:

    It’s a sad comment on the state of our media that we’re now looking for journalistic standards in the fake news guy, because he’s the only one who comes close to having any in the first place.

    It’s sad but true (in fact: it is now funny because it’s true!). Jon Stewart and the Daily Show staff have been the most credible and objective journalists on major cable “news” for the past six years, at least (yes, yes, with other contenders if you like, Goodman, Maddow, et. al.; but how are their ratings compared to Stewart’s?).

    And yes, it is the most damning comment you can make about the news media: The fake journalist is scads better than the “real” ones, and he is, in fact, not very good. (Sorry Jon! He’s recockulously funny, and so often right on, but he’s not the sharpest interviewer, he fudges facts sometimes, and he sure as hell ain’t no policy wonk).

  66. 66
    SGEW says:

    @kay: That’s actually a really good point (re: targeting and destroying private individuals). More akin to the Valerie Plame affair, or the infamous countertop affair, I suppose. Mind you, the researchers at East Anglia who had their private emails hacked were private individuals too.

    But it’s all of a piece, really: no matter who gets trampled in the machinery, the big lie still rolls on.

  67. 67
    Xenos says:

    @SGEW: The ACORN scam is different than the garden variety lies and conspiracies generated by the right wingers. Instead of just lying about a public figure (for whom it is nearly impossible to pursue defamation charges) they fraudulently set up dozens of ACORN employees in contrived circumstances to see if they made any incriminating statement. The tapes were made, in many cases, illegally, and rather obviously the tapes were edited so that neutral, hypothetical, or only slightly questionable statements were recast as criminal acts.

    It was always pretty clear (to me, at least) that ACORN had grounds to sue these kids and the deep pockets behind them for fraud and defamation. The unanswered question was whether such a suit was expected and planned for by Fox, Brietbart, and their buddies. Discovery might prove up a conspiracy and doctored videotapes and so on, but could also apply to all sorts of problems rumored to exist at ACORN. So if they can independently prove up to the public that the tapes were unfair and misleading, ACORN may be better off prosecuting this in the court of public opinion.

    Still, I would love for a few million dollars to go on retainer to a very big and skilled litigation firm… they punked a very big organization, one that can prove hundreds of millions of dollars of damages. It would be very, very pleasing to see Fox and such tied up in court for a decade getting reamed out quite well. Even if the case does not prevail, it could effectively pull their teeth in the short run.

  68. 68
    Jim says:

    (yes, yes, with other contenders if you like, Goodman, Maddow, et. al.; but how are their ratings compared to Stewart’s?).

    actually, I think in pure numbers Maddow’s are equal or even a little stronger than TDS, but Stewart has a hip cachet with everyone from college kids to Tommy Friedman to Bloody Bill Stewart. Like Imus used to with bloated Villagers.

  69. 69
    Rick Kane says:

    Here is an interesting article from Editor and Publisher about the hit job done on ACORN. http://www.editorandpublisher......1004047850

    It has to be remembered that Movement Conservatives don’t believe that the people that ACORN serves should have any rights. They believe that they are sub-human and moral degenerates. Especially since they don’t fit the Aryan ideal.

    They have been brought up to believe that the taxes they paid are transferred to Black and Brown people, and that when Black and Brown people vote, they are voting for to take money from them so they can enjoy that great welfare life style without work. And they define that kind of scheme a criminal, and hence ACORN is really criminal for facilitating this “scheme” by getting people to vote who really should not have the right to vote in the first place because they are not “Real Americans.” So that the fact there is not actual vote fraud is irrelevant to the “Truthiness” of the narrative they have constructed about ACORN.

    And the political hit done on ACORN appears about to be repeated to the academic scienctists who work on climate and who human activity is now a contributor to climate change, with the Conservative activist and media creating a narrative of the data as “a hoax” and the scienctists engaged in a conspiracy to suppress the “truth” and commit fraud for the purpose of “research grants” spreading into the meanstream media as unquestioned truth using the CRU e-mails as reed to spin this “truthy” narrative. See George Will’s column in the WaPo on Sunday.

  70. 70
    Joey Maloney says:

    @Jim:

    don’t forget “chock-full of n*****s”.

  71. 71
    JenJen says:

    Kind of along these lines vis-a-vis Jon Stewart, while I’m in no danger of quitting “The Daily Show”, I’m sure I’m not the only one here who really can’t stomach Arianna Huffington or her shitty site for one more second.

  72. 72
    Svensker says:

    @JenJen:

    I’m sure I’m not the only one here who really can’t stomach Arianna Huffington or her shitty site for one more second.

    No, you’re not. I used to use it as my news aggregator and then as a base to a bunch of my favorite links, but the other day when she had two headlines about Tiger’s penis…. Well, I’ve moved on.

  73. 73
    Svensker says:

    OK, blockquote fail, no edit and moderation. Double FYWP.

  74. 74
    cleek says:

    @JenJen:

    I’m sure I’m not the only one here who really can’t stomach Arianna Huffington or her shitty site for one more second.

    i never read it unless it’s linked. and even then, i feel all ickky reading the referenced article, given how much crap i’ve seen there.

  75. 75
    Kryptik says:

    @cleek:

    I don’t read HuffPo anymore, for a much more practical reason, really:

    The site’s a cluttered godawful mess.

  76. 76
    Bubblegum Tate says:

    @cleek:

    the defense will be “but ACORN paid for this report! bwah!”

    You called it!

    Of course, the Fox News story those wingnuts are referencing doesn’t include the part about how the videos were doctored. It does, however, include James “Worst. Pimp. Ever.” O’Keefe whining, “The videos speak for themselves, really. Just watch the videos, the content is all there. You’ll see the illicit conduct on the videos.”

    Fair and balanced, bitches!

  77. 77
    kay says:

    @SGEW:

    I’m glad you brought up the researchers, because it’s all of a piece, isn’t it?

    Take it out of context, using something “unimpeachable”, like email, and throw it up there.

    It occurs to me that if this is the low bar we’ve settled on, and it seems to be, it could get completely out of hand.

    Cable news now uses amateur recordings all the time. How long before we have the serious criminal accusation predicated on something like a doctored 911 call tranmission?

    If the dispatcher doesn’t speak clearly enough, can I dub in a voice-over? Can I add words? If I send it to CNN, it’s going right up there?

  78. 78
    Kiril says:

    @Will: Um, they did? ACORN told anyone that would listen that the tapes were doctored and demanded the originals, but nobody cared what ACORN claimed — after all, they had just been busted.
    Actually, I just spent a few minutes googling for a link, and kept finding columns talking about how ACORN needed to suck it up and stop making accusations because the tapes proved the case.

    To wit:

    In July, ACORN CEO Lewis said that the pair had been “thrown out” and its Philadelphia president, Carol Hemingway, said that the pimp + pro had caused a “major disturbance.” Yesterday, she said, “As soon as the staff realized [the couple] didn’t seem correct, they were put out and a police report was filed.”

    Police report, yes, but the audio reveals no “major disturbance” and no demand that they leave.

    Is that ACORN spin, or incompetence?

    Conway-Russell, in a video posted on the left-wing Media Matters Web site, said that she had refused to help them and “they never said that she was a prostitute.” However, on the audio, the woman’s “prostitute” job was mentioned. Three times. And they were offered access to ACORN counseling services.

  79. 79
    Kiril says:

    blockquote should last until the end of my comment above

  80. 80
    dSquib says:

    Jon Stewart has apologised before for mistakes, has he not? Don’t see why he shouldn’t do so now.

    It seems to me he accepts at least some responsibility when it comes to journalistic integrity. Furthermore he sees himself as more than just a comedian, and so do I. And it doesn’t have to be unfunny, if done in a suitably self-deprecating manner.

    He does look stupid, though not the most stupid. Possibly the most annoying thing about the segment he just did on Climategate was to connect it, and I think the ACORN “scandal” with Bush lying us into war, failing to respond to warnings about bin Laden and other crimes, both equating the “crimes”, and assuming some level of embarrassment for Obama in both these faux scandals, though they are nothing to do with him.

  81. 81
    Xenos says:

    @Kiril:

    However, on the audio, the woman’s “prostitute” job was mentioned. Three times. And they were offered access to ACORN counseling services.

    Mentioned by who? Care to throw me a link?

    From what I remember of the tapes, you saw the back of the charming young couple… so it would be easy for them to dub in new statements on their part, I suppose.

  82. 82
    JenJen says:

    @Bubblegum Tate: Oh, jeebus. That link has a prominent graphic that reads “Become A Charter Member: George W. Bush Presidential Center.”

    Oh, and yeah, Malkin’s predictably taken the “ACORN clears itself of wrongdoing” course.

  83. 83
    ellie says:

    I stopped watching Jon Stewart and even my beloved Stephen Colbert a long time ago because I don’t think the repukes are funny one bit. I think they are dangerous and should be treated as enemies of the state. Even though they are out of power, they still seem to be running things. Catholic bishops writing legislation that will affect my body? Hilarious! Climate change deniers resorting to stealing and cherry picking to make their points? OMG! That is so funny! A few conservatives Democrats making the rest of Congress bow down to them and their demands? Please! Stop! My sides!

    That may make me a wet blanket but my mental health is too valuable to gamble on subjecting it to the mighty Wurlitzer.

  84. 84
    Will says:

    @Kiril:

    I am extremely open to any evidence that ACORN has been fighting the good fight on behalf of these employees. If ACORN fired them knowing that they were telling the truth, that was frankly a cowardly and stupid act, since it just validated the false narrative that this had actually happened the way Breitbart wanted us to believe.

  85. 85
    Hob says:

    Jon Stewart is, as cleek pointed out, the first guy who should’ve thought of this, since editing an interview to make it look like someone gave a deadpan answer to a totally insane question is a running gag on The Daily Show.

    However, Jon Stewart is also one of a depressingly tiny number of People On TV who might actually apologize, and not in some weaselly ombudsman way, because unlike other POTV he is allowed to call himself a dumbass, and he gets to follow up with some funny made-up shit to make sure we don’t miss the point. I sure hope he does so, not just because we’re pissed at him, but because people need to see that that can happen.

    That running gag is a teaching tool for a country at high risk for chronic bullshit poisoning. We all need to brush up on that lesson sometimes, including Stewart.

  86. 86
    sloan says:

    Too late. It is already an established fact in wingnut folklore that ACORN is a child prostitution network that stole the election for Obama.

    I love how our elected officials reacted to this. They saw an altered videotape on FOX News and cut millions in ACORN funding – literally no questions asked. All it took was two little asshole college Republicans to dress up in $29 Pimp & Ho costumes from Party City and then flat out lie and alter the tapes on right-wing talk shows.

    Mission accomplished!

  87. 87
    Chad N Freude says:

    @ellie: The reality isn’t funny, but satire has always been an excellent tool for bringing truth to the perception and understanding of the unfunny reality. Stewart generally does a very good job of exposing idiocy and malevolence that would otherwise probably be unnoticed (or unnoted).

  88. 88
    Chad N Freude says:

    @sloan: It’s not just ACORN. Legislators always think they must respond immediately to perceived public outrages, otherwise they think they would be giving their home political opponents ammunition. Fact gathering and analysis take way too long.

  89. 89
    scudbucket says:

    @Bubblegum Tate:

    Exactly. None of this talk of ‘truth’ and ‘accuracy’ matters. A single instance of vaguely unethical behavior suffices to confirm the righties’ worst fears of corruption. Fox, and others, play this up because anecdotal evidence confirms the widely held conspiracy theories from the right. It’s fair and balanced in the sense of pandering to the preconceived views of the delusional.

  90. 90
    Paul L. says:

    to admit that this story is bullshit

    Funny how Doug J. ignores the first paragraph.

    ACORN employees caught in those undercover videos advising a couple posing as a pimp and a prostitute on how to break the law acted unprofessionally and inappropriately, but did nothing illegal, an independent report has found.

    But Doug J. got a narrative to promote to defend Acorn from being “swiftboated”.
    Interesting that TPM promotes a whitewash report by a Democratic politician classifies as a “independent” report.
    I am sure if a former Republician AG wrote a report exonerating Gitmo that progressives would expect it at face value.

  91. 91
    Notorious P.A.T. says:

    the media person who looks the most stupid right now is Jon Stewart.

    Man, that clip is brutal. He really swallowed that crap sandwich whole.

  92. 92
    Notorious P.A.T. says:

    Imagine if it were you.

    Amen. I’ve worked in customer service. When someone comes through that door, you pretty much have to treat them like a king or your boss will whine at you and maybe fire you. No matter what they say or do, you have to nod your head and pretend to consider it as a reasonable proposition. It doesn’t matter if they insult you, or ask for a bulk discount because they are buying 3 things at once. They can put a diamond watch in their pocket if they want and you can’t do anything unless they actually try to physically leave the store with it.

  93. 93
    Joel says:

    @Jim: I agree. The tipping point was when Stewart had Kerry on his show. He’s had good moments since, but it’s like he’s lost his edge.

  94. 94
    Cerberus says:

    Also, belated thanks to DougJ for the name-check. That’s really cool.

  95. 95
    Notorious P.A.T. says:

    One more thing: Is Jon Stewart a credible journalist? It doesn’t matter at all, because he loves to rag on the mainstream media for doing a horrible job and actively harming our country. Well, with stuff like this segment he has joined the herd. Congratulations Jon.

  96. 96
    Xenos says:

    @Paul L.:

    Interesting that TPM promotes a whitewash report by a Democratic politician classifies as a “independent” report

    This is what bugs me about trolls. Harshbarger may be a Democrat, but he was an effective state AG who has a well established reputation for honesty and fairness. He was hired by ACORN to conduct an investigation and to to file a report, a report that can properly be called independent because ACORN obliged its people to cooperate, and has no control over the report and could not suppress its publication.

    But this troll here walks in and declares it as a whitewash by a dishonest hack. Paul L. – what the hell do you know about Harshbarger? Where do you get the balls to call him out as a liar and a crook?

    You would not know an honest man if you ever came across one. Given the company you associate with I doubt that will ever happen.

  97. 97
    Elizabelle says:

    re folks being sick of Huffington Post (and count me among them: some even-handed content, but too much screaming and clutter to make it worth the while):

    Andrew Sullivan linked to a liberal blogger who’s had enough of it too.

    She has deemed herself no longer a liberal, but a Taoist.

    http://virgilspeaks.blogspot.c.....ymore.html

  98. 98
    SRW1 says:

    There was a guy who tended to have a cigar in his face and who once said something about lies, half ways around the world, thruth and pants. Can’t quite put it together, but his first name was Winston, as far as I remember.

  99. 99
    Notorious P.A.T. says:

    @Xenos:

    Does he offer the same criticism of the young Republican duo that filmed the video in the first place?

    She has deemed herself no longer a liberal, but a Taoist

    [snicker]

  100. 100
    kay says:

    @Notorious P.A.T.:

    Conservatives are incoherent, as usual.

    What’s the objection to ACORN, even if we accept the edited tape?

    That they failed to report illegality, or somehow sanctioned illegal behavior.

    But, conservatives are, right now, trumpeting emails one of their horrid operatives broke in and TOOK.

    Their heroes are thieves, yet they’re squealing about faux-prostitution.

  101. 101
    Comrade Darkness says:

    @scudbucket: Um, except when the subject is Blackwater/Xe, Halliburton, Amway . . .

    I’m all for aggressive oversight. Craptastic hypocritical false outrage . . . not so much.

  102. 102
    kay says:

    @Paul L.:

    The young conservatives should release the unedited video.

    We’ll just all have a look.

    By the way, who made the transcript of the original video?

    You know, Paul L. I don’t wish you ill, but if you can’t fathom why it is unfair and unethical to essentially destroy someone’s reputation based on a submission by two political operatives, with no independent verification or oversight, well, I have to question your character.

    There’s a reason we have court reporters, and “official transcripts” and there’s a reason reporters retain their notes. Shit is easy to spin.

    You didn’t extend the most basic decency to these people.

  103. 103
    Bubblegum Tate says:

    @JenJen:

    That link has a prominent graphic that reads “Become A Charter Member: George W. Bush Presidential Center.”

    Isn’t that awesome? It’s automatically inserted as a footer in every post on that blog. Pretty much says it all, doesn’t it?

  104. 104
    El Cid says:

    As much as this ACORN shit from Jon Stewart pissed me off, at least Stewart could give a plausible excuse if he addresses this on the Daily Show — i.e., “I AM NOT A JOURNALIST AND I DEPEND ON YOU PEOPLE WHO PRETEND YOU ARE”.

  105. 105
    kay says:

    @Elizabelle:

    Andrew Sullivan linked to a liberal blogger who’s had enough of it too.

    She has deemed herself no longer a liberal, but a Taoist.

    I’ve had it, too. The way some liberals have portrayed the issues surrounding closing Gitmo is downright dishonest. Reading the commentary, what jumps out loud and clear is they aren’t following the issues surrounding the Cuban prison, at all.
    So why are they pretending they give a rat’s ass about the detainees?
    If you don’t know that they’re coming up for hearing, if you don’t know that Congress is blocking transfer to the US, how much can you actually care about this issue?
    I know it’s now become a liberal talking point to bitch that the Cuban prison is still open, but, please. Don’t pretend to care about the detainees if you don’t bother to follow the process of closing the place.

  106. 106
    Xanthippas says:

    Andrew Sullivan linked to a liberal blogger who’s had enough of it too.

    She has deemed herself no longer a liberal, but a Taoist.

    http://virgilspeaks.blogspot.c…..ymore.html

    Just because some idiot calls himself a liberal, doesn’t mean you can’t be too. Just don’t be an idiot.

  107. 107
    Xanthippas says:

    One of these days I’m going to remember about the blockquote. By which I mean, only that last part is mine.

  108. 108
    policomic says:

    I agree that Stewart’s jumping on this story was an attempt at “balance.” He doesn’t exactly pretend to be an “equal-opportunity offender,” a la Leno, Letterman, Conan, etc., but he makes a show of criticizing “both sides” from time to time, and almost always in a way that seems beneath his intelligence. I don’t think he “owes” us an apology, but I do find the whole “look at me, I criticize liberals, too!” thing stupid and annoying.

    But I also think it’s a limitation of the format: Jon Stewart, like the traditional late-night host–like most of our “political” comedians going back to Will Rogers–positions himself as a disinterested observer, to whom all of politics is a silly and futile spectacle in which every participant is either insincere, crazy, or ineffectual. The comedian, in this set-up, is the Voice of Sanity; and to maintain this pose, he must constantly remind us that he is above the fray.

    Even in the best of hands, this set-up plays into the audience’s cynicism: yeah, all parties are corrupt, all of politics is futile and stupid.

    This is one reason I prefer Colbert–he doesn’t have to pretend to be disinterested, or above it all. He doesn’t have to look like an impartial referee.

    And he can’t rely on cute mugging or silly voices or mere “attitude”–which is why the writing is, I think, much smarter on his show.

  109. 109
    Lex says:

    @Waynski: Waynski FTW. That is sad.

  110. 110
    ruemara says:

    As an editor who’s done this for interviews and actually seen it done for programs like 20/20, I knew that this was probably faked from the outset. With your back to the camera, anything can be dropped in via voiceover and the supposed dress of the participants was so circa 1970’s black pimp and ho it smacked of either satire or deep rooted racism (hey! lets dress like real pimps and ho’s and go talk to black people. they’ll accept us, ‘cos it’s cultural!). It was too much of the painful eyeroll syndrome for me to pay much attention to it and it blew me away that it got as far as Congress trying to take away it’s funding when no actual investigation-no, these tools didn’t count-had actually been done.

  111. 111
    Alan in SF says:

    Stewart faces the danger of becoming a relexive curmudgeon — he responds too easily to things that sound like they’re outrageous, but are in fact either not outrageous or not true. Last night he went off on Obama wanting to spend the $200B TARP money on stimulus — i.e., creating jobs — as if it meant throwing $200B into some mysterious, useless thing called “government spending.”

  112. 112
    Mnemosyne says:

    @Paul L.:

    So the fact that some ACORN employees acted unprofessionally completely excuses the fact that O’Keefe and Giles dubbed in completely new questions to make them look so bad that ACORN’s funding would be yanked by Congress?

    So much for the high morals of right wingers. I guess that as long as your lies and fabrications grind your opponents into the dirt, Republican Jesus says it’s A-OK!

  113. 113
    Mnemosyne says:

    @Rick Kane:

    They have been brought up to believe that the taxes they paid are transferred to Black and Brown people, and that when Black and Brown people vote, they are voting for to take money from them so they can enjoy that great welfare life style without work. And they define that kind of scheme as criminal, and hence ACORN is really criminal for facilitating this “scheme” by getting people to vote who really should not have the right to vote in the first place because they are not “Real Americans.” So that the fact there is not actual vote fraud is irrelevant to the “Truthiness” of the narrative they have constructed about ACORN.

    Quoted for truth.

  114. 114
    DFH no. 6 says:

    @Mnemosyne:

    Yes, truth indeed.

    This is the primary reason my younger brother gives for being a Republican, though he doesn’t put it quite so boldly.

    It’s first and foremost about “those people” leeching off hard-working folk such as himself. He thinks I’m the nut for being affluent, white, and Democratic — I’m a traitor to the tribe, apparently.

    My brother wasn’t “brought up to believe” this, though. My late father was a Democrat and union man his whole adult life, and my elderly mother is still a liberal and a Democrat. In fact, my brother is the only one of us siblings (there were six of us) who became Republican. I blame Reagan (the time of that benighted administration is when my brother went to college and then entered the workforce).

  115. 115
    tootiredoftheright says:

    For those dissing the Huffington Post you should read what somethingawful had to say about the site.

    http://www.somethingawful.com/.....php?page=4

    They give it an award: Most Overated Political blog.

  116. 116

    […] real ACORN takeaway: In light of Jon Stewart’s earlier takedown of ACORN, commenter Waynski at Balloon Juice observes: “It’s a sad comment on the state of our media that we’re now looking for journalistic […]

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