Anything goes when it comes to hos

As evidence mounts that James O’Keefe and did not actually go into the ACORN offices dressed as a pimp, the very liberal New York Times stands by its man:

[Times’ Senior Editor of Standards Greg] Brock wrote, in a remarkable email exchange posted by The BRAD BLOG on February 8th, that “If there is a correction to be made, it seems it would start with Mr. O’Keefe himself. We believe him. Therefore there is nothing for us to correct.”

Read the whole thing. It’s unbelievable.

116 replies
  1. 1
    Persia says:

    It’s a good thing the traditional media is there to protect us by taking time to get all the facts.

  2. 2
    MikeJ says:

    This goes along with the old, “it doesn’t matter if it’s factually correct, people are talking about it so it’s news.”

  3. 3
    Mike Kay says:

    This is why they’re dying.

  4. 4
    cleek says:

    unbelievable ?

    i don’t think you know what that word means.

  5. 5
    beltane says:

    Maybe Greg Brock’s kid went to summer camp with Mr. O’Keefe so they’re all cool with each other. People of their sort can’t be lying scumbags, they just can’t.

    This, along with the David Paterson “bombshell’ that wasn’t, mark a new low for the NYT. Too bad, I grew up on that paper.

  6. 6
    Malron says:

    What they’re really saying is they believe ACORN really is a corrupt organization that teaches black people how to cheat on their taxes and steal elections. Its also why all those progressive Democrats in the House and senate won’t do anything to restore their funding. Besides, its only hurting the brown people so it really doesn’t affect “real America” does it?

  7. 7
    Punchy says:

    OT, but I just cant believe this:

    In Virginia, the General Assembly approved a bill last week that allows people to carry concealed weapons in bars and restaurants that serve alcohol, and the House of Delegates voted to repeal a 17-year-old ban on buying more than one handgun a month.
    …………….
    Arizona and Wyoming lawmakers are considering nearly a half dozen pro-gun measures, including one that would allow residents to carry concealed weapons without a permit. And lawmakers in Montana and Tennessee passed measures last year — the first of their kind — to exempt their states from federal regulation of firearms and ammunition that are made, sold and used in state.

    1) Weapons + alcohol? I smell an EASY Darwin award winner from the state of Virginia
    2) People need to buy a handgun every other week?
    3) Weapons without a permit? Does that make them untraceable? Does a lack of permit to carry still require one to register the firearm with the authorities?

    And the article goes on to lament that bills to allow college kids to pack heat have not been successful, as if that’s a setback. This country is fucked.

  8. 8
    Jude says:

    Sweet Jesus.

    So much for that experiment in a free press. It was fun while it lasted, but it’s all stenography now.

  9. 9
    Morbo says:

    So it doesn’t matter that Giles has said so as long as O’Keefe still hasn’t? Man, that is just awesome, by which I mean FYNYT.

  10. 10
    The Moar You Know says:

    I get more accurate news from Hot Chicks With Douchebags than the New York Times.

    At least when HCwDB fucks up, they correct the error.

  11. 11
    beltane says:

    @Punchy: When guns are more abundant than brains, we might just have a problem.

  12. 12
    Fleas correct the era says:

    “Read the whole thing. It’s unbelievable.”
    ————————–

    Given that it’s the Times, unfortunately, it’s not unbelievable. In fact, it sounds just like them.

  13. 13
    Phantomist says:

    George Costanza: Jerry, just remember, it’s not a lie if you believe it.

  14. 14

    The loosening of gun laws in Virginia will mean more black people shot in D.C., which will mean more fear among white people in VIrginia which will mean more gun sales.

    Nice to know that you can get drunk at a bar, get stopped by a cop and then shoot him. And then pray to Jesus.

  15. 15
    master c says:

    Should I cancel my sunday-only subscription?
    Really can’t decide. I love the mag and fashion stuff.

  16. 16
    The Moar You Know says:

    Weapons without a permit? Does that make them untraceable? Does a lack of permit to carry still require one to register the firearm with the authorities?

    @Punchy: No, that’s only for concealed carry. You still need to register any handgun with the DOJ, as per the Brady law.

    This, though:

    And lawmakers in Montana and Tennessee passed measures last year — the first of their kind — to exempt their states from federal regulation of firearms and ammunition that are made, sold and used in state.

    Is illegal, and scary as hell; it is easy to see Tennessee becoming a source for armor-piercing rounds and other such fun but lethal goodies if they’re allowed to just ignore federal firearms laws.

  17. 17
    Folderol and Ephemera says:

    My favorite quote from Clark Hoyt, from the linked piece:

    “The story says O’Keefe dressed up as a pimp and trained his hidden camera on Acorn counselors. It does not say he did those two things at the same time.”

    [Emphasis Hoyt’s]

  18. 18

    Hilariously, Hannah Giles and Andrew Breitbart both now admit that O’Keefe wasn’t wearing the pimp suit. Where, oh where is the correction alpaca?

  19. 19
    slag says:

    @Folderol and Ephemera:

    “The story says O’Keefe dressed up as a pimp and trained his hidden camera on Acorn counselors. It does not say he did those two things at the same time.”

    HAHAHAHAHAHAHAHA

    Wow. That’s hilariously bad.

  20. 20
    MikeJ says:

    And lawmakers in Montana and Tennessee passed measures last year — the first of their kind — to exempt their states from federal regulation of firearms and ammunition that are made, sold and used in state.

    What exactly does this mean? States don’t get to nullify laws they don’t like. South Carolina learned this in the 1860s.

  21. 21
    Fleas correct the era says:

    My favorite quote from Clark Hoyt, from the linked piece:

    “The story says O’Keefe dressed up as a pimp and trained his hidden camera on Acorn counselors. It does not say he did those two things at the same time.”

    [Emphasis Hoyt’s]

    The poor Times … couldn’t they afford a Hoyt who understood English? CH probably wouldn’t see that “She kissed me at the station and I went off in my uniform” contains a double entendre, either — in fact, he probably wouldn’t understand that the kiss and the rest (in English, at least) seem to be happening one right after the other.

    That’s the way English works. It’s just not the way the Times works.

    I love the smell of journalism in the morning.

  22. 22
    mr. whipple says:

    As evidence mounts that James O’Keefe and did not actually go into the ACORN offices dressed as a pimp,

    Wow. I missed this. So, he was dressed as a pimp in clips other than inside the offices, leading to the impression he was dressed the same way inside?

  23. 23
    aimai says:

    This whole discussion with Hoyt makes me remember Media Whores Online, blessed be its name. That was the first place I went, when I was just starting to read the internet regularly. The Horse always had the most detailed explications of just how compromised the major media had become. The cycle appeared to be this:

    Weak, unsourced, faulty, or opinion laden piece attacking Democrats, or liberal causes, or an event.
    Backlash (as in the unfunding of ACORN, or the accusation that “some liberals” had done something wrong)
    Factual contradiction
    Refusal to print retraction because the original story was “trivial” or “just an opinion piece” or “long forgotten” or “too complicated” or “you were uncivil to the ombudsman” or “somebody used a curse word on dkos…”

    Lather, rinse, repeat.

    aimai

  24. 24
    Crusty Dem says:

    I had no idea the O’Keefe was fucking Judith Miller, sometimes these things just come out of left field.

    Note the legalistic approach by the NYT, it’s not so much whether the reporting was accurate and clear, it’s whether there’s any way what they wrote could conceivably be believed true Isn’t this exactly like WMD reporting about Iraq (an admittedly infinitely more important manner)?

  25. 25
    Barry says:

    Well, the Times has a record of putting out right-wing lies and standing by them.

  26. 26
    Punchy says:

    States don’t get to nullify laws they don’t like.

    By saying this, it’s clear you are a partisan hack, who wants to completely destroy and eviscerate the 2nd Amendy, and a weak-ass Nancy libtard.

    So says the comments section for this WaPo article. And I can guarentee the congressional fucks from TN will parrot that exact thing when the Feds try to rein them in.

  27. 27
    Ash Can says:

    @Punchy: I wonder if this means the DC pols, lobbyists, and other overprivileged hoi polloi will stop going to their favorite hangouts in Alexandria et al. for fear of getting their asses blown off while trying to seal voting deals over steaks and cocktails. I’m betting the Georgetown restaurateurs are delighted with this development.

  28. 28
    Morbo says:

    @D. Aristophanes: We can only assume that Hoyt ate it and is wearing a sweater made from its fur.

  29. 29
    twiffer says:

    on the “and” thing…holy fucking semantics batman. and blowjobs aren’t even involved (at least, not that i know of).

    seriously, saying that doing a and b doesn’t necessarily mean they were done at the same time might be a fun game at a linguistics conference 1am with a bunch of drunk grad students. as an actual defense of an article’s veracity? it fucking blows. common usage trumps in this case and anyone with 1/7970056762th of brain should know that.

    of course, they believe the guy who not only produced the heavily doctored video, but then went on to try wiretapping a u.s. rep’s office. he’s obviously trustworthy.

  30. 30
    twiffer says:

    @Punchy: hey, if we’re lucky, they’ll go off about the whisky tax too…

  31. 31
    Osprey says:

    @mr. whipple: http://thelensnola.org/archives/3666

    Apparently there was a lot of video editing.

  32. 32
    PTirebiter says:

    @The Moar You Know:

    “…easy to see Tennessee becoming a source for armor-piercing rounds and other such fun but lethal goodies”

    On the bright side; it’s good to see manufacturing making a light arms comeback. Probably a tough shop for labor to organize though.

  33. 33
    ericblair says:

    @MikeJ: States don’t get to nullify laws they don’t like. South Carolina learned this in the 1860s.

    I’m guessing that they will argue that since there’s no interstate commerce there’s no grounds for federal regulation. Nope, nobody’s going to take those federally-banned items out of Tennessee, nosiree, just like nobody takes fireworks illegally out of TN from those highway fireworks shops coincidentally located near the GA border. Perish the thought.

  34. 34
    DougL (frmrly: Conservatively Liberal) says:

    @Folderol and Ephemera:

    Yup, that statement floored me. I think they used to call something like that a bald-faced lie. Since the old gray lady is dead and nobody will bury her rotting corpse, we are left to smell her charnel house odor as it wafts over the nation.

  35. 35
    ThatLeftTurnInABQ says:

    @twiffer:

    on the “and” thing…holy fucking semantics batman. and blowjobs aren’t even involved (at least, not that i know of).

    The New York Times political reporters suck and swallow everything right wing operatives put in their gullible mouths.

    Heh.
    The new and, I likes it. We can have some fun with this.

  36. 36
    jenniebee says:

    Wasn’t the fact that he was not dressed that way during the actual interviews obvious from the way that the Acorn interviewees were answering his questions instead of dissolving into giggles?

  37. 37

    Osprey – it’s becoming less clear that O’Keefe and Giles even presented themselves as a pimp and ho at all. Rather, it may be that Giles was presented as a ho, but O’Keefe was the non-criminal boyfriend who was trying to help her get away from her abusive pimp, who also had underage prostitutes working for him.

    This would shed a whole new light on the ACORN workers’ actions — they may plausibly have been offering advice for how to escape the abusive pimp, rather than advice on how to set up a brothel and then avoid paying taxes.

    At the very least, O’Keefe/Breitbart’s demonstrable dishonesty in presenting the ACORN ‘sting’ tapes (per the not-pimped-out O’Keefe’s role in the videos) should make us question the legitimacy of the entire operation.

  38. 38
    Loneoak says:

    Yeah, but who wouldn’t trust someone in a pimp suit?

  39. 39
    Mike Kay says:

    @Loneoak:

    Who wouldn’t trust someone arrested for attempting to wiretap a US Senator’s office?

  40. 40
    Kryptik says:

    See, it’s not a lie if the other side says it’s the truth. That’s just how news works. You know, ‘fair and balanced’. If one side says 2+2 = 4, and the other side says 2+2 = fish, then who are you to say that 2+2 doesn’t somehow equal fish? Intolerant bastards!

    *cough*

    So yeah. I think it goes without saying, but objectivity is dead in journalism. Gossip is the new investigative journalism, hearsay the new umimpeachable fact. But hey, who didn’t see this coming? The Times and WaPo did crow about how they were devoting themselves to the Glenn Beck beat, after all. You expect them to go back on their words?

  41. 41
    inkadu says:

    George W Bush crashed his car into a tree AND he was not drunk.

    The media is also really bad about pointing out it’s own blatant errors, especially ones that blatantly illustrates their hackery.

  42. 42
    rootless-e says:

    judy miller was fucking right about something
    i suppose
    maureen dowd may have put some powder
    up her nose
    and the profiles of bloomberg
    test the boundaries of
    puff prose
    But Dave Gerth is still the king
    of the Times

  43. 43
    Jay C says:

    @ericblair:

    I’m guessing that they will argue that since there’s no interstate commerce there’s no grounds for federal regulation.

    That’s probably going to be the “defense” of the TN & MT laws, if/when they get up to SCOTUS, but it’s also probably fundamentally irrelevant. These sort of things are designed, IMO, as Firearms Theater; basically publicity stunts: and win-win scenarios for the gun nuts: Laws upheld: Win. Laws struck down: they get a bonanza in PR to be able to froth and rail about their precious “rights” being curtailed. Win. Oh, and the gun-nut lobby can leverage the “outrage” to rake in even more contributions: more Win.

    IANACS, but hasn’t the “intra-State” argument, wrt to things like manufactured goods (vs. say, resident/non-resident benefits) been rejected a long time back?

  44. 44
    Zifnab says:

    @jenniebee: Well, the way it was heavily doctored, it’s possible O’Keefe just edited all that out.

    What’s horrible about this bit of smear journalism has completely evolved. It used to be an absolute hack job piece of yellow journalism aimed at a political rival. Now it’s not just a hack piece, it’s an abysmally sloppy hack piece that needs to be defended on all sides from the band of suckers and morons that originally propped the “scandal” up.

    You would think any respectable journalist would be running head-long away from this catastrophe as fast as their legs could carry them. Instead, it’s rally ’round the flag.

    I mean, is Pimpgate really the hill that the NYT wants to die on? You’d think they’d at least go for something classy, like outing another undercover CIA agent or covering up some C-Street hookers and blow money laundering operation.

  45. 45
    Loneoak says:

    @Mike Kay:

    Who wouldn’t trust someone that gets all dressed up to play “child sex trafficker”?

  46. 46
    El Cid says:

    Yeah. Fuck ACORN. After all, who cares about some nation-wide organization which does community organizing for the homeless and poor communities and low-income housing?

    As a journalistarian, you need to stand up for young white ideologue pricks who make up fake stories and believe every dumb piece of unverified shit they tell you, and certainly don’t cross check the evidence they claim they gave you.

    I mean, fuck, ACORN’s just a bunch of poor n******, it’s not like they can help you by connecting you to inside sources to help lie the nation into a war or anything.

    Who gives a shit if bullshit irresponsible coverage which makes gossip seem more respectable now may be on the verge of folding?

    Who has to do real journalism if you’re reporting on a bunch of poor ass blacks and some so-called loudmouth outside agitators stirrin’ up the damn poor to expect to maybe not live on the streets and shit?

  47. 47
    wenchacha says:

    NYT: All the news that the WaPo doesn’t see fit to print.

  48. 48
    burnspbesq says:

    Let’s see …

    1. It’s about a 45 minute drive from Fraternity Row at the University of Maryland to the nearest Virginia gun dealer.

    2. On those rare occasions when Maryland beats Duke in basketball, the Maryland students invariably riot.

    3. We play the Twerps next week.

    One can only imagine Coach K’s pregame speech.

    “Let’s go, fellas. Gotta get it done tonight. Lives are at stake.”

  49. 49
    Ash Can says:

    In other delightful news, this morning the Senate Armed Services Committee is looking into a small matter of Blackwater looting a US weapons bunker in Afghanistan, stealing over 500 AK-47s among other trifles. (h/t GOS) Spencer Ackerman is live-blogging the committee hearing for the Washington Independent here.

    For anyone who might need a little reminded of just who exactly the enemy really is, this is a jim-dandy one.

  50. 50
    Kryptik says:

    @Zifnab:

    No, Zifnab. That’s not the most horrible thing about it.

    The most horrible thing is that it worked. Regardless of the questions about the ethics, accuracy, or even the legality of what O’Keefe did, the video served it’s purpose: ruined ACORN to the point that it’s essentially dissolved nationally. And he had the whole of the goddamn media as his accomplices.

  51. 51
    Bubblegum Tate says:

    Damn you, liberal media!

  52. 52
    demo woman says:

    OT In GA yesterday there was an election to replace the House Speaker who resigned after admitting to an affair with a lobbyist. The person who will replace him is 29 and he has admitted to having an affair with his mother-in-law ten years ago.

  53. 53
    Citizen_X says:

    Clark Hoyt’s mom used to have sex and get paid.

    Wait, did you think I meant at the same time? Oh, no, no, no, no, no!

  54. 54
    Napoleon says:

    @Jay C:

    IANACS, but hasn’t the “intra-State” argument, wrt to things like manufactured goods (vs. say, resident/non-resident benefits) been rejected a long time back?

    No and Yes. There has to be interstate commerce, but the SCOTUS has given that phrase a broad interpretation that allows for a situation that may at first blush appear to involve nothing except instate activity to qualify as interstate. If you didn’t an incredibly broad series of laws would be effectively gutted/hard to enforce.

  55. 55
    Kryptik says:

    @demo woman:

    ….

    Better literally incestuous rather than politically incestuous, I guess?

  56. 56
    Ed Drone says:

    @ericblair:

    I’m guessing that they will argue that since there’s no interstate commerce there’s no grounds for federal regulation.

    I think the answer to that would be that no federal money gets spent in the state — no interstate commerce means no interstate commerce. It’s the same way with traffic laws — no 55 mph, no federal highway funds.

    And any interstate trafficking in guns from one of those states — illegally removing a gun to a neighboring state, for instance — would mean the whole state would be liable for the crime. They want in-state gun laws to triumph over federal laws, then any violation of that in-state law means the whole state suffers. How does roadblocks at border crossings, with intrusive searches for hidden weapons sound?

    Draconian, yes, but they’re the ones whistling up the dragon! If they want to pretend the federal government is suppressing them, then they can get some real suppression.

    Not that it’d happen — someone will wimp out, and the low-lifes will win. Till another Va. Tech or Columbine (another one yesterday, eh?) or something similar happens.

    Ed

  57. 57
    ppcli says:

    @Folderol and Ephemera:

    Wow. That is amazing. We should all write letters to the times pointing out the scandalous fact that recently Hoyt walked into a newsroom filled with coworkers and took off his clothes to have sex.

  58. 58
    Loneoak says:

    “The story says O’Keefe dressed up as a pimp and trained his hidden camera on Acorn counselors. It does not say he did those two things at the same time.”

    By this standard, I just took a dump and ate scrambled eggs.

  59. 59
    bayville says:

    What Hoyt is saying:
    “Okay, stories we have written about this incident were incorrect although some parts of those stories were probably accurate.
    And sure we changed our editorial policy based solely on this story, like assigning reporters to specifically cover conservative media.
    And I know the filmmaker is now under a felony indictment for allegedly trying to tamper with the phones of a U.S. Senator.
    Of course Brad, the videotape of O’Keefe and Giles has been doctored and I know the duo won’t release the uncut, uncensored version of it. And I know Miss Giles recently admitted (twice) that the video of them in full Pimp & Ho attire was “B-roll”.
    And Brad, I’ll give you that the U.S. Congress (attempted) to cut off funding for ACORN based entirely on these stories. And I know that ACORN, in effect, has been forced to disband as a result…
    …But really, I fail to see what you are complaining about?”

  60. 60
    ericblair says:

    @Jay C: These sort of things are designed, IMO, as Firearms Theater; basically publicity stunts: and win-win scenarios for the gun nuts: Laws upheld: Win. Laws struck down: they get a bonanza in PR to be able to froth and rail about their precious “rights” being curtailed. Win. Oh, and the gun-nut lobby can leverage the “outrage” to rake in even more contributions: more Win.

    No argument there. Another type is the Kennesaw, GA mandatory gun law: every household must have a gun, except for a laundry list of exemptions that boil down to “unless you, like, don’t want to”, there’s no actual penalty, and nobody’s ever been prosecuted under it anyway. But that’s the kind of big government interference that will give you a stiffy, and that’s what’s important.

  61. 61
    Kryptik says:

    @bayville:

    “But aside from that, how was the show, Mrs. Lincoln?”

  62. 62

    I suspect we’ve all been trying to reconcile the counterintuitive notion that a person can suck and blow, so it’s nice that Clark Hoyt has so neatly demonstrated how this is done.

  63. 63
    Xenos says:

    @Jay C: The Dormant Commerce Clause might kick in here, as changing the market for guns and ammunition so severely might indirectly affect the interstate commerce for these items that federal jurisdiction kicks in. The main exception for the DCC is when the state takes a direct role in organizing the intra-state market, which this law seems to avoid doing.

    According to Wikipedia Scalia and Thomas are looking for a case to curtail or overturn the Dormant Commerce Clause. Since they have used gun cases to carve out huge exceptions to the explicit Commerce Clause in the past, I would expect that several levels of mischief are being organized around this case.

  64. 64
    gnomedad says:

    @Bubblegum Tate:

    Damn you, liberal media!

    Don’t we need a category for this?

  65. 65
    Chinn Romney says:

    Nothing new about sucking and blowing at the same time. The late, great “Big” Walter Horton was the first I ever saw master the technique. I’m told Frank Sinatra also used it to get through especially long phrases.

  66. 66
    ericblair says:

    @Ed Drone: Not that it’d happen—someone will wimp out, and the low-lifes will win. Till another Va. Tech or Columbine (another one yesterday, eh?) or something similar happens.

    No, because this is your basic self-licking ice cream cone: the fact that firearms were easily available to violent mentally ill people just means that we need to have firearms even more easily available so all the basic upstanding citizens will be packing heat and will take the nut down before he even gets his hand out of his jacket.

    If there just had been a large contingent of armed, trained citizens around, that massacre at Fort Hood, TX never would have happened. Oh wait.

  67. 67
    Zifnab says:

    @Kryptik: Yeah, that’s what really gets me. Admittedly, I rarely watch network or cable news, so I’m somewhat insulated from bullshit bombshells like these. I didn’t realize how crippling the smear piece was until I saw the last batch of headlines.

  68. 68
    Svensker says:

    @MikeJ:

    And lawmakers in Montana and Tennessee passed measures last year — the first of their kind — to exempt their states from federal regulation of firearms and ammunition that are made, sold and used in state.

    Yet these same people are fine with not being able to take a tube of toothpaste on an airplane.

    The dissonance, it cognates.

  69. 69
    timb says:

    @Malron: their funding was already restored in a December 22, 2009 court ruling, which ruled the legislation a bill of attainder and thus unconstitutional.

  70. 70
    timb says:

    @ericblair: Doesn’t matter. See Wickard

  71. 71

    @Citizen_X: That’s quality snark right there.

    But allow me to be devil’s advocate and say what all the righties are saying right now: this wardrobe detail is indicative of what, exactly? Advocacy journalism of the type we are describing here historically has not given much credence to playing by the rules. You can just look at Michael Moore’s output for plenty of effective examples of this style on the left; also see the public’s response for an object lesson of why the right-leaning objections to this approach do not amount to much. (Moore’s box office numbers are UNREAL for a documentary filmmaker.)

    All of this is just to say that we really need to stick with why the tapes are substantively fraudulent, which they do seem to be given all the controversy surrounding the edits and overdubs.

    Commence the beating, people, but hurry it up, as I only get an hour for lunch.

  72. 72
    elmo says:

    @Punchy:

    3) Weapons without a permit? Does that make them untraceable? Does a lack of permit to carry still require one to register the firearm with the authorities?

    There is a difference between a permit to carry and a firearm registration. You may be surprised to learn this, but many states don’t have any requirement to register your firearms, even though they may require a permit to carry them in public. Tennessee, for example. I don’t have a carry permit, so I don’t carry in public, but none of the guns I have at home are registered with the State.

    However, there is another level of record-keeping that is not controlled by State law. If you purchase a firearm from a licensed dealer, you are required to fill out and sign an ATF Form 4473, which the dealer then keeps in his own records. However, it is perfectly legal to buy a gun from a private party, in which case no ATF Form is required. (This is the “gun show loophole.”) Private parties can’t sell lots of guns without a license, so your uncle Joe can’t just go into business as a “private seller” of firearms. But your uncle Joe can sell you his old .38, and there’s no registration requirement for that in many states.

  73. 73
    bemused says:

    @Punchy:
    Concealed guns in bars & loaded weapons in national parks…what could possibly go wrong? No one could have anticipated…..

  74. 74
    El Cid says:

    The consequences of the major, well-funded, presumably journalist-stocked and editor-staffed news media for taking up a racist, ultra-right wing game as though it were real news?

    A thousand smaller local groups without a national voice any more. Because of bullshit, racist mythmaking. And a bipartisan stampede to agree.

    *********************************************

    ACORN may lose Pennsylvania, local chapters

    By Mike Wereschagin
    PITTSBURGH TRIBUNE-REVIEW
    Wednesday, February 24, 2010
    Last updated: 7:51 am

    State and local chapters of the community organizing group ACORN are considering dropping their affiliation with the embattled national organization and forming their own groups.

    Federal agencies cut ties with the group last year after conservative activists dressed as a pimp and a prostitute filmed ACORN workers giving advice about flouting the law. Officials with ACORN, which stands for the Association of Community Organizations for Reform Now, say the tapes were doctored. The group also has suffered from internal rifts, stemming from embezzlement by the brother of ACORN’s founder.

    Pennsylvania’s board of directors is considering following large chapters in California and New York, which split from ACORN recently. The California chapter became the Alliance of Californians for Community Empowerment and the New York group became New York Communities for Change.

    “It’s up in the air right now,” said Craig Robbins, executive director of the Pennsylvania chapter. “We’re not exactly clear on what we’re going to do yet.”

    Republican lawyer Heather Heidelbaugh of Pittsburgh said breaking from the national organization is the best option.

    “If I were a local group dedicated to the proposition of helping the poor and … African Americans and Latinos, then I wouldn’t want to be associated with ACORN,” Heidelbaugh said. “They should disassociate from the national organization.”

    Heidelbaugh, who testified against ACORN during House Judiciary Committee hearings in March, said she feared the organization’s breaking apart could be “subterfuge” rather than “a real effort on behalf of ACORN to stop operating nationally.”

  75. 75
    timb says:

    @Xenos: This ain’t that law. If you want to attack the Dormant Commerce Clause, you’ll have to go around the back way. A frontal attack on a 60+ year interpretation of the entire administrative state won’t work.

    Much like they attacked the commerce clause in the “guns near schools” case, the attack here will have to be a gradual walking back of the interpretation. And, much like the earlier guns case, the result won’t kill us. It will just remind an emasculated Congress that the other two branches plan on eliminating them in next 50 years to allow a series of oligarchical “business leaders” to make law by Executive Order and with 9 wise men watching over them.

    you know, like Iran has!

  76. 76
    ThatLeftTurnInABQ says:

    @bemused:

    loaded weapons in national parks

    Stand up for your right to arm bears.

  77. 77
    Kryptik says:

    @El Cid:

    Republican lawyer Heather Heidelbaugh of Pittsburgh said breaking from the national organization is the best option.

    Gee, I’m sure she just has the best interest of these groups in mind. Nothing possibly partisan and politically motivated here!

  78. 78
    CalD says:

    This I thought was the money quote from the BradBlog post:

    “We’ve spent the last several weeks here reporting and demonstrating how the O’Keefe/Breitbart ACORN video hoax was exactly that — a political, partisan scam that was publicized uncritically by the New York Times, and dozens of otherwise reputable outlets.”

    Why am I feeling this overpowering sense of deja vu? I guess the good news is, they didn’t start an actual war this time.

  79. 79
    timb says:

    @Jason B at Work: Fair question….I seem to have read it quite a bit from Breitbart, et. al.

    The answer is it points to the fundamental dishonesty of the tapes. the tapes are not an “undercover sting,” they are manipulative propaganda, where the film maker intentionally mis-leads the viewer.

    O’Keefe tricks the viewer, lies to the people in the video, lies to the press and viewers about what’s in the videos….

    hard to see his defense here. he’s one step away from hosting “Rock Bottom” and getting the bottom of Homer’s sexual harassment issues

  80. 80
    bemused says:

    @ThatLeftTurnInABQ:
    Ha, Rachel Maddow beat you to that one already.

  81. 81
    chopper says:

    @slag:

    i love how the paper that published so many stories critical of clinton during his impeachment scandal is now down to arguing what ‘the meaning of the word “and” is’ in order to avoid admitting being wrong.

  82. 82

    @Chinn Romney: Not to mention Rahsaan Roland Kirk and all the didgeridoo players …

  83. 83
    Citizen_X says:

    @Jason B at Work:

    this wardrobe detail is indicative of what, exactly? Advocacy journalism of the type we are describing here historically has not given much credence to playing by the rules.

    Point taken, and you’re right that it’s not always a good idea to get bogged down in refuting factual detail.

    But the short response is that it’s bullshit. And those perpetuating the bullshit need to be called on it. Because without that pushback, it has become part of the narrative:
    @El Cid:

    conservative activists dressed as a pimp and a prostitute filmed ACORN workers giving advice about flouting the law.

    That’s not the NYT or Breitbart, it’s the Pittsburgh Tribune-Review.

  84. 84

    @Citizen_X:
    @timb:

    I agree with both of you here. Certainly it is useful to address the dishonesty here as a means of destroying credibility. I guess it just seems that with this crazy whirlwind news cycle that we’ve got now, I despair a little bit of ever getting the kind of attention that a followup story would need. Certainly though it would be best if the one thing that gets the attention of the press again is a detail that is rock-solid and unable to be construed as nitpicking, because anything other than a substantive rebuttal could actually end up hurting the argument if it is perceived as “nitpicking”.

  85. 85

    @Citizen_X: The reason the wardrobe detail is important — aside from the basic benefits of calling bullshit, as you say — is that for all intents and purposes, this seems to be the first crack in the MSM ACORN reporting that the NY Times et. al. are getting seriously called on the carpet for.

    It’s a potential way in to open up the whole can of worms, to get some actual reporting on what this sham of a ‘sting’ was all about.

  86. 86
    El Cid says:

    @Citizen_X:

    That’s not the NYT or Breitbart, it’s the Pittsburgh Tribune-Review.

    Yes, and the Pittsburgh Tribune-Review didn’t suggest any sourcing for that allegation either, neither their own investigation nor other mass media source. I suspect they just copied from the big money, significantly fake media.

  87. 87
    bemused says:

    The glaringly obvious media trainwrecks on acorn & so much else, no research, no retractions, no accountability, is like reporter doing an piece on a person with a 200# bulging tumor & making it all about dieting & the person’s poor eating habits.
    As frustrated & furious I am with legislators, the media drives me absolutely bonkers. Americans are ignorant but I blame the media for much of that. Americans get pretty pissed, unless they are diehard R’s, when they get taken for a ride. The problem is that it takes a long time before the scams are exposed if ever.

  88. 88
    Kyle says:

    [Times’ Senior Editor of Standards Greg] Brock wrote, “We believe him. Therefore there is nothing for us to correct.”

    “And Santa Claus is real, so shut your dirty mouth, lalalalalalalalalalala I can’t hear you!,” he added.

    What high ‘standards’ the Hudson Pravda has.

  89. 89
    El Cid says:

    The pimp and ho outfit is the main reason the fraudulent “expose” got the amount of press and airtime it did.

    I really doubt it would have been, say, the center of Jon Stewart’s uninformed rant had there not been the suggestion that the white boy went in dressed like the elder pimp in I’m Gonna Get You Sucka.

  90. 90
    Gregory says:

    @Kryptik:

    The most horrible thing is that it worked.

    This.

    The other day NPR had a story on about the demise of ACORN that regurgitated the “pimp video” storyline, never even hinting that the thing was bogus. The best even-the-liberal-NPR could do was mention that the workers involved had been fired.

    And the worst of it is, those jackasses probably thought they were doing a sympathetic take.

    They get not one more dime from me.

  91. 91
    kay says:

    What amazes me, still, is that every television news organization will happily air heavily edited, secretly filmed clips.
    Without exerting the slightest effort to determine if they’re edited.
    Anyone can film anyone, and then edit the film with the intent to destroy the person depicted’s reputation, and if it’s submitted to a news agency and determined “newsworthy”, they’ll play it.
    Remember: these ACORN employees were not public officials, or even managers or leaders. They were hourly employees, regular people.
    These individuals were smeared, by huge media corporations, and this very personal and vicious hack-job was sold as “citizen journalism”.
    It’s mind-boggling.
    I knew they wouldn’t back down, though.
    I think it has a LOT to do with what ACORN is, an agency that serves the powerless, because I cannot imagine media treating employees of a government-funded religious non-profit like this.
    Imagine the outcry if they did.

  92. 92
    bemused says:

    @Gregory:
    Do you remember which NPR program?

  93. 93
    bemused says:

    @kay:
    I remember reading about Acorn employees alarmed at lenders preying on people (San Francisco area for one) knowing they could not afford the home loans. They tried to raise flags but no one listened.
    I don’t know how many stupid letters to ed in local papers I’ve read that actually think little ol’ Acorn was almost totally to blame for the real estate bust. As Bush said, you have to catapult the propaganda over & over again until it sticks.

  94. 94
    The Populist says:

    Why are these news organizations so fucking afraid of these pussified Republican scum suckers? Who cares if they whine about the newspaper being liberal in it’s opinion section!?!?!?! NYC is pretty liberal and even when the NYT lets idiots like Jonah Goldberg pollute their pages they STILL get called liberal.

    Do what’s right and call out all wrong doing otherwise what’s the point of having an opinion section?

  95. 95
    DougL (frmrly: Conservatively Liberal) says:

    @Loneoak:

    By this standard, I just took a dump and ate scrambled eggs.

    Sounds better. ;)

    Well I was doing 130 MPH in my Mustang with my wife and we had sex.

    Top that!

  96. 96
    Gregory says:

    @bemused: All Things Considered, last night.

    (NPR’s Web site also includes a “partner content” article from NRO. Swell.)

    I can has my pledges back pleez?

  97. 97

    Shorter NYT: O’Keefe says it, we believe it, that settles it!

  98. 98
    Citizen_X says:

    Top that!

    Yeah? Well, I saw your wife–and you–and we had sex.

    So there!

  99. 99
    Kryptik says:

    @The Populist:

    Kinda like how Hiatt’s managed to stack the WaPo’s Op-Ed board with countless right-wing hacks, and yet somehow not only is the board considered hopelessly left wing (Hello there, Howie Kurtz!) but he himself somehow is still considered some kinda left lib stalwart.

    Amazing, huh?

  100. 100
    DougL (frmrly: Conservatively Liberal) says:

    @Citizen_X:

    I know. I had a camera and I took pictures!

    Shit this is easy, can I be a noozperson?

  101. 101
    Paris says:

    “O’Keefe’s deceptive editing of those infamous tapes ”

    Only a moron would not have concluded those tapes were real. They were like a really bad SNL digital short. I couldn’t understand how any of that story got the legs it did considering how amateurish the effort.

  102. 102
    kay says:

    @bemused:

    It’s so incredibly dishonest.

    Taxpayers directed 2.2 billion in 2006 to church groups, to do social service work, under the Faith Based Initiative program.

    Have you seen a single media outlet either 1. report on that, or 2. subject any of the Big Three Federally Funded religions to the scrutiny ACORN got?

    Hell, no. Because there would be absolute hysterical fever-pitched screeching if they even tried to audit religious.

    Why is that? We have a long history of religious crackpots and hustlers and scammers in this country. It’s not like it’s a big secret. Yet, not a word. They’re untouchable.

    But let Planned Parenthood or ACORN any other secular group receive a dime in federal funds, and the media can’t wait to pile on the low-level employees who make 9 bucks an hour.

    Where’s the “expose” on Catholic Charities or Lutheran Social Services or any of the other of hundreds of religious entities that are federally funded?

  103. 103
    bemused says:

    @Gregory:
    Thanks..have to go read & listen.

  104. 104
    bemused says:

    @kay:
    People can’t be outraged if they don’t even know there is an outrage.

  105. 105
    El Cid says:

    A big part of the more broad “Reagan revolution” was to “defund the left”, which included vituperative, constant attacks on government (public) funding of NPR and PBS, since obviously they were flaming communists.

    A gigantic propaganda campaign was launched by the radical right, billionaire-funded media attack dogs against a PBS special which aired the most mild critiques of the U.S. war against Indochina (Vietnam: A Television Hisory).

    And NPR and PBS learned their lessons. Seeking more and more corporate backing, their reporting independence and generally sober approach was mainly turned into one of tone rather than substance.

  106. 106
    kay says:

    @bemused:

    If ACORN had a sordid history, going back 40 years, of multiple instances of child rape, and a subsequent elaborate cover-up of child rape that extended to the highest levels of leadership, do you think they’d be subject to some media scrutiny when receiving federal funding for providing social services?

    Because one of the big recipients of federal funding has that well-documented and widely known criminal history, and it ain’t those godless heathens over at ACORN or Planned Parenthood. It’s the churches.

  107. 107
    bemused says:

    @kay:
    Yes. Our craptastic media prefers to spend a nauseating amount of time & resources on Tiger, Acorn lies, etc.
    I want to tear my hair out when discussing topics with people in my community inc some friends & family that are not getting reported & people look at me like I’m hallucinating. They simply don’t know the most basic stuff that is going on so therefore I must be wildly exaggerating. I feel like I live on an entirely different planet which is probably the case. Then I get angry. If they don’t care enough to research for themselves & spend some time on issues 101 instead of being spoon fed, I give up.

  108. 108
    The Populist says:

    @Paris:

    No way those tapes were real. They did have a heavily edited feel and I always had the feeling they didn’t go in looking that way. If I was a clueless ACORN staffer who saw these two dressed like this I would most likely ask them to leave.

  109. 109
    asiangrrlMN says:

    @kay: Agreed. It’s about time to rip the band-aid off that motherfucker right there and let it bleed.

    @El Cid: Double agreed. I think how he was dressed matters (and I admit, this is the first I’ve heard of it, and I am gobsmacked) because no way this would have been such a big story if O’Keefe had gone in there dressed in regular clothes. Yes, the heavy editing is more important, but that wouldn’t even have been an issue if the tapes hadn’t caught on as they did.

    By the way, FH#3 (still talking to El Cid), I have a very serious question to ask you: Do you have cats?

    @bemused: I was going to say this in response to your earlier comment about not knowing they should be outraged. People can take steps to educate themselves rather than just relying on sound-bites and second-hand info. I also share your despair at the amount of willful ignorance that most people flaunt.

  110. 110
    bemused says:

    @asiangrrlMN:
    It is willful. I will say, don’t believe me, don’t believe the media, look it up for yourselves…then it’s crickets.

  111. 111
    asiangrrlMN says:

    @bemused: No shit. I will say that there is a lot of shit you have to wade through to get to something resembling the truth, but you can do it if you are willing to put some effort into it.

    My brother has taken to asking me about politics because he is starting to realize he can’t believe what he hears or reads. He voted for W. twice, but voted for Obama in the last election. I am changing the electorate one Republican at a time.

  112. 112
    bemused says:

    @asiangrrlMN:
    I haven’t really given up trying. I just get fed up once in awhile when people are so uninformed that a fact that I throw out is so outrageous, they think it can’t possibly be true, ie I must be some crazy uber liberal. Of course, the people that know me well know I’m not looney so then I think they are scared to check it out for themselves. Might have to question what Fox, the R’s & maybe their churches have been telling them for decades.

  113. 113
    tyrese says:

    February 24th, 2010 at 9:53 am Reply to this comment
    Mike Kay
    This is why they’re dying.

    If you don’t know anything about economics, advertising, or technological change, then sure, that makes sense.

  114. 114

    […] very popular centrist blog Ballon Juice noted: As evidence mounts that James O’Keefe and did not actually go into the ACORN offices dressed as […]

  115. 115
    S.D. says:

    A petition to Hoyt and the New York Times has been posted at the Petition Site (Care2). Please read and sign!

  116. 116
    Cerberus says:

    And what’s worse was what the conversation actually was.

    O’Keefe fronted like he was a worried friend trying to get his friend out of sex work and away from an abusive pimp. All that edited footage about how the evil ACORN officers were helping form a whorehouse for underage prostitution was the result of someone taking a chance at them not being full of shit just in case it helped someone trapped in a situation filled with abuse and rape.

    Like most right-wingers, he cashed in on the basic humanity and decency people have to want to help people and decided to twist it to serve his agenda.

    Fundamental to his bullshit is his deep distaste for women and the casual way he sees the reality of their abuse in society as nothing more than a good hook to get the misleading camera footage he needed to sell whatever he wanted.

    Of course, this was obvious to anyone who had been around for his last media-supported public “expose” on Planned Parenthood and the fundamental dishonesty and bullshit that entailed.

    But then investigating things costs money and if they are going to fill all their pages with a staff of 3, they need to spend a maximum of seven minutes of each story and rely solely on what they’re told to publish…

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