think that, whatever his politics, any normal person with a normal curiosity in the world would be fascinated and impressed by James O’Keefe’s exposure of the mighty ACORN, right? Think again. American mainstream journalists are not normal people with a normal curiosity in the world. Instead of an interest in facts, they have an adherence to the left that guides the very operation of their synapses. And so when the ACORN story broke, instead of reporting it, they reacted as Michelle Malkin
The liberal media’s ACORN blackout
September 17, 2009
UNDERCOVER journal ism is only acceptable when it fits a liberal agenda. That’s the message from professional reporters and left-wing activists outraged by the successful video stings targeting President Obama’s old friends at the left-wing, tax-subsidized outfit ACORN.
Summing up the ACORN Housing Corp. philosophy, a Brooklyn ACORN official told BigGovernment.com’s James O’Keefe (playing a pimp) and Hannah Giles (posing as a prostitute) bluntly: “Honesty is not going to get you the house.” ACORN spokesman Scott Levenson blasted the investigation as gotcha journalism. That would be gotcha multiplied by at least five: The pair has so far caught ACORN operatives dispensing illicit advice in Washington, DC, Baltimore, San Bernardino and San Diego, as well as in the Brooklyn office.
For its part, The New York Times yesterday finally deigned to notice the remarkable ACORN stings—but only to denounce the landmark investigative journalism as partisan bloodsport. Its disdainful headline, “Conservatives Draw Blood From ACORN, Favored Foe.”
The paper’s Scott Shane described conservative advocates and broadcasters as gleeful and quoted ACORN chief organizer Bertha Lewis bemoaning how the group has become a bogeyman for the right wing and its echo chamber.
Funny: Times reporter Stephanie Strom last year worked with whistleblower Anita MonCrief, formerly of ACORN affiliate Project Vote, on several investigative pieces exposing the financial shenanigans of ACORN’s vast web of nonprofit affiliates. Strom called MonCrief a gold mine in July 2008. One of the last stories she wrote before Times editors forced her off the ACORN beat was an Oct. 21, 2008, piece exposing an internal report on ACORN’s potential violations of federal law.
The report found that the tight relationship between Project Vote and ACORN made it impossible to document that Project Vote’s money had been used in a strictly nonpartisan manner and raised concerns not only about a lack of documentation to demonstrate that no charitable money was used for political activities but also about which organization controlled strategic decisions.
Those are just the concerns conservative journalists have investigated for years. And they’re just the concerns Capitol Hill Republicans are citing now to open up financial probes—opposed by Democrats until this week—of ACORN’s national office and its hundreds of affiliates that long have engaged in tax evasion, housing scams, voter fraud and campaign-finance violations.
But ACORN apologists would rather blame the messengers. MSNBC anchor Norah O’Donnell fretted that the ACORN undercover videos might be viewed as entrapment. She had apparently forgotten NBC’s own history: The network pioneered the “To Catch a Predator” series, an investigative sting operation to nab Internet pedophiles. Until last year, the journalists worked with activist group Perverted Justice, whose members posed as children in Web chat rooms to lure alleged pedophiles to residential homes. [LA says: Speaking of Norah O’Donnell, isn’t it remarkable how liberalism turns a pretty Irish lass into a robotic apparatchik?]
It’s also the network that tried to arrange Islamophobia stings in 2006 to expose racism among NASCAR crowds. ABC News’ “Primetime Live” did similar stings in Alabama and Texas.
The point of undercover journalism is to serve the public by blowing the whistle on illicit activities that wouldn’t otherwise see daylight. Which is exactly what the ACORN stings have done.
Taxpayers deserve to know how ACORN and its web of tax-exempt affiliates are using their money—after all, 40 percent of its revenue comes from the government. ACORN tax advisers and mortgage counselors across the country are trained by the flagship group. In fact, ACORN is now managing apartments in Bedford-Stuyvesant for the new Atlantic Avenue Apartments—even though ACORN Housing Corp. has a long history of abusing federal funds for political activities.
ABC News anchor Charles Gibson “explained” that he hadn’t covered the ACORN scandal because he hadn’t heard of it—an excuse you’d think wouldn’t get you very far in the news business. Then he snarked that “maybe this is just one you leave to [cable TV].”
The sting videos have exposed not one, but two rackets: ACORN’s and the ostrich media’s.
[end of column]