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The Secret Koch Brothers Tapes...

By Brad Friedman on 3/29/2010 4:38pm PT  

If you've not heard, over the weekend it was announced that the felony charges against James O'Keefe --- who famously, never actually posed as a pimp in ACORN offices --- and his three co-conspirators in the matter of attempting to illegally access the phone system of U.S. Senator Mary Landrieu (D-LA) in New Orleans, have been reduced to misdemeanor charges.

It's believed likely that the agreement was part of a plea deal. The reduced charges would carry a maximum prison sentence of 6 months and a fine of $5,000, versus the maximum sentence of 20 years for the felony charges.

MORAL 1: If you're going to attempt to feloniously enter federal property under false pretenses in order to manipulate the phone system of a sitting U.S. Senator, make sure a) you're an operative for the Republican, not Democratic, Party (remember: IOKIYAR!), b) you do not have an Arabic sounding name and, most importantly, c) you have as one of your co-conspirators the son of the acting U.S. Attorney in the same state where you are attempting to commit your crime.

MORAL 2: If you get caught and arrested while doing any of the above, even if, as your attorney says, you're just "kid," be sure to be a "kid" who has the ample funding and high-powered connections to employ, for your defense, a superstar GOP attorney such as one who was powerful enough to have represented the U.S. Senate Republicans during the Watergate Hearings nearly 40 years ago and during the witch-hunt investigation of the Clinton administration in the 90's.

Here endeth the lesson.

By Brad Friedman on 3/24/2010 3:28pm PT  

I appeared earlier this afternoon on RT (formerly "Russia Today"), an English-language Russian news service seen in the U.S. and elsewhere.

Despite yesterday's six-months-late admission from the New York Times that they were repeatedly bamboozled by the Rightwing con-artists who produced deceptively edited hit videos in order to take down ACORN (which they successfully did), U.S. television --- including those so-called "liberal" bastions like CNN and MSNBC --- don't seem to much care that the entire thing was a hoax from the jump. At least they've yet to cover it, while RT has done so with at least three live hits over the past 24 hours.

Once again, RT seems to have more interest in issues that actually effect Americans than American broadcast news outlets do. Here's my choppy web-cam appearance earlier today.

Yesterday, my colleague and friend David Swanson was also a guest on RT to discuss the ACORN issue, as was nationally syndicated radio host Thom Hartmann. Both of those short segments are posted below and well worth watching...

--- Click here for REST OF STORY!... ---

Yet more evidence that O'Keefe did not 'represent himself' as the NYTimes and its Public Editor continue to claim...
By Brad Friedman on 3/23/2010 8:41pm PT  

Last night, the New York Times issued a pathetic "correction" in which the paper finally admitted it had gotten one very important element of the ACORN "Pimp" Hoax story wrong by reporting on at least four occasions that Rightwing activist James O'Keefe had dressed in his ridiculous 70s-era blaxploitation "pimp" get-up while secretly video-taping low-level ACORN and ACORN Housing workers last Summer. He didn't. That was a lie by O'Keefe and his publisher Andrew Breitbart, and it was forwarded uncritically by the New York Times over and over again.

After two months of my badgering the paper's Senior Editor for Standards Greg Brock and its Public Editor (ombudsman) Clark Hoyt about it --- and after each offered all sorts of extraordinary excuses (see here and here for just a start) as to why they stood by the paper's demonstrably inaccurate reporting --- the "paper of record" was finally, and begrudgingly, forced to admit it was wrong on that one element, and has issued a correction to it.

The "correction" came six months after the Times first damagingly misreported the story, and was followed by repeated similar misreports. It also came on the same day that the four-decade-old community organization announced it had been forced to close shop in the wake of the phony scandal, which was helped along by the gross misreporting by the Times and many others that followed suit.

But the Times' correction still made it a point to include the false notion that, while O'Keefe didn't dress as a pimp in ACORN offices, he still "represented himself" as one, by "posing" as a pimp.

Well, no, as we've shown time and again, he didn't do that either. He posed as the law school student (or sometimes a banker or politician) boyfriend to Hannah Giles who was dressed similarly to a prostitute. During the secretly-taped interviews, they both told the low-level ACORN and ACORN Housing workers they were trying to save her from an abusive pimp who had attempted to stalk and kill her.

Yet, the Times is still standing by its inaccurate reporting.

So, to help them out, here are just a few more examples of O'Keefe "posing as a pimp," as the New York Times, the "paper of record," would have you believe, as taken from O'Keefe's own unauthenticated text transcripts...

--- Click here for REST OF STORY!... ---

In addition to being wrong, no apology nor explanation offered
Errors already repeated in separate story for tomorrow's paper...
By Brad Friedman on 3/22/2010 10:31pm PT  

The once-great New York Times has now become the new shame of this nation. Tonight they have run a "correction" concerning their repeated misreporting of the ACORN "Pimp" Hoax for tomorrow's papers. And, as you'll see below, it's pathetic --- simply pathetic --- and still inaccurate.

It has been...

  • ...six months after the New York Times ran their first incorrect story on the ACORN "Pimp" Hoax;

  • ...five months since their ombudsman and reader's representative Public Editor Clark Hoyt ( chided the paper for waiting "nearly a week" before reporting on the phony videos, and announcing the assignment of a new editor to specifically follow "the issues that are dominating Fox News and talk radio";
  • ...almost four months since the former MA Attorney General correctly reported [PDF] what had really gone on in those ACORN offices (though his report was entirely ignored by the NYT until last weekend);
  • ...two months after their Senior Editor for Standards Greg Brock ( wrote via email that James O'Keefe "appeared on a live Fox show wearing what HE said was the same exact costume he wore to ACORN's offices...We believe him. Therefore there is nothing for us to correct";
  • ...two months after Hoyt ( wrote via email to back up the editors and the paper's reporting to say that "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";
  • ...two days after Hoyt finally admitted in his column that "The Times was wrong…and I have been wrong in defending the paper's phrasing" and that "Editors say they are considering a correction";
  • ...and on the very same day that ACORN announced they were shutting their doors on April 1 following a lack of funding, in light of the damage done by the highly-doctored, falsely promoted and inaccurately reported hit videos released by known Rightwing partisan propagandists and liars...

...the "paper of record" has issued a correction for tomorrow's papers, in which they repeat the falsehood that James O'Keefe "posed as a pimp" in ACORN offices. He didn't. He posed as the fake prostitute's law school boyfriend trying to help save her from a pimp who had stalked and threatened to kill her, as a review of even O'Keefe's own unauthenticated text-transcripts show.

Here is the absolutely shameful squib published tonight on the web, and running in tomorrow's paper, along with just the shortest explanation of how they are still getting it completely wrong, but don't seem to care...

--- Click here for REST OF STORY!... ---

Clark Hoyt says in Sunday column 'editors considering correction'
Also concedes paper 'should have' covered former MA AG's early-December report finding no criminality in 'heavily edited' sting videos
By Brad Friedman on 3/20/2010 11:20pm PT  

"The Times was wrong…and I have been wrong in defending the paper's phrasing."

Even as the New York Times once again misreported the ACORN "Pimp" Hoax on its pages in a report on the community organization's possible declaration of bankruptcy in Saturday's paper, their Public Editor (ombudsman) Clark Hoyt finally admits in his column tonight, for tomorrow's paper, that both he and the paper were "wrong" in their reports about rightwing dirty trickster James O'Keefe's "pimp" costume, adding that "editors say they are considering a correction."

Considering?! What exactly would be the hold up?

The paper and Hoyt, as The BRAD BLOG has been detailing for nearly two months now, were out and out wrong in their reports about O'Keefe, and what his highly-edited, heavily-overdubbed, secretly-taped videos misleadingly suggested to show, and in their failure to report exculpatory information, such as the refusal to release the unedited raw videos made by the rightwing propagandists, as well as the results of an investigation by MA's former Attorney General [PDF] finding no "pattern of illegal conduct" by ACORN employees as seen in the videos as published by the rightwing media mogul and fabulist Andrew Breitbart.

More than a month and a half after the paper's Senior Editor for Standards, Greg Brock, first attempted to defend the "paper of record's" reporting by pointing to Fox "News" and the accused felon O'Keefe himself in support of their inaccurate reports, as we exclusively detailed here, and more than a month and a half after Hoyt himself offered similar excuses and was shown that he was absolutely wrong, as we exclusively detailed here, the Public Editor offers his extremely reluctant mea culpa tonight in "The Acorn Sting Revisited" [emphasis added]:

Here is what I found: O'Keefe almost certainly did not go into the Acorn offices in the outlandish costume - fur coat, goggle-like sunglasses, walking stick and broad-brimmed hat - in which he appeared at the beginning and end of most of his videos. It is easy to see why The Times and other news organizations got a different impression. At one point, as the videos were being released, O'Keefe wore the get-up on Fox News, and a host said he was "dressed exactly in the same outfit he wore to these Acorn offices." He did not argue.

The Times was wrong on this point, and I have been wrong in defending the paper's phrasing. Editors say they are considering a correction.

Hoyt also conceded in his long-overdue admission that the paper erred in failing to ever mention (until a story in today's paper finally!) the independent findings of former MA Attorney General Scott Harshbarger which were released on December 7th of last year....

--- Click here for REST OF STORY!... ---

By Brad Friedman on 3/15/2010 11:44am PT  

From Katrina vanden Heuvel, editor and publisher of The Nation last Monday on "The Rightwing Witch Hunt Against ACORN":

After 18 months of screaming headlines and attacks vilifying the anti-poverty group ACORN --- attacks reminiscent of a New McCarthyism that threatened the group's very existence --- it's clear now that this was a right-wing witch-hunt which, sadly, too many Democrats and the mainstream media failed to fact-check.
Fox and tabloids like the New York Post did a hatchet-job on ACORN that too many in the mainstream media were eager to run with. It seems to me those outlets have a special obligation to now step up and tell the full story. Also, contact New York Times Public Editor Clark Hoyt, Washington Post Ombudsman Andrew Alexander, and other major newspapers. Tell them their publications should run front-page retrospectives on the ACORN story--how and why the media and politicians got it wrong and what the consequences have been to ACORN.

From Detroit's Metro Times last Wednesday in "Pimps, weasels and ACORN: The truth is slowly catching up with the smears":

[T]his deception wore the winged sandals of Mercury while the truth got bogged down in cement overshoes.
But getting that truth out isn't easy when the lie is so much juicier. Just ask Brad Friedman, who has been all over the issue at his website, Friedman has been mounting a campaign aimed at getting the nation's paper of record, The New York Times, to publish a correction and admit it was wrong when reporting that O'Keefe actually went into ACORN offices dressed as a pimp. On his site, Friedman posts an e-mail exchange he's been having with Clark Hoyt, the public editor of the Times.

Both of those two articles merit reading in full, along with a number of others published elsewhere of late, which follow up on The BRAD BLOG's weeks-long focus on exposing the Rightwing cult's ACORN "Pimp" Hoax and the corporate media outlets and public officials who shamefully fell for it. We've been too busy working on the exposé itself to keep you apprised of much of the coverage of it elsewhere, but there's been quite a bit, so let's try to put that right and get caught up on some of the more noteworthy pieces...

--- Click here for REST OF STORY!... ---

President of National Housing Institute decries: 'Act of defunding ACORN by Congress is a national disgrace'...
By Brad Friedman on 3/12/2010 4:06pm PT  

"This reporting was done by not just the right-wing press, but every one of the mainstream press, and I’m talking about...the New York Times," said John Atlas, author of the new book Seeds of Change: The Story of ACORN, America’s Most Controversial Anti-Poverty Community Group on this morning's Democracy Now!.

"And there’s a whole movement out there now trying to get the public editor to go on record saying the Times botched the story," Atlas, the president of the National Housing Institute, continued.

He was on the show to discuss this week's finding by a federal judge that Congressional legislation crafted specifically to defund ACORN was unconstitutional.

"The first thing I want to say, that needs to be said over and over again, is that the act of defunding ACORN by Congress is a national disgrace. We should all be outraged about that. Basically what happened is Congress bowed to Fox News, Glenn Beck, the rest of the right-wing echo chamber --- we’re talking about the United States Congress --- and then scapegoated the most effective anti-poverty organization in the country. That’s a scandal of enormous proportions," Atlas chided.

In the bargain, he set the record straight about what ACORN does, how important their work is to those in our country who most count on them, and how the story of the ACORN "Pimp" Hoax was so unforgivably misreported over and again by the New York Times (and others) who still continue their journalistic malpractice by flat-out refusing to responsibly correct the record, as The BRAD BLOG has detailed in great length over the past several weeks.

The full transcript is posted here, the full video of the Democracy Now! segment (appx 11 mins) with Atlas, Amy Goodman, and Juan Gonzalez is below, along with excerpts from Atlas' opening comments on the important role of ACORN, and the dreadful failure of the New York Times...

JOHN ATLAS: [T]he first thing I want to say, that needs to be said over and over again, is that the act of defunding ACORN by Congress is a national disgrace. We should all be outraged about that. Basically what happened is Congress bowed to Fox News, Glenn Beck, the rest of the right-wing echo chamber—we’re talking about the United States Congress—and then scapegoated the most effective anti-poverty organization in the country. That’s a scandal of enormous proportions.

ACORN has a record of helping poor people in these hard times. They help them get homes. They help them stop foreclosures. They help them fight predatory lending. They help them register voters. I’m talking about minority voters, people who ordinarily don’t vote. Very hard to get that kind of voter registration work done. And in short, all other studies, including mine, have documented how effective ACORN has been and how important it’s been to low-income people, especially the working poor.
AMY GOODMAN: And remind us why they were defunded. I mean, what was the incident that precipitated this?

JOHN ATLAS: Well, as your opening said, which we can emphasize again, the immediate trigger—I’m talking about the immediate trigger—was the release of videos that appeared to show that ACORN staffers were giving advice to right-wing activists who looked like a pimp and a prostitute. And they were giving advice to them which was outrageous, which we should go into, after we talk about this case, because it turned out that that was completely misleading, that in fact he never—the guy who was posing as a pimp never showed up in this outlandish pimp outfit that we all associate with those videotapes. You know, the guy in the top hat, the cape around his shoulders, with his cane, the dark glasses, you know, he looked like a 1970s African American—you know, stereotype African American pimp. He went on TV. He said, “This is what I looked like when I was in the office.” Turned out, not true. And we should go into that, because—

AMY GOODMAN: Explain. How, then?

JOHN ATLAS: Well, it’s not true, because he edited—they took those pictures of him dressed that way, and they edited him into the tapes.

Now, before we get back into the decision, let me say this, that this reporting was done by not just the right-wing press, but every one of the mainstream press, and I’m talking about the Washington Post, the New York Times. Before I came here, I actually put together a list—I can—of times that the New York Times reported that fact, that this man was dressed like that when he was sitting in the office. And the New York Times has refused to retract this. And there’s a whole movement out there now trying to get the public editor to go on record saying the Times botched the story...

[Hat-tip BRAD BLOG commenters "Jeannie Dean" and "Big Dan"]

* * *

The BRAD BLOG covers your electoral system fiercely and independently, like no other media outlet in the nation. Please support our work with a donation to help us keep going (Snail mail, more options here). If you like, we'll send you some great, award-winning election integrity documentary films in return! Details right here...

Says 'videos were a hoax,' 'hard to believe' Times Public Editor Clark Hoyt 'actually believes what he's saying' in defense of repeated misreporting
Group issues action alert calling for retractions, apologies from 'paper of record'...
By Brad Friedman on 3/11/2010 1:08pm PT  

The New York Times "was duped" and "refuses to own up to mistakes in the paper's coverage" of the now-infamous ACORN "pimp" hoax video tapes published by partisan Rightwing activists James O'Keefe, Hannah Giles, and Andrew Breitbart.

That coverage, according to a devastating, no-holds barred, well-documented action alert issued today by the decades-old media watchdog group Fairness and Accuracy in Reporting (FAIR), was "wildly misleading" as a result of the paper having "decide[d] to skip the standard rules of journalism."

FAIR has been covering bias in the media since 1986 and today's detailed action alert calls on the "paper of record" to issue retractions, apologies, and explanations for their repeatedly incorrect and uncritical coverage of the Rightwing ACORN "pimp" hoax videos.

The group also excoriates New York Times Public Editor Clark Hoyt's often-absurd emailed justifications to The BRAD BLOG for refusing to recommend the paper issue retractions and apologies, as they decry: "It is hard to believe that Hoyt actually believes what he's saying here."

Finally, FAIR's analysis of the reportage, videos, and transcripts comes to the damning conclusion: "The videos were in fact a hoax, and the Times was duped. Its readers deserve to know as much--and ACORN, which suffered serious political damage as a result of the false stories, deserves an apology."

They ask readers, as we have for many weeks, to contact the Times' Public Editor Hoyt to "recommend that the paper investigate the ACORN videos and produce a report that clarifies the record"...

--- Click here for REST OF STORY!... ---

The GOP war against democracy continues to continue apace...
By Brad Friedman on 3/9/2010 10:17am PT  

[UPDATED TWICE: Good news! Morrissey quickly corrected his report after we notified him of the incorrect coverage. Bad news! His correction was also incorrect. SECOND UPDATE: Morrissey has copped to his second error as well, and has finally corrected appropriately. Details on all, at bottom of this article. -BF]

Once again, the accurate reporting of facts, truth, and reality doesn't seem to be required when it comes to the Rightwing's continuing, years-long attempt to villainize the community organization ACORN for having the temerity to help legally register millions of low- and middle-income voters (who tend to vote Democratic) to legally vote so that they may legally participate in their own democracy.

Latest example: Yesterday, Ed Morrissey of Hot Air --- a blog created by Rightwinger Michelle Malkin and recently purchased for an undisclosed sum by the far Rightwing Salem Communication outfit --- misreported [emphasis added]:

Today, [Wisconsin’s Attorney General J. B.] Van Hollen announced indictments in five cases — including two felony indictments against ACORN for scheming to have registrants vote multiple times in November 2008.

Unfortunately, Morrissey and Hot Air are patently --- and apparently knowingly --- incorrect.

The "two felony indictments," which Morrissey even links to [PDF] and quotes from in his inaccurate hit piece, are not "against ACORN," but against two workers who defrauded ACORN, even as the pair defrauded the voter registration process...

--- Click here for REST OF STORY!... ---

A quick lesson for those, like the New York Times, that grossly misreported the ACORN 'Pimp' Hoax...
By Brad Friedman on 3/8/2010 1:54pm PT  

Much more soon on Rightwing propagandist Andrew Breitbart and James O'Keefe's quickly unraveling ACORN "Pimp" Hoax, just how much of a hoax it really was, how the media and Democrats shamefully failed their due diligence in reporting and/or acting on it, and coverage of a lot of new commentary on it all that has been coming in rapidly from the Left, Right, and Other over the last week or so.

Until then --- and as we still wait for Breitbart and O'Keefe to release the unedited versions of the videos which they've charged for six months demonstrate serious crimes they apparently don't want to show us, and while we continue to wait for the embarrassingly discredited hard rightwing L.A. County District Attorney Patrick Frey, who blogs pseudonymously as "Patterico" both at his own site and in comments at The BRAD BLOG and at Breitbart's websites, to explain how it is that as a Deputy D.A. he's authenticated the "unedited audio" that he claims proves some form of criminality by ACORN that neither the Brooklyn D.A. nor the former MA Attorney General [PDF] nor the Congressional Research Service have been able to find --- here is a short, instructive video worth a quick look.

It's from 2007 and demonstrates just how simple it is to edit raw video in order to show something other than what actually occurred...

The lessons above are worth keeping in mind given last week's Brookyn D.A. finding that the O'Keefe/Giles/Breitbart Brooklyn video shows "no criminality," and that, as reported in Rupert Murdoch's own New York Post was "a 'heavily edited" splice job" where the low-level ACORN Housing employee's "seemingly crime-encouraging answers were taken out of context so as to appear more sinister," and as the New York Daily News similarly reported a NY law enforcement official last week confirming that O'Keefe and Giles "edited the tape to meet their agenda."

Meanwhile, the "paper of record," the New York Times, which grossly misreported the story time and again, is, as The BRAD BLOG originally reported, and as Katrina Vanden Heuvel at The Nation reminds us today, still standing by its damaging and inaccurate coverage of the entire ACORN "Pimp" Hoax.

As mentioned, much more coming soon...

* * *

The BRAD BLOG covers your electoral system fiercely and independently, like no other media outlet in the nation. Please support our work with a donation to help us keep going (Snail mail, more options here). If you like, we'll send you some great, award-winning election integrity documentary films in return! Details right here...

Deceptive rightwing propagandists become national joke...
By Brad Friedman on 3/5/2010 10:12am PT  

Earlier this week, the Brooklyn D.A. concluded a five-month investigation of the Brooklyn ACORN videos, finding "no criminality." Following the release of the findings, Rupert Murdoch's own New York Post, of all places, reported it this way:

ACORN set up by vidiots: DA

The video that unleashed a firestorm of criticism on the activist group ACORN was a "heavily edited" splice job that only made it appear as though the organization's workers were advising a pimp and prostitute on how to get a mortgage, sources said yesterday.
Many of the seemingly crime-encouraging answers were taken out of context so as to appear more sinister, sources said.

Using similar language, the New York Daily News reported a law enforcement source as noting: "They edited the tape to meet their agenda."

The New York Times, the so-called "paper of record," while reporting that the DA found no criminality, offered no such coverage of the DA's office explaining that the videos were deceptively and misleading edited and promoted as if they revealed something they actually didn't. The language used by Times reporter Andy Newman even appears to defy the paper's own Public Editor Clark Hoyt's recommendation --- as he shared it with me via email personally --- to "avoid language that says or suggests that O'Keefe was dressed as a pimp when he captured the ACORN employees on camera." (More specific details on that in my post from yesterday.)

In the meantime, as the Times continues to fail, last night Stephen Colbert mocked the entire ACORN "pimp" hoax as we've been revealing it over the last several weeks and, along with it, James O'Keefe, Andrew Breitbart, Fox "News" --- and, yes, indirectly, the New York Times --- by sharing his own "exclusive," damning, and heavily-edited video interview...

Related: Yesterday ACORN launched a campaign to fight back and "Demand Accountability" from the Times and the other media outlets that have grotesquely misreported this story and have still failed to correct their damagingly inaccurate coverage. More on that campaign and how you can add your voice to it, right here...

* * *

The BRAD BLOG covers your electoral system fiercely and independently, like no other media outlet in the nation. Please support our work with a donation to help us keep going (Snail mail, more options here). If you like, we'll send you some great, award-winning election integrity documentary films in return! Details right here...

Group asks '100,000 supporters' for 'Letters to Editor'
Cites BRAD BLOG coverage of NYTimes Editors' outrageous justifications for refusing to retract repeated misreporting...
By Brad Friedman on 3/4/2010 3:51pm PT  

Following on our weeks-long coverage here at The BRAD BLOG, and at other sites who've similarly jumped in demanding accountability from the New York Times, ACORN itself is now launching a "Letter to the Editor" campaign to "Demand Accountability" from the paper for their repeated misreporting of the James O'Keefe/Andrew Breitbart ACORN "pimp" hoax.

An email blast is being sent to "over 100,000 ACORN supporters" today, according to spokesman Kevin Whelan, calling on them to "send an email to the Times' Public Editor and tell him to retract the Times' erroneous reporting about O'Keefe and ACORN."

The community group's heavily-footnoted email blast, signed by "CEO and Chief Organizer" Bertha Lewis, quotes several articles from The BRAD BLOG's detailed coverage, including NYTimes Public Editor Clark Hoyt's outrageous emailed justifications for refusing to recommend the paper correct its multiple misreports.

"Can you tell Clark Hoyt, The New York Times' Public Editor, that The Times needs to retract its past ACORN stories and report the truth about the anti-ACORN sting operation from now on?" the email campaign asks [emphasis in original] before chiding Hoyt for refusal to "see that a correction is in order, because that would require conclusive evidence that The Times was wrong, which I haven't seen."

The BRAD BLOG, however, has indeed shown "conclusive evidence" to Hoyt that the paper was wrong, and even Hannah Giles (who played the fake prostitute) and even Andrew Breitbart (who published the videos to help launch his new website) have both now admitted that the reports of James O'Keefe dressing as a "pimp" in the offices of ACORN were flat out wrong.

Whelan says the group is "asking people to contact either the New York Times OR their local paper and ask for a correction to the erroneous reporting regarding O'Keefe and his video scams."

"Bradblog and a handful of online writers have been way ahead in looking at the facts on this story," Whelan wrote, "just as you were in exposing the great voter fraud fraud in 2006." (Our indexed coverage of that particular Rightwing fraud campaign is here.)

More from Whelan's email to The BRAD BLOG:

We are asking people to contact papers all around the country because nearly everyone has reported on this story erroneously at some point-O'Keefe's purpose after all, was to deceive and confuse. The New York Times has a special responsibility to correct the facts though-both as the paper of record and because they reported based on a combination of wild misconceptions (as they admitted to you) and pressure from the radical right.

The ACORN email blast to supporters also notes that the New York Daily News had the decency to report on a law enforcement source who noted Monday that "they edited the tape to meet their agenda," following the conclusion of the Brooklyn D.A.'s finding of "no criminality" after a five-month investigation of Brooklyn ACORN tapes.

Moreover, even Rupert Murdoch's New York Post reported on the finding, noting the D.A. described the video as a "'heavily edited' splice job" where "many of the seemingly crime-encouraging answers were taken out of context so as to appear more sinister."

And yet, the New York Times, the "paper of record," continues to misreport the story, even in the wake of the D.A.'s finding, as we detailed last night.

Please read ACORN's full letter, and sign onto their accountability campaign right here...

And please spread the word by DIGGing, REDDITing, RE-TWEETing, etc!

* * *

The BRAD BLOG covers your electoral system fiercely and independently, like no other media outlet in the nation. Please support our work with a donation to help us keep going (Snail mail, more options here). If you like, we'll send you some great, award-winning election integrity documentary films in return! Details right here...

And the New York Times is STILL helping them do so...
By Brad Friedman on 3/3/2010 6:12pm PT  

It's not particularly worth my time, or anybody's time (unless they are involved in suing or pressing charges against the GOP hoaxsters), to get into the detailed weeds on how the ACORN "pimp" hoax videos were doctored to show something other than what they really were, in comparison to what the text transcripts (which may or may not be accurate) actually show, since:

  • the entire scam was a political hit job and a scam from the jump, and;
  • since accused felon James O'Keefe and his employer and publisher Andrew Breitbart have refused to release the unedited video tapes, and;
  • since three investigations (one from the Congressional Research Service, one from MA's former Attorney General, and the latest, just this week from the Brooklyn, NY District Attorney) have all found no criminal wrongdoing by the low-level ACORN employees caught on secret video, and;
  • since nobody but low-level workers and volunteers are even seen on the tapes, and;
  • since ACORN immediately fired those who violated the organization's own written protocols.

As The BRAD BLOG has been detailing over the last several weeks, the highly-edited, heavily-overdubbed, secretly (and likely illegally) taped videos, and those who published them, have already proven to have discredited themselves.

Now that O'Keefe's ACORN "pimp" hoax has been acknowledged, even by Andrew Breitbart, as a deceptive fraud --- where he once called it Pulitzer Prize-worthy "journalism" he now compares it to Borat --- it doesn't seem to matter to the same rightwing bloggers who trumpeted it in the first place that O'Keefe lied about playing his now-infamous 70's-era blaxploitation "pimp" character in ACORN offices. What's important, those foolish enough to keep backing O'Keefe and Breitbart now claim, is not that the purveyor of the information has been shown to be a fraud himself, but what he purports to have caught ACORN workers saying and doing on his highly-edited video productions.

But even those charges don't hold up to even the quickest scrutiny...

--- Click here for REST OF STORY!... ---

By Brad Friedman on 3/2/2010 3:24pm PT  

This from a panel of today's Tom Tomorrow strip, titled "Too Much Crazy," depicting New York Times Public Editor Clark Hoyt "as a weasel"...

Much more crazy in the full strip.

The quote in the above panel is taken from the mindblowing emails Hoyt sent to me recently, as one of his reasons for not recommending the "paper of record" issue retractions for their repeatedly inaccurate and misreported coverage of the James O'Keefe/Andrew Breitbart ACORN video "pimp" hoax, as The BRAD BLOG has now been covering for weeks.

In addition to the absurd justifications that Hoyt (who can be emailed at offered for refusing to responsibly recommend corrections, the paper's Senior Editor for Standards, Greg Brock, offered equally absurd reasons for standing by their reporting earlier, including O'Keefe's appearance on Fox News, "wearing what HE said was the same exact costume he wore to ACORN's offices."

"If there is a correction to be made, it seems it would start with Mr. O'Keefe himself. We believe him," Brock (who can be emailed at incredibly asserted via emails we posted here. "Therefore there is nothing for us to correct."

* * *

The BRAD BLOG covers your electoral system fiercely and independently, like no other media outlet in the nation. Please support our work with a donation to help us keep going (Snail mail, more options here). If you like, we'll send you some great, award-winning election integrity documentary films in return! Details right here...

NYDailyNews law enforcement source: 'They edited the tape to meet their agenda'
[UPDATED] Rupert Murdoch's NYPost: DA source says tapes 'heavily edited'...
By Brad Friedman on 3/1/2010 1:27pm PT  

Via Ben Smith at Politico:

ACORN cleared in Brooklyn: 'No criminality'

Kings County, New York District Attorney Joe Hynes put out a statement just now:

On Sept. 15, 2009, my office began an investigation into possible criminality on the part of three ACORN employees. The three had been secretly videotaped by two people posing as a pimp and prostitute, who came to ACORN’S Brooklyn office, seeking advice about how to purchase a house with money generated by their ‘business.’ The ‘couple’ later made the recording public. That investigation is now concluded and no criminality has been found.

The New York Daily News adds:

This comes as local ACORNs around the country - including here in New York - have been shuttered and relaunched. The operation in the city is now known as New York Communities for Change.

Well, what a stunner. Still no retraction from you, New York Times? Will you even bother to report this news this time, after failing to report thatformer MA Attorney General Scott Harshbarger found the same [PDF] months ago, as did the Congressional Research Service, even as you continued mis-reporting the ACORN "pimp" hoax ever since?

UPDATE: This new post from the NY Daily News seems to indicate the D.A. was able to look at the complete unedited video which Breitbart and O'Keefe have otherwise refused to release publicly (see our Exclusive Video of Breitbart discussing this from earlier today) and found, according to "a law enforcement source", as we've long argued: "They edited the tape to meet their agenda"!...

Brooklyn prosecutors on Monday cleared ACORN of criminal wrongdoing after a four-month probe that began when undercover conservative activists filmed workers giving what appeared to be illegal advice on how to hide money.

While the video by James O'Keefe and Hannah Giles seemed to show three ACORN workers advising a prostitute how to hide ill-gotten gains, the unedited version was not as clear, according to a law enforcement source.

"They edited the tape to meet their agenda," said the source.

UPDATE 3:24PM ACORN issues a statement following the announcement from the King County, D.A. noting what The BRAD BLOG has been reporting for years:

O'Keefe and the Fox attack machine targeted ACORN because of our successful work to empower hundreds of thousands of low and moderate families as voters and active citizens.

Observers who looked closely at the filmmakers' own transcripts have already noted that O'Keefe presented low level employees with a bogus scenario in which he presented himself as a boyfriend trying to rescue a prostitute from a violent pimp. Although no employees took any actual action to file papers for loans or taxes, ACORN already conducted its own review in order to move forward serving our communities.

Hopefully today's announcement, and similar results from independent reviews, will make politicians and media examine the facts more carefully the next time a valuable community organization is attacked.

Their full statement follows below...

--- Click here for REST OF STORY!... ---

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