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'Recount' 2016 or 'Recount' 2000? Team Trump Files to Stop WI, MI, PA Counts: 'BradCast' 12/2/16
As PA margin plummets, Stein asks: 'Why is Trump afraid of these recounts?'...
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The Secret Koch Brothers Tapes...


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 Public@NYTimes.com) 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 SeniorEditor@NYTimes.com) incredibly asserted via emails we posted here. "Therefore there is nothing for us to correct."

* * *

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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!... ---




On-the-record answers at CPAC, that the corporate media couldn't be bothered to get themselves before misreporting the story
'It's like Borat ... Why would it be misleading?'...
By Mike Stark on 3/1/2010 7:00am PT  

- Guest Blogged by Mike Stark of StarkReports.com


I recently attended the Conservative Political Action Conference (CPAC) in D.C., with video camera in hand, to report on the attendees. I was particularly interested in interviewing James O'Keefe, the miscreant (and accused felon) responsible for the ACORN video media hoax that The BRAD BLOG has been meticulously detailing for several weeks, including the important focus on how the mainstream corporate media (the old-media) have been had by the scam.

O'Keefe's phony "pimp" story has been debunked, but, as Brad Friedman has shown, the old-media remain remarkably reticent to admit their errors, and the publisher of the videos, O'Keefe's employer and promoter Andrew Breitbart, has been unwilling to help them off the hook. Witness the outrageous email responses from the NYTimes' Senior Editor for Standards Greg Brock and then from their Public Editor Clark Hoyt, when it was shown to them that "the paper of record" had been had --- that O'Keefe had never "visited Acorn offices...dressed so outlandishly" in the now-infamous "pimp" costume as the paper had reported, as O'Keefe had represented, and as Breitbart himself had claimed in his own column, to the public.

While I didn't get the chance to speak with O'Keefe, I did catch up with his partner in fraud, Hannah Giles. Alas, she was surrounded by a protective coterie and fled without answering any questions when one of her entourage recognized me.

But then my luck turned. I trekked to the basement to cover the "XPAC" party and found myself standing shoulder to shoulder with Breitbart, O'Keefe's promoter, publisher, and employer, and owner of the website which launched the infamously damaging, misleading, deceptive, and highly doctored video tapes. I had previously questioned Breitbart at a press conference at the National Press Club press last October. He's had a pretty easy ride of it since then, facing questioning only from a largely adulatory press.

Though old-media, as Brad has shown, have been remarkably reluctant to demand answers to hard questions from Breitbart --- or any of the players involved in the ACORN secret video scheme --- I felt it important to do so for a number of reasons. The results were revealing, both in Breitbart's insanely manic demeanor, and in the substantive content of his answers to my questions.

Ultimately, as I believe you'll find in the video, he reveals a lot about his own editorial judgment, professionalism, and reliability --- none of it is good...

* * *

The Breitbart/O'Keefe media fraud has been wildly successful for the pair, helping to launch Breitbart's BigGovernment.com site late last year. But, unfortunately, it's hurt a great number of innocents.

Lost in the outrage against the New York Times for having fallen for the scam without bothering to fact-check, as The BRAD BLOG has been detailing for the past several weeks, is the fact that Breitbart and his ward O'Keefe have accomplished a despicable goal: They've all but destroyed an organization committed to helping those Americans most in need. Real people --- thousands of children amongst them --- will suffer hardship as a direct consequence of Breitbart's and O'Keefe's mendacious and malicious hoax, and singularly partisan political agenda. When will the media get around to telling that story?

And what of the damage that disreputable propagandists like Breitbart and O'Keefe bring to the real citizen journalists in the new media --- those of us striving not to sell a political agenda under false pretenses, but, rather, hoping to document facts, truth, and on-the-record positions of those who would corrupt our system through disingenuousness, self-enrichment, and lies?...

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




Media Matters notes Exec Editor Bill Keller's response to errors in 2005: 'It's amazing that some at this paper believe fact-checking is someone else's responsibility'...
By Brad Friedman on 2/26/2010 3:48pm PT  

The 'rave reviews' just keep pouring in for the massive fails by New York Times Senior Editor for Standards Greg Brock and Public Editor (what they call their ombudsman) Clark Hoyt to recommend corrections for the repeated misreporting of the ACORN video "pimp" hoax.

At least one of them is absolutely devastating in highlighting both the extraordinary hypocrisy and sheer stupidity demonstrated by the "paper of record" in refusing to set the record straight on its incontrovertibly inaccurate coverage of the false "pimp" story peddled by rightwing propagandists last year...

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




Despite repeated confirmation that the 'paper of record' was wrong, Clark Hoyt declines to recommend retractions
Describes O'Keefe as 'journalistically unethical,' but recommends only that editors avoid 'dressed as pimp' language in future coverage...
By Brad Friedman on 2/23/2010 5:35am PT  

The New York Times' independent Public Editor, Clark Hoyt, after sending me an email originally standing by the paper's misreporting of the James O'Keefe ACORN 'pimp' story, now describes the rightwing activist's misrepresentation of his highly-edited and heavily-overdubbed hit videos as "journalistically unethical."

O'Keefe's deceptive editing of those infamous tapes implied that he had presented himself in ACORN offices as a 70's-era blaxploitation "pimp." It was the eye-popping, media-friendly, marquee headline that news outlets, including the Times, latched onto and ate up. Except that it never happened. The tapes were purposely manipulated in order to give the appearance that ACORN workers were so dumb they didn't even recognize that skinny little white kid as a phony pimp. And that's exactly how O'Keefe, and his employer Andrew Breitbart who published the misleading tapes on his websites, wanted them to be perceived.

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.

Despite the Times' repeatedly misreporting that O'Keefe was dressed or posed as a "pimp" while meeting with ACORN employees in those videos, and even after being shown in no uncertain terms that he did not, the Times' Public Editor has declined to recommend the paper retract its reporting on this story. The coverage at the "paper of record" undoubtedly helped lead to Congressional passage of federal legislation attempting to defund the community organization, and helped to bring on a subsequently crippling decline in other funding sources for the non-profit group which serves to provide support for low- and middle-income American families.

At the end of the remarkable email exchange between Hoyt and myself (published in full at the end of this article), he says he recommended only that "Times editors ...avoid language that says or suggests that O'Keefe was dressed as a pimp when he captured the ACORN employees on camera."

That, even though...

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




Confuses 'minstrel show' with 'menstrual cycle'
Plus Digby, and others, on why all of this matters...
By Brad Friedman on 2/22/2010 3:06pm PT  

Hannah Giles played the "prostitute" in the highly-edited, heavily-overdubbed, secretly-taped ACORN sting videos, while James O'Keefe played her college student, aspiring politician boyfriend trying to save her from abuse at the hands of a dangerous pimp. She seems very nice

Unfortunately, she's also the same person who joined --- likely horribly disinformed --- in to the GOP's anti-ACORN junta (attacking, for purely partisan political reasons, those who help the least fortunate in our society), and then explained afterwards that "one day I was jogging after work and I saw an ACORN, um, I was like, hmm, you know, I’ve never seen them before, I don’t like them."

So when, in this Max Blumenthal video compilation of his weekend with the loons at the Conservative Political Action Conference (CPAC), she seems to confuse "minstrel show" with "menstrual cycle," I guess it shouldn't be much of a surprise. As she did with Washington Independent's David Weigel last week, she also, again, confirms that O'Keefe never wore his "pimp" costume into ACORN offices, despite the lies from propagandist Andrew Breitbart (employer of both Giles and O'Keefe, and publisher of the videos) about that point and others when he sold his original blockbuster, but fake, story to the public and one media outlet after another who bought it all hook, line and uncritical sinker...


As the "paper of record" the New York Times has still refused to correct their multiple, blatant misreports of this story, which helped lead to Congress passing unconstitutional legislation to defund ACORN, and with the reported news today that the national community group has been structurally broken by the loss of funds in the wake of the disreputable partisan hit job, the points that Digby made yesterday, as to why she believes the O'Keefe/Breitbart lie is an important one, are worth noting...

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




By Brad Friedman on 2/11/2010 4:12pm PT  

[NOW UPDATED: Patty strikes back! Swings and misses again.]

Oh, noes! Rightwing blogger "Patterico", one of the only ones silly enough to throw in with GOP propagandist Andrew Breitbart to defend his employee, accused federal felon James O'Keefe, sez I'm "Liberal"! And a "stooge"!

Ouch! Thems good bloggery, Patty! U shure skooled me! 'Cept for the part where you hit publish before bothering to check your facts 'n' stuff...

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




Times Sr. Editor for Standards cites Fox News, accused felon as sources for paper's ACORN report; refuses to back up additional claims made in contradiction of former state Attorney General
'No comment,' assertions of privacy, bizarre obfuscation, backtracking offered when asked by The BRAD BLOG to share alleged evidence...
By Brad Friedman on 2/8/2010 6:59pm PT  

"There is nothing for us to correct ... We stand by our reporting." That was the innocuous enough position from Greg Brock, New York Times "Senior Editor/Standards," in reply to a Letter to the Editor sent to the Times by a reader of The BRAD BLOG requesting a correction to recent reportage from the "paper of record" concerning rightwing activist James O'Keefe, on the heels of his federal felony arrest late last month. O'Keefe was arrested in New Orleans as an alleged ringleader in a conspiracy with three others, attempting to gain access, for reasons still unknown, to the phone system of Louisiana's Democratic U.S. Senator Mary Landrieu.

Incredibly, Brock originally cited claims by Fox News and O'Keefe himself as sources for why the New York Times stood by their apparently unverified and apparently incorrect report. "We believe him," Brock wrote, because he said as much on Fox News, apparently.

But the matter went from the absurd to the ridiculous in fairly short order, as Brock then seemed to contradict himself by claiming their source wasn't actually Fox or O'Keefe, but that the Times stood by their reporting because of a mysterious, unpublished video said to back up the claim, along with testimony from ACORN employees.

Though both the video and statements from ACORN employees were cited as evidence their story was right, Brock would refuse to share evidence for either of the claims. That, even after an independent report from the former Attorney General of Massachusetts --- released in early December, but never mentioned in the Times' recent report (or any report at the paper to my knowledge) --- directly contradicts their reportage....

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




...And a few of my own recent media appearances to discuss the ongoing crash and burn of rightwing hit-squad 'journalism'...
By Brad Friedman on 2/4/2010 5:46pm PT  

[See bottom of article for explanation of asterisk in headline]

If you're not on Twitter (you can follow The BRAD BLOG antics here), you probably didn't get to enjoy last night's extraordinary Twitter Tantrum by wingnut propagandist Andrew Breitbart (follow him here) in the wake of terrific coverage by Max Blumenthal yesterday at Salon pulling together the indisputable dots of Breitbart employee/accused felon/fellow wingnut operative James O'Keefe's years-long racist obsessions.

O'Keefe, of course, is the guy who was recently arrested with three other GOP operatives (one, the son of the acting U.S. Attorney) in Louisiana for attempting to commit felonies in Democratic U.S. Senator Mary Landrieu's office, and who did not dress up as a pimp in his secretly taped, heavily-edited and over-dubbed ACORN hit videos, despite continuing false claims to the contrary by Breitbart (and the mainstream media that felt for it --- but more on that part soon.)

A few lowlights from Breitbart's hilarious rant last night were reposted at Sadly No under "Breitbart Twitter Meltdown Enters Fifth Frantic Hour." Yes, Andy actually went on that long, longer in fact, desperate sad tweet after desperate sad tweet, essentially shouting out any racist-like comment he could find by any Democrat as a way to say, I guess, that some Democrats have made racist comments, so he's happy to employ someone whose a real racist. Or something. Who knows?

The entire meltdown was colorfully characterized by @KevinKross: "lonely man, hotel room, curtains drawn, on floor, stained underwear, empty bottles, frantically twittering away on his phone."

But it's Andy's employment and support of O'Keefe which he needs to answer for at this point, as today Blumenthal followed up his article from yesterday with more on O'Keefe's disturbing pattern of racism and race-baiting. At the end he asks Breitbart directly: "Why are you paying and defending a racist?"

Good question. I'm sure he'll answer that one, right after he answers these. Which is to say, um, never. While he has time to attack me incoherently on Twitter, he apparently doesn't have time to answer to those questions which I emailed him directly many days ago...

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




By Brad Friedman on 2/1/2010 5:26pm PT  

AP's investigative unit produces an appropriate criminal investigative report today on the background of the Republican Party operatives --- and there appear to be more than just four --- behind James O'Keefe and Andrew Breitbart's "TeaBugger" operation at U.S. Senator Mary Landrieu's (D-LA) office in Louisiana last week.

Compare and contrast that with the shameful, fawning 2,250 word Sunday New York Times article attempting to turn the accused federal felons into folk heroes.

And, again, as we have in our coverage to date, we'll ask the following simple questions, among others, which everyone should be asking --- loudly:

1) When will GOP operative/propagandist/con-man Andrew Breitbart tell his BigGovernment.com readers and Fox "News" dupes that he's been lying to them, and that his employee James O'Keefe never appeared as a pimp in the offices of ACORN?

2) When will snake-oil salesman Andy release O'Keefe's complete, unedited, illegally-obtained ACORN video tapes publicly?

3) Why hasn't he done so already?

4) Could it be because two independent investigations found they were heavily-edited, likely illegally-obtained, heavily over-dubbed, and showed [PDF] "no evidence that action, illegal or otherwise, was taken by any ACORN employee on behalf of the videographers"?

5) When will "Orly Taitz" Andy share the existence of Marcy "emptywheel" Wheeler's evisceration of his employee O'Keefe's failure of a cover story for the alleged Louisiana "TeaBugger" felonies with his own readers? He claims to be a "journalist" (ironically enough) decrying the "biased" "Liberal Media," who selectively report things, right?

6) Why does GOP operative Andy think his employee O'Keefe should be presumed "innocent until proven guilty" as he's tweeted time and again, when he's shown no such benefit of the doubt for ACORN, ACORN employees, or even Gitmo detainees who may face punishment of death?

7) Why is ACORN itself "guilty," according to Angry Andy, of something or other, based on what he believes their employees did, but faux "journalist" Andrew Breitbart, who admits accused felon O'Keefe is on his payroll, is somehow not "guilty" of anything?

There are, of course, many more such question that the cowardly and professionally-deceptive Mr. Breitbart won't be answering. But I thought it'd be nice to give Andy --- and perhaps the "Liberal MSM" --- a chance to start ignoring the above right away.

P.S. We have sent the above questions to Andy, with a promise to post his answers in full here, if he cares to offer them. Unlike his political hit-man "Big" sites, we have no interest in being unfair to anybody here, and have no fear of sharing all sides of any story.




Discredited wingnuts lawyer up with high-powered GOP attorneys, downplay crime, go on offensive, blame the 'liberal media'
Latest public explanation for alleged crime quickly shredded...
By Brad Friedman on 1/30/2010 10:19pm PT  

You folks do realize that James O'Keefe never actually wore his ridiculous pimp costume into those ACORN offices on those doctored and illegally recorded video tapes, right? But, rather, he was filmed outside of the offices wearing his get-up, while appearing as the conservatively dressed boyfriend of a hooker trying to escape an abusive pimp when the cameras were rolling inside the offices. That's just one of many deceptions O'Keefe carried out.

As one of two independent investigations of the incidents which clear ACORN of wrong-doing noted, this one by former MA Attorney General Scott Harshbarger [PDF]:

Although Mr. O'Keefe appeared in all videos dressed as a pimp, in fact, when he appeared at each and every office, he was dressed like a college student - in slacks and a button down shirt.

Since Crazy Andy Breitbart, who released the phony video tapes on his propaganda website, didn't bother to man up and point that out before, during, or after posting them, or while appearing on Fox "News" and elswhere to promote both them and himself, or even after the reports came out, you may not have realized that salient fact.

You may also not have known that while both independent reports, the other one by the Congressional Research Service [PDF], found no criminal wrong doing by ACORN, they did find that O'Keefe likely the broke the law in at least two states by secretly recording the videos which had voice-overs deceptively edited into them later, "in some cases substantially," according to Harshbarger's report, so that it was "difficult to determine the questions to which ACORN employees are responding."

In other words, the videos were a scam perpetrated by both Breitbart and his employee O'Keefe, who now faces felony charges that Breitbart has been tweeting his adorable angry little heart out over the last few days trying desperately to downplay. Who can blame him? Nothing less than whatever little credibility he ever had is on the line after all. No doubt P.T. Barnum faced similar circumstances as he plied his trade to the suckers born every minute. So do actual pimps. Like Andy.

But just imagine the years of outrage and endless repetition of the charges from the Rightwing media and their acolytes --- folks like Crazy Andy --- that would accompany four operatives allied with the Democratic Party, perpetrating a scheme to dress up as phony telephone company employees in order to access and manipulate the phone system in the office of a sitting Republican U.S. Senator.

Of course, it would be the Crime of the Century to the wingnuts, likely led by Breitbart, accompanied by cries of "What did Obama, Pelosi, Reid, ACORN, SEIU and Saul Alinsky know and when they did they know it?!" along with calls for resignations in disgrace because of it.

But when the "Liberal MSM" report on a very serious federal felony offense allegedly committed by four Republicans disguising themselves and attempting to interfere with the the phone system of a sitting Democratic U.S. Senator, well, that's just another example of the outrageously "Liberal MSM," at least according to Breitbart and O'Keefe's latest attempted gambit.

That's the embarrassing meme that the Rightwing propagandist and GOP operative Breitbart is busy Twittering himself to death in hopes of selling, as he desperately tries to reclaim any credibility that he or his GOP "news" outlets might have ever had.

Crazy Andy is angrily and frantically using the tried and true tactics of Republican Reframing Magic® in the wake of the felony arrest of his own employee O'Keefe, the dirty trickster, and junior propagandist-cum-failed-superspy. And given the rubes and dopes in the Not-Liberal-At-All MSM, it's likely they'll fall for it as hard as they fell for Breitbart/O'Keefe's ACORN video scheme. Case in point: The "liberal" New York Times is already running a fawning 2,250-word feature story on Breitbart and his gang of desperados in Sunday's paper. Can you imagine any such coverage of accused Democratic Party criminals like that?! And the GOP outrage that would accompany it if it did?!

But now that Breitbart and O'Keefe, as of Friday, have decided on a cover story (posted in full below), and seem prepared to stick to it and sell it, let's give it a look before it all falls completely apart, as it largely already has, even before I had time to finish this story which I got distracted from after beginning to write it yesterday...

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




MSNBC interview 'in shark-jumping territory. For the ages.'...
By Brad Friedman on 1/28/2010 3:11pm PT  

Matt Drudge's poodle, anti-ACORN propagandist, GOP operative, and deranged wingnut Internet death threatener, Andrew Breitbart, is apparently hoping to become the new Orly Taitz.

Today's insane interview with David Shuster on MSNBC, discussing the felony arrest of his employee/operative James O'Keefe for allegedly attempting to manipulate the telephones of U.S. Senator Mary Landrieu (D-LA) earlier this week, goes a long way towards that goal. Lookin' good, Andy! Keep up the brilliant "journalism"!

Josh Marshall notes about the interview that it was "truly the most unhinged performance I've seen since Shuster made a laughing stock of and pretty much put an end to the fifteen minutes of fame of [Queen of the Obama 'Birthers'] Orly Taitz."

"At some level I admire Breitbart's insistence on turning any question about anything into an attack based on why the federal government hasn't turned itself over entirely to investigating ACORN," Marshall adds, "But this performance was definitely in shark-jumping territory. For the ages."

Indeed. Though despite Crazy Andy's seething rage about a lack of criminal convictions against ACORN, even as two recent independent investigations found no criminal wrong-doing by the pro-voter, pro-American Dream community group in the highly-doctored, and apparently illegally-obtained video tapes that Breitbart and O'Keefe posted for the U.S. media to broadcast widely, he's adamant that the rest of the world needs to retract, um, everything, while his continued, unsubstantiated allegations against, um, everybody else are just fine.

Unfortunately, Shuster didn't ask Andy about the admissions that he'd made on the night of O'Keefe's arrest, when he concurred that "Lots of people work for lots of corporations, and do dumb and sometimes illegal things that are not within the scope of their employment."

The wingnut that he was concurring with, Hugh Hewitt, was talking about Crazy Andy's employment of the accused felon O'Keefe. But the irony that they'd both just explained why ACORN isn't necessarily responsible for an employee of theirs who defrauds ACORN itself --- who is turned in by ACORN themselves to officials for prosecution --- apparently escaped both geniuses as they panicked to try and save Breitbart's quickly crumbling propaganda empire.

Anyway, here's the video of Shuster with Crazy Andy "jumping the shark" on MSNBC today...

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




Admissions during 'interview' with fellow wingnut Hugh Hewitt hang the arrest of James O'Keefe around Breitbart's own neck
Derails years of his own propaganda attacks on ACORN...
By Brad Friedman on 1/27/2010 12:56pm PT  

So if ACORN itself is "guilty" for something or other, based on what some of their employees did, what does that make rightwing faux "journalist" and Matt Drudge poodle Andrew Breitbart, who has now admitted that accused felon James O'Keefe worked for him?

In a rather embarrassing "interview" (really a staged dog and pony show, ostensibly meant to try and help Breitbart out of his apparent jam of being found to have been 'palling around with federal felons') conducted by rightwing propagandist Hugh Hewitt yesterday on the public's airwaves following O'Keefe's arrest in an alleged scheme to tamper with the phones of a U.S. Senator, Breitbart admitted that he "paid a fair salary" to the alleged felon.

After Hewitt asked, "so he is an employee?" Breitbart impossibly demurred: "I'm not sure that's technically the thing, but yes, he's paid for his life rights."

Mmmm-kay. Having trouble seeing the distinction there. Nonetheless, what's clear is that Breitbart pays O'Keefe for his work, whatever the hell that "work" is.

But wait, this gets far more ridiculous as these two knuckleheads proceed to blow away years of their very own propaganda. In further comments, overlooked for the most part by others so far, made by Breitbart and Hewitt in that "interview," they succeed in moving this entire affair from the utterly ridiculous to the laughably absurd...

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




Breitbart's anti-ACORN activist/videographer arrested with U.S. Attorney's son, two others, attempting to bug U.S. Senator's office...
By Brad Friedman on 1/26/2010 2:27pm PT  

[Updated numerous times at bottom of article.]

James O'Keefe, the rightwing operative, hero [update: and paid employee of faux journalist Andrew Breitbart] is already being sued and investigated for the illegal secret video taping of employees at ACORN offices in at least two different states. And now, he's been arrested and charged in an apparently botched scheme to bug the office of U.S. Senator Mary Landrieu (D-LA). One of his three cohorts was the son of Louisiana's acting U.S. Attorney Bill Flanagan.

According to the affidavit from FBI Special Agent Steven Rayes today:

On January 25, 2010, individuals entered and attempted to gain entrance to the office and telephone system of United States Senator Mary Landrieu, located in the Hale Boggs Federal Building, Room 1005, 500 Poydras Street, New Orleans, Louisiana 70130 for the purpose of interfering with the office's telephone system. The individuals did so by falsely and fraudulently representing that the [sic] were employees of a telephone company. Witnesses in and around the office identified the individuals as JOSEPH BASEL and ROBERT FLANAGAN. Subsequent investigation determined that JAMES O'KEEFE and STAN DAI aided and abetted FLANAGAN and BASEL in the execution of the plan.

But it's not illegal phone bugging, or even shades of Watergate! It's "journalism", right Mr. Beck? Mr. O'Reilly? Mr. Breitbart?

Reached for comment today, O'Keefe's actual pimp, the wingnut and similarly fake "journalist" Andrew Breitbart --- who recently tweeted out a death threat to The BRAD BLOG --- had, uncharacteristically, little to say. He did, however, go out of his way to try to distance himself from O'Keefe, who he helped make famous, and has long hailed as a hero, by hemming and hawing to TPMmuckracker [emphasis added]: "I need to find information on this. I'm out of the loop on this. I will make my determination then on when to comment."

Update: However, Media Matter reports that Breitbart has previously revealed, on a rightwing radio show, that he pays O'Keefe a "fair salary" for whatever is that O'Keefe does.

While the previous Breitbart/O'Keefe ACORN sting scheme received much publicity from Fox "News" and friends, the highly edited videos apparently revealed no illegalities according to two separate independent reports, other than O'Keefe's apparently illegal secret videotaping. On the other hand, if the Rule of Law still applies in either Louisiana or the U.S. --- even for the son of an Acting U.S. Attorney --- it would appear that O'Keefe, who spent last night in jail and is free on bail today, is likely in big big trouble.

Golly, we hope he doesn't become a convicted felon and lose his right to vote!

The BRAD BLOG has, for years, covered the GOP's continuing attempts to discredit ACORN, for little more than the fact that the community group has registered millions of legal low and middle-income voters to vote across the country. Our coverage of the most recent 2008 push to falsely discredit the group was documented on this special coverage page.

UPDATE 4:43pm PT: Predictably, Twitter is, um, all atwitter with today's news. Some of our favorites so far...

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




UPDATE: NYTimes buries Story, gives last word to wingnuts...
By Brad Friedman on 12/22/2009 4:15pm PT  

Earlier this month, a two-month independent investigation of ACORN, by former Massachusetts Attorney General Scott Harshbarger, found incidents of mismanagement, but no criminal wrongdoing by ACORN, the favorite whipping boy of Republican scammers such as Glenn Beck, Rush Limbaugh, Fox "News" and the GOP itself. That investigation (full report here [PDF]) also found that the "sting videos" used recently against ACORN were highly doctored and manipulated.

Of course, readers of The BRAD BLOG know the Republicans' entire, long, sad, anti-democratic (small "d" and large "d" both) campaign is based on little more than the fact that ACORN registers millions of legal low and middle income voters who tend to vote overwhelmingly Democratic (large "d") rather than Republican, and the GOP and their democracy-hating proxies will go to any lengths to keep those legal voters from exercising their legal franchise.

And today, once again, ACORN is cleared of wrongdoing vis a vis yet another independent investigation, this one by the Congressional Research Service [PDF], as noted in a press release from U.S. House Judiciary Chair John Conyers this afternoon (posted in full below).

Of most note to our readers, Conyers' statement points out what we've been pointing out - over and over and over again for years: "There were no instances of individuals who were allegedly registered to vote improperly by ACORN or its employees and who were reported 'attempting to vote at the polls.'" Who knew?! What a surprise! (At least to Fox "News" viewers, who probably won't hear about this report either.)

Also: "No instances were identified in which ACORN 'violated the terms of federal funding in the last five years.'"

And: "Recently enacted federal legislation to prohibit funding to ACORN raises significant constitutional concerns. The courts 'may have a sufficient basis' to conclude that the legislation 'violates the prohibition against bills of attainder.'" That finding is one that a federal judge also recently concurred with, when she issued an injunction earlier this month to keep the law from taking affect since ACORN had "been singled out by Congress for punishment that directly and immediately affects their ability to continue to obtain federal funding, in the absence of any judicial, or even administrative, process of adjudicating guilt."

Finally, according to today's report, Andrew "Drudge's Poodle" Breitbart's phony video-taped "sting operation" against ACORN may, itself, have violated the law in both California and Maryland, about which we might ironically recommend to prosecutors: "Capital punishment" for Andrew Breitbart!

The short press release from Conyers, announcing the new report's bullet points, follows below...

UPDATE: And coverage of the NYTimes burial of this report, now follows below it...

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




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