I was delighted (an understatement) to see Rachel Maddow on Thursday night jump into coverage of ACORN --- finally --- by highlighting so much of what we've been reporting here, sometimes completely alone, for years!
She details the facts about the GOP's long-waged phony war against the right's "most reliable trumped-up boogeyman" (using language akin to that in my recent article in the UK's Guardian on the recent rightwing hit job on ACORN and the Democrats' pathetic capitulation to it). Maddow goes on to note the corporate mainstream media's gullibility in "reporting" the wingnuts' out-and-out lies about the group while failing, miserably, for years, to note the truth.
The truth, of course, is that ACORN is responsible for registering millions of legal low and middle-income citizens (read: Democratic-leaning, as the GOP sees them) to vote. The truth is that when they find potentially fraudulent voter registration forms submitted by a handful of their 13,000 employees, it is they who alert authorities about the fraud, and turn both the forms (as required by law), and the workers who defrauded them in to officials so they can be investigated. The truth is that there is not a single recorded instance of voter fraud committed by any illegally registered voters via ACORN. Not one.
"The more that I look into the misleading nature of the charges against ACORN," Maddow notes, "not just from people from whom I expect misleading charges, but from reporters and people in the mainstream media who ought to know better, the angrier I get. ... And I think we're going to cover the lies about ACORN over a number of shows in the upcoming days." THANK YOU RACHEL!!!
Her report follows on a new study, "Manipulating the Public Agenda: Why ACORN Was in the News, and What the News Got Wrong," just out from Occidental College and the University of Northern Iowa, detailing, as she describes it, "the embarrassing extent to which the media has gotten the ACORN story really really wrong." (I've yet to read the report, but am looking forward to it!)
I can't recommend this video enough. And, as Maddow promises to continue her coverage on this story, let's hope she'll take a serious look at snake-oil salesman Thor Hearne, his direct connections to Karl Rove and the Bush White House, and the unconscionable astroturf group, American Center for Voting Rights (ACVR), which The BRAD BLOG outed years ago and has been covering ever since. ACVR, of course, was the phony tax-exempt "non-partisan" organization set up after the 2004 election to lead the disinformation campaign against ACORN and disenfranchise legal voters by issuing propaganda meant to fool Americans into instituting unconstitutional photo ID requirements at the polling place, despite the fact that some 20-30 million legal U.S. voters --- largely Democratic-leaning voters --- are likely to be disenfranchised in the process!
Yes, Rachel, "this story gets [us] mad" too! Has for years! Please give me a shout if I can help. Got some swell stuff I've never reported on this that I'd be happy to share with you! Would be delighted to!
CORRECTION: Thanks to alert reader "TM," we had originally noted that ACVR was formed after the 2000 election. We should have said after the 2004 election, when Hearne first appeared to give testimony to then-Rep. Bob Ney's House Administrative committee, as the only supposed "voting rights" group called to testify in the only Congressional hearing convened following the election, to supposedly discuss its many problems. Hearne represented himself only as a "long-time voting rights advocate" at the hearing, failing to note to the committee, or for the record, that he had been the national general counsel for Bush/Cheney '04 Inc. The "non-partisan" ACVR was formed by Hearne and former RNC communications director Jim Dyke, who would later go on to work in Dick Cheney's office, and now represents various Republican candidates. Other than that, they were completely non-partisan. Oh, and they never disclosed whom they received nearly $1 million dollars from when they initially started up. See BradBlog.com/ACVR for much more in our years-long coverage of these anti-democracy bamboozlers.
UPDATE 9/28/09: The second report in Maddow's must-see series is now posted here...