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Latest Featured Reports | Sunday, September 21, 2014
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From misreporting to no reporting at all, questions keep mounting for the 'paper of record' about their bizarre record of failure on the ACORN story
UPDATED: AP article on decision appears on NYTimes.com website...
By Ernest A. Canning on 3/17/2010 9:05am PT  

Guest blogged by Ernest A. Canning

On Wednesday, March 10, 2010 The BRAD BLOG posted breaking coverage about U.S. District Court Judge Nina Gershon’s finding that day, that the Congressional funding ban on ACORN was an unconstitutional bill of attainder. Her finding included an order to resume federal funding to the community group which has been targeted by a years-long GOP smear campaign.

A March 10 AP story covering Judge Gershon's finding appeared in the March 11 edition of the Washington Post.

It's now Wednesday, March 17 --- a full week since the historic ruling was issued by a federal judge (in New York, of all places) yet, not one word about the ruling has appeared in the New York Times, America's so-called "paper of record."

What's wrong with this picture?

[Update 3/19/2010: See "Correction/Clarification" at end of article. The Times appears to have run something on this, at least a version of the AP's coverage, at least on their website, if not in their print editions, after all. See below for more details and one encouraging point to go with it. - BF]

As we now know, the NYTimes has misreported the ACORN "Pimp" Hoax story time and again since last fall, yet both their Senior Editor for Standards, Greg Brock, as seen in emails published by The BRAD BLOG, and their Public Editor (ombudsman) Clark Hoyt, as seen in emails also published by The BRAD BLOG, have both refused to issue or recommend corrections despite being shown the gross, factual inaccuracies in the paper's coverage.

Furthermore, Gershon's decision last week heavily referenced a report [PDF] by the former MA Attorney General Scott Harshbarger, released on December 7 of last year, finding no criminality by ACORN workers as seen in the highly-edited, heavily-overdubbed, secretly-taped videos released last year by James O'Keefe and Andrew Breitbart. The publication of those videos led to the unconstitutional legislation undone last week by Gershon. Yet the New York Times has never so much as mentioned the Harshbarger report in its pages either.

So, again, I ask: what's wrong with this picture?

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

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By Brad Friedman on 3/16/2010 1:35pm PT  

On the road for much of today (and for much of this week, actually), so no time to make the argument for it, other than just to mention it, for the moment, and let others run with the ball if inclined.

With Justice John Paul Stevens now said to be preparing to retire, how about a movement to call on Obama to replace him with George Washington University Law School's Constitutional law professor Jonathan Turley?

Turley's blog is here, his bio is here, his Wikepedia entry is here.

Pros? Cons? (If anyone in comments would like to link to any of Turley's many important media appearances on video --- particularly during the Bush years and particularly on the issue of the unconstitutionality of torture, war crimes, spying, and on the failure by the Obama administration to undo those policies and/or hold accountable those who implemented them --- it would be very welcome, as I've got to hit the road right now.)

P.S. Looks like there was a similar call for Turley to be named to the high court in 2009 when David Souter retired and was ultimately replaced by Sonia Sotomayor. A DailyKos blogger called a Turley appointment a "no brainer" at the time, and a Facebook page was created here in support of the notion. Might be time to freshen up that Facebook page!

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With Brad Friedman & Desi Doyen...
By Desi Doyen on 3/16/2010 11:53am PT  


TWITTER: @GreenNewsReport

Now available via Stitcher Radio's way cool mobile phone app! Listen on your iPhone, Android, Palm Pre and BlackBerry!

IN TODAY'S RADIO REPORT: The dark truth about Daylight 'Saving' Time!; Another nor'easter hits the Nor'east; Settlement for 9/11 Ground Zero workers ... PLUS: Green up your St. Paddy's Day! ... All that and more in today's Green News Report!

Got comments, tips, love letters, hate mail? Drop us a line at GreenNews@BradBlog.com or right here at the comments link below. All GNRs are always archived at GreenNews.BradBlog.com.

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IN 'GREEN NEWS EXTRA': EPA scientists recommend tougher soot standards; L.A. drops plan for transmission lines across protected habitat; Generate energy with your clothing?!?; Adding iron to sea boosts deadly neurotoxin; The difference between skeptics and denialists; Chamber of Commerce tries to cut back Black Lung benefits (again); Captivity 'torture' for killer whales; Did 'fracking' cause Ft. Worth quakes? ... PLUS: Record-shattering warm winter stuns Canadian climate scientists ...

Info/links on those stories and all the ones we talked about on today's episode follow below...

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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, bradblog.com. 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!... ---

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'Sending a message to the State - and the nation - that in Lyndeborough, democracy counts. Literally.'...
By Nancy Tobi on 3/14/2010 12:12pm PT  

Guest Blogged by Nancy Tobi of Democracy for New Hampshire

Any citizen in New Hampshire can bring a petition article to his or her Town Warrant by securing the signatures of at least 25 registered voters. The article is then added to the Town Warrant to be voted on in Town meeting.

On Saturday, the citizens of Lyndeborough, NH, resoundingly approved enacting into the town's laws the following warrant article regarding the counting of votes. I hope that NH citizens all around the state will enact the same law in their towns at next year's Town Meetings.

Here is the petition citizens signed to add the article below regarding the counting of votes to the Town Warrant...

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

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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...

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By Brad Friedman on 3/12/2010 9:55am PT  

From BRAD BLOG commenter "Billy" as posted in response to our breaking coverage Wednesday night of the Congressional legislation to defund ACORN in the wake of the "pimp" hoax videos, having been declared in federal court to have been an unconstitutional bill of attainder...

COMMENT #11 [Permalink]
... Billy said on 3/11/2010 @ 7:18 am PT...

Boy, if this keeps up, people will start thinking ACORN was targeted because Republicans simply hate black people.

But we know that's not true. They also hate women with jobs, happy gay people, miserable poor people, all people in need of medical attention, intelligent people who happen to speak one of them foreign languages, intelligent people in general, all people who live near high-yield oilfields, all people who oppose wars of aggression, people with unfavorable views of torturing non-Caucasians, people who wonder who's been listening in on our phone conversations and browsing our library lists, people who still believe in habeas corpus, people who don't use the U.S. flag as bling, and people who don't even exist --- like Murphy Brown.

But let us not jump to conclusions. There's always a good explanation.

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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!... ---

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With Brad Friedman & Desi Doyen...
By Desi Doyen on 3/11/2010 12:48pm PT  


TWITTER: @GreenNewsReport

Now available via Stitcher Radio's way cool mobile phone app! Listen on your iPhone, Android, Palm Pre and BlackBerry!

IN TODAY'S RADIO REPORT: The glacial pace of international climate negotiations; 'The Cove' goes undercover in L.A.; Venezuela's dam electricity shortage ... PLUS: Industrial food production & another new food recall (with video!)... All that and more in today's Green News Report!

Got comments, tips, love letters, hate mail? Drop us a line at GreenNews@BradBlog.com or right here at the comments link below. All GNRs are always archived at GreenNews.BradBlog.com.

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IN 'GREEN NEWS EXTRA': Restaurants get a little greener; Farm lobby’s lawyer appointed as Ag Committee’s counsel; SoCal utility to install solar on warehouse roofs; Natural gas as a near-term CO2 mitigation strategy; Green Biz Wiz: folks to follow on Twitter; Fish oil supplements may contain PCBs ... PLUS: Who says you can't bottle the wind? ...

Info/links on those stories and all the ones we talked about on today's episode follow below...

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Judgment Grants ACORN Declaratory, Permanent Injunctive Relief
Slams Congress for acting without administrative process or trial...
By Ernest A. Canning on 3/10/2010 9:30pm PT  

Guest blogged by Ernest A. Canning

"The government has offered no...unique reason to treat ACORN differently from other contractors accused of serious misconduct or to bar ACORN from federal funding without either a judicial trial or an administrative process applicable to all government contractors."

That was the finding in the judgment [PDF] issued late today by U.S. District Court Judge Nina Gershon, granting both declaratory relief and a permanent injunction to the Association of Community Organizations for Reform Now (ACORN).

The court declared that the provisions of the "FY 2010 Consolidated Appropriations Act," an amalgam of six separate bills which President Barack Obama signed into law on Dec. 16, 2009, which sought to strip ACORN of their right to enter future contracts with the U.S. government and to deprive them of all federal funding, save what had already been earned on existing contracts, amounted to an unconstitutional Bill of Attainder in violation of Article I, Section 9 of the United States Constitution.

Gershon's decision comes on the heels of a recent string of legal and public relations exhonerations for the community group which has long been targeted by the GOP, in large part, for their successful work in legally registering hundreds of thousands of low- and middle-income voters who tend to favor Democratic candidates...

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By Brad Friedman on 3/10/2010 12:06pm PT  


Doris "Granny D" Haddock
1910 - 2010


"Granny D" was surely one of the greatest Americans of all time. In 2005 we were "moved beyond words" when she helped to launch VelvetRevolution.us, the activist organization co-founded early that year by The BRAD BLOG.

More on this extraordinary patriot who, at the age of 89 walked 3,200 miles from coast to coast to draw attention to the need for campaign finance form, and kept up the fight until the day she died, right here and here.

This nation could use millions more like her. Our loss today is immeasurable.

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The truth behind the hoax was 'hiding' in plain sight, if only the media and Congress had bothered to seek it out...
By Ernest A. Canning on 3/10/2010 6:05am PT  

Guest blogged by Ernest A. Canning

“A lie can travel halfway around the world while the truth is still putting on its shoes.” - Mark Twain

"All that is needed for the forces of evil to triumph is for enough good men to do nothing." -Edmund Burke

In a society increasingly dominated by dictatorial and corrupt corporate wealth and power, a collection of community organizations, The Association of Community Organizations for Reform Now (ACORN), steps forward to become the voice of the most vulnerable of our citizens --- the poor and lower-middle class. It is a national coalition which not only strives to insure that these otherwise atomized and powerless masses retain and exercise their equal right to vote, but a caring organization which seeks a living wage for all citizens; that tries to protect them from predatory lenders and phony foreclosure assistance scams.

At a time when the heartless and uncaring Bush/Cheney cabal left thousands of our fellow citizens to sink or swim in a toxic soup of petrochemicals, flood waters and decaying bodies, ACORN, according to the Congressional Research Service [PDF], stepped forward to assist "in the clean-up of 1,850 homes and" organized "10,000 hurricane survivors into the ACORN Katrina Survivors Association."

So it comes as no surprise that ACORN has become the target of a years-long relentless right-wing assault, most recently spearheaded by the likes of accused federal felon James O'Keefe and his serial dissembling employer and publisher, Andrew Breitbart. Neither is it a surprise that the phony pimp's video hit pieces emerged on Rupert Murdoch's own Fox "News" Channel, which Robert Greenwald so forcefully demonstrated was but the propaganda arm of the GOP in Outfoxed: Rupert Murdoch's War on Journalism.

It is, however, slightly more surprising, and certainly most noteworthy, that now that they've been exposed as hoaxes, even Murdoch's own New York Post was forced to describe the doctored tapes as 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...[with] many of the seemingly crime-encouraging answers...taken out of context so as to appear more sinister."

What is truly disturbing, however, is that this concocted tale would be unquestioningly accepted as legitimate by the corporate media and by Congress, which, in their rush to mollify the noisy hard-right, displayed a profound ignorance of basic concepts of fundamental fairness and due process of law.

ACORN was prematurely and inappropriately tried and convicted in the press and in Congress, without so much as a single hearing, vis a vis a grotesque and shameful word-of-mouth propaganda lynch job unseen since the days of Joseph McCarthy, the disgraced, right-wing demagogue who misused his powerful perch in the U.S. Senate to smear "loyal Americans as disloyal" and who falsely "charged that the government was being undermined from within"...

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

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With Brad Friedman & Desi Doyen...
By Desi Doyen on 3/9/2010 1:26pm PT  


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IN TODAY'S RADIO REPORT: The Arctic is venting; Food poisoning is expensive; Texas is breaking wind (records, that is); Limbaugh and cow farts ... PLUS: The 'greenest' Oscars yet ... All that and more in today's Green News Report!

Got comments, tips, love letters, hate mail? Drop us a line at GreenNews@BradBlog.com or right here at the comments link below. All GNRs are always archived at GreenNews.BradBlog.com.

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IN 'GREEN NEWS EXTRA': Shocker: Oil co. exec says U.S. should move slowly on renewables; Air pollution costs California hundreds of millions in health care; Coal-ash sites polluting water; Asia-produced ozone making its way to U.S; Scientists discover why sunshine & Vitamin D is crucial; Challenging conventional wisdom on renewable energy’s limits; Using behavioral science to craft smarter energy policy... PLUS: New research: synthetic nitrogen destroys soil carbon, undermines soil health ...

Info/links on those stories and all the ones we talked about on today's episode follow below...

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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...

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By Brad Friedman on 3/8/2010 6:02pm PT  

The Department of Justice's Anti-trust division has determined that the purchase of Premier Election Solutions, Diebold Inc.'s recently renamed e-voting division, by Election Systems & Software, Inc. (ES&S), has resulted in a voting machine monopoly. The DoJ and nine states that have joined in a lawsuit are suing to require ES&S to divest of the assets gained in the bargain-basement priced purchase of Diebold's e-voting outfit last September.

The merger with Diebold/Premier, ES&S's second largest competitor, had given ES&S, a private corporation which already controlled some 50% of U.S. elections with its electronic voting systems, a full 70% control of the votes cast in this country. The acquisition had been opposed by election integrity organizations, Hart Intercivic (a much smaller Austin-based competitor), the New York Times' editorial board, and U.S. Sen. Chuck Schumer (D-NY) in his capacity as chairman of the Senate Rules Committee, and was being investigated by 14 different states along with the DoJ's anti-trust division...

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

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