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...

Published: March 22, 2010


Several articles since September about the troubles of the community organizing group Acorn referred incorrectly or imprecisely to one aspect of videotaped encounters between Acorn workers and two conservative activists that contributed to the group’s problems.

In the encounters, the activists posed as a prostitute and a pimp and discussed prostitution with the workers. But while footage shot away from the offices shows one activist, James O’Keefe, in a flamboyant pimp costume, there is no indication that he was wearing the costume while talking to the Acorn workers.

The errors occurred in articles on Sept. 16 and Sept. 19, 2009, and on Jan. 31 of this year. Because of an editing error, the mistake was repeated in an article in some copies on Saturday. (Go to Article)

In case you're wondering how O'Keefe "posed as a...pimp," as the NYTimes is still inaccurately and shamefully contending, here's an example of every use of the word pimp by James O'Keefe in his own unauthenticated text transcript [PDF] of his secret video taping at the Brooklyn ACORN office (the other transcripts offer, essentially, the same information):

James: well the reason why we are rushing is because she was working for this pimp and he was very abusive
James: and that is why we were in a rush you know why I am excited and I know nothing about her business I am just trying to be here to be professional because ya know she walks in and but now we have this pimp discriminating against us
James: I know I have to worry about the pimp but he is illegal anyway he is not going to do anything to me who what do I have to be careful of?
James: Sonny is the pimp

Two days prior to the NYTimes' very first inaccurate story on the ACORN "Pimp" Hoax, Katherine Conway Russell, a worker at ACORN Housing (actually a separate organization from ACORN) in Philadelphia released this first-hand video explanation (see video at right) of her meeting with O'Keefe and Giles, how they falsely represented themselves before and during the meeting, and how she came to file a police report thereafter.

"They never said that she [Giles] was a prostitute, and he was not dressed in any unusually flashy manner," Russell explains. "Mr. O'Keefe lied to get his appointment. He was not dressed like he is on the Internet. And when we got suspicious about the questions he was asking at the Philadelphia ACORN Housing office, we called the police and filed this report," she says.

The raw, unedited videos of O'Keefe and Hannah Giles' meetings, under false pretenses, with low-level ACORN and ACORN Housing workers have never been publicly released and the New York Times has never seen them. Yet, they are, apparently, still satisfied with taking the words of a known fraudster and accused felon about what happened in those offices, despite even the available record which shows otherwise, and despite the damage their reporting (and many others) has already done to one of the nation's most important, four-decades old, real grass-roots community organizations whose mission is to help the poor in a fight against poverty.

It is not, apparently, even necessary --- at a minimum --- to point out that many strongly dispute the characterization of O'Keefe having "posed as a pimp." Apparently, they still "believe him."

At the same time, no apology has been issued for their misreporting, no explanation has been offered for the original and still-repeated errors, and no explanation is given for how such easily-avoided misreporting will be avoided in the future.

It will not be avoided. They will continue, and are still, repeating the same misinformation. In tomorrow's paper, Ian Urbina continues the disgraceful failure by inaccurately reporting on the impending closure of ACORN on the heels of "videos advising two young conservative activists --- posing as a pimp and a prostitute --- how to conceal their criminal activities."

* * *

Executive Editor Bill Keller,
Managing Editor John Geddes,
Sr. Editor for Standards Greg Brock,
Public Editor Clark Hoyt,
Reporter Ian Urbina,

* * *

UPDATE 3/23/10: Would you like more evidence of O'Keefe having "posed as a pimp"? Here ya go, from O'Keefe's own (unauthenticated) text transcripts:

New York transcript...

Volda (loan counselor): how can I help you today
O’Keefe: have a seat
O’Keefe: well we have a unique situation and my uh this is my girlfriend, Eden, and I apologize about her attire but uhm uhm but Eden is in a unique line of work and umm… (page 3)

O’Keefe: and we have been…I work for Wells Fargo actually and we’ve been basically denied the right to appeal for housing. I have tried to talk to some of my co-workers and they do not want to help me apply for housing. (page 3)

O’Keefe: Yeah, yep, I work at a bank. (page 8)

O’Keefe: Well, the reason why we are rushing is because she was working for this pimp and he was very abusive. (page 17)

Giles: “He has been really aggressive toward me ever since I met him because I wanted to leave because it is scary being subjected to a huge man who has control over your life. And he [O’Keefe] is kind so… ” (page 17)

Baltimore transcript...

O’Keefe: Well I am doing pretty well for myself but I am coming to talk to you about my girlfriend, my girl Kenya here, we have kind of a unique life situation. (page 2 )

Kenya/Giles: Okay, uh, he is moving into town. I am not from here. An um…he wants me… He is going to be going to Johns Hopkins for graduate school. Graduate school, right?
Shira/ACORN worker: Congratulations.
O’Keefe: Yep, law. (page 3)

O’Keefe: The other thing we have to deal with is this guy she was working for, he is very abusive. And this guy has been giving us a lot of problems.
Kenya/Giles: ever since I left. (page 14)

Washington, D.C. transcript:

O’Keefe: So I, I’m running for, I go to Georgetown law school.
ACORN worker: Uh huh.
O’Keefe: And I’m running for a local election and we’ve gone to a lot of mortgage brokers… (page 4)

O’Keefe: Well, my ah, my partner is a ah, she’s in a unique line of business and I don’t know if you allow
Acorn 1: Unique line of business? What are you saying?
O’Keefe: Housing
Acorn 1: If you don’t tell us we can’t help you.
O’Keefe: My girlfriend is a prostitute. (pages 4,5)

Giles: I’m kind of afraid to make any ‘cause ever since I met him [O’Keefe] I left a bunch of people and one guy in particular who was abusive and very controlling and, um, ever since I left he’s followed me and there’s problems and I feel if there’s more paper he’ll somehow get hold of that and I might end up dead and then I won’t be around. (page 11)

O’Keefe: See this is the problem because I’ve had my political meetings and she’s my girlfriend
and I’m trying to set her up with a place so she doesn’t have to beholden to some pimp. You know what I—trying, trying to give her a new life. (page 12)

More on the above now here: "No, NYT, O'Keefe Didn't 'Pose as a Pimp' Either"...

Here are those NYTimes contact addresses again. PLEASE USE THEM!

Executive Editor Bill Keller,
Managing Editor John Geddes,
Sr. Editor for Standards Greg Brock,
Public Editor Clark Hoyt,
Reporter Ian Urbina,

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