« Should We Talk About the Weather? | Main | Isildur's Bane »

March 02, 2010

Comments

who defunded a legitimate, valuable community organization based on nothing short of malicious fraud.

GOP mission accomplished.

Yup. Played like suckas.

I found out a month or so ago that the faux pimp graduated from my alma mater and was quite active on campus, though well after I had graduated, fortunately for me. But it's still an embarassment.

I wonder if anyone will fight to get ACORN renewed funding for 2012 (I assume that is the next possible year?).

Could Acorn sue them for defamation? It seems that if the tape was intentionally edited to produce a misleading result & then presented as a factual record of events, there ought to be a legal response available.

I'm an idiot, I watched that tape and didn't pick up on the splicing and edits. Not that I was outraged!!!! but I thought there was something funny going on.

Well there was, just not the thing I thought. Where do they grow these amoral assholes? And when we find out where, can we just take off and nuke the site from orbit?

CW: I don't see why not. There is a public figure threshold (actual malice), but the threshold would seem to be satisfied in the current example.

One of the "suckas" was that otherwise-admirable newsman, Jon Stewart.
Sad but true.

--TP

You'd have to include in that hall of shame...

...Jon Stewart. I love the guy, but I really hope he makes some kind of retraction.

the funny thing about Stewart is that he got suckered by someone doing exactly what the editors on his show have been doing for a decade.

Fun fact: I see Jon Stewart at least once a week in the morning as we're on our way to work. He's usually going to a parking garage down the block from my Apt.

Maybe I'll shout something at him about this like a rabid fan/stalker.

"The findings by the Brooklyn DA" who was a member of ACORN? Oh, yeah, that really clears them.

Brett, do you have any basis for that allegation? If so, you should should substantiate that claim.

"The findings by the Brooklyn DA" who was a member of ACORN? Oh, yeah, that really clears them.

Whereas O'Keefe was just an honest impartial investigator; is that what you're saying?

Oh, yeah, that really clears them.

so, just so i'm clear: you prefer to trust the guy who won't publicly release the unedited tapes over someone who has actually seen the unedited tapes ?

Brett, do you have any basis for that allegation?

Of course he doesn't. All he knows is that some black people are going unpunished for something they didn't do, and he simply won't sit still for it.

Brett,

That is terrible.

DA's investigate all types of people/groups. DA's that are Republicans, investigate other Republicans. Duke alma maters, other Duke alma maters. Army vets, other Army vets, etc.

But (assuming the Brooklyn DA was a former member of ACORN) this is where impartiality dies? Over ACORN? Get real.

"The findings by the Brooklyn DA" who was a member of ACORN? Oh, yeah, that really clears them.

So, you have been willing to uncritically accept an edited tape by someone with an explicit agenda, but not to accept another opinion, on the grounds that it must be biased? Bias is just fine with you, as long as it feeds into your preferred outcome?

Add to that, afaict you're wrong about the DA; the "membership" in this case seems to boil down to: Charles Hynes, the Brooklyn district attorney, was endorsed by the Working Families Party, a front group for ACORN, according to the Discover the Networks site.cite.
Being endorsed by a group is not an affiliation, and the claimed linked with Acorn is afaict not accurately represented here in any case.

Bernard: Regardless of Brett's opinion on O'Keefe, he has strongly suggested misconduct by Brooklyn District Attorney Charles J. Hynes or his office. (Hynes's name appears on the press release regarding O'Keefe.)

Since this is a very serious allegation, I expect Brett to provide evidence that Hynes is, in fact, "a member of ACORN" and that he or his office have a conflict of interest in that regard.

The fact is that Hynes ran unopposed in 2005 and 2009. He received an endorsement from one of NYC's minor political parties, the Working Families Party, in 2009 but received relatively few votes due to their ballot access.

Kings County District Attorney Returns 2009 (pdf)
Kings County District Attorney Returns 2005 (pdf)

The notion that he's somehow beholden to a group that's associated with a minor party that first endorsed him after he'd held the office for 20 years is patently absurd.

elm, I'm with you, holding my breath.

Why hold your breath in anticipation of the "LOL guys I was jes' sayin'" defense.

What about those Supreme Court Justices who are operatives in the Republican Party and gave Citizens United all they wanted?

ACORN should do as the NRA has done over the past 20 to 30 years. Transform itself from a fairly pedestrian organization, in ACORN's case community organizers working to register people to vote, into the angry, self-pitying, victimized, militant wing of the Democratic Party.

Register people to vote, sure.

But arm them, too. These folks need guns and ammo to protect them from the depredations of Republican Party government. Guide the poor through the gun registration process.

Then show up at Republican political events and public meetings dressed as heavily armed corporations and their whores.

OT - "The Justice Department is infested with al Qaeda sympathizers. I have here in my hand a list of 205—a list of names that were made known to the Attorney General as being members of al Qaeda and who nevertheless are still working and shaping policy in the Justice Department"

None of the 9/11 hijackers were from Saudi Arabia.

Half were from Iraq and the other half worked for the U.S. Justice Department right here in River City.

Tomorrow's news from Drudge and FOX brought to you today from the Thullen News Service.

Where do they grow these amoral assholes?

College Republican chapters nationwide.

Please define "heavily editted", let me know what the words were that they didn't actually say, who thought anyone would get prosecuted in the first place, and why is this news?

Except of course that ACORN was defunded, but if you ask anyone involved it wasn't directly because of this. I am sure they can be re-funded in reconciliation.

Please define "heavily editted"

Um, you want me to define the Brooklyn DA's choice of words? Ask his office.

who thought anyone would get prosecuted in the first place

Many people, including on this site, accused them of breaking the law. Prosecution often follows.

and why is this news

It is news because of the hysteria when this fraud and deception originally broke, invoking apologies from the NY Times for not covering the story sooner, and in greater depth - provoking the Times to dedicate more of its dwindling resources to pursuing stories cropping up on talk radio and on Fox news.

Kind of deserves mention, no?

"Kind of deserves mention, no?"

No quarrel Eric, I didn't think anyone would be prosecuted. I didn't think it should have been news then except for the most extreme case I saw (ignoring mention of child prostitution) and I think it is not very important now.

Your reasons for the post weren't what I was questioning.

let me know what the words were that they didn't actually say

indeed. skeptics have been calling for the unedited tapes since the edited ones first appeared.

i'm gonna go out on a limb and assume that Mr Breaking-into-the-Senator's-office isn't exactly a credible source - no matter who said nice things about the DA who looked into the matter.

What about those Supreme Court Justices who are operatives in the Republican Party and gave Citizens United all they wanted?

It goes back further than that.

Brett, you are a horrible, immoral human being defined only by your irrational mindless hatred of liberalism and slavish devotion to the depredations of republican activists and what is an obviously failed right wing ideology. You try to shore up your "cred" by spouting your anti-ACORN BS, but the truth is that your political beliefs have always belied your life as just another white boy loser with a victimization complex with a miness devotion to a belief system that belongs in the dustbin of history. Stop shilling for your right wing asshole tribe. It is unbecoming. I don't care how much unhinged hatred you have for the urban poor.

@ugh
"I have here in my hand a list..."

I wonder how many of our fellow ObWingers even know the derivation of the phrase.

The old kinescopes and newsreel films are still scary. I was a small child, then.

Part of me wonders why the unedited tapes can't be released by the prosecutor at this point?

Surely it isn't protected if used to perpetrate a fraud? Is there some weird copywrite issue or something.

In other questions, is anyone else having trouble typing in the commentbox? I seem to miss like every tenth keystroke or something. I thought it was my keyboard at first, but I tested it on my word processing program and it seems ok.

Transform itself from a fairly pedestrian organization, in ACORN's case community organizers working to register people to vote, into the angry, self-pitying, victimized, militant wing of the Democratic Party.

100,000 Stewart Smalleys, each with his own AK-47.

I'm good enough, I'm smart enough, and dog-gone it, I have a bazooka.

The NRA will be very confused.

Tyro: That is over the line, and in violation of the posting rules.

Sebastian: I hope the DA's office can will release the full unedited tapes but I don't know that they are allowed to or would normally do so. A District Attorney or investigator could do a lot of damage by selective release of evidence — ask Richard Jewell — so I'm hesitant to support such a thing.

If they charged anyone (O'Keefe or ACORN or specific ACORN employees) and entered the video into evidence then it could become publicly available. Otherwise, I don't know that the DA's office normally releases such evidence.

Likewise, if ACORN sues for defamation it may be able to get the footage via discovery.

People who worked with O'Keefe on this, such as Andrew Breitbart and Hannah Giles, are another possible source. They supported O'Keefe in this endeavor and worked on it with him. Giles knows about any creative editing (she was there and is the source of the claim that O'Keefe did not wear his pimp costume into ACORN offices). If they have or can get a copy of the original tapes, then he could release them in a move to distance themselves from O'Keefe.

if ACORN sues for defamation

Just a little reminder that the national ACORN organization has been disbanded in the aftermath of this little fraud.

Well, I guess O'Keefe has accomplished his mission.

Part of me wonders why the unedited tapes can't be released by the prosecutor at this point?

Would those who were taped need to consent, or have they lost any right to privacy at this point? (Real, not rhetorical, question.)

To me, simply releasing the unedited version of illicit tapes is uncomfortably reminiscent of Ken Starr's sociopathic unconcern at turning Monica Lewinski into collateral damage.

the Thullen News Service.


I am intriuged by your news service and would like to subscribe...


Actually this is just a test to see if I can once again post comments from home using my archaic computer, now that the site has gone thru a redesign. Fingers crossed, here goes nuthin'

Whoo hoo! It worked!


After lurking for a year without being able to post comments, I have even more sympathy (than I did before) for people who are in a coma but can hear what is going on around them in the hospital.


Anyway, regarding the fake ACORN scandal, the really nasty thing this says about our mainstream press overlords is that the fakery was sufficiently easy to detect with only a modest amount of due diligence that really the only possible explanation is that they wanted to be fooled. The NYT and others just wanted an excuse to do some hippy punching, and O'Keefe, et. al. gave them what they wanted. This wasn't some sophisticated psy-ops operation. Folks who wanted to bash ACORN because doing so fitted their pre-existing political agenda were easily gulled. Weapons of Mass self-Deception are dangerous; film at 11.

This is another instance where lying and other forms of outright deception are demonstrated to be a highly effective strategy in American politics.

This phenomenon is dangerous.

This is another instance where lying and other forms of outright deception are demonstrated to be a highly effective strategy in American politics.

Worse still, it demonstrates how much better the wingnuts at it than we are.

Hooray for the return of [email protected]!!!

Really. TLTABQ!

Uh,am I missing something here? When I watched the tapes the first time it was clear that the tapes had been "heavily edited." Either to avoid boredom or to make it look worse is the obvious thought that came to mind. In fact, it is quite clear where the tape is jumping around.

It doesn't change the fact that ACORN employees were openly discussing how to run an illegal brothel and hide the money. That much is clear between the jumps. Unless in the edited out sections O'Keefe says something like "hey, this is a big joke; let's pretend to talk about how to set up a whore house" I don't think it changes things that much. I'm assuming that unless the two employees get rehired that wasn't the case.

And what does "more sinister" mean other than if you take the edits out the ACORN comments are still "sinister?"

And the "no crime" finding is hardly surprising. I didn't expect anyone to get arrested.

And why all the outcry over what Michael Moore does for a living?

And when is Jerry Brown going to finish his "investigation?"

BTW, why can't I find the DA's findings on the web? Anyone have a link?

Unless in the edited out sections O'Keefe says something like "hey, this is a big joke; let's pretend to talk about how to set up a whore house" I don't think it changes things that much.

Well, there are a lot of ways that could be made to look worse. Including clear indications that they employees were joking around - even if O'Keefe wasn't.

Which makes me want to see the findings or see the full video.

But the "vindication" is impossible to verify at this point. Has the DA actually issued a report or just a statement that he won't prosecute?

I'm not sure the DA is in the habit of releasing reports or findings on such matters.

As to the vindication being unverified, here's what we know:

1. James O'Keefe, a man with a partisan agenda who has acted in unethical and improper ways in the past, has heavily edited a videotape. These were the findings of both the Brooklyn DA, and an independent investigator hired by ACORN.

2. O'Keefe has previously vehemently denied that the tapes were doctored in any way, going so far as to demand an apology from ACORN officials who made such a claim - as well as the media outlets that carried the ACORN claim! Whoops.

3. Aside from the heavily edited videotape, O'Keefe has already been caught fabricating part of the associated narrative (him in the pimp suit at the ACORN offices - never happened).

I would say that vindication is looking pretty darn good at this point, and the onus is on known fabricator, and accused felon, James O'Keefe to prove otherwise. Speaking of which...

...we know with some certainty that James O'Keefe has the full, unedited videotapes. We could ask him to release them. And if they support his contentions, and cast doubts on the DA's findings, one would expect him to do just that.

PS: I'm not holding my breath.

The Kings County NY District Attorney issed a statment that the investigation has been concluded and no criminality has been found

That's as close to complete exoneration as we get in the US, short of acquittal at trial.

bc, here's your "heavily edited" comment, which presents as clear and accurate picture of your views as O'Keefe's "tapes" did of the ACORN employees he filmed.

To avoid boredom between the jumps I am running an illegal brothel. How to set up a whore house and hide the money. It is quite clear unless the two employees get rehired - I didn't expect anyone to get arrested over what, Michael Moore does for a living. Why can't I find a pimp costume? I don't think it changes things that much. Hey, this is a big joke, let's pretend. And when is Jerry Brown going to finish?

Aside from the "pimp costume", which I'll claim to all major media outlets you were wearing in the comment, every word is exactly what you said. Do you have a problem with how I've presented it, as apparently you have no problem with how O'Keefe "presented" the ACORN employees?

Hannah Giles has decided she needs a legal defense fund. I'd prefer to contribute to the plaintiff. I'd definitely contribute to the prosecution, but haven't heard of any criminal case against her, O'Keefe, or Breitbart so far.

The extra good news is that such a suit is one of the few things that could bring the original footage to light.

Jes:

Good grief. But cute, I'll give you that.

You can tell where the jumps are in the video even without the original. You can't in your cut and paste job above. And what I'm saying is that there are some segments that even without any context don't look good.

But point taken. I'll await the videotapes. I just don't take the "no criminal activity" as an automatic exoneration or vindication.

Thread is probably dead, but...

A few weeks ago, I think even before the Brooklyn DA's announcement, Jon Stewart acknowledged and apologized for his role in legitimizing the O'Keefe hit piece; the show ran the footage of his initial take, treating his credulousness with the same deserved mockery it gives to hypocrite pols.

Stewart's acknowledgement of error is a lot more than I expect from any of the corporate "journalists" who did the same and worse, or any of the craven Democrats who cut off funding to ACORN.

I'm cheered to see TLTIABQ here; it's the first time I've checked into comments here for many months. Anger and depression, rather than technical difficulties, are what have kept me away. Reading, and even more so participating in comment sections of political blogs is counterproductive for me. Nonetheless, I miss all you ObWi-ers. Best to all.

The comments to this entry are closed.

Blog powered by Typepad