Wednesday, September 16th, 2009

The Unholy Acorn Mess

Fox News is going all-out in the war on Acorn, an organization operating in 100 U.S. cities that assists with low-income housing, voter registration and other community issues-and this business is crazy! There are now at least four undercover videos of that show Acorn staffers advising on illegal activities, giving the kind of salient advice I give friends all the time. (Hell yes, bury that money in your backyard! Obviously.) The Acorn staffers respond by saying that the undercover folks "weren't even good actors." In other news, Acorn will never get a dime of federal funding again. And meanwhile, they will be suing the shit out of Fox and the videomakers. But what will Obama be doing? He will be running away from Acorn like an anorexic, self-hating squirrel.


28 Comments / Post A Comment

Abe Sauer (#148)

This will haunt Obama for the rest of his presidency. Guaranteed.

sigerson (#179)

what does this have to do with the President?

sigerson (#179)

Dude, that is a year old. Acorn is pretty tangential to the President. Non-issue.

The people in the video are black. Obama is black. That's pretty much all it takes, unfortunately.

La Cieca (#1,110)

I'm not as pessimistic as you on this one. For one thing, I have a strong gut feeling that the Acorn suit is going to force the videomakers to reveal that the footage is at best deceptive.

The other point is that, let's face it, everything Obama has ever said or done can be in one way or another distorted into a smear if the audience is willing to accept it. They're even eager to believe out and out lies. So this particular issue I don't think will "haunt" any more than than the rest of the muck.

Abe Sauer (#148)

I've seen some of the extended footage and while it may be a little deceptive it's fairly damning in that they didn't tell them to GTFU when they started talking about prostitution.

I wish i shared your (comparative) optimism.

La Cieca (#1,110)

I'm going to do a Criswell here and predict that six months from now, this story is going to be on, and that 90% of it is going to be determined "untrue."

Flashman (#418)

I'm sure there are thousands of people now who wish they had just buried their savings in a tin can in the backyard.

oudemia (#177)

Yay! A whole bunch of the desperately poor lives will be worse now! Huzzah!

KarenUhOh (#19)

My prurient fascinations and fears lead me to spend way too much time listening to the Fox nutjobs lately, and they are not going to let this go. They are going to live it. So, Abe, I suspect you are right.

A merciful God would show this thing up for fake and make Fox look like the fools they are to drive away the 10-20% of Americans who might actually take heed of this shit.

Abe Sauer (#148)

HA! HA! "merciful God" HAAAAAAAAA!

oudemia (#177)

So after going to however many ACORN offices (no doubt very many), they found a couple willing to give them dumbshit advice.
Can we do this with accountants and brokers now?

Tulletilsynet (#333)

Well yeah, but how many brokers and accountants are not going to recognize Sacha Baron Cohen when he brings them the Chock Full o' Nuts can Choire told him to bury in the backyard?

KenWheaton (#401)

What's this? Hoping for a lawsuit against a media outlet? Siding with an organization the gives advice on how to run brothels staffed with immigrant children?

So rich. So chewy.

I don't think this will hurt Obama (his defenders will defend, the crazies and birthers are, well, they're already crazy birthers).

And, to be honest, since this so, I don't know, TOO perfect, I'm still waiting for something to develop showing that this is some elaborate reverse sting to make asses out of Fox. That last tape in particular — the one in California — raises my suspicion. (Then again, that ACORN has started firing the people being taped lends credence I guess.)

At the moment, the folks who suffer most are
2) The media. Didn't covered John Edwards. Didn't cover Van. Didn't cover this. God damnit, I shouldn't ever have to turn on Fox News to get this sort of stuff. (See Jon Stewart's "The Audacity of Hos"
3) Those who will defend even the most ridiculously stupid and criminal behavior out of some sense of loyalty. (Ya probably should stop with the "It's just xx number of offices" defense after they rolled out three additional tapes.)

ericdeamer (#945)

ACORN is clearly a million-times worse threat to the polity than Al Qaeda and the global financial panic combined so it's good that the nation as a whole can now turn all its rage on defeating the ACORN menace at which point the country will be perfect again. (Not that I'm condoning yadda fucking yadda etc. etc.)

ericdeamer (#945)

Also, though I don't doubt the sincerity of the people who did these stings (though I am curious whom we'll eventually find out they were affiliated with) and neither do I doubt that shit was just as bad as the footage makes it look, the whole thing is only going to be used by the crazies to say that the 2008 election should be thrown out because Obama used ACORN in his campaign. I mean, I'm assuming Malkin et al are already calling for this right?

KenWheaton (#401)

The nation as a whole? What?
Congress might be a bunch of jibbering morons, but they can walk and chew gum at the same time.
This isn't that complicated. Cut all federal funding to ACORN. End of story.
Plenty of other community groups (even organizing groups) out there that seem able to get the job done without feeling the need to offer advice on child prostitution rings.
To the below comment, I have no idea what Malkin is calling for. But Malkin calling for election results to be thrown out is equal to Park Slopers still crying about the 2000 election = sound and fury signifying nada.
Besides, Obama shouldn't be worrying about Malkin. He should be keeping an eye on Hillary.

La Cieca (#1,110)

The media. Didn’t covered John Edwards.

Didn't cover John Edwards when? At the time the only suggestion of any (non-criminal) wrongdoing by a person who is currently a private citizen was published in a supermarket tabloid? Should 60 Minutes delve into the Oprah/Gayle lovenest?

Didn’t cover Van.

Nothing to cover until he resigned. The resignation was covered.

Didn’t cover this.

Did you watch more than five seconds of cable news over the past week?

And do you have a clue what "news" is? It's reporting of facts, not retailing of gossip. (I'm a gossip columnist, so I'm required to know the difference.)

KenWheaton (#401)

As a matter of fact, I do have a clue what news is. You've googled me before, I'm sure you can manage it again.

Outside of a little CNN or NY1, I don't watch cable news. I know Fox News covered this ACORN bit because ACORN is threatening to sue Fox News. I also know CNN supposedly reached out to the pimp guy but he declined to appear. Charlie Gibson hadn't even heard of the tapes. And considering the source of the tapes, news organizations should do due diligence, but man have they seemed slow on jumping on this.

Edwards was a political figure when the story was breaking. He was lying at the time about his affairs and had made his personal life a key part of his campaign. The Clinton/Obama primary may have been a much different ball game had they gone after Edwards.

Nothing to cover of Van until he resigned? That's certainly an odd way of looking at the news. I'm sure the mere fact that I subscribe to Mickey Kaus' views on these things paints me as a knuckle-dragger, but it must have seemed odd to readers of the Times that, out of the blue, on a Sunday evening on a holiday weekend, Van Jones resigned … for some mysterious reason they'd never even heard of until that moment.

ericdeamer (#945)

It's a conservative trait to claim that the "MSM" hasn't covered the latest outrage enough when really it's all over the news.

ericdeamer (#945)

The two things I'm most curious about are:

1. Who backed/funded this sting operation? Not in a conspiracy-mongering sort of way and again not for a moment do I think the footage was doctored in any way but the pretend pimp kid didn't come out of nowhere. There has to be some kind of 501c3 or whatever involved and I'm just curious as to who they are and what their agenda is.

2. Here's the salient point: Right wing fearmongering over ACORN has typically focused on allegations of voter fraud and on the voter registration/get-out-the-vote arm of the organization, not the social services branch which was targeted in this sting. Were stings also run trying to find voting fraud and they couldn't come up with enough evidence? Or, more interestingly, is this a sophisticated enough operation that they smartly decided to go with this "Won't someone think of the children!?" approach first as opposed to the voter fraud thing which is more overtly partisan. If so again, this points to a fairly high level of coordination between whoever backed this op/friendly media outlets etc.

KenWheaton (#401)

1. That's an excellent question. The Stewart thing claimed they did this for $3,000. But it seems a low figure for flying all over the country for two people, etc.

2. On the voter fraud thing, I thought many of those ACORN signatures had been found suspect, but also that it was also determined that it was ultimately up to voter registration offices to act as the final line of defense. In terms of friendly media outlets, though, it would seem (on the surface) that if an outlet was going to fund it, run it, they'd just do it and own it. Why let it come off as two citizen journalists showing up your "pros"? Unless you had a devious motive beyond … ohhhhhhhhhhhhh.

KenWheaton (#401)

"It’s a conservative trait to claim that the “MSM” hasn’t covered the latest outrage enough when really it’s all over the news."

Seems like a pretty bipartisan urge if you ask me. Also, I didn't actually use MSM, did I? I try to stay away from that.
And, I haven't been near a TV all day or checked the newspaper sites much today, so I'll own up to missing what may be approaching blanket coverage by this point.

La Cieca (#1,110)

So basically, you're saying the media didn't "cover this story" based on the fact that you don't watch the news.

I'm going to go on the record right now saying that professional hockey is a myth. I should mention, though, that I don't read the sports page.

What it looks like to me is that the people who worked there were bored and decided to humor them. Who in New York city has a back yard?

KenWheaton (#401)

"So basically, you’re saying the media didn’t “cover this story” based on the fact that you don’t watch the news. … I’m going to go on the record right now saying that professional hockey is a myth. I should mention, though, that I don’t read the sports page."

Well, I walked right into that one, didn't I? I'm gonna go climb back into my cave now. (At least we can agree on Hockey)

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