While we await progress in the case of “Conservative Activist” James O’Keefe and his felony arrest after an alleged break-in at the offices of Democrat Senator Mary Landrieu in New Orleans, there has been a little more light shed on his earlier escapades.
California’s Attorney General Jerry Brown, at the request of Gov. Schwarzenegger, has considered the videotapes featuring O’Keefe and his friend Hannah Giles, and has concluded that, in that state at least, no ACORN staff had committed a crime. Moreover, he was deeply critical of the way in which the tapes were heavily and, it is now clear, selectively edited in order to infer criminal acts when none had taken place.
On one occasion, an ACORN employee appears to be co-operating with the illegal trafficking of underage girls into the USA for the purpose of prostitution, but the reality was that he had rumbled O’Keefe and Giles and was collecting as much information about their intended trafficking as he could: after the two supposedly fearless activists left his office, he called the police.
On another, an ACORN staffer appears to be condoning the idea of setting up a prostitution operation, whereas what she is encouraging Giles to do is to be persistent in her search for housing, and the encouragement has nothing to do with any illegal act.
None of this has been aired on the network that ran the story (and then some) in the first place: yes, it’s our old friends at Fox News Channel (fair and balanced my arse). Fox “stars” Sean Hannity and Glenn Beck left their viewers in no doubt that O’Keefe was some kind of hero, and that ACORN was encouraging significant criminality.
But the correcting of the record has come too late for ACORN, which lost funding as a result of O’Keefe’s sting – and Fox’ promotion of it – and is now effectively finished as a national force. That’s right: an organisation set up to help the poorest people in the USA has been dishonestly demonised by the right to the point of collapse.
MSNBC’s Rachel Maddow, as you might expect, has found adversely upon O’Keefe, Fox and the rest: her analysis is suitably rigorous, and asks the obvious question – who is going to be next?