Tuesday, March 2, 2010

ACORN Cleared of Wrongdoing: O'Keefe Doctored Video

For personal reasons, I have not talked much about the ACORN video that James' O'Keefe publicized that seemed to show ACORN workers giving advice on how to get away with mortgage fraud. But I'm happy to report that prosecutors have cleared the anti-poverty/social justice nonprofit in this case.
Brooklyn prosecutors on Monday cleared ACORN of criminal wrongdoing after a four-month probe that began when undercover conservative activists filmed workers giving what appeared to be illegal advice on how to hide money.

While the video by James O'Keefe and Hannah Giles seemed to show three ACORN workers advising a prostitute how to hide ill-gotten gains, the unedited version was not as clear, according to a law enforcement source.

"They edited the tape to meet their agenda," said the source. (Read more: NY Daily News)
Professor Kim wrote at BlogHer.com a few weeks back on this case, making excellent points on "Why James O'Keefe is not a Journalist." I left a couple of comments on her piece. Today, I shake my head: Editing a quote to make it seem a speaker said something other than intended is wrong, editing a video to make it appear someone did something they didn't do is worse.

As written at the Politcal Carnival, the damage has been done. ACORN's lost a lot of money behind O'Keefe's slander and the persistent smear campaign against the group from conservatives. And conservatives have gone after ACORN moreso with hopes to drag President Obama down due to his thin connections to the group.

I'm not saying ACORN has no problems, but the kinds of accusations Republicans and conservatives level at the group are ludicrous, including voter fraud accusations, and I've said that before.

Now, will the news of ACORN being cleared get the same kind of coverage as O'Keefe got for his doctored video? Unlikely.


Professor Kim said...

Thanks for this news, Nordette. A case study in how NOT to do journalism. The unfortunate thing is that this report will not get the press that the original smear did.

msladydeborah said...

I have worked with people in ACORN and found them to be about their stated business. I am glad that this has been cleared up.