Wednesday, March 10, 2010

Paper of Record (In Fascist USA)? NYT Exposed As NeoCon Rag - Why ACORN Had To Be Slimed (And Why You Are Next)

It seems that fact checking is no longer needed - in the fascist USA today anyway. Ask The New York Times and New York Post (and I'm not even mentioning The Washington Post). From the BradBlog we get the true story (and it's the only place you'll get all of it) of how the MSM and all the forces of the powers-that-be (starting with The New York Times) found it beneficial to lie for months about ACORN (an already poorly-funded "collection of community organizations") engaging in nonexistent voter scams after absolutely no attention was paid to the massive (and well-documented) Diebold vote-switching fraud brought to you by the Rethuglicans for the last 10-plus years. This surely isn't the media and the Congress that I grew up with (or thought I did as I studied the Constitution and Bill of Rights in preparation for law school). And there's a clue not exactly hidden within this essay (read the full article) about why the rightwing thinks it can get away with using the dumbest (least well-educated/informed) but well-dressed (and most nepotistically-connected) people for their frontwo/men. Yes, Liz Cheney is one. And don't even get me started on Bill Kristol. (Emphasis marks added - Ed.) And if you wondered whatever was the reason for this easily seen through and quickly-reported-on-and-exposed farce, it's simple. (Why do I feel like Ross Perot right now?)

Fortunately, those measures were found by a federal judge to be, in all likelihood, unconstitutional bills of attainder. But the finding comes too late for the group which depends on private funders for the vast majority of its work, many of whom have withheld their support following the Republican operatives' extremely successful smear job.
And it worked. Welcome to 1984, which isn't really as late as it seems as it began under the Revolution of the Rayguns when the ownership of the media and most corporations began to pass into the hands of the Dogs of Empire. Also, notice the different treatment provided by The New York Times, etc., to the testimony of Sibel Edmonds, Blackwater/Xe insiders trying to expose the criminality that's been going on in their activities overseas and here in New Orleans and the true election vote-switching fraud of Diebold, etc. Some difference.
The Real Targets of the ACORN Smear Campaigns: Verifiable Truth, American Democracy
The truth behind the hoax was 'hiding' in plain sight, if only the media and Congress had bothered to seek it out.

In a society increasingly dominated by dictatorial and corrupt corporate wealth and power, a collection of community organizations, The Association of Community Organizations for Reform Now (ACORN), steps forward to become the voice of the most vulnerable of our citizens - the poor and lower-middle class. It is a national coalition which not only strives to insure that these otherwise atomized and powerless masses retain and exercise their equal right to vote, but a caring organization which seeks a living wage for all citizens; that tries to protect them from predatory lenders and phony foreclosure assistance scams. At a time when the heartless and uncaring Bush/Cheney cabal left thousands of our fellow citizens to sink or swim in a toxic soup of petrochemicals, flood waters and decaying bodies, ACORN, according to the Congressional Research Service [PDF], stepped forward to assist "in the clean-up of 1,850 homes and" organized "10,000 hurricane survivors into the ACORN Katrina Survivors Association." So it comes as no surprise that ACORN has become the target of a years-long relentless right-wing assault, most recently spearheaded by the likes of accused federal felon James O'Keefe and his serial dissembling employer and publisher, Andrew Breitbart. Neither is it a surprise that the phony pimp's video hit pieces emerged on Rupert Murdoch's own Fox "news" channel, which Robert Greenwald so forcefully demonstrated was but the propaganda arm of the GOP in Outfoxed: Rupert Murdoch's War on Journalism. It is, however, slightly more surprising, and certainly most noteworthy, that now that they've been exposed as hoaxes, even Murdoch's own New York Post was forced to describe the doctored tapes as a "'heavily edited' splice job that only made it appear as though the organization's workers were advising a pimp and prostitute on how to get a mortgage...[with] many of the seemingly crime-encouraging answers...taken out of context so as to appear more sinister." What is truly disturbing, however, is that this concocted tale would be unquestioningly accepted as legitimate by the corporate media and by Congress, which, in their rush to mollify the noisy hard-right, displayed a profound ignorance of basic concepts of fundamental fairness and due process of law. ACORN was prematurely and inappropriately tried and convicted in the press and in Congress, without so much as a single hearing, vis a vis a grotesque and shameful word-of-mouth propaganda lynch job unseen since the days of Joseph McCarthy, the disgraced, right-wing demagogue who misused his powerful perch in the U.S. Senate to smear "loyal Americans as disloyal" and who falsely "charged that the government was being undermined from within"...

Tried and convicted by partisan hoax

ACORN was tried and convicted in the press and in Congress based on propaganda videos which a former MA Attorney General exposed months ago as a heavily edited hoax. Yet without waiting on a single investigation, or holding a single hearing, U.S. House and Senate Resolutions were passed in an attempt to strip a presumed guilty ACORN of federal funding. Fortunately, those measures were found by a federal judge to be, in all likelihood, unconstitutional bills of attainder. But the finding comes too late for the group which depends on private funders for the vast majority of its work, many of whom have withheld their support following the Republican operatives' extremely successful smear job.

Had Congress looked before leaping, they would have found that an independent analysis [PDF], furnished by former MA Attorney General Scott Harshbarger, disabuses much of the misinformation that has been propagated about the entire ACORN "pimp" hoax. While the analysis was commissioned by ACORN as an external review, and returned some rather harsh condemnations for some of the group's organizational procedures, Harshbarger found no pattern of illegalities by the organization itself, or any of those low-level employees ensnared by the O'Keefe/Breitbart set up.

Though the so-called "paper of record", the New York Times, misreported on the O'Keefe/Breitbart hoax time and again, both before and after the release of the Harshbarger report, Harshbarger's analysis was never so much as mentioned in their pages. They have also refused, time and again, to correct their misreporting, offering one extraordinary excuse after another for not doing the correct, journalistic thing.

As Brad Friedman recently reported, an ACORN spokesperson noted that the New York Times failed to even send a reporter to the telephonic press conference that was held by Harshbarger when his report was released on December 7th of last year - a Dec. 7 that, in terms of the integrity of American journalism, should live in infamy.*

An examination of Harshbarger's independent analysis helps to unravel the web of deceit spun by these GOP con-artists masquerading as "journalists."

=========

*The same New York Times which ran with the O'Keefe/Breitbart scurrilous ACORN "pimp" lie, chose to ignore the sworn affidavits of former Blackwater/Xe insiders which not only alleged that Blackwater had engaged in murder, destruction of evidence, weapons smuggling, and corruption but specifically alleged that Blackwater operated a wife-swapping sex ring here in the US, and that, in Iraq, Blackwater had "young girls provide oral sex to Enterprise members in the 'Blackwater Man Camp' in exchange for one American dollar."

Don't look to the New York Times, either, if you are interested in learning about Sibel Edmonds' credible sworn testimony implicating members and former members of Congress in corruption and espionage which includes even allegations of nuclear secrets sold to foreign countries on the black market.

=========

46 federal, state and local investigations find no ACORN-related 'voter fraud'

According to yet another official report on the matter from the Congressional Research Service [PDF] released late last year, as commissioned by U.S. House Judiciary Committee, as of October 2009, there have been 46 reported federal, state, and local investigations concerning ACORN; 11 still pending. None have established a single instance in which an individual, improperly registered by ACORN or its employees, has then attempted "to vote at the polls." The study reveals that ACORN themselves is often the initiator of official complaints against employees who defraud them, when they turn in fraudulent registrations.

Nonetheless, the GOP propaganda campaign, aided and abetted by the incurious corporate media, has helped lead the right-wing faithful to believe ACORN is in the "voter fraud" business, despite the complete lack of evidence to support the theory. A recent survey by the non-partisan Research 2000 found that one in five (21%) of self-identified Republicans believe ACORN stole the 2008 Presidential election for Barack Obama. Another 55% are "not sure" if they did or not.

Yet, as Brad Friedman so forcefully argues in the documentary film Murder, Spies & Voting Lies, our greatest concerns - as even the Bush Justice Department found - are not with the rather infrequent problem of "voter fraud", certainly not at the polls as charged by the right-wing propagandists hoping to disenfranchise millions of legal, largely Democratic-leaning voters with photo ID restrictions. The far greater concern is "election fraud" which can be accomplished by a single insider using electronic voting systems, both paper-based optical scan and Direct Recording Electronic (DRE, usually touch-screen) systems which can be corrupted in a few seconds' time in such a way that the wholesale manipulation of an election result would likely never be discovered.

Doctored videotapes are not 'evidence'

I don't expect all reporters to possess the same level of legal knowledge as those of us who have practiced law for many years. However, I don't think it too much to expect that major corporate media, with corporate legal departments at their disposal, possess at least the rudiments of concepts embodied in the 5th, 6th and 14th amendments to the U.S. Constitution entailing fundamental fairness, due process of law and the right of the accused to confront his or her accuser.

That didn't happen in the case of the doctored ACORN videos. O'Keefe, Hannah Giles and Breitbart produced what purported to be a set of videotapes that, per Scott Shane of the New York Times, depicted O'Keefe and Giles, dressed as pimp and prostitute, "visit[ing] Acorn offices in Baltimore, Washington, Brooklyn and San Bernardino, Calif., [where they] candidly describ[ed] their illicit business and ask[ed] the advice of Acorn workers."

CNN's Abbie Boudreau said, the tapes appeared to show "two ACORN workers . . . caught on tape allegedly offering advice on how to set up a prostitution ring and evade the IRS" to the disguised pimp and prostitute, while Scott Olshan of the New York Post reported that employees at ACORN's Brooklyn office were "caught on video helping supposed ladies of the night get loans for their dream houses of ill repute."

By contrast, former AG Harshbarger reported after carefully reviewing the edited videos:

The unedited videos have never been made public. The videos that have been released appear to have been edited, in some cases substantially, including the insertion of a substitute voiceover for significant portions of Mr. O’Keefe’s and Ms.Giles’s comments, which makes it difficult to determine the questions to which ACORN employees are responding. A comparison of the publicly available transcripts to the released videos confirms that large portions of the original video have been omitted from the released versions. To date, the videographers have declined or ignored our interview request.

Harshbarger stated that the "released videos offer no evidence of a pattern of illegal conduct by ACORN employees" and that there was "no evidence that any action, illegal or otherwise, was taken by ACORN employees on behalf of" O'Keefe and Giles. Last week, Brooklyn prosecutors, who investigated the matter over a span of five months, came to a nearly identical conclusion, adding that O'Keefe and Giles "edited the tapes to meet their agenda."

Who woulda thunk it? Suzan ___________

7 comments:

Phil said...

Things like this happen (fiction presented as fact, lies presented as truth, propaganda presented as news) when virtually all major media outlets are owned and controlled by a few powerful corporations.

Good exposé, Suzan.

Suzan said...

Thanks, Phil.

I aim to please.

Hell. I aim to expose them all.

S
_______

Greendayman said...

I find this whole Acorn debacle very disturbing. Alan Grayson explained to a bi-partisan committee that the congress could not single out Acorn for de-funding and that it was unconstitutional. Well... the court of "public" (read Fox News - Hate Radio) opinion had already ruled guilty as charged. I truly believe that these two entities with the complicit help of the MSM are the biggest threat to me and you in our country today. "Serious" people - even Michael Moore on his last interview with Rachel - just don't seem to get it that in our media driven world today, the cons control the message and therefore get to control policy out of pure, unadulterated fear. Fear of the media and how anyone who bucks the system will be smeared if they cross the "conventional wisdom" of the above named media outlets. I truly believe that until we get some control over hate media that distorts facts to control policy, we will lose our ability to govern - if we haven't already. The ugly step-father of media control is corporate financing of elections but that is another post for another day.

Great post Suze -g

Suzan said...

Thank you, G.

Which of course it was (and any Constitutional law student would know that immediately upon hearing that Congress quickly defunded it upon hearing the rightwingnutter-generated lies).

Alan Grayson explained to a bi-partisan committee that the congress could not single out Acorn for de-funding and that it was unconstitutional.

And I'm with you absolutely here.

I truly believe that these two entities with the complicit help of the MSM are the biggest threat to me and you in our country today.

I surely hope you are wrong here, or we are truly finshed already. It's got to be attributed to inattention, not intelligence, don't you think?

"Serious" people - even Michael Moore on his last interview with Rachel - just don't seem to get it that in our media driven world today, the cons control the message and therefore get to control policy out of pure, unadulterated fear. Fear of the media and how anyone who bucks the system will be smeared if they cross the "conventional wisdom" of the above named media outlets.

It seems to me that we have to believe/have faith that the constant marketing of how deleterious hate speech is to democracy will eventually triumph and improve our political environment immeasureably. Of course, many on the right will have to die first. Heh.

I truly believe that until we get some control over hate media that distorts facts to control policy, we will lose our ability to govern - if we haven't already.

Thanks again, friend, for your acute comments. Keep them coming.

S
_________

Beekeepers Apprentice said...

I didn't find it surprising or coincidental in the least that an organization which was suddenly singled out by the righ wingnuts as the new demon of the modern age, was suddenly touted all over the news as being that demon.

I didn't find it a bit coincidental that all of a sudden, we see some dipstick dressing up as a pimp with an editing program trying to destroy Acorn.

And, I really wasn't surprised to find that my gut instinct, that ACORN had been set up, was right after all.

They must really think we're all as dumb as they are.

Suzan said...

Thanks, Bee.

As if anyone could miss this now.

Except that we'd have to be purposely dumb.

Your words to the world's ears.

S

They must really think we're all as dumb as they are.

Jack Jodell said...

Suzan,
I am fed up with all the controversy being generated about ACORN by the far-right. ACORN has been made to be their favorite whipping boy and has been accused of doing things it couldn't possibly do even on its best and mightiest day. Like all who attempt to give the poor and downtrodden a voice or some hope, ACORN has been villified by the far-right who care nothing about, and actually fear, the poor and downtrodden.

As for USA Today, being owned by the Murdoch Liars Association, it, just like Fox "News" and the Republican Party, is and will always be severely fact-challenged. Murdoch and his minions rape and abuse free speech each and every single day. The greatest tragedy of these times is that so many people believe and accept their outright bullshit. That's what makes it so hard and frustrating for you, me, and all the rest of the truth tellers found here.