If ACORN Falls, It’s Because The Media Believed Imposters
ACORN, a group that has done much to empower minorities, is on the verge of bankruptcy, and it’s largely because of a neglectful media that allowed itself to be railroaded by unethical conservative activists. Clark Hoyt, the public editor of the New York Times, takes his own paper to task for its lack of diligence on the story.
The Times was slow last fall to cover that sting in Baltimore, similar ones at Acorn offices in Brooklyn, Washington and other cities, and the resulting uproar, including criminal investigations and votes in Congress to cut off funds for the group. But the paper finally described how a succession of Acorn employees had advised the pair on obviously improper activities and how, as a result, many of the group’s allies had deserted it. Now Acorn and its supporters say The Times got the story wrong and, by failing to correct it, has played into the hands of a campaign that has pushed the group near extinction.
Since the story broke, Acorn’s contributions have dried up, its national staff has been cut by more than three-quarters, services for the poor have been suspended, and chapters have closed or reorganized under other names, even though a district attorney found that Acorn employees in Brooklyn did nothing illegal and a federal judge ruled that Congress acted unconstitutionally in cutting off funding as punishment.
Hoyt says ACORN supporters want the story to fall apart based on the lie that videographer James O’Keefe wore a pimp outfit into ACORN offices when he entered with Hannah Giles posing as a prostitute. But the real crux of the story is that a group that helps and empowers the poor is on the verge of dissolution because the so-called “liberal media” chose to believe conservative impostors before doing the work they should have done to get the story right from the start.
O’Keefe, who is facing criminal charges of tampering with Senator Mary Landrieu’s phone lines, has stated that his goal is to “tease”, “mock”, and “totally destroy” liberals. Instead, what may be destroyed, is an organization, although imperfect that did more to help Americans than O’Keefe ever did. And the media that failed to report it accurately enough and early enough is to blame.Click here for reuse options!
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