Perhaps the approaching full moon can explain the latest Fox News meltdown penned by the infamous um, "journalist" Jana Winter that's packed full of anonymous concern trolls, and yes...ACORN zombies.
You may recall Jana Winter from previous Fox News false alerts, such as the terrorist grandma from Indiana, or her big "exclusive" report with allegations that the Department of Justice was ignoring a new law to protect American soldier's voting rights. But enough about Winter, we've got a lot to cover here. It's not everyday zombies invade Zucotti Park!
I want to share with you Slate reporter David Weigel's comments on the Fox News report, as he does a stellar job of summing up the sheer idiocy of the report:
The headline is a whopper: ACORN doesn't exist anymore. We know this because the lede of the story refers to "the former New York office for ACORN, the disbanded community activist group." If it's disbanded, it doesn't exist. Why not refer in the title to an "ACORN offshoot" or "ACORN successor"? Easy: You're trying to pass on a stupid story to some rubes.
Why do I say it's stupid? After all, there's lots of bad journalism out there. (I try to make as little of it as possible.) It's stupid because it doesn't follow the most basic rules of reporting and analysis. The second graf informs us that "the former director of New York ACORN, Jon Kest, and his top aides are now busy working at protest events for New York Communities for Change (NYCC)." That fact must be an exclusive, right? Nope: Later in the story, we're told that "Kest publicly threw his organization’s support behind the movement in a Sept. 30 opinion piece on HuffingtonPost.com." He's never tried to hide his involvement. That's not what "behind the scenes" means.
So where do the grisly details come from? If you guessed "anonymous sources with too-perfect quotes," congratulations: You've been registered to vote in Ohio. (Sidebar: The reason ACORN went down, and its name is a negative association, is that it was accused of registering fake voters to hit quotas and of giving free tax-cheating advice to undercover journalists. That's why it's scandalous. Using its name to tar people who weren't involved in those activities is pure sleaze. Post-phone-hacking scandal, it's not a great practice for a NewsCorp product.)
The continued attempts to attack anyone who ever had anything to do with ACORN continue to get picked up on by various media. It's disturbing because generally none of the reports bother to point out that after the conservative led faux scandal that led to the groups demise, it was cleared of any wrongdoing by two in-depth investigations, one of those headed by the House Judiciary Committee.
The activist group that Fox News' report claims to employ former ACORN employees, New York Communities for Change (NYCC) released a statement responding to the article's attack:
Fox News is trying to discredit Occupy Wall Street. New York Communities for Change is a new organization that fights for low- and moderate-income families. We don't pay protesters and any monies raised by NYCC's canvass are used in support of our ongoing issue campaigns. Period.
The reality is that Occupy Wall Street is an organic movement of the 99 percent outraged at the ability of the 1 percent to corrupt America's political and financial systems for personal gain while middle class families lose their jobs, their homes, and see their economic future devastated. We call on Fox News to stop its unseemly attacks and to respect the views of the overwhelming majority of Americans who believe that our nation needs a more equitable distribution of wealth.(1)
(1) New York Times, p. a1, October 26, 2011
The effort by Fox News to portray the Occupy Wall Street movement as anything less than autonomous is offensive, and a sorry attempt to cheapen this movement and silence the voice of the 99 percent.