September 16, 2009

Glenn Beck, Bill O'Reilly and Sean Hannity were all over the latest video release in the self-concocted ACORN "scandal" they've been pitching all over the cable and airwaves the past week. This time, they supposedly caught an ACORN volunteer named Tresa Kaelke giving them advice on how to set up their pimping operation.

Now, you'd think they would clue in that they were being put on when the woman talked about having killed one of her ex-husbands, but no. They proceeded apace -- and then splashed it all over Fox News this week, credulously.

Ellen at Newshounds has the rest of the story:

The only problem? It’s not true. As ACORN has stated in its press release,

“They were not believable", said Ms. Kaelke of the two actors. "Somewhat entertaining, but they weren't even good actors. I didn't know what to make of them. They were clearly playing with me. I decided to shock them as much as they were shocking me. Like Stephan Colbert does – saying the most outrageous things with a straightface." While her sense of humor might not be funny to many people, the fact is that she spun false scenario after false scenario and the videographer ate them up.

ACORN provided a copy of a San Bernardino police report of their investigation into the “homicide” of Kaelke’s husband. The police concluded, “the claims do not appear to be factual. Investigators have been in contact with the involved party’s known former husbands, who are alive and well.”

At least Hannity had a smidgen of actual journalistic impulse enough to ask:

Hannity: Did you ever check to see if in fact she (Kaelka) had a husband that was killed?

Giles: We’re working on that.

Hannity: You haven’t gotten to the details on that.

Breitbart: Look, there’s so much stuff coming in ...

Hannity: In fairness, she could have just been --

Breitbart: She certainly does exist and if you look on the internet, you can see that she’s also involved in the other side of ACORN. So she is a community organizer in the political sense.

And these people like to fancy themselves "investigative journalists." More like ethics-deprived fanatics out to score political smear points.

Media Matters has more, plus a video too:

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