September 17, 2009

Those right-wing anti-ACORN activists tried their little trick in several cities that didn't provide them with the response they wanted - and yet, I haven't heard FOX News mention this. Hmm.

It's hard out here in Philly for a pimp.

At least, it appears that's the lesson that self-described filmmaker-activist (and graduate student at Fordham University, a Jesuit institution) James O'Keefe learned when he and cohort Hannah Giles showed up at the Philadelphia ACORN headquarters on July 24 in the middle of a probe that has touched off a conservative-media firestorm.

O'Keefe and Giles were dressed as a pimp and prostitute, just as they were during undercover visits to ACORN offices in Baltimore, Washington, Brooklyn and San Bernardino, Calif., over the summer. ACORN stands for the Association of Community Organizations for Reform Now.

Those visits were part of an investigative probe into the anti-poverty group - as ACORN staffers were secretly videotaped giving O'Keefe and Giles advice on how to hide illegal sex businesses in low-income housing. ACORN has fired three workers implicated in the films.

Giles, in a post on the Web site, said she and O'Keefe had been driven by their belief that "ACORN is corrupt" and are on "a quest for truth unraveling the mystery of organized corruption."

But when the phony pimp and prostitute tag team visited ACORN's local office, on Broad Street near Parrish, on July 24, they were apparently shown the door.

Philadelphia ACORN president Carol Hemingway said in a statement on Monday that "after causing a major disturbance, they were asked to leave the office, and a police report was filed."

Hemingway e-mailed copies of the incident report to the news media. No charges were filed against O'Keefe or Giles, and their visit to the City of Brotherly Love has not been part of a series of reports aired on the Fox News Channel.

I'm sure this will be prominently mentioned on Glenn Beck's show tonight. Right?

From today's Times:

In a statement over the weekend, Bertha Lewis, the chief organizer for Acorn, said the bogus prostitute and pimp had spent months visiting numerous Acorn offices, including those in San Diego, Los Angeles, Miami and Philadelphia, before getting the responses they were looking for.

“I cannot and I will not defend the actions of the workers depicted in the video, who have since been terminated,” Ms. Lewis wrote. But she defended the group’s overall record and said it had become “the boogeyman for the right wing and its echo chambers.”

Robert L. Borosage, co-director of the liberal Campaign for America’s Future, called the tactics used to go after Mr. Jones and Acorn “McCarthyite,” and said the critics were harping on minor failings and distorting records that over all were admirable. “This is dangerous stuff,” Mr. Borosage said. “I don’t think progressives will sit back and let this gain momentum.”

Until progressives learn to speak in plain language and effectively call out racism when they see it, of course it will gain momentum. It already has.

In the meantime, I've filed an ethics complaint against our young filmmaker friend at his school. I'll let you know what happens.

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