Just when you thought that activist filmmaker James O'Keefe, partner Hannah Giles, and Andrew Breitbart at BigGovernment.com had run out of ammo to direct at ACORN, they have outdone themselves.
In September, BigGov aired videos showing O'Keefe and Giles, posing as a pimp and prostitute, asking for and getting cordial help in setting up their enterprise as a deliberately income-underrporting cash enterprise from ACORN representatives in Baltimore, Washington, New York City, San Bernardino, and San Diego. This help was provided even after Giles revealed her purported plans to import underage girls as part of the enterprise.
For a month, it has supposedly been the settled truth that a similar attempt by O'Keefe and Giles in Philadelphia had failed miserably, and that the pair were "thrown out" of ACORN's office there. ACORN CEO Bertha Lewis said so on CNN. The Philadelphia Daily News's David Gambacorta reported that "they were apparently shown the door." Others playing or parroting ACORN's assertions included the Philadelphia Inquirer, the Washington Post, NPR, and the New York Times.
The press should have suspected that another shoe might drop in Philly, as ACORN made similar assertions about the pair's visits in New York and San Diego after the Baltimore and Washington vids premiered that were quickly proven utterly false. But if there was any skepticism, it was well-hidden.
Two conservative activists released a new undercover video targeting the community-organizing group ACORN on Wednesday, an attempt to reignite a simmering political controversy surrounding the Democratic-leaning organization.
The new videotape shows filmmakers Hannah Giles and James O'Keefe, posing as a prostitute and her boyfriend, soliciting advice about a possible housing loan from workers in the Philadelphia office of ACORN Housing Corp.
Previous videos showed the same pair, also posing as a prostitute and her boyfriend, visiting ACORN offices in other cities.
The Philadelphia visit is significant because of a dispute over statements ACORN has made defending what took place when Giles and O'Keefe visited the Philadelphia office last summer.
Supporters of O'Keefe and Giles said ACORN has lied about whether the two were thrown out of the Philadelphia office, how much time they spent there and whether they explicitly told ACORN workers that Giles was a prostitute.
The AP's Pete Yost certainly doesn't get it when he claims that the controversy needs to be "reignited." ACORN has suspended most services nationally, is conducting a review all of its operations, is under investigation in Louisiana because what was supposedly a $1 million embezzlement by a founder's relative may be more like $5 million, and has lost almost its credibility with all but the most hardened radicals in the U.S. House and Senate.
Oh, and another thing, Pete -- It isn't just "supporters of O'Keefe and Giles" who have "said" that ACORN has lied. The video proves it.
Yours truly has also shown (at NewsBusters; at BizzyBlog) that ACORN's supposedly impressive list of accomplishments is pathetically weak for an organization of its size and scope. And I haven't even gotten around to voter fraud, which, given what is seen in O'Keefe's and Giles's videos and its weak accomplishments in its other endeavors, may be its only real core competency.
O'Keefe leaves two interesting items hanging in the wake of his to his latest release:
- First, there's his dare -- At the BigGov post, he notes that he "muted the audio of the ACORN employees on the video released today due to ACORN’s legal attack upon us. We call upon ACORN to state publicly now that it has no objection to the public release of any its employees oral statements to us. If they are interested in the truth, why wouldn’t they do so?"
- Second, there's his call-out of the establishment press -- Near the end of the video, he asks, "Why did the Philadelphia press report that we were kicked out? Will those reporters now print corrections? Will the Washington Post print a second correction?"
If ACORN is interested in the truth, it will let O'Keefe air the full audio. I doubt it will.
If the press is interested in the truth, it will comprehensively correct its prior renderings of the Philadelphia story. I don't expect that to happen.