I was just watching tonight's The Rachel Maddow Show on MSNBC, specifically her excellent coverage of the latest in the scandal of the ACORN "pimp" videos fabricated by right-wing media darling James O'Keefe. Remember those videos Fox News (and others) kept running that showed a guy dressed as a fur-lined caricature of a pimp, going into an ACORN office and asking how to smuggle 13-year-olds into the country to use as child prostitutes? Yeah, totally fake, as it turns out. ACORN did absolutely nothing wrong, if you watch the unedited footage, and was repeatedly cleared of any wrongdoing by multiple federal, state, and local official investigations. The joke may yet be on O'Keefe, although ACORN is unable to laugh from beyond the grave. O'Keefe's own videos, both the edited and unedited versions, are prima facie evidence that O'Keefe appears to have violated California Penal Code, Section 632. O'Keefe is now being sued by Juan Carlos Vera, the San Diego Acorn employee shown in one especially fake-damning section of O'Keefe's fake video.
The California Attorney General released the unedited video at the conclusion of his investigation. It turns out that, not only did Mr. Vera do nothing wrong — he did not in any way, as O'Keefe and his accomplice claimed, offer to help smuggle child prostitutes into the country. In fact, he did exactly what we would hope for any responsible citizen to do in his position: he gathered as much specific information as he could about the human-smuggling operation O'Keefe claimed to be planning and immediately reported that information to the police. If there had been any actual children in danger, Vera's action would have aided in their rescue.
Not only Fox News, but also many major figures of the national Republican Party, took O'Keefe's edited video at face value and used it to bludgeon anyone who might try to defend ACORN against the demonstrably false accusations. Ultimately, ACORN was so politically radioactive that it was unable to keep its doors open. ACORN was destroyed by LIES, including many lies told long before James O'Keefe, but in some measure by the lies initiated by James O'Keefe and his accomplice.
I guess I just never noticed that footnote on the Ninth* Commandment (*Eighth if you're Catholic or Lutheran):
"Thou shalt not bear false witness against thy neighbor, unless he is a liberal." — God, via Moses, via the "Traditional Values" crowd at the Grand Old Fox News PartyLastly, I thought I'd assemble a quick summary of Rachel's coverage over the months, particularly for the benefit of the Fox News crowd, who remain for the most part blissfully unaware even of the fact that O'Keefe's charges against ACORN were flatly false.
- 2010-04-01 Los Angeles Times item on California Attorney General's ACORN report
- 2010-04-02 Let them eat fake (includes "Rachel Re:" video segment and transcript link, also dealing with the "Climategate" fake-scandal and various other bits of Republican fake-outrage); links from the broadcast
- 2010-04-06 Context, lies and videotapes — Attorney General clears ACORN in California
- 2010-04-07 Context, lies and videotapes: The real Acorn story
- 2010-06-10 Preshow homework: Acorn (sorta) — link to CA AG's report (PDF)
- 2010-06-20 The Hill reports GAO clears ACORN — link to GAO report (PDF)