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09/24/2009

Comments

thefinite

If a white businessman went along with his boss' scheme to defraud investors, would you still call it "dramatulurgical"? As much as the videos look like entrapment, how hard is it really for them to say "Sorry, we can't assist you in tax fraud." While I agree that ACORN isn't all bad nuts, the people caught in the videos had multiple opportunities to exercise some ethical restraint.

davidlosangeles

Hello theinfinite,

You have obviously not read the transcripts of the "sting". The ACORN workers in question in no way assist either "James" or "Kenya" in committing fraud. The advise consisted of encouraging them to file a federal tax return (which they claim not to have done earlier) and to send any fictional Guatemalan girls staying with them to school. Hardly the sort of advice that can be construed as either fraud or conspiracy. In fact, had these two individuals in fact been criminals and actually followed this "advise" they would have ended up in jail.

jgriffin

It is an amazing stretch to twist the scenario of a pimp and prostitute seeking advice on how to buy a house to house a underage prostitution ring of El Salvadorean girls into a white vs black struggle. But I must say you did your best to ddo just that. I think your talents would be better utilized in providing cover for a worthier group. ACORN is a clearly criminal enterprise that does not bat an eye at assisting in the exploitartion of Hispanic children.... Still want to carry their water?

Kashmir Hill

"The truth is, humans do this weird thing when approached by other humans- we try to make the situation work. Erving Goffman described this behavior as dramatulurgical. In other words, every interaction is like a mini-play and we, the actors, will go out of our way to make the “definition of the situation” work."

So true, Laurie. This 'journalism' would have made for a great Candid Camera prank, and that's about it. It's really disturbing to see it put on a pedestal as great investigative reporting.

dee321

Laurie,
Excellent article. I agree with you. I find it unbelievable that an obviously amateurish video, created by two spoiled young, privileged brats, unlawfully, without permission, has been treated as authentic and has created so much harm, especially for the poor people of America that ACORN supports.

We have not seen the full, uneditted video. We do know they lied. When asked if any Acorn employees turned them away they said No. That was a lie. There is a police report to prove it.

The only thing their video shows is how low to the depths of depravity the extreme right wing pundits will go to destroy Liberals, the left, minorities, and our President.

I've been writing about this story as well. Maybe if more of us continue to write about it, people will listen to the truth. We Need to see all of the uneditted video!!

Dee Perez Scott
Immigration Talk with a Mexican American
http://immigrationmexicanamerican.blogspot.com/

Brian In NYC

Great piece Laurie, glad you touched a nerve, some nerves deserve to be touched! Of course I'm not happy that the assholes think the proper way to deal with their "touched nerves" is to abuse you. One wonders why if these people are so worried about their tax dollars being wasted they remained silent at the repeated fraud of the likes of Haliburton and such? Well one doesn't really wonder, as you said so well it's all about color. Well done and keep up the good fight!

andygeiger

Standing O, Laurie,

It was disappointing seeing Barney Frank almost talked into commending O'Keefe on Feaux News for his pseudo-gotcha-journalism (not that i watch Fox; it was a clip on Huff Post)

But yes, you are indeed right here.

Only in America, can people like Bill O'Really and Glen Blech (and O'Keefe? -sigh-) actually propose what become legitimized parameters for debate that then enter into the national 'dialogue'. They lead their pod-people followers to the tune of hatred for everything they fear (dark skin, non-sexually oppressed, women who don't take shit from macho men, and the poor) while their jobs are shipped overseas, their health unsurance bankrupts their family and their children are sent to be blown apart in a forgein desert in the name of $100 billion dollar no-bid contracts for Haliburton, et al.

Over time, the effect on our society of tolerance and engagement of these Corporate Sponsored Hate Mongering Hypocrite Artist A-Holes is a country where parents have their children taken away and put on sex offender registry for taking pictures of their kids playing in the tub?!?! The Public option is watered down and rendered meaningless because of dimwit rightwing mouthpiece liars inventing terms like 'Death Panels'?!?! And now calls for "more troops" in Afghanistan because the 'longterm safety of Americans' is hinging on our further occupation of a land that Alex the Great, Gengis Khan and the USSR could never conquer?!?!

It's enough to make one sick; i'm just glad to hear from people like you who stand up against the bullshit and call it like it is.

davidlosangeles

Hello jgriffen,

You wrote that was that the "sting" consisted of "the scenario of a pimp and prostitute seeking advice on how to buy a house to house a underage prostitution ring of El Salvadorean girls". However that is not actually what the transcripts reveal. "James" and "Kenya" never ask for advice on how to run a prostitution ring. "James" asks if prostitution is illegal in Maryland and the ACORN folks reply that it is. "Kenya" asks about buying a house and the advise they get is to file a federal tax return. When the issue of the presence of 13 Guatemalan girls is raised, the two are advised to send them to school. (0,o) That sounds really criminal.

Work.Life

I admit that I pretty much took this story at face value when I first heard it reported in the mainstream media. And you have to admit, it looks pretty bad. But I'm glad I read this article and got a new perspective. Good work, Laurie!

- Liz

Brian In NYC

Rachel did a good piece on ACORN earlier this evening, good to see some in the media with the stones to stand up the right wing slime machine.

maui

Dee Perez Scott...har har. Trust this - you who represents the "we'll come to your country in whatever numbers WE wish, take what you and your ancestors have worked for, and call you a racist if you don't want to be robbed", Laurie the communist apologist, Davidlosangeles the "I'll argue my illogical points til I drop from exhaustion" marxist....and the rest of the socialist gang on here need note one thing. At least 80% of this county disagree with you, and grow deeply disturbed and tired or your antics. Keep pushing. Keep it up. See where it leads. It will not be pretty. God help your souls if it comes to violence. I hope it doesn't, but we are approaching a point where it may be the only option. Did ya notice that "progressives" are at most 10% of the population? What psychosis would lead you to believe the other 90% would just accept your extreme views as you foist them upon us through lies and treachery, such as using the courts and extremist judges, instead of letting your stand on their merit.

Back off. For everyone's benefit - your own included.

jackreynolds

I have to go read Big Government's discussion of your post. I'm sure it'll be hilarious.

The mainstream media has been pretty shitty on this. Jon Stewart called them out for not discovering this story themselves, and I saw Huckabee spin that as Jon Stewart calling out the mainstream media for not parroting Fox quickly enough. The mainstream media's coverage was bad enough that even Bill O'Reilly has gone so far as to say that Fox and talk radio are the only good sources of news. Talk FUCKING radio.

Of course, Fox didn't do its own diligent fact-checking in this. As a graduating college student hoping to go into private investigation, I know there are laws in every state about when you can legally record conversations, and that these young ideologues would be raked over hot coals for it.

Fox could certainly have looked for police reports documenting that ACORN employees called the law on O'Keefe and Giles. Fox could also have spoken honestly about how ACORN rooted out its own voter registration fraud. Fox could also have discussed how no fraudulent voter registration ever led to a fucking fraudulent vote. Fox could do a lot of balanced reporting that it simply chooses not to do.

Either way, I'm pretty sure I'm going to volunteer as a community organizer in the future. That ACORN might not be around to register disaffected brown and black people to vote is scary enough. But the idea of a sudden purge from the system of 400,000 people who make it their business to inform poor colored folk what the system does for them is just shocking.

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