In re-researching the ACORN scandal for my letter to Nick Goldberg, I ran across something interesting that I had missed before. Apparently, Giles and O’Keefe went to ACORN in Los Angeles — and an L.A. Times columnist implies they got kicked out.
By contrast, Breitbart says they didn’t get kicked out anywhere.
Someone is going to end up with egg on their face. Who do you think it will be? Breitbart? Or the L.A. Times columnist?
If I were a betting man, I know which way I’d bet.
When the ACORN San Diego video was released, Andrew Breitbart said on “Hannity”: “There’s no place, as ACORN tried to state, that kicked them out based upon the premise that they were doing something nefarious.”
In a September 23 column, L.A. Times columnist James Rainey — arch foe of Fox News — tried to prove otherwise. [Read the next sentence in a singsong voice, like people use when they make statements that they have to make, but that they think are really unimportant. — P] OK, sure, fine, a few bad apples tried to advise O’Keefe and Giles about how to successfully pimp out 13-year-old El Salvadorian girls. But, Rainey wrote, the scandal is not as bad as portrayed by those unreliable conservatives. For example, Rainey wrote:
[V]isits to other ACORN offices have gone almost entirely unmentioned. Lavelle Stewart, a fair-housing coordinator in the group’s Los Angeles office, told me this week that she tried to get the “prostitute,” who claimed she had been beaten by her pimp, to go to a women’s center.
“The fact she was not taking the help I offered her made me think something was not right,” Stewart said. “It raised a red flag.”
So, I guess O’Keefe and Giles hit ACORN in L.A., huh? And I guess ACORN in L.A. is claiming to be squeaky clean, huh?
That’s evidently how Media Matters took Lavelle Stewart’s claims, in a post titled LA Times report further undermines ACORN videographers’ credibility.
Surely, though, Lavelle Stewart wouldn’t claim to be squeaky clean when she isn’t, knowing that whatever she said is on tape. After all, nobody lies when they know they’re on tape, right? Wrong — as we found out in Philadelphia, when ACORN worker Katherine Conway Russell went on TV and lied about a) whether prostitution had been mentioned; b) whether Giles and O’Keefe were kicked out; c) whether Giles was dressed unusually; and d) whether she gave any help to Giles and O’Keefe.
In a butt-covering move, ACORN even filed a false police report claiming that O’Keefe had caused a “verbal disturbance” — something clearly belied by the tape.
Katherine Conway Russell’s mistake, apparently, was believing that because Breitbart hadn’t released the tape, he didn’t have anything on her. What she apparently didn’t realize is that Breitbart has been dribbling this stuff out, giving rope to people like her, who dutifully hang it around their necks with false statements that they think can’t be disproved.
I wonder if Lavelle Stewart is making the same mistake. I wonder if James Rainey is going to end up looking really stupid when all is said and done.
I guess we’ll find out, eventually. But I’ll say this: when Breitbart categorically states that no ACORN office kicked out Giles and O’Keefe for doing something nefarious, I believe him. Which means that my money is on Rainey looking stupid.
P.S. Did Rainey contact Breitbart, Giles, or O’Keefe for his column? He didn’t say that he did, so I assume not. But just to make sure, I have written Rainey and Breitbart to ask. I’ll let you know what they say, if anything.