Brad Friedman is going to be so upset.
For literally weeks now, he has been crusading for the New York Times to correct a trivial detail about the ACORN videos. And he has been trying to argue — as dishonestly as he knows how — that this trivial detail somehow undermines the whole ugly ACORN mess uncovered by Hannah Giles and James O’Keefe.
Well, it turns out that Clark Hoyt agrees on the trivial detail, but understands that the bigger picture is not undermined:
Acorn’s supporters appear to hope that the whole story will fall apart over the issue of what O’Keefe wore: if that was wrong, everything else must be wrong. The record does not support them. If O’Keefe did not dress as a pimp, he clearly presented himself as one: a fellow trying to set up a woman — sometimes along with under-age girls — in a house where they would work as prostitutes. In Washington, he said the prostitution was to finance his future in politics. A worker for Acorn Housing, an allied group, warned him to stay away from the brothel lest someone “get wind that you got a house and that your girlfriend is over there running a house of women of the night. You will not have a career.”
He said that in many more places than Washington, but Hoyt has the essence of it right. Yes, the New York Times botched a trivial detail about the videos: whether O’Keefe was dressed as a pimp inside the ACORN offices. Yes, their defense was pathetic.
And no, Brad Friedman and Eric Boehlert, none of it matters to the essence of the story in the slightest. Back to Hoyt:
[T]he most damning words match the transcripts and the audio, and do not seem out of context. Harshbarger’s report to Acorn found no “pattern of illegal conduct” by its employees. But, he told me: “They said what they said. There’s no way to make this look good.”
Well, sure there is, Mr. Harshbarger. It’s just that you have to lie to do it.
Friedman has been doing that for weeks. You just have to open up your imagination.
UPDATE: Friedman puts on his brave face and tries to declare victory, here. He “proves” that O’Keefe did not pose as a pimp by citing every instance of the word “pimp” and showing that O’Keefe was referring to someone else. Friedman thus does his usual sleight of hand where he wishes away the wall of evidence that O’Keefe said he sought to set up a house for Giles and underage girls to turn tricks and give him the proceeds for his Congressional campaign.
Unlike Friedman’s gullible readers, Hoyt has actually familiarized himself with the source evidence. He has read the transcripts and listened to the unedited audio, and Hoyt thus understands that the edited videos did not misrepresent the context of the most damning quotes from ACORN workers.
This is why Hoyt previously referred to Friedman as someone with a “political agenda” whose characterization of what happened on the ACORN videos is “not credible.”
Friedman will probably use Hoyt’s article as a springboard for another 3 weeks of whining, petitioning, and incessant yapping about this non-issue. Yap, yap, yap, yap, yap. The main thing that separates Friedman from an annoying barking dog is that dogs don’t know how to lie.