PHILLY VIDEO IS MORE PROOF: Liberal Smear Merchants ‘Media Matters for America’ Will Slime Anyone Who Takes on ACORN by Matthew Vadum 21 Oct 2009 post a comment Share This: Throughout the ACORN undercover sting video saga, no one has been more willing to assassinate the character of ACORN’s opponents than the hired guns at the left-wing group Media Matters for America. Headed by former journalist and confessed serial liar David Brock, the extremely well-funded Washington, D.C.-based defamation factory has gone out of its way to attack conservative activists James O’Keefe and Hannah Giles, online news entrepreneur Andrew Breitbart, and this website – the truth be damned. It's worth noting that even the New York Times describes Media Matters as a “highly partisan research organization.” Media Matters is only interested in generating a body count and won’t let facts get in the way. Nothing better illustrates the depths to which Media Matters is willing to sink in order to protect its allies and smear its opponents than its outrageously irresponsible commentary on the ACORN undercover video saga. Remember that ACORN provides the “shock troops” of the left. ACORN gets the vote out. ACORN wins elections. Those Democratic politicians who don’t love ACORN fear it – and for good reason. To the establishment left, ACORN must be defended at all costs. This helps to explain why Media Matters has lashed out so viciously at the enterprising journalists O’Keefe and Giles. The pair have steadfastly insisted that every time they visited an ACORN office and acted out the same now-familiar scenario involving a pimp and prostitute seeking ACORN’s help in establishing a brothel, ACORN employees helped them and provided advice on their make-believe illegal plans. With the release of the latest video, this time showing ACORN’s Philadelphia office offering helpful advice on the finer points of lawbreaking, Media Matters has once again been shown for what it is: a relentless attack machine determined to smear conservatives at all costs. Slime first; ask questions later. It turns out O’Keefe and Giles were telling the truth, but barely a word of truth has escaped the lips of Media Matters and ACORN. Now that what really happened in Philadelphia has been revealed, let’s recap and break down what Media Matters has said about ACORN’s Philadelphia story and about the undercover sting video operation in general. In a Sept. 17 blog post titled, “Police report filed by ACORN exposes false claims by individuals behind videos,” Media Matters uncritically accepted ACORN’s version of events even after a series of damning videos showing ACORN’s illegal conduct in cities across America had already been released to the public. The Media Matters post states However, in a newly released video, ACORN Housing Corp.’s Katherine Conway Russell directly rebuts those claims, citing a police report ACORN filed as evidence that she asked the filmmakers to leave the ACORN office in Philadelphia and called the police after the filmmakers asked suspicious questions. The Philadelphia video shows that no one working for ACORN ejected O’Keefe or Giles from the office or asked them to leave. If the Philadelphia police complaint depicted in the blog post was actually filed, that fact still doesn’t establish much because the video shows ACORN cooperating. If ACORN called the police, it was only after O’Keefe and Giles departed, which was long after ACORN bent over backwards to counsel the couple on establishing a brothel. The only time in the video the ACORN employee discusses the police is to assure O’Keefe and Giles that she wouldn’t call the police to turn them in. The only false claims on record are those that have been made knowingly by ACORN and Media Matters. Media Matters rushed to protect ACORN in a Sept. 18 blog post titled, “Wash. Post ignores ACORN filmmakers’ credibility problems,” in which the media criticism shop compounds the damage it previously tried to inflict on the reputation of O’Keefe and Giles. The blog item claims that the Washington Post in its coverage of the ACORN video saga “ignored facts which undermined the conservative filmmakers’ credibility.” Media Matters said Some of the videotapes may have been taken illegally. The Post did not report that in secretly videotaping their conversations with ACORN employees, O’Keefe and Giles may have violated state criminal statutes in Maryland and California. Media Matters can’t seem to get over the fact that rules of evidence used in courtrooms don’t apply in journalism. If a journalist smuggles a fake weapon through airport security in order to expose weaknesses in baggage screening processes, doesn’t society benefit from the enterprise? Journalism is about truth-telling, not about putting people behind bars (though if there were any justice in the world, ACORN’s leadership would be in prison). Even if the secret videotaping was illegal, how does that single fact undermine the credibility of the filmmakers? Moreover, how is the concept of credibility even relevant here? The camera doesn’t lie. The videotapes shot by the couple show that ACORN employees were only too willing to facilitate criminal conduct. None of the ACORN workers shown in any of the videos released to date appear to have any moral reservations about helping a pimp and prostitute engage in illegal activity. Media Matters repeats the tiresome credibility allegations Sept. 24 and jumps the shark on Sept. 27 by accusing Chris Wallace of Fox News of trying to “salvage” O’Keefe’s credibility. In an Oct. 16 rant, Jamison Foser shrugged off the videos. “[S]ome conservative activists induced a statistically insignificant number of the organization's low-level employees to behave badly,” he wrote. By the way, Foser is so far to the left that he thinks “Hardball” host Chris Matthews is a rabid right-winger. He refers to the TV talk show host as the “Clinton-hating, liberal-bashing misogynist Chris Matthews.” Foser used to be research director at the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee (DCCC). On Sept. 28, Eric Boehlert refers to the “marginal ACORN story.” Boehlert claimed on Sept. 29 the videos were “not really journalism at all.” And then there’s this spin-doctoring from Sept. 20 and this bizarre subheading in a Sept. 22 post, “Ignoring mitigating facts, [Fox’s Megyn] Kelly previously suggested entire ACORN organization should be punished.” Is Megyn Kelly a broadcast journalist or a judge in a criminal court? What does the legal concept of mitigation have to do with journalism? Is it Kelly’s job to try to make ACORN look good? I could go on but I think you get the point. Finally, one of the very few items Media Matters posts about ACORN that’s worth reading is a Sept. 24 post by Boehlert in which he reposts a passage from a column by Slate.com media critic Jack Shafer. Shafer excoriates the mainstream media for ignoring the ACORN story. Boehlert highlights this passage from Shafer’s article: The liberal advocacy group Media Matters for America complains that the ACORN videos, which aren’t a “major story,” are driving an “incomplete, misleading” media stampede. But Media Matters is wrong. Independent news organizations, including the Washington Post, the New York Post, and the Baltimore Sun, are chasing the ACORN story not because they've been bamboozled by the Breitbart exposé but because the dress-up stunt has pointed them toward what could be fertile grounds for wrongdoing. Indeed, Media Matters is wrong and this latest undercover video is a devastating blow to the George Soros-backed organization’s credibility.