UPDATE: According to Politico’s Ben Smith, the Bertha Lewis who went to the White House is not ACORN’s CEO but another woman named “Bertha Lewis.” I contacted Smith to tell him that Big Government would offer a correction if the “administration official” who offered the information went on record and told us who the “other” Bertha Lewis is and got the unnamed administration source to come out from behind the veil of anonymity and use his/her name. So far, according to unnamed White House sources, “different” people with the familiar names of Malik Shabazz, Jeremiah Wright and Bill Ayers were discovered on White House visitors logs. As I skeptically asked on my Twitter account, “What are the odds?”
First thing Monday morning, Smith contacted the White House and White House spokeswoman Jen Psaki came from behind her anonymous veil and confirmed for Smith, “it was a different Bertha Lewis, though she declined to share details about that visitor, citing privacy reasons.”‘
The Big Government piece did offer the caveat that it could be another Bertha Lewis:
Of course, it is possible that this isn’t ACORN’s Bertha Lewis. After a previous dump of visitor records listed the name, Jeremiah Wright, the White House said, ‘oh, that was a different Jeremiah Wright.’ The media, of course, said, ‘okay,’ and never followed up. So, maybe the Bertha Lewis listed here isn’t the CEO of ACORN. Just another Bertha Lewis who gets special weekend access to the White House Residence, complete with an extra-special staff tour. Sure, possible, but we’d love to see a bookie’s odds on that.
The headline, however, was not as vague. Since we have no information on how to hunt down the “other” Bertha Lewis — Ms. Psaki wouldn’t reveal who she is, citing “privacy concerns” — Big Government will err on the side of prudence and grant the White House its side of the story. I did ask Smith to find out biographical details on the other Wright, Ayers and Shabazz, but apparently privacy concerns apply to them, as well.
I end with this question: What is the point of the White House issuing visitor logs if those named can’t be identified and verified? “Transparency” would seem to call for nothing less, especially when those innocent people could easily be confused with the head of an organization recently defunded by Congress, a controversial preacher who shouted “God Damn America,” and an unrepentant domestic terrorist.