Academia-Gate: Peter Dreier, ACORN, Revisionism, 'Cry Wolf,' and Academic Whores

ACORN’s radical allies are now attempting to rewrite history to cast the organized crime syndicate as victim instead of as the prolific victimizer that it has been ever since it was created in 1970. ACORN online campaign director Nathan Henderson-James served notice in February that a propaganda effort was about to begin.

“[T]here will be a fight over the narrative of ACORN’s demise,” he wrote to members of Townhouse, a discussion forum run by Matt Stoller, senior policy adviser to Rep. Alan Grayson (D-Fla.). The other side wants “a narrative about the corruption of popular organizations and how they are simply vehicles for the personal enrichment and power fantasies of their top staff members while pushing public policies that destroy middle America.”


Such a narrative must be fought, Henderson-James argued, because it “gives people pushing a pro-corporate agenda a way to tar progressives and even non-progressive Democrats running for office with the ACORN brush.”

The effort was already underway when Henderson-James reached out to the leftist community. After ACORN’s national board expelled ACORN founder Wade Rathke for engineering an eight-year cover-up of a million dollar embezzlement, Rathke wrote a combination political memoir/manifesto called Citizen Wealth. More recently, Seeds of Change, an institutional hagiography of ACORN by true believer John Atlas was published.

And now comes the “Cry Wolf” Project, a push to encourage academics to help spread more lies about the corrupt group.

Heading the push is Peter Dreier, a politics professor and director of the urban and environmental policy program at Occidental College, alma mater of America’s Community Organizer-in-Chief.


Dreier is, in a sense, both pimp and whore. Many university professors sympathize with socialists and communists and other America-haters, but few prostitute themselves for their causes as blatantly as Dreier. Long ago Dreier subjugated truth to his own politically correct ideology.

This academic-for-hire who has spent much of the last few years as a paid shill for the organized crime syndicate, ACORN, is now heading a leftist propaganda-masquerading-as-scholarship drive, as Patrick Courrielche has noted. (Find the other “Cry Wolf” stories on Big Journalism here.)

After ACORN’s Henderson-James urged fellow radicals to help create a pro-ACORN counter-narrative, Dreier began distributing a request for proposal that seeks help “in an important project in the battle with conservative ideas.” To Dreier, ACORN can do no wrong – and no tactic is too loathsome.


After his paying customer ACORN was caught red-handed on video condoning and offering to assist in the sex trafficking of underage girls, the left-wing careerist tastelessly compared the poverty pimping victimizers at ACORN to the persecuted Jews of the Third Reich in a lame knockoff of Pastor Martin Niemoeller’s famous “First They Came For..” meditation. Entitled “First They Came for ACORN,” the Huffington Post op-ed begins:

First Big Business, Glenn Beck, Rush Limbaugh, Sean Hannity, Bill O’Reilly, Lou Dobbs, the Religious Right, the Wall Street Journal, Mitch McConnell, and Karl Rove came for ACORN, and the Democrats did not speak out — because they were not ACORN.

Then they came for SEIU, and the Democrats did not speak out — because they were not SEIU.

Then they came for the Apollo Alliance, and the Democrats did not speak out — because they were not the Apollo Alliance.

Then they came for the Center for American Progress, and the Democrats did not speak out — because they were not the Center for American Program. [sic]

And so on: You get the idea. It’s Dreier’s cute little way of calling all of ACORN’s critics Nazis.

02First_they _came

As ACORN’s chickens came home to roast last fall after the undercover videos surfaced, Dreier was on the “Rachel Maddow Show,” lying through his teeth, claiming ACORN was a victim of a massive conspiracy perpetrated by big business and the Republican Party. He even claimed that the group, which did everything in its power to force banks to lend money to uncreditworthy borrowers, had tried to prevent the subprime mortgage crisis. Now that’s chutzpah!

Dreier has a long radical pedigree. He’s previously worked with Saul Alinsky‘s Industrial Areas Foundation. He takes credit for writing the Community Housing Partnership Act, legislation sponsored by Congressman Joseph Kennedy and Senator Frank Lautenberg, which became part of HUD’s HOME program, created under the National Affordable Housing Act of 1990. This legislation provides federal funds to community-based non-profit housing development organizations.

Dreier’s been a player in the poverty industry for years. Who better to help ACORN airbrush its real history from the public record, and spearhead a new leftist propaganda campaign under the guise of disinterested academic scholarship?

“Crying wolf,” indeed.


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