PLUS: Breitbart tells yet another 'provable lie'...
By Brad Friedman on 6/27/2011, 6:52pm PT  

How many times can the New York Times, the country's so-called "Paper of Record," misreport the very same story?! Even after being called out repeatedly on it? They seem to be working on breaking their very own previously set record at this point.

In the yet another puff-piece on Rightwing scam-artist Andrew Breitbart, published over the weekend, in which he's described as being "careless with facts," the Times' Jeremy W. Peters continues the paper's long and proud record of being exceedingly careless with facts themselves in reporting on the faked ACORN "pimp" videos created in 2009 by Republican activist and convicted federal criminal James O'Keefe, as published by Breitbart.

That, even as Breitbart would once again provably lie to the media --- this time to Fox "News" anchor John Stossel --- about the tapes once again just late last week....

Long-time readers of The BRAD BLOG will remember our months-long campaign last year reporting on the Times' (and other media outlets') continually misreported stories on those phony ACORN videos. They will also remember our months-long effort to convince the paper to issue corrections for the multiple stories in which they repeatedly misreported that O'Keefe was dressed as a 70s-era Blaxploitation pimp while secretly videotaping ACORN workers at offices around the country.

In fact, he never dressed that way in any ACORN office, nor did he even represent himself as a pimp, other than in B-roll footage added to the tapes later, and in media appearances where he wore the pimp get-up and asserted that he was wearing "the exact same thing" he wore in ACORN offices.

After months of one embarrassing denial after another after another, in which the paper's editors attempted to justify their blatantly inaccurate reporting, the paper's then Public Editor Clark "Weasel" Hoyt finally admitted "The Times was wrong…and I have been wrong," in their coverage on that point. They subsequently issued a partial correction to the many inaccurate stories they'd filed which eventually helped lead to the permanent closure of the four-decade old community organization.

That, even though the only crimes captured on those videos, as confirmed now by at least five separate independent investigations (see here, here, here, here and, just last week again, here) were those carried out by O'Keefe and his partner Hannah Giles in secretly video-taping workers.

While finally admitting they erred in reporting that O'Keefe was dressed as a pimp during his visits, the Times still stood by their inaccurate reporting that he had "posed as" a pimp during those visits. No, he didn't do that either. In fact, he and Giles claimed in every office that they were attempting to save her from an abusive pimp, which is why they needed a loan to purchase a house to safeguard both her, and the young girls imported by the pimp who had, according to their oft-repeated story, stolen her money and tried to kill her on several occasions.

In their latest sloppy wet kiss to Breitbart over the weekend then, the Times' Peters acknowledged their original error, noting accurately that "the Acorn videos appeared to show a man walking into Acorn offices dressed as a pimp, when in fact he was not."

Good for them! (Even though the tapes actually showed O'Keefe walking into the ACORN office not dressed as a pimp, but why quibble?)

But, of course, not satisfied with getting at least that part of the ACORN "pimp" hoax mostly correct for a change, Peters proceeds, once again, to blatantly misreport the story [emphasis added]:

Some of [Breitbart's] reader-generated scoops have reverberated all the way to the halls of the United States Capitol, such as the Weiner photos and undercover video he released of Acorn workers offering advice on how to evade taxes and conceal child prostitution.

Wrong, and wrong, Mr. Peters and New York Times.

The Breitbart/O'Keefe videos showed no ACORN workers "offering advice on how to evade taxes." In fact, they showed just the opposite. For that matter, they didn't show ACORN workers offering advice on how to "conceal child prostitution" either, though they did reveal the pair playing on the sympathies of the workers, who believed they were trying to help save both Giles and the young girls from the imaginary, if dangerously abusive, pimp.

It's easy to understand, if hardly excusable, how the Times could get the story wrong, as media outlets have been misreporting that ACORN workers advised the pair to "evade taxes," since the fake story originally broke on Breitbart's sites and on Fox "News."

O'Keefe, Giles, and Breitbart all helped the fake storyline along, naturally, because they are professional liars, even though it had been rather thoroughly debunked by a blogger who bothered to actually read the complete transcripts of each encounter with ACORN workers --- rather than relying on the "highly edited" and "severly edited" videos --- just days after they had been released in September of 2009.

But, ya know, bloggers who meticulously document everything, along with links to independently verifiable evidence, aren't nearly as credible as newspaper reporters, or repeat hoaxsters like Breitbart and O'Keefe, so little wonder the Times never bothered to notice. After all, the first excuse the Times ever gave The BRAD BLOG for not correcting their "pimp" error (in an email from their Senior Editor for Corrections, for crying out loud!) was that "Mr. O'Keefe himself explained how he was dressed --- and appeared on a live Fox show wearing what HE said was the same exact costume he wore to ACORN's offices."

"We believe him," Times Sr. Editor Gregory Brock continued, "therefore there is nothing for us to correct."

Perhaps the most cited point of reference, by those who are still gullible enough to buy into the phony storyline that ACORN advised the pair on how to evade taxes, is from the Brooklyn video introduced on Fox "News" by Giles who claimed the ACORN workers were "telling me to bury funds in the back yard so that the government or my pimp can't come steal the money."

Well, a half lie is still a lie. As we reported in great detail in March of 2010, that now-infamous incident in which an ACORN worker advised Giles to bury her cash in a tin in the backyard, was not in order to hide it from the government, but from her abusive pimp.

Here's the actual transcript of the moment, as published by O'Keefe himself:

Volda (loan counselor): Not only that but if you gonna do that type of work you got to start thinking quickly or else you are going to be abused

Hannah (Eden): which I have been

Volda (loan counselor): you have to start thinking faster than even the person who put you over there. Quick, quick, quick, you know that

Hannah (Eden): I mean I do think fast but this whole thing

Volda (loan counselor): when you buy, let me tell you something when you buy the house with a back yard. You get a tin if [your pimp] is going to come beat you and want money you get a tin and bury it down in there and you put the money right in and you put grass over it and you don't tell a single soul but yourself where it is

As you can see, with both O'Keefe and Giles in the room, after telling the ACORN worker that her pimp (not O'Keefe!) had beaten her and stolen her money, the sympathetic worker tries to offer advise on how to hide the money from the pimp, not from the government!

The other frequently cited piece of misinformation concerns the ACORN worker who advised that Hannah use the IRS code for "performance artist" when filing her taxes, since there is no code for "prostitute" on those forms.

As in all of the offices, the workers were explaining how Giles had to report her income and pay her taxes --- rather than evade them --- even if her income was from prostitution.

As blogger Shanikka at Daily Kos (a website which is probably even available to journalists at the New York Times) explained, after bothering to actually read all of the transcripts, just days after they were released in September of 2009...

The law required Giles to report her prostitution income, and that's what she was told by ACORN she had to do, if she had any hope of buying the house she said she desperately needed. Each ACORN that discussed taxes with Hannah Giles and James O'Keefe told them that they she had to file tax returns and pay taxes and that she could not borrow money to buy a house without proof she had done that for at least two years. (Washington Tr. P. 6, New York Tr. PP. 5-6, Baltimore Tr. P 16.) They tell them that Hannah Giles MUST file tax returns. They tell them that IF they want to buy the house, Hannah cannot do it, but James must do it because it's HER illegal acts, not his.

This perfectly legal tax advice never wavered.

So where is the Times evidence to support their claim that ACORN workers were captured "offering advice on how to evade taxes"? If it exists, we're unaware of it, and the Times didn't bother to cite it.

While we're at it, where is the evidence that ACORN advised how to "conceal child prostitution"?

After similarly debunking that notion, and others similar, the Daily Kos' Shanikka goes on to summarize:

  • Each and every ACORN employee was told that this situation was created because Hannah Giles was trying to free herself and others from a dangerous and abusive pimp.
  • Each and every ACORN employee was told that James O'Keefe was trying to help Hannah Giles escape.
  • Each and every ACORN employee was told that a house was desperately needed so that Hannah Giles could have a place for the girls to live when the pimp who was exploiting them and abusing and stalking Hannah Giles brought them to the country.
  • Each and every ACORN employee advised either Hannah Giles, or James O'Keefe, or both, that what they were doing could have repercussions for their futures and that they should both think about they were doing and be careful.
  • Each and every ACORN employee told Hannah Giles and James O'Keefe, directly or indirectly, that they needed to re-evaluate their stated activities in light of their futures, even as they insisted they were not judging them.

We politely notified both Peters and the Times' new Public Editor, Arthur S. Brisbane, of the errors yesterday via Twitter. (@JWPetersNYT & @ThePublicEditor) Neither of them have responded, nor has a correction been issued for the errors.

Brisbane can also be reached via email, if you're inclined to do so, via email at If you keep at it, after several months, they may issue a partial correction!

* * *

And while we're on the same lame, tired, pathetic, shameful topic --- yet again --- Breitbart himself was busy continuing to lie about the ACORN tapes just last Thursday on Fox "News." During an interview with Fox' John Stossel, Breitbart referenced "the president's vaunted community organizing group --- treating a fake prostitute and a fake pimp with service with a smile in every office."

Of course, Breitbart knows very well that, though Giles was a "fake prostitute" in the ACORN offices, O'Keefe was decidedly not.

It was amusing, if pathetic, when Breitbart took over Anthony Weiner's press conference a couple of weeks ago, and said to the adoring media throng: "The media says, ‘Breitbart lies, Breitbart lies.’ Give me one example of a provable lie ... One, journalist, one, put your reputation on the line here, one provable lie."

Of course, nobody in the room did, or even could. Perhaps because they all read the New York Times instead of The BRAD BLOG.

Had they bothered to read The BRAD BLOG, they would have known that Breitbart 'provably lied' about the ACORN "pimp" hoax years ago, when he wrote in his September 21, 2009 Washington Times column, as we detailed well over a year ago on February 17, 2010 [emphasis added]:

When filmmaker and provocateur James O'Keefe came to my office to show me the video of him and his friend, Hannah Giles, going to the Baltimore offices of ACORN - the nation's foremost "community organizers" - dressed as a pimp and a prostitute and asking for - and getting - help for various illegal activities, he sought my advice.

Of course, as Breitbart certainly knows by now --- even though he lied about it again to Stossel last week --- O'Keefe was never "dressed as a pimp" while "asking for - and getting - help for various illegal activities." Neither, of course, did O'Keefe "get help for various illegal activities."

Breitbart now says, at least to those who know the real story and bother to hold him to it, unlike Stossel, that he was fooled by O'Keefe, that he had "no idea" he wasn't really "dressed as a pimp" in those ACORN offices. That, despite saying in the same breath that he reviewed all of the edited videos as well as all of the complete audio and transcripts before they were released on his websites.

If that's true, apparently he didn't review them very closely since, as seen at right, the Baltimore tape, the first one released, includes an exterior shot of O'Keefe going into the office dressed as he was in each and every ACORN office. As the very first independent investigation [PDF] of the tapes, as released by former MA Attorney General Scott Harshbarger in December of 2009, but never reported on by the New York Times, explained, "when [O'Keefe] appeared at each and every office, he was dressed like a college student - in slacks and a button down shirt."

So was Breitbart provably lying then, or is he provably lying now?

In either case, it doesn't matter. Neither Fox "News," nor its apparent brethren at New York Times and the bulk of the rest of the corporate media don't really seem to care much about the truth, no matter how much damage their inaccurate reporting causes.

* * *

One last point... the Rightwing Newsbusters website linked above for the Stossel interview notes that Stossel claims he was offered the exclusive on the phony ACORN tapes when he worked for his previously employer, ABC News. He passed on them because, as suggested during the interview, the powers that be at ABC just wouldn't allow it for some reason.

Newsbusters, ever at the forefront of Rightwing victim-hood, takes that to mean the story didn't "fit their liberal agenda" over at Disney-owned ABC.

One would be hard-pressed to demonstrate the "liberal" agenda of the Disney corporation, but when it comes to ABC News, some day we'll get around to exposing just a few of the many stories we personally know about which they spiked because they reflected poorly on George W. Bush and the crew at the corrupt Diebold corporation.

To claim ABC didn't report on the ACORN scam tapes originally "because the story's [sic] don't fit their liberal agenda," is as laughable as the notion that con-man Andrew Breitbart has yet to tell "one provable lie."

* * *

UPDATE 6/27/11: The New York Times issues one correction to their story on Breitbart, in regard to their misreporting on the Shirley Sherrod incident, though they have yet to correct the errors in regard to ACORN as we detail above. The office of the Public Editor, however, writes to us to say they are now "looking into" that as well. Full details now here...

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