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All You Need to Know About the ACORN Scandal and Who Is Behind It

You may remember Andrew Breitbart as the proprietor of BigGovernment.com, and, apparently, babysitter for juvenile delinquents James O'Keefe and Hannah Giles, the conservative, hidden-camera-wielding duo that went undercover to obtain footage of low-level ACORN staffers.
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Andrew Breitbart says he cares a lot about the truth, but it appears that's only true when he isn't the one being questioned.

You remember Breitbart as Matt Drudge's junior partner, the proprietor of BigGovernment.com, and, apparently, babysitter for juvenile delinquents James O'Keefe and Hannah Giles, the conservative, hidden-camera-wielding duo that went undercover to obtain footage of low-level ACORN staffers.

They continued their media assault yesterday at the National Press Club. With assists from Republican Congressmen Steve King and Thad McCotter, Fox News and the aforementioned Andrew Breitbart, O'Keefe and Giles unleashed their most recent attack.

Let's review their story:

O'Keefe, dressed as a pimp, and Giles, disguised as a prostitute, visited ACORN offices where they asked for assistance purchasing a home. They claimed to have difficulty documenting income derived from the streets. But they had so much money! In fact, it wasn't just the two of them -- they had a whole crew of underage girls from El Salvador turning tricks for them. Hell, they had so much money, they needed help laundering it for the pimp's run for Congress.

Now let's tell the truth.

The truth is that O'Keefe never wore the pimp outfit into an ACORN office. Instead, he posed as a candidate for Congress that wanted to help a young woman caught in the trappings of prostitution. Supposedly, he wanted to help her, and her fellow prostitutes, escape the clutches of a brutal pimp by finding a place for them to live.

Look, the ACORN personnel aren't blameless. Some did and said some pretty stupid things and deserved to be fired. But the world in which they work is vastly different from the world most readers of this blog post recognize. CNN, Desperate Housewives, even The Wire aren't going to begin to convey the social chaos that defines the neighborhoods ACORN often serves.

Breitbart and his crew would have you believe that the ACORN staffers should have called the police when confronted with a prostitute.

I hope the staffers, at first, were celebrating. It's not often you see a prostitute assert control over her life and try to break free from a pimp. The idea that this one was trying to take a whole crew of vulnerable underage women with her must have been amazing!

In the first video below, Breitbart asks me if I'm disturbed by what I saw in the videos.

If he had let me answer, I would have told him that I perceive ACORN's mission to be helping the underserved. That I don't understand how helping women out of sexual slavery is something that deserves to be condemned. That what I'm disturbed by is the behavior being demonstrated by those up on the stage that would demonize people trying to make a real difference in people's lives.

In the end, I think I ruined their little press conference.

Evidently, it hadn't occurred to them that they might face serious scrutiny. Why, for example, does O'Keefe dress up in the ridiculous pimp garb for the bumpers of the video when he didn't wear that costume into the ACORN offices? Why is Breitbart attaching his name and credibility to someone that was kicked out of his Rutgers dorm for refusing to cease his use of racial slurs? Exactly why would Breitbart expect an ACORN staffer to call the police on a Congressional candidate trying to rescue a young prostitute from her vicious pimp?

Finally, in the second video, we learn all we need to know.

After hiding behind the lawsuit and using it as a shield to deflect questions they did not want to answer, they refuse to commit to releasing every full and unedited tape they have in exchange for ACORN dropping all of its lawsuits.

If they really wanted the truth out there, why do they need to edit these tapes in the first place? Why aren't the unedited videos already in the public domain?

UPDATE: I've been questioned regarding my sourcing for the claim that O'Keefe was kicked out of his Rutgers dorm for frequently using racial slurs.

After checking with my sources, neither of which were James O'Keefe or any of his public comments, writings or other communication regarding the matter, I do not feel compelled to change anything about my post.

You may believe I should have informed my readers that Mr. O'Keefe denies the allegations, but frankly, as a matter of my own personal judgment, Mr. O'Keefe is not credible. As such, it would be irresponsible for me to report what I consider to be O'Keefe's prevarications. I'm in the business of reporting the truth as best as I know it. "Balancing" the truth with lies is not a practice I subscribe to.

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