I really don't understand why they waited so long. I've been rooting for them to fight back for well over a year. But finally, The Association of Community Organizations for Reform Now, better known as ACORN (I'm sure you've heard of them by now), has started to fight back against Fox News and the far right's smear campaign. They may sue them, and could possibly even bring criminal charges.
The right wing fart machine's demonization of ACORN has been absolutely unfair, and if defamation laws in this country weren't so pro-defamer, they would have been called out a long time ago. Look at the number of times ACORN was mentioned in my Deconstruction of right wing health care lies for a hint. And let me assure you, ACORN has nothing to do with health care, although they might point you to a clinic, if you ask. They're nice people.
ACORN is not a subversive organization, in any way, shape or form. They are the type of organization that supports the ideals upon which this country was founded. They're advocates for people who have no other advocates. They've assisted thousands of people facing foreclosure. They offer free income tax assistance to anyone who asks for it, and in that capacity, many poor discover tax refunds and Earned Income Tax Credits they were entitled to and wouldn't otherwise know about. (I always thought right wingers liked anyone who prevented anyone from being screwed by the tax man.) And, as you have probably heard, they've registered hundreds of thousands of voters, and made sure they got to the polls, where Republican poll workers would often try to prevent them from voting.
That last one is the
real reason the right hates them, and has chosen to demonize them, you know. If the
poor actually vote in huge numbers, and their votes count, it's far more difficult for
the far right to pass their agenda, which has thus far led to the rich becoming
far richer, the poor becoming far poorer, and the middle class joining the poor
in greater numbers.
But make no mistake; the right's demonization of ACORN can't work if it's only about the poor, because most wingnuts may be white, but they don't have a pot to pee in, either. It's borne out of pure racism. The right wing fart machine uses ACORN as its example of "those people," because they can no longer get away with referring to "those n****rs" in this day and age. Their ignorant minions understand what they mean, however.
The fact that ACORN largely represents minorities is simply coincidence; blacks and Latinos are disproportionately poor. If a poor white man walks into an ACORN office looking for help, he won't be chased by an angry black man and told he's not welcome. In fact, you're treated just as courteously as anyone else. Yet, in the hands of the right wing media, you would almost swear ACORN was the stereotypical angry black militant group from the late 1960s.
The incident that turned ACORN into the favorite target of the right wing's racism was one that Fox News likes to refer to as "voter fraud," but which I call "silliness with no net effect on society." Funny thing, it was ACORN who was defrauded, yet the idiots at Fox and other right wing media outlets make it sound like ACORN screwed us.
ACORN is interested in increasing minority participation in the electoral system. In English, that means they want brothers to vote, yo. To that end, they hire people to go out into neighborhoods, hang out at shopping centers and other public areas and register people to vote. For each registration form, the worker gets a few bucks. Every few days, ACORN sends those registration forms to the state registrar, and the registrar determines the voter's eligibility and issues a registration card. In other words, the state registrar determines whether or not a registration is valid, and the voter can, in fact, vote. NOT ACORN.
Because they pay by the registration form, ACORN is sometimes the victim of a bit of shenanigans. For a few extra bucks, one of their workers will fill out a form with a fake name and fake address, because they want a few extra bucks. But here's something Fox News will never mention; it's not always the workers who falsify the registration forms. Sometimes, someone will walk by the table and decide to mess with the worker behind the table and fill out a registration form using a fake name, fake address or a combination of the two. But there's nothing ACORN can do about it. If they can determine that a worker faked a form, they can fire the worker, and perhaps report them to local authorities. But other than that, they have no choice but to turn in the forms. A registration form is a legal document; only the registrar has the authority to confirm a registration false and toss it. If ACORN had tossed out those registration forms, which Fox News and the rest of the right wing fart machine seems to think they should, they would have broken the law.
In other words, the
accusation that ACORN was involved in "voter fraud" is patently
absurd. I'd call the claims ignorant, but the right wing fart machine knows
exactly what they're doing. They know ACORN's done nothing wrong, but they need
to play to the ignorant schmucks who watch them. The only way these phony
registrations could EVER be considered "voter fraud" would be if the
REGISTRAR approved the registration for Donald Duck, and someone whose real
name wasn't Donald Duck (or Mickey Mouse or Joe Montana) actually went to a
polling place and voted. I can't be the only one who understands that it is
impossible for Mickey Mouse or Felix the Cat to commit voter fraud, right? And by the way, this is a good thing. How would you like it if your name was Donald Duck, and some ACORN worker refused to register you, because your name "seemed fake"? Does Chad Ochocinco of the Cincinnati Bengals deserve to be denied voter registration because someone at ACORN decided his name was stupid and had to be fake?
But the right took the issue and ran with it, because their dimwitted followers bought the bullshit. In the last 18 months or so, they have proceeded to use ACORN as the poster child for everything that's wrong with America. Like I said, ACORN has become synonymous with "them people" in the eyes of the ignorant right wing. Let's face it; these people are stupid enough to believe that 2 million people showed up in DC because Glenn Beck told them to.
That is not to say everyone at ACORN is perfect. When you run any relatively large organization, you're bound to have a few bad apples bob up to the surface once in a while. Occasionally some employees will demonstrate bad judgment, and do something that goes against your organization's mission. But that's really the key point, isn’t it? They are working AGAINST it; they’re not indicative of the organization as a whole.
I'm sure most of you have seen or heard about the infamous video, in which two right wing white people dressed as a "pimp" and a "prostitute" (cartoon versions, of course) go into a Baltimore ACORN office and allegedly ask for and receive specious tax advice from workers in the office. It's been all over the Internet, with right wingers galore giggling and pointing and telling us "see? This is what ACORN is all about."
You wanna hear a shocker, wingnuts? The video is a fake, and the conclusions it makes are false. Some elements happened, but they happened months ago. What the filmmakers don't reveal is that they actually pulled this same sort of scam numerous times in ACORN offices all over the country, and nothing happened until they went into the Baltimore office. They also don't tell you that the workers who gave the specious tax advice were fired by ACORN. Also, while the bad tax advice was indeed given, there is no evidence that said advice was given to a "pimp and a prostitute." Most of the questions that mention specifics about "the business" were voice-overs, added later. You can also tell by the continuous jumps and shitty edits that nothing that is said in the video can be trusted as accurate.
Now, if this was just a viral video on YouTube, it could just be laughed at. and tossed aside. But the right wing fart machine, led by Fox News, has taken it and run with it. Fox actually ran the "story" as if it was actual news. I mean, the production quality sucks, the editing is choppy, and the voice overs are distracting in their incompetence. I haven't done radio production in 25 years, but I could make better edits with a record player and a cassette recorder. Yet, because it says something about ACORN that Fox News dimwits will eat up with a spork, it's treated as news.
Finally, last Thursday, ACORN attorneys sent a letter to Roger Ailes and Fox News, demanding that Fox cease and desist showing that obviously fraudulent video and calling it news. They followed that up with another letter, noticing that the existence of the video taken in ACORN's offices was a violation of Maryland law (have these idiots ever even HEARD of Linda Tripp? In the state of Maryland, you can't record anyone without their knowledge and permission), and Fox's attempt to validate its sleazy "news" gathering at ACORN offices in Washington, DC, violated the DC Code, as well.
Finally, ACORN is going after the douches at Fox News and the right wing fart machine. All I can say is, they certainly have my support. What took you guys so long?
Make no mistake, folks. Fox News won't be able to wiggle out of this one. This will be a major test case for the right wing media. They've been smearing ACORN for a long time, and it's about time it stopped. ACORN is a great organization, with a worthwhile mission, and a few bad apples here and there doesn't change that.
Fox News has seriously put their foot in it with regard to ACORN, folks.
The last two days, the fake "news" channel has run more O'Keefe ACORN video; this time, it's video of an ACORN worker in San Bernardino who tells the two pranksters (O'Keefe and his little girlfriend) that she killed her husband. They've been running it nearly non-stop, and portraying it as real. It appeared on at least three news shows, as well as Beck's and O'Reilly's program, and everyone's using to the videos to smear ACORN.
Unfortunately for them, real journalists from San Bernardino actually did some real reporting, and uncovered some actual facts. The San Bernardino police report that all of her husbands are very much alive and well, and she didn't kill anyone. They also have the woman quoted as saying she knew the two idiots were playing her, so she played them right back, by making up a story and embellishing it.
Folks, the movie Borat had more reality in it.