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|ACORN and the media|
If you ever questioned whether ACORN was a legitimate organization whose intent was above board, your questions were answered to some degree in the past week.
That much was apparent in light of evidence produced by two private citizens, who videotaped ACORN activists giving advice on how to defraud the government of taxpayer monies. More specific, ACORN "employees" in Baltimore, New York and Washington, D.C. were caught on tape giving tax advice to a man posing as a pimp and a woman posing as a prostitute. What did the tax advice concern, you ask? Well, none other than how to establish a brothel where underage girls would be employed.
Over the past 13 years, ACORN, which is short for Association of Community Organizations for Reform Now, has received more than $50 million in taxpayer funds to operate some sort of a community outreach program throughout much of the country. I'm not sure what a community outreach program is supposed to do, but I don't think giving tax advice to a pimp and a hooker is outlined in ACORN's mission statement. I could be wrong, though. After all, it is what it is.
Besides giving tax advice to a pimp and a hooker, we're fully aware of ACORN's efforts to register so-called disadvantaged people to vote. We're also aware of ACORN activists working hard to turn out those so-called disadvantaged people on election day last year where, presumably, those folks voted for Barack Obama.
Yet, it took a national television news report on Fox News to prompt the U.S. Senate to take action against ACORN. By an 83-7 margin earlier this week, the Senate voted to cut off funding for ACORN, which was in line to receive millions of dollars in 2010 through Community Development Block Grants. The money apparently would have been used to offer mortgage counseling and to operate something called a Neighborhood Stabilization Program. Nothing was said about giving out tax advice to pimps and hookers.
The fact that a Democratic-controlled U.S. Senate sided with reason in voting to shut off ACORN's money spoke volumes. Even Sen. Mary Landrieu voted to nix ACORN's finances.
That told us that even in Washington where common sense is hard to come by, activities such as those carried out by ACORN won't be tolerated. At the very least, those activities won't be tolerated as long as the people are paying attention. And the people were paying attention when the Senate voted to stick it to ACORN on Monday thanks to a news report aired by a national news organization.
That Fox News was the only news organization to devote considerable air time to the ACORN/pimp report spoke volumes, too. It was another example of the other major television networks not concerning themselves with reporting news that could be interpreted as a negative reflection of the Obama administration. Remember, Obama's presidential campaign was caught red-handed working hand-in-hand with ACORN.
It should not be interpreted, though, that I'm promoting or defending Fox News. I can tolerate only so much of it myself.
News organizations, however, that promote themselves as legitimate concerns while actively ignoring news the public should be exposed to have a serious credibility problem. The problem is their credibility will continue to erode as long as they actively ignore news items such as one Fox News aired on ACORN.
Several weeks ago, longtime CBS news anchor Walter Cronkite passed away. Regardless of Cronkite's political leanings or opinions, I was taught at a young age that Cronkite represented the gold standard in broadcast journalism circles. He was.
The men and women who fancy themselves as broadcast journalists today would do well to watch some of those old recordings of Cronkite's work. They might learn something from it.