ACRU

Robert Knight: ACORN, a Nut They Won’t Crack

This column originally appeared on Human Events on September 17, 2009.

I’ve been bashing the Washington Post lately and am starting to feel bad about it. So maybe if I do it a bit more, I’ll feel better.

If you were an editor, how and where would you play a story with these elements?

On Friday, Sept. 11, the U.S. Census Bureau announces that the Association of Community Organizations for Reform Now (ACORN), a major player during the 2008 election, will no longer be handling any part of the 2010 Census. On Monday, Sept. 14, the Democrat-controlled U.S. Senate votes 83 to 7 to bar ACORN from applying for HUD funding.

The actions followed the release of “sting” videos showing ACORN officials in Baltimore, Washington and New York advising what they thought was a pimp and prostitute about how to evade taxes while setting up a brothel for underage girls sex-trafficked from Central America. Four ACORN officials have been fired so far. One ACORN official advises the “prostitute” on tape that the underage hookers could be listed as “dependents” and that she’s really a “performance artist” for tax purposes. Well, why not? The National Endowment for the Arts has doled out tax money to nude “performance artists” who smear themselves with chocolate, or worse. And it fits in with the NEA’s recent scandal in which the agency got caught ordering grant recipients to do propaganda projects promoting ObamaCare.

There is so much corruption emerging from this young administration that it’s like watching a skeet trap go haywire and release dozens of clay pigeons at once. If only the media would load their shotguns and have a go of it.

Back to ACORN. Think there’s enough for a story yet? Let’s add two more facts: During the early 1990s, Barack Obama, now president of the United States, did leadership training and legal work for ACORN. You can look it up in a Winter 2003 article in the journal Social Policy entitled, “Case Study: Chicago — The Barack Obama Campaign,” by Toni Foulkes, a Chicago ACORN leader and member of ACORN’s National Association Board. Or you can read Stanley Kurtz’s excellent National Review article, “Inside Obamas Acorn,” which brought the Foulkes article to a wider audience last year.

In addition, ACORN is being investigated in at least 12 states for voter registration fraud and mishandling taxpayer money. Several people were arrested last week in Florida. Oh, and one more fact. ACORN has received more than $50 million from taxpayers since 1994, and could receive up to $8.5 billion more, according to the Washington Examiner. This is the group, remember, that has a habit of violently disrupting public meetings when not out registering voters like “Mr. Donald Duck.”

There they are, the Post editors, huddled around the big table on Monday. Hmm. They scratch their heads. Urge each other to think big, with the bloodhound instincts of Woodward and Bernstein. Result: a six-inch story on the Senate’s ACORN vote by the Associated Press — not even by a Post staff writer — buried at the bottom of page A-6. It’s two stories down from the massive run-over from yet another front page story hammering Rep. Joe Wilson (S.C.) as a closet “racist” for calling out Obama during his speech to Congress last week. Also on the front is a four-column feature on how electronic legal filing is squeezing out bicycle couriers.

This overt attempt to avoid the juiciest and most important scandal in years is not just happening at the Post, of course. As of Monday, ABC, CBS and NBC had ignored the story, according to the Media Research Center’s Dan Gainor on Fox News.com. ABC’s Charlie Gibson got caught on WLS-AM radio in Chicago on Tuesday morning admitting that his network has not covered the story because, well, “I didnt even know about it.” He actually joked that “maybe this is just one you leave to the cables.” Like Fox News Channel? For an audio clip of Gibson and all the details, click on Michelle Malkin’s website.

We are now in an era in which liberal media bias is so obvious and embarrassing that Glenn Beck, Accuracy in Media, Media Research Center and others exposing it must be getting dizzy deciding what to show next.

As for ACORN, they are rattling their swords, threatening to sue Fox News and Breitbart.com for running the video clips (according to Politico). Instead of mea culpa, it’s mea sue you.

It’s time to ask why ACORN still has a shot at receiving government money from other agencies, and why the Justice Department has not filed RICO charges. That’s the racketeering law that’s been misused against peaceful pro-life demonstrators.

To the media and their government clients, they’re the scary ones.