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O'Reilly and Beck: We Don't Know If ACORN Has Done Anything Wrong . . . But Whatever It Is, It's Huge!

Reported by Ellen - May 28, 2009 -

Guest blogged by Julie

Breaking news! I've just learned that many Republican Congress-people might be patronizing the same Washington, D.C. bank, and the money being funneled into that bank from Republicans in Congress could amount to hundreds of thousands of dollars, maybe millions, maybe even billions. Not only that, but we've also learned that many of the Republicans in Congress could be using the same teenage babysitter, and they might be funneling an enormous amount of money to her, too. Our attempts to interview her have been unsuccessful, but it could be corruption on a major scale here – same bank, same babysitter? We need to follow this money trail – it might be an enormous story.

Okay, I made all that up – but I presented just as much substantiated evidence there as Bill O'Reilly and Glenn Beck did on The O'Reilly Factor on May 25, 2009 (a recycled segment) about their investigation into ACORN's “money trail.” With video.

O'Reilly led off with, “We have been looking at the far-left group The Association of Community Organizations for Reform. Now, better known as ACORN. . . We sent Factor producer Dan Bank down there, and they weren't happy to see Dan.” Given Fox News' zeal for bashing ACORN, who could blame them?

Cut to a clip of Bank shoving a microphone in someone's face. “We just have a couple questions,” Bank persisted. “We want to know what's going on at Elysian Fields Avenue.” Come on, is it crack, opium, X, tell us, how do you seduce the masses of the poor and downtrodden?

O'Reilly brought in a smirking Glenn Beck, “who is also investigating ACORN.” Left unsaid by O'Reilly was – why ACORN? Why not investigate Catholic Charities USA? Why not UNICEF? Even the NAACP doesn't feel the love from O'Reilly like that. I mean, for example, in September 2008 a bookkeeper for the non-profit organization Catholic Charities was indicted for stealing $185,000 from the organization. Isn't that news? Worthy of some in-depth O'Reilly and Beck investigation? Follow that money trail, guys!

“Now,” O'Reilly began, “I want you to explain to the folks why this is important to Americans, why should they care about this community activist group?”

“Because it's not just a community activist group,” Beck replied ominously. “It's about 270 organizations, it goes to the power centers of unions all the way to Congress to the White House. This is a huge story of corruption, and nobody really seems . . . I mean, everybody is covering, kicking dirt over the tracks. New York Times, they threw you under the bus . . . .” Ah, the NY Times story that was supposedly “booted” by editors, about ACORN's ties to the Obama campaign. Well, let's start with the prime whistleblower, former ACORN employee Anita Montcrief, fired for using a company credit card for personal use which, yeah, constitutes theft. I previously posted on this New York Times story – and the reasons it was killed – here. And NY Times' Clark Hoyt wrote about the “tip that didn't pan out” here, and specifically mentioned O'Reilly's incomplete account of this story.

O'Reilly, ostensibly playing devil's advocate, said, “Let's define ACORN for people who don't really know what it is. It's a community grassroots organization . . . and they basically register people to vote, they count people for the census, they try to get favorable mortgages for the poor people – they're working for the poor people.”

“No,” Beck said forcefully, “What they're doing is they're taking poor people off the street, roping them in, getting them to be volunteers – and I mean, not just poor people . . . .”

“Volunteers to do what?” challenged O'Reilly.

“To go and register people, but they put pressure on them,” Beck insisted. “You bring back 21 signatures and if you don't bring back 21, you're fired.” Okay, Beck, where's your evidence of this? Surely you have an ACORN higher-up waiting in the wings to corroborate this allegation. An ACORN worker, maybe? Former? Someone with an axe to grind, even? Shoot, give us something here besides your “I'm-not-a-reporter” say so.

“So it's like the Moonies or the Hare Krishnas,” O'Reilly replied, apparently satisfied with Beck's unsubstantiated smear and taking it a step further. “Where they get people in and they say, you'd better sell this amount of flowers today . . . .”

“This is why you have so many fraudulent registrations,” Beck agreed. Proof, Beck, proof – it's what “fair and balanced” discussions present when they make these kinds of accusations.

“Okay, now, do they get paid per signature, per voter sign-up? Why the pressure on these people to get people to sign up to vote?” O'Reilly asked.

“Because,” Beck said, “ACORN does get money, they get money for X number of people that are registered.” Money from whom, Beck? Who pays ACORN? Again, why not tell us your source for your accusation that ACORN itself gets paid for registering people to vote?

“All of their community activism, ACORN's activism, leads to payments by the state and other left-wing groups, George Soros' group,” O'Reilly alleged. “Now, the money trail . . . is now down to New Orleans, and we went down there and again, we'll show you what we have tomorrow, because we're taking a little bit of time to just lay it out so you know the enormity of the money . . . because we're talking about millions of dollars here, all going into a little house on Elysian Avenue.” Well, so what if ACORN receives funding from Soros? It also received more than $13 million dollars from the Bush administration, while the Republicans, who were in power for most of that time, sat and watched Bush hand out the dough with nary a scream among them.

As video rolled of Bank entering the building, Beck said, “This is an old funeral home, where he's going in right now . . . 270 organizations or thereabout all have their address . . . .”

“The money all goes in there,” O'Reilly stated.

“They call it the shell game,” Beck said. Ah, yes, that sleight of hand to perpetrate fraud. Well, when laying out serious allegations like that, Beck, you'd better be able to back it up. Prove it to me. Now would be good.

“So you think that this is another Moonie operation . . . gets this big religion thing going on with thousands of disciples, he becomes fabulously wealthy, these Krishna people the same thing. You believe that this is what this is about.” Okay, O'Reilly, who's the “Reverend” at the top, then? Who's raking in all the dough? And this Moonie and Hare Krishna connection – is Michelle Bachmann whispering conspiracy theories into your headset during your broadcast, maybe that ACORN is taking young people in buses to an ACORN education camp and holding them hostage there, making them grow vegetables and panhandle and learn to write “Mickey Mouse” on voter registration cards? I mean, come on, the Moonies? Reverend Sun Myung Moon used religion to rope people in, and got rich from his followers (before going on to found The Washington Times, former employer of Fox's Major Garrett, Bill Sammon and current employer of frequent guest Tony Blankley, and more). Again, who's the person at the top of ACORN reaping all the rewards at the expense of the faithful followers?

“I don't know what this is, Bill,” Beck admitted, “but I will tell you this, that I think there are people that are in Congress that have been silenced. They're not looking into it.” So, given the allegations you've leveled, surely you guys have George Soros on deck to talk about how much funding his organizations contribute to ACORN, right? Maybe somebody from Congress, at least? Or are they tied up and gagged by ACORN to keep them from talking?

“Well, it's a liberal group . . . .” O'Reilly let the obvious “liberals are corrupt” thought trail off.

“There is enough reason to look into this,” Beck insisted. Could be, could be, I just haven't heard yet what those reasons are – and you guys don't seem in any hurry to inform me, either.

“The Attorney General is never gonna look into this,” O'Reilly stated, not bothering to mention exactly what Attorney General Holder would focus an investigation on in the first place. And, hey, this is the #1 cable news show in the country, right? Wouldn't it be easy for the Factor producers to get the Attorney General himself to come on the program to speak for what he will or won't investigate? Um, has he even been invited? Bill? Glenn?

“There are people that are involved in this one. This one . . . I have no idea how big, who's making money. I don't think it ends in New Orleans,” Beck said ominously. I haven't figured out what “it” is yet! And yeah, I kind of gathered that you guys have no clue who's making the big dough in the ACORN organization – but damn, you two somehow just know it's gotta be big. Come on, work with me here.

“No, that's where the money goes, now where does it go from there?” O'Reilly queried. “ . . . the New York Times killed the story linking ACORN directly to the Obama campaign, we exposed that on the Factor and they attacked me . . . .” See, now, O'Reilly, if you'd been “Fair and Balanced” and put all the facts out there for public consumption . . . well, never mind, moot point.

“There's no way that the NY Times is going to expose these people either.” Beck argued, conveniently ignoring a number of not-so-flattering articles about ACORN published in the Times.

“Well, tomorrow we're gonna lay out the money trail and maybe they will.”

Possibly corruption, could be millions of dollars, maybe the money trail ends here, maybe it starts there, I don't know, we're just asking, nobody knows for sure, I have to wonder -- and there's a story -- unsubstantiated smears against the left -- Fox News style.

If you can't view the video below, here's a link.