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Glenn Beck proudly announces that Fox reported on ACORN … ACORN . . . ACORN . . . x 133

Reported by Julie - September 14, 2009 -

I recently posted that Fox News has been, well, a little disingenuous in its reporting on the recent ACORN scandal. It wasn’t that Fox hadn’t covered it – in fact, Glenn I’ve-Lost-50%-Of-My-Ad-Revenue Beck announced proudly today (9/14/09) that Fox has reported on ACORN corruption 133 times. Yowza! With video.

As I perused the videos on Fox today, I was astonished to run across one that said, “ACORN strikes back: Scandal-plagued group threatens lawsuit.” Hmm, I thought. Will we see reports by the Baltimore State’s Attorney’s office about its investigation; a response from Roger Ailes to the “cease and desist” letters he received from ACORN’s attorneys; an interview with an ACORN supporter? I got really excited, and fired up the video.

Oh. Well. That headline was certainly deceptive. In fact, it was only Beck and my Examiner colleague, Washington Examiner Kevin Mooney, embarking on another ACORN smear-a-thon.

“We can’t pass another bill,” Beck said to Mooney, “Anything, until the cards are face up on the table and we find out exactly who’s around the President and who is controlling what in Washington . . . ACORN, I mean, just last week applied for another grant, did they not?” Fox News has really got to come up with some new smear campaigns – I mean, the whole Obama-Hearts-ACORN thing died a certain death before he was elected.

Mooney acknowledged that, yes, “They’re still applying for funding even while these scandals are still breaking.” Well, funding for a digital project to “bridge the internet gap for low-income people” seems pretty innocuous – unless Mooney and Fox think that the workers on this project might give the low-income people advice on how to set up, I don’t know, a Ponzi scheme how-to site and claim it on their taxes as a cooking site or something. Wait, paranoia does crazy things to people, so they probably do think that – never mind.

Beck gave some rambling chess analogy where the pawns don’t matter, the only thing that really matters is the king, and in ACORN the king is a white guy sitting there, doesn’t matter if everybody else is mowed down. Whaaaat?

“They will throw anybody under the bus . . .,” Mooney concurred. “The idea that these tapes were doctored or edited doesn’t even pass the laugh test . . . ACORN just went out and hung themselves on these tapes . . . .” Oh, is this the lip-service to the headline? A passing mention – if it can be called that -- of ACORN’s accusations that the videos were doctored followed by a smear? And, unless Mooney’s a lawyer with the Baltimore State’s Attorney’s Office, it might behoove him to wait until that investigation is complete – or until ACORN files suit against Fox and the “pimp and prostitute” and THAT investigation is complete -- to deny that the tapes were doctored, or that the stars of the film, Hannah Giles and James O’Keefe, did nothing wrong.

Beck moved on to another ACORN-being-bad topic, saying, “These people . . . they harassed H&R Block . . . tell the H&R Block story real quick.”

Mooney was happy to comply, saying, “Well, this is part of the Muscle for Money Campaign . . . where ACORN sends activists . . . funded by the SEIU union . . . to shake down corporations to give them these different loans . . . H&R Block actually settled for a large amount . . . .” This “shake down” action was actually ACORN’s efforts to “curb refund anticipation loans (RALs). In January 2004, ACORN organized protests at H&R Block offices in more than 50 cities around the country. It’s ‘Don't Be a Blockhead’ campaign is designed to bring attention to interest rates and high fees that ACORN says exploit the working poor in the low income neighborhoods where many H&R Block offices are located. This effort has received broad national media coverage.” In addition, as reported by the Washington Examiner, “Eventually, H&R Block agreed to pay for the establishment of tax centers for the benefit of ACORN officials and members in exchange for stopping the protests . . . .” Gosh, ACORN must be a really good muscler to coerce a huge company like H&R Block to just hand over some loot, even when it did nothing wrong.

Beck responded, “Now, ACORN is giving tax advice and we’ve seen the fruits of that labor.” What we’ve seen is one video that may have been edited and may, in fact, be a lie. And, as reported by Consumer Action in 2006, ACORN offered free tax assistance in 75 cities (and continues to offer free tax help). Its services include electronic filing of tax returns, assisting low-income tax filers in getting the Earned Income Tax Credit, and saving taxpayers money on the Refund Anticipation Loans and tax preparation fees.

“And they have financial experts standing behind them too,” Mooney said – as if this is a bad thing. “I think the teachers’ unions especially really need to take a hard look at their support for ACORN . . . they’re subsidizing what turns out is very dangerous behavior on the part of ACORN, they’ve become a receptacle potentially for human trafficking.”

Now, call me crazy, but a couple of workers in Baltimore who are accused by a couple of right-wingnuts – who may, in fact, have doctored a videotape showing “proof” -- of giving tax advice to a fake pimp and prostitute on how to set up a brothel and also claim underage hookers as dependents doesn’t exactly equate to human trafficking – even if true. If that’s the standard, Fox News should be shut down as a kiddie porn outlet and a sexual harassment mill.