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Hannah Giles Caught Lying On The Air About Anti-ACORN Videos And Fox News And Hannity Failed To Notice

Reported by Ellen - November 17, 2009 -

What a coincidence that just as ACORN sued the federal government to restore its funding, James O’Keefe and Hannah Giles have come up with a new round of anti-ACORN sting videos. Not surprisingly, Sean Hannity and Fox News showcased one of them last night (11/16/09) and promised more “devastating” videos to come later in the week. So far, the latest “devastation” is underwhelming. Last night’s video consisted of two brief clips of an employee from ACORN’s Los Angeles office refusing to help O’Keefe and Giles with their “prostitution ring.” As Hannity, O’Keefe and Giles crowed that this was the only employee who had failed to help them, Hannity overlooked the fact that a) other ACORN employees had failed to help them and b) Giles had claimed on a previous show with Hannity that “not one” ACORN office had refused to help them. Hannity also neglected to follow up on Giles’ dubious statement, made on Hannity two months ago, that she had been “working on” verifying whether or not an ACORN employee in San Bernardino had been telling the truth when she boasted in their film about having killed her husband. In fact, a police report has supported the employee’s claim that she had pulled the legs of the scammers because she knew they were fakes. With video.

The segment began with two brief clips from the latest video. An ACORN employee named Felix Harris was shown saying he didn’t care if O’Keefe and Giles had a prostitution business. “When you come to the class... I'm telling you, it doesn't matter to us what you do... (your prostitution business) don't mean nothing to me. My concern is to give you the information how to go out and access the loan." Hannity broke in and said, “Believe it or not, Felix Harris was the only ACORN employee who refused to assist James and Hannah in setting up a prostitution ring… but that was only after under-age girls were mentioned.” Then we saw another clip of Harris saying, "They have to be legitimate... No bank is going to finance an illegitimate business... ACORN do not do anything illegitimate." The rest of the video is no more enlightening. There are the two disjointed clips followed by a recap of “highlights” from their previous videos (including Tresa Kaelke, the employee who claimed she had killed her husband, presented without a disclaimer).

It’s hard to know what really happened with Harris. We did not see him changing his mind. We only saw him first saying he didn’t care who took his class and then saying that neither a bank nor ACORN would finance their business. It begs the question, what’s missing from the video and why didn’t O’Keefe include the entire encounter?

It may be literally true that no other employee refused to assist the two scammers in “setting up a prostitution ring,” but it has already been proven that several ACORN employees have not cooperated with O’Keefe and Giles. In addition to Kaelke in San Bernardino whose claim about killing her husband tends to verify her claim that she knew the two were phonies and was playing along (as opposed to seriously trying to help their prostitution business), ACORN’s Philadelphia office became suspicious of the two and, after telling them to leave, filed a police report. The employee in question has posted a video on YouTube explaining what happened. But I have yet to see her version of events given to the audience of the “we report, you decide” network’s audience. There was also the dubious “propositioning” of Giles from a man at ACORN’s San Diego office who asked about her rates. To my eyes, and this was later confirmed by someone from ACORN, the employee not only seemed incredulous but he was emphatic that his inquiry did not indicate he wanted to buy her services. Even Hannity seemed skeptical of the employee's credulity. Furthermore, ACORN’s chief, Bertha Lewis, has stated that there were “dozens” of offices where O’Keefe and Giles were turned down.

Given that Giles has already admitted to having an anti-ACORN bias before she embarked on the sting and before she even knew anything about the organization, and given that questions have also arisen about the pair’s heavily edited video of their visit to ACORN’s Philadelphia office, it’s especially troubling that their latest claim, that only one ACORN employee had refused to help them, was presented without challenge. We’d expect this from Hannity, but what’s “fair and balanced” Fox News’ excuse? They posted a banner on the screen that read, “Video shows the only employee to not assist in illegal acts.”

O’Keefe, who was absent from the show when Giles had previously claimed that nobody had refused to help them, snidely told Hannity that he had proclaimed Harris “employee of the year… He’s the only one who would not assist us set up a prostitution business. He’s the best they’ve got.”

Hannity continued, “Hannah, what was (sic) your thoughts when you went in there? A little surprise? This was the first time you had somebody who gave you even a slight amount of pushback."

Giles, who has got to be one of the dimmest bulbs ever to grace a television screen, seemed to have forgotten her previous declaration that NOBODY had refused to help as she simultaneously “forgot” about the people who really didn’t help. In her inimitable way, she said, “We were like, ‘Wow. Someone that didn’t, you know, endorse under-age prostitution.’ Um, we were a little disappointed that we, you know, the experiment didn’t fall along the rest of the lines but it was kind of relieving that someone was against under-age prostitution in regards to ACORN.”

“I can’t reveal everything that we’re gonna be doing,” Hannity teased. “But later this week, you’re both coming back on the program. There’s a Part 2 to this story. So without giving away that part of it, the next part of this is not as – well, let’s just say ‘morally upright’ as this part.’” He looked absolutely delighted with the prospect.

“Yeah,” O’Keefe said. “There are more tapes and they’re especially devastating. We just wanted to set the record straight before we release any more tapes. This is the only example in the entire country where someone did not assist us.”

Giles “explained” the reason they had released this part first: “You know, it’s, it’s, it’s the truth. It’s part of our story. It’s like, we did a science experiment (yeah, a science experiment where the “scientist” admitted to being prejudiced in advance). We went around the country testing out this hypothesis, this pimp and prostitute scenario, and this is one that didn’t follow the rest of them. The other ones that showed, you know… Of all the ones showed ACORN as a corrupt organization willing to aid and abet under-age prostitution and Felix in L.A. Part One is the only guy who didn’t fall for that.”

O’Keefe added that the rest of the tapes are “absolutely devastating.” Somehow, I doubt that. Why hold back a “devastating” video when it could have made a bigger splash two months ago when the scandal first broke? Even Giles can’t be that dumb. It smacks of milking the story.

As if in confirmation, O’Keefe bragged about his efforts. Deploring the fact that the media had not investigated ACORN the way he had, he said, “It takes two citizen journalists to do this type of thing. The media is not devoting resources to doing creative, investigative journalism. So we hope people will join us in future projects.”

I do, too. In fact, I think that O’Keefe and Giles, themselves, are perfect candidates for getting a dose of their own medicine. I have no doubt that the right person with the right words at the right time could catch them embarrassing the heck out of themselves.

Meanwhile, please join me in emailing the Hannity show and ask why they failed to note Giles’ inconsistencies and whether or not they will confront her with them in her later appearances. Hannity@foxnews.com.