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Fox News Largely Ignores Judge’s Ruling Favorable To ACORN, Plays Up Negative ACORN Stories Instead

Reported by Ellen - March 12, 2010 -

One look at Fox Nation pretty much says it all about the “fairness and balance” of Fox News. It always makes sure to be fair to conservatives while “balancing” that with lots of criticism of anything liberal. The latest good news for ACORN is a perfect example. ACORN has not only been exonerated in three recent investigations, a federal judge in New York has now affirmed that Congress wrongly un-funded the organization. But Fox Nation buried that latest good news for ACORN and threw all the bad news it could dig up on top. Similarly Hannity and Glenn Beck, two Fox News shows with an unsatiable appetite for anything anti-ACORN, have been strangely silent about the spate of good news that has recently hit the anti-poverty organization. Yet the news crawl during Hannity hyped a new right-wing attack on ACORN. A search of Foxnews.com suggests that the pattern is network wide.

The top of Fox Nation, which bills itself as being committed to “fair and balanced coverage of the news,” trumpets a headline, Watchdog: Obama's DOJ Shut Down Federal ACORN Investigation. This is the same story that was on the news crawl earlier. The headline refers to a claim by Judicial Watch, a right-wing organization, that it has obtained FBI documents showing “serious allegations of corruption and voter registration fraud by ACORN as well as the Obama administration's decision to shut down a criminal investigation without filing criminal charges.”

But a closer reading suggests there may be less than meets the eye. Fox Nation's post states, “The documents include background information on two specific complaints filed in October 2008 by Lucy Corelli and Joseph Borges, Republican Registrars of Voters in Stamford and Bridgeport, Connecticut, respectively, during the 2008 election season.” Yes, 2008, when George W. Bush was still president. And though you have to click through to the full article, which just happens to be on Breitbart.com (the same Breitbart who threatened to blackmail the Obama administration if they didn’t open an investigation into ACORN), it seems that other than the complaint from the two Republicans in 2008 about voter registration fraud (not even Breitbart alleges that there was any actual voter fraud), the other voter registration fraud referenced occurred in St. Louis in 2006. I believe Bush was president then as well. Judicial Watch’s press release states, “Other documents show that the Bush Justice Department failed to prosecute ACORN voter registration fraud of non-citizens in Phoenix, Arizona in 2007 because the allegations that led to the opening of the investigation were 'unverifiable.'”

Meanwhile, as I mentioned above, three recent investigations into ACORN have determined that the organization has not broken any laws. And now a federal judge has determined that Congress wrongly unfunded ACORN. However, the ones who likely HAVE broken the law are the undercover video scamsters who tried to bring down the organization with their questionably edited videos.

Farther down the Fox Nation page is a photo of the videographers in question, Hannah Giles and James O’Keefe (currently facing felony charges for entering Senator Mary Landrieu’s office under false pretenses for the purposes of maliciously interfering with her telephones. Fox News seems strangely incurious about that story as well.) Underneath the photo of Giles and O’Keefe is the rather friendly headline, “Court Dismisses ACORN Suit Against Hannah and James.”

Farther down the page again, is a headline, ACORN out of Ohio Elections that also has an eye-catching graphic. The first sentence of the post shows an anti-ACORN bias: "ACORN, the liberal group notorious for allegedly trying to inflate voter rolls through fraudulent practices, has seen its last election in Ohio."

Finally, to the right of that article, in smaller type and with no graphic, is the link, “NYC Judge: ACORN Must Be Funded.“

A search on Foxnews.com of “Gershon ACORN,” (Gershon is the name of the federal judge who just ruled on ACORN’s behalf) indicates that the only article posted comes from AP, not Fox itself. There is, however, a Foxnews.com article about the Judicial Watch story. After detailing the allegations of Judicial Watch, Fox News reporter Eric Shawn finally got around to mentioning Judge Gershon’s decision. Interestingly, the URL of that article is http://www.foxnews.com/politics/2010/03/11/judge-acorn-entitled-taxpayer-money/, which suggests that Fox deliberately obfuscated the pro-ACORN legal decision with a slew of anti-ACORN suggestions.

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