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Initially, I had no problem with the sting pulled on ACORN by the conservative activists James O’Keefe and Hannah Giles. “It’s a serious matter when at least three different ACORN offices, in Washington, Baltimore, and New York, offer to help a 25-year-old ‘pimp’ wearing a derby hat and chinchilla shoulder throw and his ‘prostitute’ lie about their business in order to buy a home,” I wrote at the time. “And even more so when the preposterously dressed duo suggested that they’d be bringing in underage girls from Central America to work at their brothel.”
But now it appears that much of the “sting” was a hoax. Most significantly, O’Keefe was not dressed as a pimp when he visited Acorn’s offices. It’s also clear that O’Keefe and Giles edited the videos from the sting.
That seriously undermines their work, but it doesn’t mean that ACORN comes off looking good. “If O’Keefe did not dress as a pimp, he clearly presented himself as one: a fellow trying to set up a woman — sometimes along with under-age girls — in a house where they would work as prostitutes,” the New York Times wrote in a review of the case. In Washington, he said the prostitution was to finance his future in politics. A worker for ACORN Housing, an allied group, warned him to stay away from the brothel lest someone “get wind that you got a house and that your girlfriend is over there running a house of women of the night. You will not have a career.”
Watch the Colbert clip and read the Times piece and see what you think.
More from Ken Silverstein:
Perspective — October 23, 2013, 8:00 am
How pro-oil Louisiana politicians have shaped American environmental policy
Postcard — October 16, 2013, 8:00 am
A trip to one of the properties at issue in Louisiana’s oil-pollution lawsuits
Estimated cost of the environmental damage caused each year by the world’s 3,000 largest companies:
Two thirds of U.S. teenagers experience uncontrollable rage.
Beekeepers began extracting 1 million honeybees living beneath the siding of a house in New York State.
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“Shelby is waiting for something. He himself does not know what it is. When it comes he will either go back into the world from which he came, or sink out of sight in the morass of alcoholism or despair that has engulfed other vagrants.”