The ACORN doesn't fall far from the nutball -- why no MSM reevaluation of that journalistic travesty?

The ACORN Doesn't Fall Far From The Nutball

by digby

Eric Alterman goes where the mainstream press still refuses to go, despite the egg dripping from every square inch of their credibility:

Remember, the very same techniques deployed to defame Shirley Sherrod and discredit the NAACP were employed to destroy ACORN, albeit aided by the idiocy of a couple of low-level ACORN employees. Breitbart's underlings, the admitted criminal James O'Keefe and his associate Hannah Giles, lied to ACORN about their respective identities for the purpose of surreptitiously taping their words and actions and then releasing a doctored version of the tape to the credulous media. They misrepresented their own dress and demeanor in this visit—they were not dressed up as a comic-book pimp and ho—and O'Keefe also claimed that an undercover video campaign was a "nationwide ACORN child prostitution investigation" implicating numerous ACORN employees. In the heavily edited videos Breitbart released of their encounters at eight ACORN offices, he (and they) failed to note that in at least six of these, they did not get their desired result. (Some ACORN employees contacted the authorities.) Of course, we did not learn any of this until after the MSM conspired with Breitbart and company to help destroy ACORN based on this false and defamatory narrative.

Recall, again, that vis-à-vis ACORN, media machers could not flagellate themselves fast enough for their previous failure to follow Breitbart into the gutter. Tom Rosenstiel of the Project for Excellence in Journalism explained, "Complaints by conservatives are slower to be picked up by non-ideological media because there are not enough conservatives and too many liberals in most newsrooms." Washington Post executive editor Marcus Brauchli worried, "We are not well-enough informed about conservative issues. It's particularly a problem in a town so dominated by Democrats and the Democratic point of view." Post ombudsman Andrew Alexander added that "traditional news outlets like The Post simply don't pay sufficient attention to conservative media or viewpoints." New York Times managing editor Jill Abramson admitted "insufficient tuned-in-ness to the issues that are dominating Fox News and talk radio." Meanwhile, on ABC News, George Stephanopoulos thought the ACORN fable worthy of being raised in a rare one-on-one interview opportunity with President Obama, who replied that he wasn't following the story very closely and, by the way, had more important problems to address. (US grants to ACORN, already suspended at the time, accounted for less than one-thousandth of 1 percent of annual US government spending.)

In the now infamous case of Shirley Sherrod, Breitbart deployed doctored video again to falsely accuse Sherrod of discriminating against whites as a federal employee, pretending that a story about overcoming racism was really one endorsing it. When that lie was exposed, he insisted that his real target had been the NAACP, for allegedly cheering on Sherrod's alleged racism. This too was a lie. There was no applause in the undoctored video for any racist statements. Nothing Breitbart said about the story checked out once the full video became available.

And the MSM machers? Well, they can't help but notice that they got taken this time, but they prefer to chalk it up to "ideology." "There's been this proliferation of partisan media—whether it's MSNBC and Fox at night, or it's Breitbart on the right or Huffington Post on the left," complains Politico executive editor James VandeHei, and it makes honest folk like MSM reporters "overreact."

See, just as the teabaggers were "provoked" into spitting on black congressmen, the mainstream media is provoked into overreaction by the "partisan" media. They just can't help it. (I'd be very interested to see a case where the MSM has overreacted to a ratfuck or a bogus hit by a left leaning member of the new media. I can't think of one but I suppose it's possible.) But shouldn't these so-called professionals be held to account for overreacting to something that any sentient being should be able to see is complete bullshit? Isn't that their job?

Be sure to read Alterman's whole piece. He illustrates the Brietbart/Tucker/MSM symbioses very effectively...

Update: Joe Conason reveals evidence that Fred Barnes, one of the more sanctimonious of the Tuckerite Fussbudgets, actually takes money from the Republican Party. perhaps he doesn't see that as being on the "GOP team" --- maybe he's just a plain old whore who just happens to take GOP cash and the GOP line coincidentally --- but it is perfectly indicative of the absurdity of right wing media criticism of liberal journalists.