Re ACORN: What did the press know and when did it know it?

At Big Government today, Evan Coyne Maloney, another of the young conservative guns who uses modern media techniques to bring down Democratic dinosaurs, asks how it is that the media completely missed the ACORN scandal.  Maloney thinks that political correctness created the blinders media figures wore.  To the extent that ACORN is a black organization that services mostly black constituents, reporters simply were unable to make themselves say the unsayable to the American public — that it is corrupt through and through.  I think Maloney’s article is definitely worth reading, because he’s right about the media’s inability to get beyond its assumption that people of color and other “disadvantaged” people are always correct.  It’s the media’s own court of law:  innocent until proven guilty, except that we’ll never try to prove you guilty.

There is, however, a strong possibility that, as to ACORN, Maloney is being too generous when he ascribes the mental rot of political correctness to the journalistic class as a way of excusing their gross malfeasance.  Michael P. Tremoglie, who tried to break the ACORN scandal before Obama’s election, has no doubt but that the media’s wall of silence was a deliberate effort on their part to ensure that their candidate of choice would not be derailed (h/t Zhombre):

No one should believe that the liberal mainstream media “missed” the most recent ACORN scandal. They did not “miss it.”

When I broke the news on March 30 about the New York Times spiking the information they had about ACORN working with the Obama campaign (http://thebulletin.us/articles/2009/03/30/top_stories/doc49d0a73c7f98e547489394.txt), it went national, like the current scandal, only because of the Fox News Channel and talk radio.

I was working as a journalist for the Philadelphia Bulletin* at the time. An ACORN whistleblower said that the NY Times reporter to whom she had been feeding information to about ACORN told her the editors did not want to use information about collusion between ACORN and the Obama campaign. The editors said it could be a “game changer” – meaning adversely affecting Obama’s campaign.

What’s even worse, because we’ve long suspected that the modern media shapes elections, is the scathing indictment Tremoglie levels at the Republicans:  they were complicit, because they were afraid they’d be called racists.  In other words, it wasn’t media political correctness that kept the lid on the story, it was Republican political correctness.

Republicans continue to confound me with their stupidity when it comes to labels.  They haven’t figured out that, no matter what they do, the MSM will tar them as racist, sexist, homophobic warmongers.  If you’re going to be lambasted anyway, at least do something principled to earn the name-calling from your political enemies.  Instead, though, the Republicans always fall meekly in line, and then preserve a gentlemanlike silence when their “good intentions” are ignored, and the insults come flying anyway.

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  • Gringo

    Republicans continue to confound me with their stupidity when it comes to labels. They haven’t figured out that, no matter what they do, the MSM will tar them as racist, sexist, homophobic warmongers. If you’re going to be lambasted anyway, at least do something principled to earn the name-calling from your political enemies.

    Exactly. There was a handmade sign at the 9/12 which said something like, “It doesn’t matter what this sign says, you will call it racist.”

  • suek

    That’s because the Repubs keep thinking we’re two parties who are truly American and just differ on particulars – not that we’re at war with the party that the Democrats have become. They assume that we can have a civil disagreement according to the Marquis of Queensbury rules, so to speak, when in fact we are in a street brawl, there are no referees, and the win isn’t determined by who has the most points awarded by the judges, but by who’s left standing.

    We are, in fact, in mortal danger – but the majority of the conservative party starting with the GOP just hasn’t figured it out yet.

    The names are meaningless – they find out what “hurts” and use it. It’s another of those Alinsky things.

  • http://benningswritingpad.blogspot.com/ benning

    It angered me to watch the Republicans acting as though they needed permission from the Democrats to move things – when Republicans held both Houses of Congress. The Dems never acted that way. They always act as though they have a mandate from Heaven.

    And it still continues, even with Republicans out of power.

    Stupid.

  • Mike Devx

    > In other words, it wasn’t media political correctness that kept the lid on the story, it was Republican political correctness.

    And that is why the Republican Party deserves only lukewarm support. For they are lukewarm human beings. Passionless and cautious lest they put their useless re-election at surprise risk; tepid room temperature politicians who dare nothing, who care for nothing.

  • suek

    >>tepid room temperature politicians who dare nothing, who care for nothing.>>

    Seems to me there’s a bible quote from Jesus about that sort of thing…

    Still – don’t you think that that’s kind of a conservative thing? Being very careful and reserved about stuff, I mean. Not being extremist, in other words.

    What you’re saying, in effect, is that we need to become extremists in the name of freedom. Gee…that has a familiar ring to it…!

  • http://ymarsakar.wordpress.com/ Ymarsakar

    This is just another proof that when the Dems talk about Republican hate and fear tactics, the Dems are talking about themselves, not Repubs. They know perfectly well how weak the general and national Republican party is in terms of ruthlessness, purges, and active operations.

    The Republicans are the establishment, and the establishment only vaguely worries about poor and defenseless borderland villages being sacked and pillaged by barbarians.

    The grassroots, however, are at the front lines and they care immensely, thus their counter-attacks are much more devastating than the corrupt and lazy ‘capital’ response force.

  • http://ymarsakar.wordpress.com/ Ymarsakar

    We are also not shy in using Alinsky’s own tactics against his followers. Fight fire with fire. Terrorists want to kill us? We’ll kill 1000 for each they kill.

  • SADIE

    The editors said it could be a “game changer” – meaning adversely affecting Obama’s campaign.

    They used to shoot card cheaters in the old westerns. The NYT cheated and now they’re caught red handed. That’s a “game changer” in my book.

    I don’t think we have to become extremists, we have to take a firm stance on being realistic and that means you have to call out the omissions as lies. It has to be done not as a postscript but while the script is being written. ACORN should have been called out during the debates.

    What we got was a bowl of over cooked vegetables when we needed meat and potatoes.

  • Tiresias

    Exactly right, Mike – we ought to find ourselves pretty much up to our eyeballs and done in disgust with the republican party, and most of what they have on offer, too. I don’t know that I can even generate lukewarm support at this stage – entirely too much McCain, too much Graham, and a sufficiency of Specter, Collins, and Snowe for five lifetimes.

    On the subject of ACORN, the press (with a couple of singularly moronic exceptions; maybe Gibson, certainly Couric) knew all about them from Day One. It wasn’t a matter of lack of knowledge: it was flat unwillingness to bring it up, or even mention it in passing.

    I like Limbaugh’s formulation: we now, for the first time in this country, have a government-run media. They will not seriously investigate anything that might result in a nip on the hand that feeds them.

  • SADIE

    Received in the mail a few days ago a survey from the RNC entitled 2009 Obama Agenda Survey, with 15 questions with only room for a Yes/No/No Opinion, although I could squeeze in a bit in between questions and would be willing to break out the legal size pad if need be.

    I am taking requests for the ‘squeeze parts’ (10-15 words) unless you have received your very own survey.

    Some subjects covered within the form. Of course, they failed to venture into the more obvious and topical.

    Deficit
    Bailouts
    Illegal immigration
    Expanded welfare benefits
    National health care
    Reinstating the draft
    Unions for Homeland Sec. employees

  • suek

    I received one too…but somehow I have the feeling that it will be tossed in the trash after it is separated from the check they’re expecting to accompany it.

    And if no check…trash time.

    Remember when the Publisher’s Clearing House was discovered to have tossed the entries that didn’t have magazine subscriptions, even though they advertised that you didn’t have to buy anything in order to enter? And the government required them include the non-subscriber entries? (I still wonder about that…but that’s another issue) Somehow I get the feeling that the Party surveys fall into the same category – your chances of getting your votes and/or opinions read are directly proportional to the size of the check you write…

  • SADIE

    suek

    Sigh…I am sure you are 100% right. Maybe they should have called it the *RCL Sweepstakes (Republican Clearing House).

    Cash for Caring?