Report Clears ACORN; Pimp & Hooker Tapes "Edited," Used "Substitute Voiceover"

[Update: Andrew Breitbart raises objections to this and other coverage in an interview here.] You may recall the ACORN video scandal, whereby agents of Andrew Breitbart's Big Government site went out dressed as a prostitute and a pimp to con ACORN employees of into giving them advice on how to launder their illicit earnings for tax purposes, and taped the proceedings. This led to massive coverage, as well as accusations of media blackout, government defunding, and cheerful predictions of ACORN's death.

As it happens, an independent prosecutor, former Massachusetts Attorney General Scott Harshbarger, has found that while the ACORN workers' counsel was "inappropriate and unprofessional," there was no evidence of criminal activity in it.

And TPM notices a interesting sidelight: it appears the videos that caused all the hubbub were fudged.

"The videos that have been released," says Harshbarger's report, "appear to have been edited, in some cases substantially, including the insertion of a substitute voiceover for significant portions of Mr. O'Keefe's and Ms. Giles's comments, which makes it difficult to determine the questions to which ACORN employees are responding."

Also: "The released videos offer no evidence of a pattern of illegal conduct by ACORN employees. In fact, out of the three videos involving ACORN employees, at least two involve extenuating circumstances... The ACORN employees captured on video were members or part-time staff. They were not organizers or supervisory level employees."

Schadenfreude commences. You can scroll through Big Government -- for the next several days, we imagine -- to read the many accusations of whitewash, as well as a brief admission that "ACORN did in fact engage in no criminal wrongdoing...." Oh well, we'll always have #acornfacts, both humorous and not so ("ACORN gave to us a walking embarrassment in the U.S Senate named Al Franken. Becuase of their illegal election activities we're all stuck").

For our part, we're pleased to know that we can have an honest discussion with our non-profit financial advisors without having to worry about the hand of the Law.


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