On Thursday, June 4, 2009, Glenn Beck devoted his entire show to attacking ACORN with what seemed to be reruns of past segments. But – lo and behold! – the show also included Beck’s get-together with BFF Bill O’Reilly from May 28 in which they seemed to finally be admitting that their evidence of any ACORN badness is pretty thin. But they didn’t let little details like lack of proof or factual verification stand in the way of a good smear. Beck even threw the Obamas into it, while also admitting it was pure speculation. Rock on!
Most real journalists catch wind of some corruption or something out of whack with some company or organization, do some investigating, and then, if it proves there’s something there, report on it. But Beck and O’Reilly, along with many of the Fox Newsies, have decided, for whatever reason (bigotry, desire to keep the minorities powerless, greed, pick one or all), that ACORN is corrupt (see my previous posts here, here and here). And, having made that decision, they reported on it. Then they belatedly tried to investigate it and got nowhere. And they reported on it some more. So, they then had ACORN people on to talk about it, got nowhere, but kept reporting on it. Now, according to them, the only way they’re going to get their proof of ACORN’s corruption is if ACORN provides it to them by opening its books. Remind me again why ACORN – or any right-minded organization – would do that? (Beck also admitted, however, that they might be able to prove something if some other news organizations were to join forces with FOX in its vendetta – basically do the heavy lifting.)
O’Reilly pontificated that President Obama “got into the Chicago left-wing machine of which ACORN is a part . . . .”
“Yes, Jeremiah Wright,” Beck helpfully interjected.
“That’s when you saw Reverend Wright,” O’Reilly trudged on, “When you saw the other nuts from the Weather Underground, he was in there. Now, some people believe that he believes the way they do, some people believe that. Some people say, ‘No, he was just using them to advance his career.’” I’m not gonna argue whether President Obama had dealings with Ayers or ACORN or not – I happen to believe that, even if President Obama had involvement with ACORN, so what? He was a community organizer; ACORN is the largest grassroots community organization in the country. And Bill Ayers, former radical or not, is a well-respected, nationally known educator.
“That stuff is riddled in his past,” Beck said indignantly. “And his wife is much more . . . I do, I don’t have any evidence, it’s what I believe.” Rock on!
“But you can’t prove . . . .” O’Reilly interjected.
“Bill, I don’t think anybody is going to be able to prove any of this stuff until the media pressure becomes so overwhelming that this organization cracks open,” Beck said earnestly.
“This theory . . . didn’t come from the right, it came from people inside of ACORN. They are left, they’re left, they’re inside,” Beck insisted. But if you have these “inside” contacts, how come all you can do is speculate? Could it be because these “inside contacts” are two disgruntled, not very forthcoming former ACORN board members who filed a lawsuit against ACORN without authorization? Could it be because you use people like Anita Moncrief – who never even worked for ACORN and was fired from Project Vote for theft – as a credible source? And isn’t it a bit of circular logic for you guys to rely on a thief like Moncrief to prove ACORN is corrupt, but you call ACORN corrupt because it has employees who stole from it by engaging in voter registration fraud?
“But it’s the bigger picture of how powerful are these people, what is their intent?” O’Reilly speculated, then, answering his own question, “I’ll tell you what their intent is – to make us into Denmark, to make us into a cradle-to-grave entitlement where everybody has the same, take from Beck and O’Reilly, give to Lenny and Squiggy, that’s what they want. Now if Lenny and Squiggy are heroin addicts, who cares? It doesn’t matter, you take from the people who work hard, you give to the layabouts.” O’Reilly, here’s a tip, for future reference: If you want to avoid being called “racist” and “bigot,” you might want to re-think that whole “poor people are heroin addicts and layabouts” thing.
And then Beck engaged in his closing monologue which seemed to be contemporaneous (not included in the video below): “ACORN fell . . . right into our view during the campaign. Accusations of voter fraud raised a lot of eyebrows, they had a lot of coverage and they weren’t too happy about it.” (Emphasis mine). Should I erect a billboard across the street from Fox News? It’s VOTER. REGISTRATION. FRAUD. As far as we know, nobody voted fraudulently as a result of fraudulent registration. Mickey Mouse didn’t show up with an ID and cast a vote.
Beck went on to say, “For many of our competitors on other networks, the election and inauguration of Barack Obama put the ACORN story to bed. Perhaps it’s hibernating in the halls of NBC and CBS and the NY Times [if so, maybe Fox should follow suit] – they don’t seem to have any real interest in learning the truth about who’s behind this organization and how corrupt it may be.”
“I guess . . . they don’t really care about how this organization hopes to change the way this country exists,” Beck continued earnestly. “Well, I do care. Fox cares. I think you care. Our efforts have led to accusations of racism . . . whatever. Left-wingers and ACORN supporters have accused us of covering the story to fire up your anger, and, you know, hope to get better ratings . . . whatever. All the charges that really have no merit. But the best offense is a good offense – for me, uncovering the truth is really all that matters here. Seeking the truth is all the justification that we need. For those who question our agenda, I offer this: We’ll continue to investigate.
“ACORN, open the books, let us see all of the tentacles, ignore our calls, fail to answer our questions if you want, stand in our way if you have to, but getting between Americans and the truth is not really a good place to be, because Americans will finally get the truth.”
Comment: I’m really impressed by how boldly you asked ACORN to throw open its books so you can hope to be able to prove something they MIGHT have done that you’ve already reported that they DID however many times – and now you need ACORN itself to help you pull your story from the ashes? You know, there’s a big difference between uncovering the truth and manufacturing what you want the truth to be – and at this point, you guys must be pretty desperate to uncover something or you’re gonna look like terrified, up-the-creek-without-a-paddle fools.
All in a day’s work on Fox News. Rock on.
(Also on News Hounds)