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Mather does not Cotton to the Pseudo-Puritanism of O’Keefe and Giles

jesus_mary_magdalene
O’Keefe and Giles, in their portrayal of pimp and prostitute, reek of puerile classism. Were it not for the overwhelmingly noxious fumes emanating from the handful of ACORN employees who were apparently willing to enable a child prostitution ring exploiting illegal immigrants, the stink of the ill-informed moral superiority of O’Keefe and Giles would drive evolutionarily advanced members of our species to avoid contact.

Let’s cut to the chase. The child prostitution enablement shown in the videos is beyond the pale. It is wholly unacceptable. Giles and O’Keefe deserve credit for exposing this potential for promoting abuse with ACORN’s structure.

For ACORN to continue doing the good they do for the community, they must clean their house. This said, many houses and streets in the U.S. are in need of a good cleaning.

Credit granted where it is due, I am discomforted by the prurient form of Puritanism implicit in the method O’Keefe and Giles chose to expose ACORN’s illness. Their sting starts with a young female sex worker trying to buy a home, before it lures the ACORN workers into the ugliness of underage sexual exploitation. My issue with O’Keefe and Giles is that they appear to believe that people engaged in the sex trade should not be able to have normal life dreams.

Life in the Sex Trade

Life circumstances lead some people to prostitution. In our culture, it is rarely a profession of choice. This is something our political class should be well aware of, given the large number of personally undertaken, hobby social science, in-depth probes they have engaged in over the years.

There are volumes of research on the various factors and dynamics that create the participants in the world’s oldest profession. In our culture, an experience of sexual abuse and economic vulnerability are common themes in the dynamic of becoming a prostitute.

Should being a sex worker be a barrier to living as other citizens live?

If a sex worker wants to buy a home, and she meets all of the relevant requirements for obtaining a mortgage, other than that she cannot state her profession on the mortgage application because her form of employ is illegal, what is she to do, other than lie? If that sex worker wants to do the proper thing as a citizen and pay her taxes as a self-employed person, what is she to do, other than lie?

The simple answer is that citizens who want to pay taxes and buy homes should not choose to live the lifestyle of a prostitute. This is the type of answer one expects from those who are ignorant of the dynamics that create prostitution, especially in the underage realm. For example, leaving is often not merely a personal decision and few pimps are as non-threatening as the one portrayed by James O’Keefe. Accordingly, it fits that such an answer would come from those who choose to disregard how the practice of their political philosophy enhances the conditions that create the sex trade.

In this regard, Ms. Giles words to Sean Hannity on how she conceived the project:

It’s amazing what girls think about when they are jogging. And that was just something that popped into my head. I had never seen an ACORN office, I really didn’t even know that they existed and I jogged into the wrong part of town, saw some homeless people and street ladies and I put two and two together when I turned around to get back into a safe neighborhood. And it’s like — what if these people went into ACORN — a prostitute and what would come from that? No bills, no nothing — would they get a house? Could they start a business? So we put it to the test.

It is telling that Giles was interested in whether or not ACORN would help a street lady buy a home and, apparently, not so interested in what caused the women to become street ladies. Then again, perhaps that’s simply a feature of rarely running into the “wrong part of town?” Regardless, Giles began her project with two targets, ACORN and street ladies who wanted to buy a home.

For O’Keefe and Giles, having to live with the danger, and adopt the stigma, attached to selling sexual services does not seem to be enough punishment. They appear to think there is something improper about a prostitute wanting to own a home, which, if she worked there, would also be a brothel. They seem unable to see that owning a home might serve as a base upon which to leave the sex trade. Thankfully, many ACORN employees are not afflicted by the anti-New Testament immorality that informs that type of thinking.

ACORN: The Bad and the Good

ACORN has problems at a variety of levels. It is reasonable to call for a proper audit of the organization, given their government funding. A good time for the audit might be immediately after a full accounting of every dollar of TARP funding is released to the public.

Notwithstanding ACORN’s many problems, it provides valuable community services. ACORN employees work to bring a better life to many citizens and many of these citizens reside in the underclass. Working with people in the underclass requires empathy for their circumstance and a pragmatic attitude that involves working with limited resources to bring about optimal results, which will necessarily be modest at best. To me, it is entirely appropriate for an ACORN accountant to bend a category to find a way for a sex worker to pay her taxes so she can buy a home. (Perhaps the idea of a citizen wanting to pay taxes is outside the worldview of the young Republican film makers?)

O’Keefe and Giles have done a community service by exposing rot in the structure of ACORN. Unfortunately, their methodology lacks the discipline of the precautionary principle. As a tool for the healing of the body politic, therefore, the methodology of O’Keefe and Giles is flawed, because they are willing to worsen the lives of sex workers to achieve their aim of disarming ACORN. Accordingly, the methodology of O’Keefe and Giles is unethical because it causes a wholly unnecessary amputation, where a good anti-biotic would have done the job. For this reason, I reject the pseudo-Puritanism implicit in their methodology for its lack of empathy and wisdom.

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183 Responses

  1. boo hoo

  2. Hmm… Interesting post!

    What gives me pause is the way prostitution and pimpdom is glamorized. I mean look at these two, you’d expect to see them on the Disney channel or perhaps starring in Hannah Montana’s next movie. And who can forget Pretty Woman, the glamorous prostitute rescued by the wealthy knight in shining armor? Prostitution is also glamorized at Halloween with costumes, and idolozed in music videos. Kids are being encouraged to try out these roles, that of pimp and ho. You can even pimp you car out nowdays. Pimping is cool!

    In a way what people are doing is being elitist, mocking those who don’t really have glamorous stories, they have a tough life brought on by all sorts of circumstances.

  3. How can you mount such a self-righteous onslaught on these two young, naive and aspiring journalists? When I remember all the caucus primaries and the outright abuse and fraud that was clearly aligned to ACORN operatives, I can only be glad that two young people decided to try and see what was going on at these ACORN community sites. They tried something that was pretty daring but also on the edge of danger. They broke a huge story. To put them down as white and puritannical is disingenuous. Nobody cares about voter fraud and they knew it. So what did they do, they concluded that if they wanted to break a story big they should add sex to it. Bingo. They are not responsible for the low standards and prurient interests of the culture at large.

    • Why choose to entrap ACORN with stereotypes that could’ve come out of a 70s sexploitation film? The first thing I thought when I saw the guy’s get up was that he watched too many snarky snoop dog videos. I’d like to see if they did that bit down here in New Orleans. I can’t imagine any one taking them seriously. I think what’s been left on the cutting room floor might be interesting and I say this without advocating for ACORN. I just think there’s a lot more to this story than meets the eye at the moment.

      • Entrap ACORN? Are you for real? What ACORN was trying to do with them was illegal. Journalists have been doing that for years.

        • RB,

          “Entrapment is the act of a law enforcement agent inducing a person to commit an offense which would be illegal and the person would otherwise have been unlikely to commit.[1] In many jurisdictions, entrapment is a possible defense against criminal guilt.”

          Obviously, they were not law enforcement, however, their actions meet the rest of the definition of ‘entrapment,” which journalists do (did?) regularly engage in.

          I don’t get the sense that kat means the term in anything but a descriptive fashion.

          s

        • Well, I’m not a lawyer in that state or any state so I can’t say what is illegal or legal. All I know is they were representing themselves as something they weren’t in order to get the goods on ACORN, which it seems they did. I’ve never been a fan of ACORN because down here they’re simply part of the Morial machine and that’s all I know, but these two kids remind me of the two kewl kids in scooby do, all they were missing was the girl in glasses, Shaggy, and the dog. ACORN specializes in hiring folks that arent’ too successful in life as a general rule and not recognizing Fred and Daphne in their halloween costumes is kinda pathetic. I’d have called a social worker on the two of them and then the police once the underage girls come up. But again, I gotta see and hear the rest of the story including how the DAs and the FBI, police, or whatever deal with it. ACORN hires people that haven’t always been on best terms with the police and so, maybe they should’ve called health and human services. I just have a feeling there’s more to this than meets the eye and again, I’m not defending ACORN in any way.

          • Well ACORN workers pretended to be voters from the district in a whole lot of caucuses.

            What goes around — comes around.

    • jangles,

      At TC, we’re well aware of ACORN’s electoral excesses. To me, it’s obvious that’s part of what needs cleaning up. Further, I gave them (O’Keefe and Giles) credit where I thought it was due.

      Nonetheless, it’s clear from her own words what the initial motivation was. She was interested to see if a street lady could get a mortgage with ACORN’s help. Why would a street lady being able to get a mortgage be objectionable?

      You think their approach is acceptable because of the outcome. I don’t.

      I guess we have to agree to disagree.

      s

      • Hidden camera stories are not acceptable? Ever watch 60 Minutes? They’ve been done for a long time.

        Could that street lady pay her mortgage? That’s my only objection, if she could not and ACORN falsified some more documents for her.

        • RB,

          We agree that it is wrong to put someone into a property they cannot afford and to falsify documents to make that happen.

          Obviously, using videos has helped root out improper conduct.

          s

        • Well said, Ralph.

          Not to mention that she expressly said she needed that house for the underage sex workers she was going to smuggle into the country.

          The Acorn people knew that, and urged them to lie. One even said, “The truth won’t get you the house.”

          To leave out those details willfully and falsely manipulates the “conversation” the nation is having.

          • Mary,

            Clearly, I have not left tried to willfully distort or falsely manipulate the story and it’s good you are watching for those who would do so. Heck, anyone who is interested would simply go watch the videos, which are so everywhere that i didn’t bother to post them.

            It’s worth noting that the notion of using the house as a brothel does not come up until well after the discussion about qualifying for a mortgage has begun, as I said in the post. It is also worth reitierating that the brothel idea was not part of Giles original plan.

            s

        • These aren’t real journalists and we don’t know the extent of what they did and didn’t do, Ralph. I wouldn’t put it past any one trying to grab a headline to leave stuff on the cutting room floor. They’re kids for pete’s sake. Let the cops sort it all out before jumping to conclusions.

    • Well, there are a couple of problems coming from both sides of the aisle on this issue. The Acorn people and NOW, feminist organizations, etc, didn’t bat an eye, didn’t even pause when the idea of bringing underage girls into the US for sex slavery was mentioned in these tapes. We still haven’t had a statement from any of them. Apparently the rights of women and girls are not nearly as important as enabling poor people to attain some wealth. On the other side, the right leaning, everyone is so gleeful that Acorn is finally getting it’s due, that nobody is talking about the fact that much of the Acorn outrage is about a them helping a prostitute and pimp, the dregs of society. The opinion is that prostitutes are evil, criminal, they should not get anything from anybody, and that was Acorn’s crime, trying to help a couple of people who should simply be cast out, shunned, put in prison.

      Neither political view has really shown any empathy towards prostitutes. They’re just flip sides of the same coin. Prostitutes aren’t people, they’re simply stage props in a political game.

      • The hook for these stories is that prostitution, especially using underage girls, is illegal. I have seen on several RW sites the issue of underage girls being the main topic, but nothing from the Left.

        • RB,

          I agree that it’s the hook. Clearly, I also think the main angle is the exploitation of underage, illegal immigrants. The story loses much of it’s force if a woman who makes 96,000/ year is simply trying to find a way to pay taxwes so she can get a mortgage she is economically qualified to handle.
          s

          s

      • yttik,

        Holland has begun changing their practises because of the way organized crime is using their structure to create sex slaves of Eastern European women.

        You understand my main point which questions the morality of viewing prostitutes asmeans to an end and not people who are ends in themselves.

        s

        s

      • To me the only problem was Acorn not batting an eye when Giles and O’Keeffe upped their request from needing a home for Eden’s work to bringing in 12 under age girls from El Salvador.

        I confess that I crack up every time I see their ridiculous outfits.

        • N,

          I found the lack of eye-batting on that comment shocking and revolting.

          s

          • in what way? I was revolted that Acorn workers would not be troubled by underage girls being brought in to work as sex slaves.
            They should have reported those two as soon as they left, if not while they were in the office.

            I do not have a problem with prostitution, nor prostitutes, but I have a problem with children being used and destroyed. And pimps are completely creepy, too. IMHO

          • nan,

            We are on the same page. I was not speaking about your comment. I was speaking about the comment made by O’Keefe about bringing in the underage girls.

            I had difficulty believing it was absorbed so matter of factly by the ACORN employees.

            s

      • Excuse me folks but I think that except for a few square miles outside of Las Vegas, prostitution is an illegal activity. It’s not about a prostitute getting a house. That is bogus. It’s about getting government funds to set up a house for prostitution. Big difference to me. If a working girl wants a decent place to live and she has the money, meeting the requirements for a mortgage may be a good thing for her. But helping two people finance a property with a government loan for the express purpose of doing a house of prostitution is financing an illegal activity. I do not see how you can support that. It is not about women trapped in that traffic are worthy human beings or not, we are all worthy somewhere. But if you think Jane and Joe taxpayer want to see their tax dollars go to that kind of business venture, I think you are out of touch. That is not right wing. And how this site can support prostitution as some kind of noble activity—please folks, that is just not a good cause.

        • jangles,

          Please allow me to apologize, because the link I provided to the John Howard Society paper might not have functioned for you. It did not for me until I left TC website.

          http://www.popcenter.org/problems/street_prostitution/PDFs/johnhow.pdf

          From this link you will see that I was in no way saying that the life of a prostiture is noble. I am saying that the life of a prostitute tends to involve a pre-history of sexual abuse, economic vulnerability, violence as well as sexual violence, and substance abuse.

          Further, Giles states that her initial project specifically concerned whether ACORN would help a street lady buy a house. She did not say “buy a house to use as a brothel.”

          No one here has advocated that the government should fund brothels.

          A careful viewing of the first video shows that Giles and O’Keefe do not bring in the notion of a brothel until they are well into the process of simply trying to buy a house.

          s

  4. yttik,

    Yes. Any basic search on prostitute life in our culture paints a starkly different portrait.

    Watching the intro to their videos really brings home your point.

    Thanks for the input.

    s

  5. OT: 594 amendments offered to the Baucus bill. Rockefeller, Shumer, Wyden offer amendments for single payer and expanded public options.

  6. I never said anything about ACORN but I’m sitting here with some coffee in a talkative mood! These workers are anomalies although it’s true ACORN hires anyone off the street. I used to train them when working for them in 2004. Half the workers were let go because it was demanding work and people would either slack off or cheat. I’m still very unhappy if they ran the caucuses with SEIU.

    • One problem I’ve had with Acorn from way back, is they way they exploit their workers. I mean, they actually went to court to try and avoid paying minimum wage. And each time they are busted the first thing they do is toss those employees to the wolves. It’s always the homeless guy’s fault, the one they hired to register voters and paid him on a quota basis. He goes to jail, Acorn continues on without having to take any responsibility.

      • yttik,

        Those contradictions are a p***-off. It’s why I quit investigative journalism. My pay compared to the time it took to do the story, put me in the same boat as those whose exploitation I was trying to uncover.

        s

      • ACORN looks to me mostly like a money laundering operation. I am glad they are being investigated and applaud the efforts of these two kids. What they did was imperfect and gutsy.

        After the 2008 primary, I will be happy if ACORN never gets another penny of federal funding.

  7. Beautiful and brilliant as ever, thank you. 🙂 Those two make my skin crawl and it’s been bothering me all week.

    • Seriously,

      TY.

      s

    • I agree. As much as I despise what ACORN did during the primaries, I have felt uncomfortable about the story because of the two people who reported it.

      • Again, I’m not defending ACORN, but I want to see what was left on the cutting room floor first and am looking to the FBI to sort this thing out.

      • jn,

        I found them questionable as well. I didn’t think anything particularly bad was being done by the ACORN employees in the first video, until the underage girls were mentioned. Once that happened, my empathy for the ACORN workers evaporated.

        s

  8. The whole scene speaks to me on a different level. Said simply, I don’t think taxpayers want their money going to support prostitution rings, bankers stealing from taxpayers, or insurance companies receiving protection which enables the stealing of money from American citizens. Until the masses receive some justice, all other forms of ‘prostitution home ownership” will receive little sympathy IMHO.

  9. chay,

    It’s a complex mess. It’s why in an earlier post I used von Neurath’s notion that working on social issues is like trying to repair a ship at sea, when it needs to be dry docked. We can’t stop doing much of what we’re doing or we’ll sink.

    I agree with you that justice is the current that is drving grassroots politics at this time.

    s

  10. O’Keefe and Giles clearly had partisan motivations – they wanted to discredit an organization that is closely linked to the Democratic party.

    Their motivations do not excuse the apparent willingness of some ACORN employees to facilitate a criminal enterprise.

    I’m guessing that “pimp and ho” will be very popular costumes at GOP Halloween parties this year.

    • Actually, I trust my neighbor the prostitute more at the moment that I trust my neighbor the cop for obvious reasons. Some times things on the surface, aren’t everything they seem to be. She and I have both been bullied by the cop recently so we have a lot in common. Who knows? If I get furloughed any more or have my retirement match decreased another 5 % because of Jindal’s hormonal rage over government spending, I might be her partner some day!

    • From what I’m reading, ACORN enployees took them up on they’re requests and offered more! Craziness. They should be let go and there should be an investigation of such craziness. Obama shouldn’t cut them off, they register voters like no one’s business (Democratic voters) and they and SEIU should be investigated for thei participation in the caucuses.

      • Why should tax dollars go toward a wing of any one particular party? That’s outrageous. Tax dollars should not go toward any wing of the Repub party, either.

        • ACORN is registered as a non partisan group. They are obviously partisan as you just quoted “they register voters like it’s no one’s business (Democratic voters) Now how about if they only registered Republicans? Would you like that? They are violating Federal laws by being partisan and should be closed down, along with all their other affiliates. Republicans pay taxes also, not just Democrats.

    • Well myiq, I see it as a kind of karma. What goes around, comes around. Who can forget Eminem’s line about nailin Palin or Jay-Z 99 problems. The fact that the GOP took a pimp/ho stereotype often idolized by celebrities on the Left and used it successfully to target an organization and to score political points, is kind of ironic and funny.

      • yttik,

        I concur. One of the dangers faced by social justice advocates is overrighteousness causing irony and humor impairment. It’s easy to fall prey. It’s good to have friends that point it out when it’s happening.

        s

  11. What I said to my DH today is exactly how I feel about this matter….

    There was a time when I woudl have defended ACORN and taken a stand against this sort of “entrapment.”

    But, ACORN has burnt that bridge, with the way they handled the 2008 election. Fraud, fraud, fraud.

    If ACORN thinks, for one frikkin moment that the Hillary Dems will now jump to their support… hahahahahahaaaahhhhhhhaaaaaa.

    Burning bridges in politics can be dangerous. Especially when you burn them within your own party.

    Ashes. That is all that will remain of ACORN’s self immolation.

    SYD

  12. SYD,

    To use scorched Earth tactics within a party is to undermine the conditions that make the party possible.

    s

  13. myiq,

    Absolutely. They lacked understanding about the relationship between respect and sharing pride among a collection of cats.

    s

    • I just wanted my vote to count for something.

      • SoD,

        That is the point. My brother, the anthropologist, told me that his community sees voting as a great levelling ritual, which, for a brief point in time, dissolves ranking and privilege. If that ritual is violated, than the bonds that hold a person to the community are diminished. To steal a vote in this ritual is to disenfranchise the vicitm in the fullest sense because it is the only time all are “equal.”

        s

        s

        • Rings true for me. I consider myself a disaffected Democrat. Until the Democratic Party shows a respect for and adherence to one person one vote, all votes valued equally and count all the votes in the running of its presidential primary, it will not have any support from me. Bond diminished.

          • pf,

            It’s a point that seems lost on those who wonder why people keep bringing up the caucuses and the primaries. They don’t understand that the duty of the defeated to “get over it” is directly tied to everyone’s duty to make sure that the game was played by the rules.

            s

          • s, so very well said as usual.

          • pf,

            TY.

            s

        • Such a very important point. I had never thought of it that way. But…. for those of us who rest our political identities upon the shoulders of the suffragists… this is a critical point.

          Susan B. was turning in her grave over what was done to women’s votes in the Dem party in 2008. I am sure of that.

          Heck…. I even visit her grave last year. I think I felt an earthquake!

  14. Thank you for addressing this issue. I saw Giles make the comment on Hannity. Immediately I felt uncomfortable with the tone and “R*cism” crossed my mind and I’m very careful with that term nowadays. Of course, that doesn’t excuse ACORN workers for their willingness to facilitate the enslavement of young women.

    • LO,

      TY.

      For some reason your comment made me think of Joyce Ladner’s wonderful work, Tomorrow’s Tomorrow: The Black Woman. It discloses how research biases prevent researchers from outside a community to appreciate the social dynamics of the community they examine, which makes them unable to understand the logic of the strategies and tactics that community members employ to benefit their situation.

      s

  15. SoD,

    Yup.

    s

  16. Seems to me to be a clear case of two wrongs not making ANY rights.

    • SOD, I’m not sure they did a lot of research at all. No one can defend child prostitution or any of the other things they suggested to the ACORN workers. They knew that much and went from there. I want to know how two people travel cross country for $1,300.00, myself. But, besides that, the woman, Giles was jogging in the wrong part of town, passed an ACORN office, and the idea just came to her. Okay. Then she found O’Keefe on Facebook and suggested the idea to him, probably because he did the same thing to Planned Parenthood. Right. So, they loaded up the truck and moved to ACORNs across America asking provocative questions that poorly trained, underpaid employees stupidly answered. Did they fill out any forms? Apply for anything through ACORN? Was anything they discussed officially sanctioned by anyone at ACORN? Was this a well-funded undercover takedown by the right of one of their arch enemies in their year long TEA Party/Recess Rally/Townhall war against all things on the left?

      James O’Keefe, one of the two filmmakers, said he went after ACORN because it registers minorities likely to vote against Republicans: “Politicians are getting elected single-handedly due to this organization,” O’Keefe told The Washington Post. “No one was holding this organization accountable.”

      http://news.yahoo.com/s/ap/20090919/ap_on_re_us/us_acorn_s_troubles

      • Also, the most important question in my mind is, were the questions answered on tape the same ones that were asked in the interview at the time? Dubbing in different questions from the interviewers at a later time would be a snap. I admit that though I’ve watched them, I haven’t listened to the tapes closely enough to know if that’s what happened, but, it’s something to keep in mind. Do the ACORN workers actually use the words “under-aged prostitutes,” or anything like that? I would watch them more closely, but for some reason I’ve had problems getting them to run correctly.

      • I feel for the underpaid poorly trained employees, to be honest. Dealing with these idiots is way above my pay grade. If it were me, I’d totally just humor them and then the minute they left either run screaming to someone higher up and let them deal with it or just toss it in the wastebasket and hope they never returned. Really, what are you supposed to do with that? Even if I knew it was an obvious set up, I’m not trained or paid to deal with that level of crazy. I’m not going to go off on them and have them pull out a gun and if I called the cops, they’d probably just laugh and hang up. All I’d want to do is get rid of them, and if any papers were filed or any process started, I’d be amazed.

      • Cinie, I think I heard on Lynn Samuels radio show that they were bankrolled by Andrew Brietbart.

        • They claim to have funded the whole thing themselves. And, it’s interesting that Breitbart just happened to roll out his new website just in time to pump this story, 2 days before the 9/12 TEA Party. And lest anyone be unclear, these 2 “kids” are not just a couple of freelancers off the street. They’re both trained and committed young right wing activists.

          http://www.nypost.com/p/news/local/brooklyn/pimp_hooker_catch_klyn_staff_Js4YPEcsCcxLZhAEehLhmL/1

          • I really find the entire thing suspicious. A lot of it is just way too convenient. Like I said, I’m waiting to see what the DA in some of these places says about the entire thing.

          • I strongly suspect they were subsidized by Breitbart or someone else, but their operation was pretty low-budget.

            Both of them are conservative activists and have been featured/discussed on winger blogs prior to this.

          • Townhall.com:

            Hannah Giles is a townhall.com contributor and aspiring journalist. She is the journalist behind the ACORN prostitution/tax evasion sting. She is the oldest daughter of Townhall.com columnist Doug Giles.

          • Big Government:

            James O’Keefe is an activist filmmaker. He credits include the “Bailout Prize Patrol” produced for Right.Org in 2009. He also directed, scripted, produced and acted in a series of undercover videos showcasing racism and statutory rape at Planned Parenthood in 2007 and 2008.

            Before that he served as Publications Coordinator at the Leadership Institute, where he helped initiate 22 independent newspapers and magazines on college campuses nationwide. He also gave lectures on campus strategy and fundraising, preaching the gospel of Saul Alinsky.

            His most recent project is Veritasvisuals.com, a collection of satirical short films on newsworthy topics, featuring ridiculous situations and demands.
            These have included straight men with girlfriends getting married to each other in Massachusetts and petitions to adopt Gitmo detainees into American homes.

            His work has been featured on CNN and Fox News.

            James got his start producing videos banning “H20” and “Lucky Charms” at his alma mater, Rutgers University, where he founded The Centurion in 2004.

          • Townhall:

            Doug Giles is the creator and host of “The Clash” radio shows, winners of seven Silver Microphone Awards and two Communicator Awards in the last three years.

            In addition, Doug is a popular columnist, minister and award-winning writer. His articles have been taken up by several other print and hundreds of online news sources and he is an irregular guest on both major television and radio news programs across the nation.

            Giles has also spawned ClashTV, which features Doug’s cultural commentary put to film. This can be seen on NRB TV, DirectTV Channel 378 and online at http://www.ClashRadio.comM.

            Giles earned the Bachelor of Fine Arts degree from Texas Tech University and study Christianity and Culture at Knox Theological Seminary.

            He’s the author of three books, Ruling in Babylon: Seven Habits of Highly Effective Twentysomethings (2003); Political Twerps, Cultural Jerks, Church Quirks (2004); The Bulldog Attitude: Get It or Get Left Behind (2006). His most recent book will be released in June 2007, 10 Habits of Decidedly Defective People: The Successful Loser’s Guide to Life; Regal Press.

          • I agree. It is suspicious.

            But, OTOH, I have no intention of going to bat for the organization that disenfranchised my 2008 primary vote.

            Let ACORN…. and other organizations like them… self immolate on the altar of Obama. I will stand back and wait for the phoenix to rise from the ashes of their ignorance.

            Fu** ACORN. Quite frankly…. I don’t care *who* does the fu**ing. They (with Axelrove and Obama) have screwed this country out of it’s best chance for real Health Care reform. And they did it using the worst kind of political sexism that I have seen in my lifetime.

            And that doesn’t even address the continuous race card playing.

            SYD

    • I listened to some of the interviews with them. I got the impression that they were really blown away by what was said to them. I think they continued the inquiries because it was unbelievable at first and then a challenge.

      You will notice however how fast the Dems and the DNC are running from them even tho’ Obama’s 800,000 get out the vote payment to them was more than delivered.

      BTW while Obama is having his marathon Sunday tv shows, the CEO of ACORN, Bertha ????? will be on Fox News with Chris Wallace. I also saw an interview with her on O’Reilly and he was fair with her—but at the very end he asked her if Fox News could look at their financials and she said “no way”. I think anyone receiving government funds should be subject to public disclosure of their government funds and what they do with them. For the government to not provide oversight and regulation in such programs breeds corruption, plain and simple.

      • That’s the other shoe that needs to drop. Funding for ACORN should not be stopped before an investigation. Our government needs to do its job. I’m thinking that a few faith based programs would be vulnerable to such an undercover sting as well. Of course, I believe that Blackwater was exposed. What’s happening with that?

        What about our awarding of no-bid contracts in general?

        • I’m thinking that a few faith based programs would be vulnerable to such an undercover sting as well.

          Good point. I’m wondering what kind of costume that would involve… 😉

          • My imagination fails me. I have *faith* that someone will have the key to pushing the right buttons.

  17. Nice post and great topic.

    I’m mostly fine with the pseudo journalists and their tactics. From what I’m hearing, it appears they tried dozens of places and sadly for Acorn pretty much all of them fell for it and we’re just getting them out one at a time, drip, drip, drip.

    I’m also mostly fine with Acorn providing the services they do, even to prostitutes.

    But I do have a problem with both of them. For Acorn to have as many members as they do promoting what can reasonably be called an under age sex slave trade is a catastrophe of the first order. You just can’t tell me the story spun of 13 year old girls from Mexico would be all brought in voluntarily. I think any reasonable person would be very concerned and upset hearing any plans like this, and would do anything possible to put a stop to it. The fact that so many, and perhaps every Acorn office approached were fine with this concept is not just a bunch of bad apples. It’s systemic. And government investigations and house cleaning must be done thoroughly.

    I also have problems with this couple along the lines of many here. Their ignorance of life outside of their little gated, privileged world is upsetting. They are exactly the worst of humanity from that sect of the social conservative. I am repulsed by them.

    But as I said, I don’t have a problem with their investigation as it uncovered a very dangerous illness. And I am very happy with the good things Acorn has done and is doing. Obviously I have a problem with the corruption we’ve seen in that organization from funneling money to some campaigns for likely quid pro quo, embezzling from some a year or so ago, and of course their participation in voter fraud as we saw in the primaries. But that’s orthogonal to this issue to me.

  18. I am not going to pass judgement on Giles and O’Keefe. I will pass judgement on the duly appointed and elected authorities who failed to follow-up on any of the thousands of complaints about voter registration fraud, voter intimidation at the polls and other abuses conducted by ACORN under a couple of hundred aka”s. The duly constituted authorities and the so called press had days and months to look into the ACORN story. They did not. So 2 kids come along, young adults, green behind the ears and they come up with a plot. Their work is no more morally worse than one heck of a lot of the trash you can find on the internet from all kinds of people.

    I have never had an experience with ACORN but I have experienced its equivalent with an inner city charter school involving a partnership with a CBO that was deeply rooted in the AA church of the community. It was not long after opening the doors that a whole number of family members, church members and a few street people were school employees. That would have been fine except for one huge problem. They did not have the training and education; they did not have the maturity or experience. They were not bad people but the students of that school were simply not being served. There was no education happening for them. I see the same thing with ACORN; they are supposed to provide services in the community to people who are needy, if not desperate. There is a point where training, knowledge and experience are important; there is a point where if employees do not have the needed skills they can do harm.

    If we do not recognize this issue, then to me it becomes using and exploiting the needy to provide jobs for people who can not deliver the services promised. Cadillac social workers who do the scene and sell out the people.

  19. jangles,

    I chose to pass judgment and you have good reasons for not doing so. I think you have reasonable concerns and it’s good you expressed them.

    s

    • s
      TY. That is what we are about here and I appreciate that when we differ, even hotly, we do so for reasons we think are important and for the most part we all state a case and avoid putdowns and trash talking.

  20. Have always wondered: should the flautist sit and listen while the prostitutes?

  21. Oh come on, the bottom line is the ACORN people should have realized that theses two were off the rails and called some one to intervene. That they didn’t and and abetted their desires speaks to a moral bankruptcy of the organization.
    How many O-bots justified overrunning the causeses and the phony charges of racism because they thought Obama the better candidate?

    • That’s because you have no reason to fear the police. If you’ve lived in a place where the police are not your friend, you may just play them and think they’re just two white kids writing a college paper. If they came into a bar in my area, I’d think they were from some place up NE and they’re down here doing their semester projects badly. You think like some one who has not lived in a situation where the police are not your friends.

      • Thank you for putting straight to the cop’s best friend and representative. This is the same guy who blamed the woman who was pulled over by the cop for BEING female and then when she protested that she was innocent of his lies — he tasered her. Mr cop’s friend — sided with the pig cops.

        So I now just slide right past what’s his names — “words”.

  22. If you think the wingnuts are noisy now . . .

    Mr. Edwards dismissed an initial report in The National Enquirer in 2007 that he was having an affair, and the matter was largely ignored by the mainstream news media. But in July 2008, The Enquirer published an article with photographs of a clandestine meeting Mr. Edwards had with Ms. Hunter and her daughter in a Los Angeles hotel. Days later, Mr. Edwards acknowledged the affair to “Nightline” on ABC, offering contrition but insisting that the child could not be his because of the timing and brevity of their intimacy.

    Imagine if he had won the election before the story broke?

  23. Dandy: Where did you come across the factoid that the two green shoot journalist wanna be’s live in gated communities? Seems like the ACORN workers are as clueless about the gated community lifestyle as the privileged are about the ghetto. Guess we are a long way from post racial/post class.

    ‘I also have problems with this couple along the lines of many here. Their ignorance of life outside of their little gated, privileged world is upsetting. ‘

    • Like Joe the Plumber, it doesn’t matter about them.
      What mattered was the reply to the question.

      • Amen! Why shoot the messengers? Facts are facts and facts are non-partisan. Acorn is a racket, a tax-funded racket. Sheer corruption.

        • g,

          They created the message so they are not simply messengers.

          I’m interested in sorting out the good from bad, regardless of the side.

          s

    • That was a euphemism for the social conservative universe. Totally off the cuff. I don’t know those two. Just my way of blathering on. Pay no attention to the pirate behind the curtain. 🙂

  24. They seem like a couple of rather inexperienced people with
    some major chutzpa.

    • again, not about them but about the answer

      • I could agree with that if I could see the entire original tape with no edits … as it stands, it looks bad. But, I’ve seen the press hatchet job a lot of people with the right edits. I don’t think ACORN is saintly, but I think all of this stuff sounds highly contrived. I saw on the interview shows today about one guy that kept asking questions and sounded interested and then called a family member in the police afterwards. Another young woman said the same thing. I don’t think we’ve seen the complete picture here.

  25. This also reminds me of some Michael Moore thing from YouTube where he hired a guy to dress up as a pimp to get those Congressional hos back in line. He dresses the guy up out of one of those 70’s vigilante movies and then the guy goes with these two women to cajole and threaten members of Congress, cause, ya know, we need a righteous liberal pimp who knows what to do with hos. “this is what I do to my girls if they don’t mind, I’ll do the same to you. It’s like, beyond offensive on more levels than I can count, thanks Mike. Keep fighting the power

  26. almost cant belive what i was Reading in this post it your doing the same thing the CNN & most the other MSM make it look like .
    O’Keefe and Giles ate the bad guys in this whole scandal un- freaking believable

    • Until I see DAs throw indictments down on anyone, I’m reserving judgement.

    • Just because they are causing problems for an organization you don’t like does not make them your friends.

      Unless you are a conservative?

      • They don’t have to be anyone’s “friends.” They are delivering a cummupence.

        Think of them like the devil, if you will. (teehee)

        ACORN does not deserve the assistance of those it disenfranchised. By robbing us of our votes, they also robbed this nation of likely the best President we would have seen in our lifetimes. Meaningful Health Care reform…. gone. Because of their antics.

      • Again, what does it matter who does the undercover investigating? Facts are facts, so why shoot the messenger? I don’t care if those kids were conservatives or leftists or Martians. Facts are non-partisan.

    • boogieman- I completely agree. I have read this exchange and am too disgusted to comment. I was a Democrat for 32 years, but I was a Democrat with morals. ACORN is anti-Democratic and anti-democratic. These kids proved that ACORN sucks. The apologists on this post are beyond comprehension. Good night and good luck.

  27. acorn needs to be shut down end of story i guess alot you you 4gota about all the voter fraud during the GE

    • where was the part in your post where acorn had no problem with importing under aged girls to be sex slaves. i guess you missed that part right

      • i mean where is the out rage . with what acorn did .. if it in the post our some of the comments if its out there i missed it ..

        • It seems really odd to me that the only media really trumpeting this are FOX and the right wing misinformants. There has to be something out there in the investigation going on that’s undermining some of what’s being seen.

          Cinie does a good job above point out that they appear to be funded by Brietbart and don’t appear to be the little innocents abroad they may be … these aren’t journalists doing undercover investigation with whatever these days passes as journalistic integrity.

          I think you make a mistake if you don’t want to see what the FBI or the state attorneys or district attorneys do with this. I don’t believe the facts are as easy as you think they are … this is just too weird to be completely what they say it is.

          I’ve lived within a mile of ACORN for 15 years and I’ve seen them poledance and wave signs and do all kinds of things … but even I don’t really take this story at face value because we haven’t see any police action!

        • ACORN did nothing.

          Some of it’s employees appear to have been willing to facilitate a criminal enterprise.

          The basic purpose of ACORN is good and it provides valuable services.

          I’m more concerned with Goldman Sachs

      • it’s up there, did you read the post?

        Their sting starts with a young female sex worker trying to buy a home, before it lures the ACORN workers into the ugliness of underage sexual exploitation.

  28. OT, Bringing this from downstairs–

    paper doll, on September 19th, 2009 at 10:11 am Said:

    Asians and others must get pissed off that they are so rarely thought of in this conversation. You would think there are only two races on earth…

    I don’t get pissed, but once in awhile I do wonder if the talking heads and politicians realize (or rather do they even care) that Americans like me don’t live in the White or Black or sometimes Latino Americas that they are so obsessed with in their much ballyhooed “conversations on race.” I just live in America–I’m not sure exactly what kind of America it is that K-street lives in such that it allows them to go to sleep at night. Let’s have a “national conversation” about those “Americas.” (…crickets…)

    • It’s not so much race as it is a huge class difference.

      There is a huge upper class ignorance of how the rest of the world lives — and thus 0zero exploited the “rural” red necked, bible hugging, tree thumping rural folks. Did I forget “gun toting”?

      • For some reason I was reminded of the good old Newt days of him saying maybe we should take all the poor children and put them in orphanages. What was really scary was how many upper class types nodded their heads and said, yea, that might be a good idea.

        (shudder) I hate those flashbacks.

  29. There’s a new topic now, but I just wanted to say thanks for putting this piece together and putting it forward for discussion. I’m more than happy to see the bad elements of ACORN brought to light, but something has been bothering me about the videos that I wasn’t able to pinpoint. The stereotypes going on are so retro, it was getting irritating after awhile seeing the videos played over and over again too.

    • did anyone here get the part that that poor urban class of people that acorn is always helpng . is they useing that same class of people . & preying on them ..

      • what does that have to do with what I was saying? All I’m saying is it was weird watching these videos… I mean look how the guy went dressed… with the fedora and the walking stick…

    • I should add though that it’s hilarious that two kids, with whatever motivations, were able to expose something and the MSM is just left spinning and not knowing what to say. CNN in the beginning was so defensive… “we have to fact-check, unlike FOX”

  30. not sure I gave much thought to the prurient puritanical fuckery behind the expose’ methodology, other than a passing “tight ass manipulative wingers”… cuz I really, and I mean, really, wish to wipe sex slavery off of the earth. If I read you here – the gist of this, (and I did not miss a sentence of two here and there to the contrary), but anyway, are you equating the ancient and honorable trade in human crotch flesh, with the equally ancient, yet despicable entrapment and enslavement of human flesh, and exploitation of the personal genital integrity of women and children ?!?

    At this point, I do not care if Acorn was involved. Acorn has been involved in the least communities for so long, as Wade Rathke saw a good thing in exploiting the least amongst us, in their great numbers, for a power base and tool for change. Poor Black Americans are the gears Wade uses for his big levering tool. So I could go on forever and ever about manipulation and exploitation. Wade is the worst sort of Carpet Bagger. I hate political manipulators. Bread and Circus. I believe in the liberation people find in making their way out of adversity. And Wade is no different from the people who chop off limbs, and blind children to doom them as beggars – and they are little money machines, like a parking meter planted on every corner that they come by to empty every day. Wade sells the change to the highest bidders. Wade has his living off of the bondage and condition of the poor, and sells their political proxy and warm bodies.

    The poor live in a brutal world the bourgeois pretend not to know of, though many of them do use the ghetto as their sort of fast food drive in They drive over there (where the poor are doomed to be born in, live in, and die in), late at night, and on weekends for their ass grass and crack – and then back to their safe towns full of cops their nice towns employ to keep the riff raff out.

    I mean, normally, I would not mind reading your apologia of Sex for Sale, but the thing I cannot wrap my head around is the underage entrapped, sent to foreign lands, and forced into sexual bondage. It is not in the same vein as someone who likes sex enough to. or tolerates it well enough to, have a broker finding them short term contracts, and living on their stomach and knees and backs.

  31. it blows my mind that on this blog that your protecting & defending acorn .. after all that we have been has happend during that past elect…

  32. To me this whole stunt reminds me most of the prank Sarkozy phone call pulled on Sarah Palin. I call it the Ali G school of journalism. In both cases I’d say the victims of the stunts were flawed and somewhat ideologically blinkered, but not deserving of all hatred and vilification thrown in their direction by the opposing side. Probably in both cases, the victims involved were thinking “what the hell is going on?” but playing along until they were free of their pranksters, which we now know is never a good move.

    I’d be more impressed with this school of journalism if it ever managed to deal a real body blow to what’s ailing our body politic, rather than playing into the binary thinking and mutual vilification which is what now substitutes for political discourse in this country.

  33. Interesting article here about O’Keefe (the young earnest inexperienced naive aspiring journalist)
    http://mediamatters.org/research/200909170053

    as a Rutgers University undergraduate, O’Keefe videotaped a classmate distributing to a Women in Culture and Society lecture a handout that emphasized that a “good wife always knows her place.”

    O’Keefe gave his motivation as We just want to inform women, like, we just want to inform them, and we want to add to the diversity of the dialogue.

    O’Keefe videotaped that event also.

    • They prob got the idea after noticing how everyone they meet just nods And smiles at everything they say, hoping they’ll go away.

    • lb,

      He reminds me of the boys on campus that wore anti-gay t-shirts with a pair of stick men holding hands pressed over with a large sans interdict (no entry) logo.

      s

  34. In 2006, O’Keefe began working with Lila Rose. He came up with the idea to have her pose as an underaged pregnant teenager, walk into Planned Parenthood clinics, and tape the conversations that followed. Videos of the exchanges have generated criticism of the organization.[2]

    In 2008, while a first year law student at UCLA, O’Keefe posed as a donor to Planned Parenthood. He specified his gift should go to fund abortions of minorities because “there are way too many black people.” After releasing audio of the conversation, Planned Parenthood issued an apology for the behavior of the staff member on the phone, calling it inappropriate.

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/James_O%27Keefe

    I don’t think Lila Rose ever released her unedited tapes, either.

    • & stop acting like acorn is the only ones that r helping the poor….-

      • How did Cinie do that? She simply showed evidence that this kid does stunts like this with all kinds of places that he doesn’t like and no one ever sees all the film. Only his careful edits. Plus, he seems to be well-funded for some student. How does that imply anything about what you just stated?

      • what you are doing reminding me of what the MSM did to joe the plumber. start digging up dirt on him . how about going after acorn.& investagteing them they are the prob in this whole scandel

        • That’s not dirt, that’s his bio. He’s proud of it. He also held Affirmative Action bake sales and advocated for banning Lucky Charms at Rutgers because they’re racist and offensive to Irish people.

        • Oh, please. Joe the Plumber was a private citizen who got dragged into tge spotlight through no fault of his own and was attacked by the MSM because they didn’t like his opinion. These people are going around pulling sting operations, they’re public figures, not innocent victims.

        • This guy goes around doing Ali G stuff … he’s not Joe the Plumber.

        • im saying that you where looking for dirt . & you know it.

          DK where dose it say that he is well funded whats is wrong with exposing corruption at at PP or anywhere eles & where did he edit?? & your right he has done this before hes exposed corruption before … & what hes doing is a good thing ..

          • I was not “looking for dirt.” I wanted to know more about this story than the superficial. Trust me, finding this stuff is not hard, nor does it require more than a Google search and a reluctance to take anything from Glenn Bleck and Co. at face value. The guy has a website, Veritas Visuals. So does Lila Rose. I believe Hannah Giles contributes at Townhall, but I’m not sure. They’re rightwing activists, and very upfront about it.

          • what Cinie has been saying in this thread all along, just go read her links and comments … I don’t feel the need to repeat what she’s already said

          • How does looking for dirt on O’Keefe differ from looking for dirt on Obama or ACORN?

            O’Keefe is not on our side. Why doesn’t he ever expose corruption among conservatives?

        • Nobody needs to look for anything, he proudly leaves a trail of slime everywhere he goes.

  35. Hipster Bingo: “I have a friend who’s a Sex Worker!”

  36. I’m not going to even read the other comments until I’ve said this:
    I had a pimp buy a house behind mine. I minded my own business and he did his. For a while….
    Soon, every girl I had seen on the street at one time or another would end up living there. The guy would beat them. There would be cars, nice cars, with mostly white, well dressed middle aged men coming and going all day. One after another. I didn’t mind that so much until I started to see small children there. Seems the guy running the show had kids he would take occasionally. His kids. Lots of em. The cars would still be coming and going while the kids were there. They then had to play outside, unsupervised. My biggest problem with this scene is when he would beat the girls. They would scream, many times running out into the street where we all could see what was happening. I can’t tell you how many times the cops showed up. It was clear that the cops knew the guy. He would meet them in the front yard and after an exchange of words, I’d see the cops laughing with him and they would eventually leave. Now why would that be happening? I always thought the cops must be getting favors there. I could be wrong but at no time did I ever see a cop speak to one of these girls. They stayed pretty doped up too. Don’t tell me that prostituion is a legitamite business and it has no victims. Those kids were victims, the women were victims and so was our neighborhood.

    • gmg,

      I did not say prostitution was a legitimate business, nor did I say it was victimless. I said that people who become prostitutes tend to have been victims of sexual abuse, tend to be in economic difficulty, and that as prostitutes, they are likely to be victims of violence.

      s

      s

  37. This should be good.

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