The New York Times took six days for one of its own reporters to acknowledge the ACORN scandal in print - the controversy based on the devastating footage taken by conservative activist and guerilla film-maker James O'Keefe, who caught on video the left-wing housing group giving advice to a "prostitute" and "pimp" on how to shelter illegal income from taxes.
Yet following the January 26 revelation of the arrest of O'Keefe and three others while pursuing another scandal story in New Orleans, the Times instantly pounced on the troubles of the conservative activist, running a print story the day after the news broke on the arrest of O'Keefe's crew for attempting to tamper with the phones of Democratic Sen. Mary Landrieu at her New Orleans office.
The Times didn't stop there, running stories on O'Keefe's stunt a total of five days in a row, culminating in a long front-page story on Sunday (Feb. 1) by Jim Rutenberg and Campbell Robertson, featuring mug shots of all four men splashed across the Sunday front page, "From High Jinks to Handcuffs - A Provocative Conservative Movement Born on Campus."
The run-up to the big Sunday rundown included stories on the previous four days:
• January 30: Campbell Robertson, "Man Details Incident at Senator's Office."
• January 29: Campbell Robertson and Bernie Becker, "Tampering at Senator's Office Was 'Stunt,' Lawyer Says."
• January 28: Campbell Robertson and Liz Robbins, "After Arrest, Provocateur's Tactics Are Questioned."
• January 27: Campbell Robertson, Liz Robbins, and Jim Rutenberg, "4 Arrested In Plotting On Phones of Senator."