And you thought a couple of plucky young conservative activists with a camera brought down ACORN. Nope. It’s the arch-conservative New York Times that did in the noble community organizing group, or so says The Huffington Post in “Why ACORN Fell: The Times, Lies, and Videotape.”
“Because of its pivotal role in bringing down ACORN,” Peter Drier and John Atlas wrote in their March 24 editorial, “the Times owes the group an apology and the public a commitment to assign an experienced journalist to cover the complex world of community organizing, whose diverse practitioners mobilize poor and middle class people to win a voice in local, state, and national politics.”
The authors took particular issue with the following excerpt from Clark Hoyt’s March 21 article: "It remains a fascinating story. To conservatives, Acorn is virtually a criminal organization that was guilty of extensive voter registration fraud in 2008. To its supporters, Acorn is a community service organization that has helped millions of disadvantaged Americans by organizing to confront powerful institutions like banks and developers."
“Hoyt seems to be saying: Take your pick. Or, according to journalistic convention: the truth lies somewhere in between,” Drier and Atlas cried.
Apparently The New York Times is a covert ally of the Republican Party abetting a scheme to suppress minority voters: “The Times has never informed readers that the Republican Party's ongoing war against ACORN began in 2004 and accelerated during the 2008 presidential campaign. Karl Rove and conservative Republicans orchestrated an attack on Acorn for alleged ‘voter fraud,’ as part of a campaign to suppress the voting of minorities and the poor.
The authors maintained the organization’s innocence against allegations of voter-fraud and rampant corruption, accusing Times reporters of repeating the “misleading canard” of “planted” stories – giving “aid and comfort to its enemies.”
Besides, everyone knows the Times “overwhelms readers with stories about the Tea Party, whose numbers pale in comparison to membership in grassroots community organizing in cities across the country.” If the Times is a hot bed of Tea Party boosterism, the paper had done a good job of hiding it.
Another major point of condemnation by Driers and Atlas? This ones new: “The Times has no reporter whose beat covers community organizing or, more generally, liberal and progressive activism.” The horror.
Comparing ACORN’s plight to those accused of spying by Joe McCarthy six decades ago (yes, imagine leftists bringing up McCarthyism), Driers and Atlas wrote, “Haven't today's journalists learned any lessons from that experience?”
Conservatives owe the The Huffington Post a debt of gratitude for cluing us in on an ally we didn’t know we had … the New York Times.