A Question For Bertha Lewis...

This weekend saw a rather weak attempt at a pushback against filmmaker James O’Keefe and his expose of the criminal enablers in ACORN’s Baltimore and Washington offices. O’Keefe’s work, referenced in Friday’s entry of The Hayride, had the effect of driving a wedge between ACORN and the Census, which cut ties with the organization in the wake of revelations that ACORN employees will provide tax advice and housing assistance to self-identified pimps and prostitutes.

But unlike American corporations targeted for exposes by the left-wing media in this country, the ACORN people don’t quite understand how to manage public outrage over their misdeeds. You’d expect a “we’re conducting a full review of our policies and training, we share in the public’s consternation about this matter and we’re deeply embarrassed that this could happen.”

Oh, no. Give Bertha Lewis, ACORN’s “Chief Organizer,” a chance to run her yap and you get this as a substitute for damage control:

The relentless attacks on ACORN’s members, its staff and the policies and positions we promote are unprecedented. An international entertainment conglomerate, disguising itself as a “news” agency (Fox), has expended millions, if not tens of millions of dollars, in their attempt to destroy the largest community organization of Black, Latino, poor and working families in the country. It is not coincidence that the most recent attacks have been launched just when health care reform is gaining traction. It is clear they’ve had these tapes for months.

We are their Willy Horton for 2009. We are the boogeyman for the right-wing and its echo chambers. If ACORN did not exist, the right-wing would have needed to create us in order to achieve their agenda, their missions, their ideal, retrograde America. This recent scam, which was attempted in San Diego, Los Angeles, Miami, New York, Philadelphia to name a few places, had failed for months before the results we’ve all recently seen. I am appalled and angry; I cannot and I will not defend the actions of the workers depicted in the video, who have since been terminated. But it is clear that the videos are doctored, edited, and in no way the result of the fabricated story being portrayed by conservative activist “filmmaker” O’Keefe and his partner in crime. And, in fact, a crime it was – our lawyers believe a felony – and we will be taking legal action against Fox and their co-conspirators.

We will not be intimidated by this international conglomerate, which has made as its mission the destruction of our organization. ACORN members are committed to the empowerment of their communities – Black, Latino, poor, and working families – at the deepest level. We are an organization committed to halting the foreclosure crisis and keeping people in their homes. We are an organization committed to ensuring quality, affordable health care for every American. We are an organization that will not be stopped in our commitment to our members and our communities which has included:

– Helping hundreds of thousands of African-American and Latino voters register to vote and get to the polls in recent years;
– Preparing, since 2004, approximately 150,000 free tax returns totaling $190 million in refunds and increased earned income tax credit participation;
– Providing effective foreclosure prevention advocacy saving thousands of American families from losing their homes to foreclosure.

This is a veritable cornucopeia of paranoia and stupidity. Shall we go through some of the highlights?

First, there is nothing unprecedented about the scrutiny ACORN is undergoing. What may be unprecedented is the mountain of evidence suggesting that ACORN is a criminal conspiracy. That tends to invite scrutiny.

Next, Lewis doesn’t even know who hit her and her cabal. Fox was merely the medium, and a secondary one at that; James O’Keefe and Hannah Giles were the people who exposed ACORN, and their work was originally published on Andrew Breitbart’s BigGovernment.com. To my knowledge News Corp. has no connection with any of Breitbart’s web properties, so blaming Fox for giving a forum to ACORN’s accusers misses the mark completely and indicates the rather dim grasp of Alinskyite strategy of personalizing and demonizing of one’s enemies that Lewis possesses.

Lewis can’t even last a whole paragraph before throwing down the race card, which is typical of the meritless Left and the poverty industry in particular. She then brings the health care debate into the discussion without any effort to explain why Barack Obama’s attempts to effect a federal seizure of the medical sector should have anything to do with an expose of ACORN’s suborning of criminal behavior; “it’s clear they’ve had these tapes for months” is insufficient to prove anything along the lines of her inference that O’Keefe is trying to attack Obama through ACORN.

Next is a reference to Willie Horton, which is appropriate only in the sense that Horton was a criminal who ran amok thanks to stupid, enabling policies by left-wing politicians – and that is an accurate description of ACORN. Lewis then attacks Fox a bit more, as though her problems begin and end there.

And then comes the money line. After a rather hasty and dismissive notation that she doesn’t condone the actions of the ex-ACORN employees on the videos, Lewis then makes the accusation that O’Keefe’s videos were “doctored, edited, and in no way the result of the fabricated story being portrayed” before saying she thinks a crime was committed by the filmmaker. Of course, the left-wing ACORN stooge who runs the City Attorney’s office in Baltimore is making noises about prosecuting O’Keefe for “wiretapping,” which would require a rather strained interpretation of the laws.

The question I have for Miz Lewis is this, though – if O’Keefe is guilty of creating a frame-up job on ACORN’s Baltimore and Washington offices, then why did the organization summarily jettison the four employees caught on tape? If what’s on those videos didn’t actually happen, as her current statement indicates, then wouldn’t an immediate termination of their employment be rash and unjust?

The answer is ACORN fired those employees because it was patently obvious they were happy to suborn prostitution and tax fraud. Anyone could clearly see that. So for Lewis to attempt to discredit O’Keefe by saying black is white just makes clear how inartful a liar she and her organization are.

Once again, congratulations to O’Keefe for turning a light on the cockroaches at ACORN. And should that organization attempt to sue him and Fox News and enable the discovery process, it may well be that a true fumigation can be had.

Crossposted at www.thehayride.com