Diary

ACORN on tape advising how to setup teenage prostitution house

This interesting headline comes to us by way of Andrew Breitbart who started BigGovernment.com today. The lead story on the site is by an enterprising young film student named James O’Keefe, whom he describes as “Morley Safer meets Sacha Baron Cohen.”  Mr. O’Keefe partnered with an actress and went to visit an ACORN housing assistance office in Baltimore, MD. Mr. O’Keefe plays the roll of a pimp, and the actress accompanying him plays the roll of one of his underage prostitutes. They ask for assistance getting a home loan, and for information about how to classify themselves on tax forms so they can maximize the money they are making. Mr. O’Keefe makes it clear that he is running a house of prostitution, specializing in Salvadoran teens in the age ranges of 13-15. The ACORN people never bat an eye about his “business” and helpfully suggest that he classify himself as a “performing arts” business, suggesting that they should be able to write off somewhere between $7,000 and $9,000 a year.

Mr. O’Keefe’s article includes links to the full audio and a typed transcript of the exchange. You really need to watch the video to get the full impact, and as today is their first day, it seems appropriate to drive traffic to their site rather than simply link to the YouTube clips.

It isn’t often I fail to come up with words that properly convey my level of disgust and contempt for our alleged custodians of the public good, but this is one of them. Fox News is all over this one this morning. I expect Glen Beck will be all over it tonight, as his teaser last night suggested he had already seen previews of the tape.

Update 9/10/2009 6:35 PM

Glen Beck had O’Keefe’s associate on his program tonight

Her name is Hannah and she is a 20 year old journalism student. According to her statements during the program, it was her idea for the script. She called O’Keefe and they worked for 6 weeks planning how they were going to do it. When Glen Beck asked her who funded her (one his current schticks mocking astroturfing charges) she said “I drained my saving account to do the project.” She clarified that her account only covered her costs and O’Keefe covered his costs from his own funding.

Also, they had Judge Andrew Napolitano on. Beck had copies of the tape on Saturday and asked the judge to review it in preparation for tonight’s broadcast. Judge Napolitano rattled off 8 or 9 charges that he thought could be prosecuted, noting that since ACORN gets federal funding, they could be tried in Federal Courts. He also said each of the charges carried a penalty of up to 5 years in prison.

Update 9/11/2009 Wrote a better diary today with lots of updated information.