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Thursday, December 10, 2009

The Harshbarger Report:A Microcosm of the Right's Wilfull Misinterpretation of the ACORN Story

Here's all you need to know about the Harshbarger report. It laid most of the blame for ACORN's current troubles on former chief organizer Wade Rathke even though no one that worked on the report even attempted to speak to Wade Rathke. Furthermore, most of the problems and solutions identified by the report were first identified by ACORN 8 or members of the organization and yet, again, no one that worked on the report talked to ACORN 8 or any single member of the group. Worse than that, the report congratulates ACORN for taking tangible steps toward correcting the problems since Rathke's removal even though members of ACORN 8 were removed from the board of ACORN when they tried to sound the alarm on all of this. That all happened after Wade Rathke was removed.

There's not a single so called leader in the conservative media world that's saying all of this even though the sphere has written hundreds of thousands of articles about the report. It's a sad display of total journalistic incompetence.

It's part of a pattern among the conservative media because their agenda is not to find out the truth. Instead, the conservative media has a very complicated agenda for ACORN and the truth is only one part of that agenda.

The reason that the entire conservative media totally missed the real story is because the real story has nothing to do with their agenda. Let's start with ACORN 8. I'd say a minority of the conservative has the first clue who or what ACORN 8 even is. Michelle Malkin's never written anything substantive about them. She's mentioned them a couple times in passing. That's the sort of "journalism" Ms. Malkin displays. Most in the conservative media have no idea that it was ACORN 8 that first uncovered things like the relationship between Citizen's Consulting Inc and ACORN. That was the key to unraveling the organization. From there is where all the affiliates were discovered and the complicated structure began to unfold. They uncovered evidence of most of the criminality short of the embezzlement of Dale Rathke. Yet, ACORN 8 does NOT have as one of its goals the destruction of President Obama. In fact, most of the group supports Obama. That's why the conservative media has no use for ACORN 8. Since they aren't trying to destroy Obama, the conservative media could care less what they know.

Then, there's Wade Rathke. In fact, he's the story not ACORN. ACORN is disintegrating. There won't be an ACORN within a year. Anyone can see that. Meanwhile, Rathke is building an empire that will allow him to influence culture and politics all over the world. Which of those two is more interesting? Yet, the conservatives could care less about what Rathke is up to now. After all, what Rathke is doing now has nothing to do with destroying Obama.

That myopic goal of tying ACORN to Obama and destroying both of them simultaneously is at the root of the right's consistent and willful misinterpretation of the story. For instance the most interesting story involving ACORN is all about ACORN's relationship with Steve Ratner, owner of the Nets. At first, ACORN was against building a new stadium in Brooklyn and then they flipped. Then, Ratner paid off the debt incurred coming out of the affair in which Dale Rathke embezzled a million dollars. There's tons of twists, turns, drama, and all sorts of conspiracies in that story and yet the right almost never talks about it. Why? Well, Obama isn't going to go down if you write about that story.

The other day on Big Government, the PI that discovered the garbage full of ACORN documents was making a big deal that he found that ACORN was being contracted out by Citigroup to do loan modifications. Why is that a big deal? In May they held a conference call they co hosted with the conference of mayors about ways to increase loan modifications. Of course, they work with Citigroup. They already work with the conference of Mayors. Why would anyone in the conservative media know about that conference call or what it meant for their influence on loan modifications? After all, nothing that came out of that call would have ended the career of President Obama. Linking ACORN to Citigroup, however, makes more sense since Obama engineered such a massive bailout of that company.

We could even look at voter registration fraud. Most conservatives think its voter fraud. Almost none could tell the difference. Most think there's moutains of evidence that ACORN has created fraudulent elections. In fact, the only thing that there's mountains of evidence of is that ACORN fraudulently registered millions of people that don't exist, and so would never vote, but they were paid by other organizations as though they were real. That is of course a multi million dollar fraud but not one that has anything to do with the outcome of the election.

It's why there are some in the conservatives that believe that Anita Moncrief is important and should actually be listened to. Anita Moncrief is willing to link ACORN to Obama and make it seem as though they're intertwined, he owes them his election, and they're currently dictating the agenda to him. Almost none that swallow this from Moncrief could explain what her evidence is to substantiate these charges, how she came upon that evidence, or what the sum total of all her so called evidence means. In fact, even if everything that Moncrief says is true, all she's proven is a violation of FEC regulations that would have a stiff fine of about a million dollars. That's it and that's if everything she's say is true. That's all she's said for over a year. Everything she's said is parrotting of others who've said it before.

It's frankly why some conservatives think a total hack like Michelle Malkin is worthy to be referred to as some respected journalist. The only people she's respected by are those that have the same agenda, the total destruction of Barack Obama. Check out what Malkin said about the Harschbarger report,

Harshbarger has determined — wait for it — that ACORN engaged in no wrongdoing depicted in the nationwide undercover stings conducted by O’Keefe III and Hannah Giles.

You can read the entire self-absolution here.As I noted in September, ACORN’s “independent” advisory council included several panelists who were not only willing to overlook illegal activity, but who have also been tainted by their own shady behavior and associations:

First of all, the report didn't find no "wrongdoing" but no evidence of ACORN contributing to criminal activity. In fact, there was plenty that the report found with ACORN just none of it, according to the report, rose to the level of supporting criminal behavior. Malkin doesn't appear to know that the report even mostly blamed Wade Rathke and certainly not that he wasn't contacted for the report. Since Malkin never reports on ACORN 8, it goes without saying that this slight is totally whitewashed by Malkin. In fact, the entire body of knowledge that Malkin has about ACORN is entirely corrupted by her agenda and this is the sort of analysis that's produced. I could spent several blog posts pointing out how corrupt Malkin's reporting is on the subject. This is the just one example.

Yet, in Malkin’s world the only thing that matters is destroying President Obama. Malkin doesn’t know any news that doesn’t have that as part of the agenda. It’s why Malkin counts as her main source Anita Moncrief.

It’s ironic, funny and sad that the conservative media scolds the MSM about their coverage of ACORN. Their own coverage is little more than a propaganda machine. The media fixates on a story, beats it to death, and usually doesn’t get it right anyway. All the stories have at their core the destruction of President Obama. Frankly, it’s rare to find someone in the conservative media write a story about ACORN without making some effort to at least include his name. It’s a despicable and sad tale because all while they completely and totally misconstrue the story themselves they sanctimoniously accuse others of skewing the story themselves.

Michelle Malkin never misses an opportunity to scold the New York Times for a story they didn’t run before the election that linked Obama and ACORN. She herself has written hundreds of times about ACORN and has only mentioned ACORN 8 a couple times in passing and she’s talked about Anita Moncrief more often than Wade Rathke. That’s the hypocrisy, total incompetence, and cynical agenda all rolled into one. Worse yet, while Malkin engages in gutter journalism she has hundreds of thousands of total lemmings she calls fans to cheerlead as though she’s doing something noble.


Unknown said...

WOW ! did you ever get it right. Thank you for continuing to bring forth the truth , not the spin that others try to make of the story. While some in the Right try to bring down Obama, the bigger danger is left unchecked. Wade Rathke continues to promote his agenda and after those in the Conservative movement figure it out, it will be too late.

Unknown said...

I agree with Karen, your story coverd this total the injustices perfectly. Conservatives need to get their heads out of the ground, the wax out of their ears, and have their lips tied shut so they can listen to the truth. How can you write any report if you don't have your facts correct. We are fortunate that you are out there writing and reporting the truth so that those who want to know the truth will get it. Wade Rathke is more far dangerous than anyone thinks, keeping the rador off of him is a foolish mistake for those who report that they want to know the truth about Acorn.