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Tuesday, July 27, 2010
MRC Offended By Factual Description of ACORN Videos
Topic: Media Research Center

In the midst of a July 26 MRC TimesWatch item taking umbrage at the New York Times for highlighting the media's "misleading coverage" of the Shirley Sherrod story (which he treats as yet another reason to bash the Times' purported liberal bias), Clay Waters complained that the Times described Andrew Breitbart's ACORN videos as "heavily edited tapes":

"Heavily edited tapes" seems to be the liberally approved phrase to place in front of mentions of the ACORN scandal these days. It's cropped up in several recent Times stories, including Stelter's.

For all his complaining, Waters doesn't deny the claim -- because he can't. The videos were indeed heavily edited, and Breitbart has so far refused to publicly release the unedited videos. Authorities in New York and California, in declining to press charges against ACORN, have pointed out that, in the words of one official, Breitbart, James O'Keefe and Hannah Giles "edited the tape to meet their agenda."

Waters is not the only MRC employee to take offense at accurate descriptions of Breitbart's ACORN tapes. A July 25 NewsBusters post by Tim Graham, responding to Rachel Maddow pointing out that "ACORN has been exonerated by prosecutors in New York City and by the attorney general of California and by the U.S. Government Accountability Office. Not that you've heard any of that reported on Fox," by trying to change the subject:

(Here's what you didn't hear reported on Maddow. Jerry Brown, the leftist Attorney General of California, denounced "partisan" media in his report on ACORN, but also "pointed out that ACORN probably violated state civil laws by disposing of thousands of pages containing confidential information about employees, members and other individuals in a trash bin, failing to file a 2007 state tax return and engaging in four instances of possible voter registration fraud in San Diego." That's hardly an "exoneration" you boast about.)

What you won't hear about from Graham is that Breitbart and Co. originally claimed that his crew's dumpster-diving uncovered evidence of "obstruction of justice" -- a charge ultimately not supported. Or that the Breitbart crew may well have broken the law by breaking into a caged dumpster to steal those ACORN documents.  

Posted by Terry K. at 9:46 AM EDT

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