NOW The New York Times Pays Attention To James O'Keefe
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Conservative video activist James O'Keefe is in trouble after allegedly attempting to wiretap Sen. Mary Landrieu's phone. We've yet to hear O'Keefe's side of the story in this, and I'll hold judgment until I know what he actually did and for what ends. Regardless of the prudence of his latest stunt, James O'Keefe's earlier exposure of ACORN for its willingness to give a pimp advice on writing off underage illegal aliens as tax dependents was nothing short of heroic genius. Of couse, the MSM intentionally ignored the story. When O'Keefe exposed ACORN, the New York Times did not even mention it in their pages until after the Census Bureau severed ties, and even then they did not even mention that O'Keefe's expos?© was responsible. The Times's Ombudsman even admitted they had been behind.

ON Sept. 12, an Associated Press article inside The Times reported that the Census Bureau had severed its ties to Acorn, the community organizing group. Robert Groves, the census director, was quoted as saying that Acorn, one of thousands of unpaid organizations promoting the 2010 census, had become ”a distraction.” What the article didn’t say – but what followers of Fox News and conservative commentators already knew – was that a video sting had caught Acorn workers counseling a bogus prostitute and pimp on how to set up a brothel staffed by under-age girls, avoid detection and cheat on taxes. The young woman in streetwalker’s clothes and her companion were actually undercover conservative activists with a hidden camera. It was an intriguing story: employees of a controversial outfit, long criticized by Republicans as corrupt, appearing to engage in outrageous, if not illegal, behavior. An Acorn worker in Baltimore was shown telling the ”prostitute” that she could describe herself to tax authorities as an ”independent artist” and claim 15-year-old prostitutes, supposedly illegal immigrants, as dependents. But for days, as more videos were posted and government authorities rushed to distance themselves from Acorn, The Times stood still. Its slow reflexes – closely following its slow response to a controversy that forced the resignation of Van Jones, a White House adviser – suggested that it has trouble dealing with stories arising from the polemical world of talk radio, cable television and partisan blogs. Some stories, lacking facts, never catch fire. But others do, and a newspaper like The Times needs to be alert to them or wind up looking clueless or, worse, partisan itself. [The Public Editor:Tuning in Too Late, by Clark Hoyt, New York Times, September 26, 2009, links in original]

Well I guess the Times is more alert. As soon as O'Keefe's arrest became public, they put the headline "4 Arrested in Phone Tampering at Landrieu Office" as the third leading story on their website. Of course O'Keefe's alleged crime is far less serious than the ACORN activities he exposed, and he's not receiving billions of dollars in taxpayer money; but apparently this is big news to the New York Times.

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