With ACORN exposed by young conservative activists James O’Keefe and Hannah Giles, the community organization has been top of the news cycle for weeks. But a group of former ACORN board members and regular members tried to get something done before the sizzling undercover videos shot by O’Keefe were made public. Insiders who wanted to clean up the organization are known as ACORN 8.
If you’ve never heard of ACORN 8, you’re not alone. There’s a reason—Fox News is one of the only nationally branded media outlets who gave the group a voice.
Before the recent ‘ACORN-gate’ exposure, members of ACORN 8 called for a member boycott and an investigation. On the group’s website, a statement said, “We the members of the national board of the ACORN 8 formally demand an immediate suspension of all federal, state and local funding of ACORN until after an independent audit and Congressional hearings on ACORN and its related entities. And that all members BOYCOTT ACORN and immediately cease paying their dues until after a forensic examination of ACORN and its related entities. The ACORN 8 is an organization of ACORN leaders; current and former board members who are seeking to reform the Association of Community Organizations for Reform Now.”
That was in June.
Branded media only began to listen when two young conservatives did their undercover work, a pro bono act to seek information about a group receiving taxpayer dollars. In addition to Fox News, CNN did pick up the story. Here’s the CNN lead paragraph from a November, 2008, story: “Community organizing group ACORN, investigated this year for filing fraudulent voter registration forms, has fired two board members it had asked to investigate allegations that an ACORN founder's brother embezzled nearly $1 million.”
Here’s an astounding revelation from the 2008 CNN article : “The possible embezzlement by Dale Rathke, brother of ACORN founder Wade Rathke, allegedly occurred about eight years ago. But the ACORN board did not find out about it until this year.”
At least a million dollars missing for 8 years?
The Justice Dept. will conduct a “limited investigation,” CNN said. The investigation may pose a political hazard because Democrats who control Congress and the presidency are long-time supporters and fans of ACORN.
Rumors are afloat more tapes will surface this week.
While media outlets have focused on two conservatives as the springboard for taking a hard look at ACORN, fact is ACORN’s own supporters had tried to get something done. Two of those supporters, board members who’d been asked to investigate, were fired.
Web media guru Andrew Breitbart said in a column at one of his sites, Big Government, rather than investigating ACORN, "Since Mr.[John] Podesta was appointed to investigate ACORN, the only thing investigated has been the investigators, Mr. O’Keefe, Ms. Giles and the publisher of the journalism behind it, yours truly."
Podesta was chief of staff to President Bill Clinton. Podesta is also president of the leftwing advocacy group Center for American Progress.Podesta hails from Chicago; he was co-chair of President Barack Obama's transition team. Podesta investigating ACORN is like asking Saturday Night Live to investigate Al Franken.
Why didn’t branded media push the ACORN 8 story above the fold, considering millions of taxpayer dollars have gone to the organization? Why isn’t the Justice Dept. doing more? Why haven’t branded TV and print media exposed these sordid acts?
The answer is as obvious as the donkey on the Beltway.--Commentary by Kay B. Day