By the standards of reasoning employed by all the people who have now managed to manufacture a fictional crime in order to convince themselves of the prejudices they already had for ACORN, this video should mean that "police" - collectively and organizationally - are thugs. Unlike the imaginary bogeyman scenario dreamed up by Giles and O'Keefe, the police officer in that video actually did do something thuggish: he beat a woman bloody. And unlike the ACORN employees caught in the "sting" operation, the police officer got to keep his job.
Citing the evidence of individuals out of any context to then draw a conclusion about a group collectively is not fact-finding. It's bigoted witch-hunting.
Look: As noted before, the purpose of the ACORN "sting" operations engaged in by Giles and O'Keefe was not journalism, but propaganda. There is no context. If they were doing journalism they might have attempted to provide evidence that there is systemic tax fraud going on at ACORN offices, or that any such incidents as the fictional scenario they came up with ever actually happens. (Or even have revealed that the Philadephia office they tried the scam on turned them into the police.)
But they can't do it, because I'm guessing the number of times a pimp walks into an ACORN office with his prostitute girlfriend and asks for tax advice about his underage illegal immigrant brothel is about zero. Which is why the libertarian in me gets so annoyed with these sorts of "stings": people shouldn't be manipulated into committing a crime that they would not normally commit. And if you've ever watched any of the gotcha/surprise reality shows, it's easy enough to put someone in some absurd situation and manufacture a desired outcome (e.g. Zach Braff furiously cussed out a twelve year old boy on an episode of Punk'd and seemed to be pretty close to wanting to hit the kid).
The couple has also released a second video showing two ACORN employees in the Washington office giving the fake pimp/prostitute advice on how to pay taxes on their income. Oh, the horror.
Funny how fake crimes that reveal more about the prejudices of the filmers than it does about the organziation they seek to smear generate more outrage and hysteria than actual crimes.
For instance, KPMG helped rob the government of billions of dollars, but I don't recall anyone dreaming up elaborate conspiracy theories with KPGM as a sinister group of "thugs" out to rule the world, using their magical powers to manufacture catastrophes and what not. Funny how the stereotyping of an organization as "thugs" is reserved for an organization that primarily helps register the poor and minorities to vote.
And while the Drudge/Hannity/Limbaugh/Malkin axis of misinformation believes that two low level employees of ACORN - who were immediately fired when their behavior was discovered - looking the other way at a fictional illegal immigrant underage prostitution ring that could only be dreamed up from the dark bogeyman world of conservative fears means that "ACORN" is in favor of child prostitution, it's interesting that the same conclusion was not drawn when two high level power brokers of Republican politics - Tom DeLay and Ralph Reed - lobbied on behalf of a government that actually was facilitating virtual sexual slavery. I don't recally anyone in the Malkin-sphere saying that DeLay and Reed "proved" the Republican Party was a bunch of "thugs" in favor of wage/sexual slavery.
Funny how that works.
And, as Digby points out via a reader, it's also funny how employees of Blackwater can (allegedly) murder people in Iraq and they remain employed by the US government, but employees of ACORN commit imaginary crimes and its time to sever ties.
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