From THE BRAD BLOG:
Unreleased raw footage reviewed by AG Jerry Brown’s investigation was obtained from Rightwing activists O’Keefe and Giles in exchange for immunity from prosecutionContradicting MSM coverage, O’Keefe ‘never claimed he was a pimp,’ ‘did not act as a journalist’…Echoing the recent report of the Kings County, NY, District Attorney who completed a five-month probe finding “no criminality” seen in video tapes secretly taken of low-level ACORN and ACORN Housing workers last year in New York, California’s Attorney General has now reached a similar conclusion regarding videos recorded in three different cities in the Golden State last Summer, according to a report released today which finds the workers “committed no violation of criminal law.”
Original DVD cover
I thought those who abetted Pimpy in his crimes and those who cheered him on should be memorialized in his tie. Here’s your little guide, kids.
1. Robert Flanagan
2. Gretchen Carlson
3. Hannah Giles
4. Glenn Beck
5. James Pimpy O’Keefe
6. Bill O’Reilly
7. Joseph Basel
8. Stan Dai
9. Rush Limbaugh
10. Andrew Breitbart
11. Brian Kilmeade
12. Sean Hannity
13. Steve Doocy
In a press release announcing his 28-page report [PDF] (and accompanying 55 pages of attachments and exhibits [PDF] with it), the AG’s office says the publicly released videos taken in Los Angeles, San Diego and San Bernardino were “severely edited.”
Brown’s statement in the announcement is highly critical of Rightwing activists James O’Keefe III and Hannah Giles, who posed as a prostitute and her law school boyfriend in the videos posted on Rightwing media mogul Andrew Breitbart’s “Big Government” website last year and played extensively on Fox News, as well as other non-partisan media outlets.
“The evidence illustrates that things are not always as partisan zealots portray them through highly selective editing of reality,” says Brown in the statement. “Sometimes a fuller truth is found on the cutting room floor.”
In exchange for “immunity from prosecution,” O’Keefe and Giles provided “the full, unedited videotapes” to Brown’s office who, therefore, “did not determine if they violated California’s Invasion of Privacy Act” when secretly recording the ACORN workers. Those workers, he notes in his report, may still “be able to bring a private suit against O’Keefe and Giles for recording a confidential conversation without consent.”
O’Keefe, Giles, and Breitbart have previously refused to release the unedited footage of their videos publicly. Brown’s report details why they likely did not wish to, as important, often exculpatory details from each encounter were not included in the edited versions, released to much partisan fanfare last year.
The description of the videos as “severely edited” also echoes the Brooklyn D.A.’s office, which was quoted as describing them as a “heavily edited splice job” when his report was released several weeks ago.
Brown’s report also echoes an independent investigation [PDF] released by former MA Attorney General Scott Harshbarger early last December, but unreported in the New York Times and many others. That report was commissioned by ACORN as an external review. In it, Harshbarger found serious organizational concerns with the four-decade old community organizing group, but “no pattern of criminality” as seen in any of the highly-edited, heavily-overdubbed video tape releases.
Despite repeated official investigations finding a complete lack of criminality in any of the O’Keefe/Giles/Breitbart tapes — other than by the filmmakers themselves, who may have broken the law in at least two different states by secretly taping workers — ACORN recently announced that the publicity from the hoax videos had succeeded in drying up their private funding, and forced them to shutter their doors as of today.
Of the four ACORN employees O’Keefe and Giles met with in three different California cities, none “committed, solicited or conspired to commit any criminal acts,” says Brown in his report.
“In his actual taped sessions with ACORN workers, [O’Keefe] was dressed in a shirt and tie, presented himself as a law student, and said he planned to use the prostitution proceeds to run for Congress. He never claimed he was a pimp,” [emphasis added] the AG’s office says.
The BRAD BLOG has been covering the media’s misreporting of this story since late January, and was recently successful in forcing the New York Times to issue a partial correction to multiple stories in which they repeatedly misreported O’Keefe dressed as, or “posing as,” a pimp.
The paper is still standing, misleadingly, by the notion that O’Keefe “clearly represented himself as a pimp” to the ACORN workers, even though in every case he represented himself instead as Giles’ law school student, or sometimes banker, boyfriend, trying to help rescue her from an abusive pimp who had tried to stalk and kill her. Scores of other media outlets have followed the Times’ lead in misreporting the facts.
In conclusion, the AG’s report highlights the hit job pulled off by the three partisan activists, and takes pains to note that despite the adamant claims of O’Keefe, Breitbart and other Rightwing media outlets’ absurd suggestions to the contrary, O’Keefe “did not act as a journalist objectively reporting a story”:
The edited O’Keefe videos released on the BigGovernment.com website portrayed ACORN as an organization infested with employees committing crimes. However, the impression of rampant illegal conduct created by the recordings at the various ACORN offices around the country is not supported by the evidence related to the videos in California.
O’Keefe stated he was out to make a point and to damage ACORN and therefore did not act as a journalist objectively reporting a story. The video releases were heavily edited to feature only the worst or most inappropriate statements of the various ACORN employees, and to omit some of the most salient statements by O’Keefe and Giles.
ACORN was not the criminal enterprise described by O’Keefe in his “Chaos for Glory” statement – it did not receive billions in federal funds and did not control elections.
In fact, ACORN had received an average of just $3.5 million in federal tax dollars over each of the last 15 years. Moreover, there is no evidence that any vote was ever cast illegally, in any election, following an improper registration by an ACORN worker. In most cases, such improper registrations were discovered by ACORN themselves and reported to authorities.
Nonetheless, the anti-poverty organization of 400,000 low- and middle-income member families in 75 cities was successfully targeted and put out of business by Republicans; the long, concerted smear campaigns intended to do little more than undercut ACORN’s successful voter registration drives. Those drives had succeeded in legally registering hundreds of thousands of low- and middle-income voters, many of whom tend to vote Democratic. For that, for enfranchising Americans to participate in their own democracy, the GOP had to put them out of business.
(Lots of links to the unedited films and the California AG’s report at THE BRAD BLOG)