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ACORN nemesis once targeted Planned Parenthood

The activist filmmaker behind the documentary that toppled ACORN is talking.

James O'Keefe posed as a pimp and covertly filmed ACORN officials discussing how he and Hannah Giles, pretending to be a prostitute, could set up a brothel with underage girls from El Salvador while dodging taxes.

After the movie aired on Andrew Breitbart's website, Congress cut off ACORN's funding. 

Deflecting questions about whether he's a conservative, O'Keefe told NBC News that he was a "progressive radical" who hoped to do more documentary exposés in the future.

Meanwhile, NBC aired audio of O'Keefe during an earlier campaign when he called Planned Parenthood and tried to make a donation to abort African American babies. "There's way too many black people in Ohio, so I'm just trying to do my part," he told a staffer. Her response, "Whatever." Then she hung up.

[For the record: Another version of the phone call with Planned Parenthood shows that the staffer did not hang up and that the conversation continued. Follow this link for a report comparing the NBC report with another audio of the conversation.]

O'Keefe claims he is just trying to root out corruption, but are his tactics fair -- or even legal? ACORN has now sued the pair, and Breitbart, saying they violated Maryland wiretap law.

The issue provoked heated debate last night between Fox News' Bill O'Reilly and House Financial Services Chairman Barney Frank . Take a look. 

-- Johanna Neuman

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Comments () | Archives (15)

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The mainstream media didn't at least investigate ACORN after all these years of supposed shenanigans, not even to see if they were true or not, and now they're attacking the messenger?

No wonder newspapers are in a downward spiral.

Ironic, Planed Parenthood was founded by margaret sanger a well know suporter of eugenics. So in reality such is the goal of Planed Parenthood.

Those evil sneaky [R]epublicans exposing corruption in a [D]emocratic organization. Kill the spys!

But seriously, good for Planned Parenthood not wanting to exterminate blacks. The motives of those who showed the awfulness (understatement) of the ACORN employees has nothing to do with the fact they were attempting to help him set up an UNDERAGE PROSTITUTION RING.

If he admitted to being a [R]epublican (if he is) would that excuse ACORN?!?

This is reminiscent of "Operation Ill Wind" in the mid-80s, where dozens of members of Congress were indicted based upon FBI wiretaps. Tip O’Neil was enraged that the Justice Dept. investigated the widespread House corruption; he was able to get all indictments dropped, claiming that the Legislative Branch should not be investigated by the Executive Branch. The voting public should have been outraged, because virtually every member of the House that was wiretapped was quickly found to be accepting bribes. In ACORN’s case, the voting public, including liberals, should again be outraged. Social programs are endangered by irresponsible actions that waste our tax dollars. This is not time to ‘circle the wagons; and try to condemn the investigators. It is time for us to acknowledge widespread Acorn corruption, to fully investigate it, so that a newer and more responsible Acorn can then get back to its mission. Every voter should be ashamed at Acorn’s refusal to accept responsibility for what is clearly a pattern of corruption. They are instead trying to blame the investigators, like O’Neil. Grow up and MOVE ON.

They are fair and legal if it done to the Right but are unfair and illegal (and kept as quiet as possible for as long as possible) if done to the left.

It's only fair right?

Why is it that this person is condemned for uncovering a serious personnel issue within ACORN? While I agree that it's totally absurd that he and some other person should portray themselves as lawbreakers seeking to establish an underage brothel and evade taxes, it's OBSCENE that individuals at ACORN in DIFFERENT locations would take them seriously and actually offer advice.

ACORN's sloppiness with voter registration and inept handling of embezzlement by the brother of it's founder point to serious organizational issues that it seems unable to fix. ACORN was founded with the noblest of intentions. If it doesn't get it's act together quickly, it will cease to exist.

What was NBC's point of showing the Planned Parenthood clip? That O'Keefe was a racist? What would have been the outcome if Planned Parenthood HAD accepted the donation? Would we have still tried to shoot the messenger? In this instance, the Planned Parenthood worker resolved the issue in a responsible and professional manner and terminated the conversation.

And before NBC News asks if O'Keefe's actions are fair or legal, it should ask if Dateline NBC's program, "To Catch a Predator," if Dateline's similar methods of trapping and recording suspected pedophiles is fair and legal.

Evil and Corruption should be identified where ever we find it. You can't pick your bogeyman and you can't shoot the messenger just because you don't like the message.

Robert G. Niskayuna, NY

I think this guy is great!....I think we will see alot more like him in the future......we the people are tired of lopsided reporting

If the press wasnt soooooo bias they could have the spotlight on them for exposing radical groups like Acorn & Planned Parenthood.....and self proclaimed radical conservative groups too.....

wake up....

I fail to see the difference between what O'Keefe and Michael Moore do. Oh, yea, Michael Moore is not being sued.

Does this mean Barack will be reprising his role as ACORN defense lawyer?

ACORN: Association of Criminals Obama Represented in the Nineties.

“I've been fighting alongside of Acorn on issues you care about my entire career [including child “services”, financial “services”, and “voter” registration?] Even before I was an elected official, when I ran Project Vote in Illinois, Acorn was smack dab in the middle of it, and we appreciate your work.” --Obama, 2007

ACORN: Assisting Call-girls, Obama, Reid and Nancy

If ACORN were a legitimate organization they would be thanking O'Keefe rather than suing him. He caught them doing something so outrageous that one can only wonder how very many other things they do which are illegal and immoral but not so blatant, The fact that he caught multiple offices in his sting indicates it is pervasive and not merely a outlier. He has done the country a great service in holding organizations accountable for what they do with our tax money. Makes one reconsider that the conservative talk show hosts were not wrong during the Presidential campaign in the criticism of ACORN.

Planned Parenthood was founded by Margaret Sanger, who was deeply involved in the "Eugenics" movement, a racist movement which supported the sterilization of poor people and minorities to control population!!

That makes Planned Parenthood a very deserving target, since they have merely replaced sterilization with abortion in their ultimate goal of removing poor people and minorities from the human gene pool...

Oh good. Another Times libber jumps on the Acorn story bandwagon. And you cite the "honorable" Barney Frank no less as your champion. What losers you are at the Times. Hey, how's the circulation and revenue goin?

The question is whether Michaels Moore documentaries are any different? He sets up the same type of sting operation and gets an award. There is absolutely no difference between the two. More power to free speech. And the lies continue on the internet. Kindest Regards Zulu2

The demo administration want to investigate the past administration for doing their job, keeping americans safe from getting killed by terrorist, but they make no noise about acorn. Where is their concern about this organization ripping off the tax payers with their underhanded criminal activities?

Bill O'Reilly asked Barney Frank if he "agreed in spirit" with what these people did. Although I can't stand O'Reilly, I do wish Frank had just answered the question. His rambling reponse made him sound like a Republican (which disappoints me). I have no problem with peole uncovering corruption...they just need to make sure what they do is legal. Otherwise they just trash people's rights like Bush did.


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About the Columnist
A veteran foreign and national correspondent, Andrew Malcolm has served on the L.A. Times Editorial Board and was a Pulitzer finalist in 2004. He is the author of 10 nonfiction books and father of four. Read more.
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