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Is there a larger story behind reports on those videos of Planned Parenthood and ACORN?

September 28, 2009 |  2:58 pm

We’ve all heard a lot about those undercover videos and phone calls to ACORN staffers, especially the video of the advocacy group's employees apparently advising a couple posing as a pimp and prostitute on how to avoid taxes as they set up a brothel.

But do frequently aired clips of the videos and recordings tell the whole story?

A sharp-eyed Ticket reader, John Pellizzari, sent an e-mail raising some intriguing issues concerning one of the undercover actions, and we’ll present two versions of the sting operation to let you decide. In this instance, activist James O'Keefe, the one who posed as the pimp, was recording an exchange he had with a staffer at Planned Parenthood.

O’Keefe has conducted sting operations on Planned Parenthood offices to argue that staffers there have been guilty of unethical, even racist, behavior. As the Ticket reported last week, O’Keefe called a Planned Parenthood in Ohio and he asked whether he could direct donations for abortions of African Americans. Referring to an NBC video report on O’Keefe, the Ticket wrote the following:

“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.”

Until Pellizzari pointed it out, the Ticket didn’t realize that the conversation continued, even if the NBC report on it did not. Eventually the staffer says, “Well, for whatever reason, we’ll accept the money.”

Give a listen to both versions of the conversation and see what you think. And listen for something printed quotes can’t quite convey: the tone of the staffer’s voice. Is she endorsing his anti-black comments? Is she trying to keep things on a professional level? Or is she a bit perplexed and not sure what to do?

Here’s the NBC report:

Here’s another version of the Ohio conversation, close to the beginning of the video: 

-- Steve Padilla

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