We should have known it. The videos that made ACORN into a household word and nearly destroyed one of the most effective community advocacy organizations in the country turn out to be largely faked. I had anticipated that the internal investigation of ACORN would find no wrong doing by ACORN. Not anticipated was the extent to which the videos had been doctored to make the ACORN employees look like criminal conspirators. A reading of the available transcripts of the videotape taken by the right wing crusaders reveals that the tapes that were released were heavily edited and did not tell the true story.

There were a number of small lies, but the biggest one was the pretext for the discussions with the ACORN employees. The videos would have you believe the white people were asking for help in finding a place where they could open a whore house. In fact, the white people were claiming that they wanted to find a place of their own where she would be safe from her extremely violent pimp. They did indicate that she would continue to ply her trade as an independent. The young gentleman of the duo was not posing as a pimp… even though he gave that impression by posing in the intro to the videos in outrageous pimp gear… but as a law student who wanted to help out his lover.

Thus, to the ACORN employees, the duo appeared to be a somewhat eccentric young couple in need of a first time home buyer loan. To get the loan, they needed to have an income, and a lot of the discussion was that the young woman, who provided the income, should be filing income tax returns. The ACORN employees correctly told the woman that the nature of her business was not relevant to the IRS, which only wanted the taxes, and not relevant to the lender, whose primariy interest is in how the loan is to be repaid. In fact, the ACORN employees counseled both young people that they should find a more legitimate way to make a living. (And in lieu of that, the girl should save for the day when she was too old to work.)

Acorn’s counsellors were not shocked that the pretty young white girl was a hooker, and they did advise her that she could report to the IRS using a generic business name that did not describe her trade. However they also advised her that she could not get a loan without two years of tax records, and they advised her to report all income and properly recorded business deductions. The Acorn staff may have been more sympathetic to the couple than your average Baptist minister, but on the whole it appears that they acted professionally and represented the interests of ACORN effectively.

The transcripts of the interviews are posted by the “reporters” who made them at The internal investigation of ACORN notes that the transcripts appear to have been edited, but there is adequate discrepancy between the transcripts and the tapes to safely conclude that the tapes were severely edited and unfairly biased.

Here is a link to the report, which has links to the transcripts.

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