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MEDIA MATTERS: Philly ACORN Office Called The Cops On Gotcha Duo Posing As Pimp And Hooker

acornsting.jpgMEDIA MATTERS: In recent days, Hannah Giles and James O’Keefe, the conservative filmmakers who made the widely circulated ACORN videos, as well as Andrew Breitbart and Mike Flynn, who have been promoting the videos for BigGovernment.com, have claimed that the filmmakers were never rebuffed by any of the ACORN offices they visited in their attempts to get ACORN to assist them in improper activities. However, in a newly released video, ACORN Housing Corp.’s Katherine Conway Russell directly rebuts those claims, citing a police report ACORN filed as evidence that she asked the filmmakers to leave the ACORN office in Philadelphia and called the police after the filmmakers asked suspicious questions. MORE

PREVIOUSLY: Another ACORN Office Falls For Hooker Sting 

NORTHEAST ELIZABETH: You shouldn’t rely on Media Matters for anything.  The Media Matters post you link to is chock full of demonstrable lies.  It is contradicted by the ACORN video and the police report it cites as evidence, and the video and the police report contradict each other. Let’s start with the video of Katherine Conway Russell, which is the only account from any ACORN eyewitness to the incident.  Media Matters states that it “directly rebuts” the filmmakers claim that they were never “kicked out” for their attempt to get ACORN to “assist them in nefarious activities.”  It does NOTHING of the sort.  Ms. Russell did not say she “kicked them out” because they asked for help with a prostitution ring.   Rather, she says that she told she had to go to a meeting and could therefore not answer any additional questions.  The issue of prostitution did not even come up.  They asked one question about getting papers for some girls for El Salvador, and she said because they were a counseling agency they couldn’t help with that.  But she didn’t “kick them out” because of that or any other question — she simply didn’t have the time to talk.

Media Matters cites the police report as evidence that  Russell asked them to leave, and that she “called the police 0917_acornpolicereport.jpgafter the filmmakers asked suspicious questions.”  Another lie.  Russell didn’t call the police while they were there, and in fact didn’t call the police at all.  Rather, after they had already left, she called an ACORN official to ask why they had been referred to her office. It was then that the ACORN official, Keith Crosby, first contacted the police.  He filed a false police report, apparently claiming an emergency because the filmmakers were “causing a verbal disturbance with employees of ACORN.”  But Crosby knew that the filmmakers had already left — and the report notes that the police advised him of this fact he obviously knew — and Russell never asserted there was a “verbal disturbance” even when they were there. So the filmmakers never lied about anything.  Media Matters lied, and ACORN committed a crime by filing a false police report.

RELATED: Trying to quell a building conservative firestorm, the House and Senate made clear in separate and lopsided votes Thursday that the beleaguered community-based nonprofit advocacy organization ACORN is a pariah on Capitol Hill. House Republicans took over a debate about a sweeping student loan bill to propose a measure that would bar the Association of Community Organizations for Reform Now from receiving any federal money. It passed 345-75, with 172 Democrats joining all of the Republicans in the chamber in support. In the Senate, an amendment connected to an Interior Department spending bill that would prohibit ACORN from receiving any money from that bill passed by an 85-11 vote. It was the second such vote directed at ACORN in the Senate this week. MORE

RELATED: ACORN suggested that Congress was caving in to pressure from the right. “We’re disappointed that the House took the rare and politically convenient step of attempting to eliminate federal funding for a single organization, one that has been the target of a multiyear political assault stemming variously from the Bush White House, Fox News and other conservative quarters,” Bertha Lewis, ACORN’s chief executive officer, said in a statement. MORE

INQUIRER: Neil Herrmann, head organizer at Philadelphia ACORN, said yesterday that the local group does not receive federal funding. Herrmann said Philadelphia ACORN is funded by dues, donations, and grants. He said the organization spends about $400,000 per year. ACORN stands for Association of Community Organizations for Reform Now. Hidden-camera videos released Monday show a man and a woman posing as a pimp and a prostitute at ACORN offices in other cities, and workers there apparently advising them to lie about their work and launder their earnings. Herrmann said the two – James O’Keeffe, who describes himself as a filmmaker activist, and his companion, Hannah Giles – came to Philadelphia ACORN’s office on Broad Street near Parrish Street on July 24, claiming to seek help in buying a home. Herrmann said the couple had made an appointment a day earlier to talk with a staff member about a program for first-time home buyers. A staff member talked with the couple for a few minutes, Herrmann said. “As soon as they said anything about prostitution, she asked them to leave the office. She told us, and we called the police,” he said. MORE

EDITOR’S NOTE: Larger version of the police report after the jump.

0917-acornpolicereport.jpg

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One Response to “MEDIA MATTERS: Philly ACORN Office Called The Cops On Gotcha Duo Posing As Pimp And Hooker”

  1. Northeast Elizabeth Says:

    You shouldn’t rely on Media Matters for anything. The Media Matters post you link to is chock full of demonstrable lies. It is contradicted by the ACORN video and the police report it cites as evidence, and the video and the police report contradict each other.

    Let’s start with the video of Katherine Conway Russell, which is the only account from any ACORN eyewitness to the incident. Media Matters states that it “directly rebuts” the filmmakers claim that they were never “kicked out” for their attempt to get ACORN to “assist them in nefarious activities.” It does NOTHING of the sort. Ms. Russell did not say she “kicked them out” because they asked for help with a prostitution ring. Rather, she says that she told she had to go to a meeting and could therefore not answer any additional questions. The issue of prostitution did not even come up. They asked one question about getting papers for some girls for El Salvador, and she said because they were a counseling agency they couldn’t help with that. But she didn’t “kick them out” because of that or any other question — she simply didn’t have the time to talk.

    Media Matters cites the police report as evidence that Russell asked them to leave, and that she “called the police after the filmmakers asked suspicious questions.” Another lie. Russell didn’t call the police while they were there, and in fact didn’t call the police at all. Rather, after they had already left, she called an ACORN official to ask why they had been referred to her office.

    It was then that the ACORN official, Keith Crosby, first contacted the police. He filed a false police report, apparently claiming an emergency because the filmmakers were “causing a verbal disturbance with employees of ACORN.” But Crosby knew that the filmmakers had already left — and the report notes that the police advised him of this fact he obviously knew — and Russell never asserted there was a “verbal disturbance” even when they were there.

    So the filmmakers never lied about anything. Media Matters lied, and ACORN committed a crime by filing a false police report.

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