"ACORN videos were propaganda"

Blog ››› ››› ERIC BOEHLERT

From his recent Salon column, Joe Conason details what former Massachusetts AG Scott Harshbarger discovered about the undercover ACORN videos made by James O'Keefe and Hannah Giles. The discovery came as part of Harshbarger's larger, and often critical, review of ACORN's practices. (Read the report here.)

Conason notes [emphasis added]:

To assess the meaning and accuracy of the videotapes, Harshbarger and his colleagues did the job that journalists ought to have done from the beginning. They interviewed ACORN employees. Later, they reviewed both the tapes and the transcripts made available on BigGovernment, a Web site owned by Andrew Breitbart, the right-wing impresario behind Giles and O'Keefe.

What Harshbarger discovered, as his report's Appendix D reveals, is that much of what appeared on Fox News Channel and in other media outlets, let alone on right-wing Web sites, was not what had actually occurred in the ACORN offices -- and that exculpatory material was edited out of the tapes.

Question: Is Andrew Breitbart's site Big Government ever going to release all the unedited ACORN tapes? And if not, what is he hiding? At the very least, why won't Breitbart detail exactly which tapes were edited and which exculpatory material was cut?

UPDATED: The Harshbarger report seems to demolish the idea that Breitbart even practices journalism. Unless this new brand of conservative 'journalism' includes deceptively editing hidden-camera videos and then refusing to produce the original tapes when discrepancies are highlighted.

UPDATED: Conason also note the following:

Contrary to the claims of right-wing critics, who complain that Harshbarger failed to interview any of ACORN's adversaries, the lawyer and his colleagues were rebuffed when they tried to speak with O'Keefe and Giles. Amy Crafts, a Proskauer associate who co-authored the report, told me that she made several efforts to contact the video producers both in person and through their attorneys.

What are these people hiding?

UPDATED: More from Conason:

On Oct. 21, [Harshbarger's associate Amy] Crafts said, she was barred from the press conference held by O'Keefe and Giles at the National Press Club in Washington, even though she promised not to ask any questions.

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