Can New York Times Point To When ACORN Workers Ever Offered Advice On How To "Evade Taxes"?

Blog ››› ››› ERIC BOEHLERT

Yesterday, Media Matters highlighted how a New York Times profile of Andrew Breitbart contained a key factual error with regards to the Shirley Sherrod controversy from last summer; an error that echoed the dishonest spin Breitbart has been pushing for almost a year now.

Well, it looks like the Times also erred in the same story when it suggested that as part of the Breitbart-sponsored ACORN sting in 2009, undercover videos captured ACORN workers "offering advice on how to evade taxes and conceal child prostitution." And yes, like the Sherrod mistake, this one also directly mirrors the spin Breitbart has used on the ACORN story.

When the story broke in 2009, everyone was sure the tapes showed ACORN workers offering up advice on how to evade taxes. Except that that's not what the tapes showed. It's just like how, in 2009, everyone was sure James O'Keefe entered the ACORN offices dressed as a pimp.

Except that that's not what the tapes showed.

Writes blogger Brad Friedman, who was at the forefront of the truth-telling campaign to unmask the ACORN pimp hoax [emphasis added]:

The Breitbart/O'Keefe videos showed no ACORN workers "offering advice on how to evade taxes." In fact, they showed just the opposite. For that matter, they didn't show ACORN workers offering advice on how to "conceal child prostitution" either, though they did reveal the pair playing on the sympathies of the workers, who believed they were trying to help save both Giles and the young girls from the imaginary, if dangerously abusive, pimp.

It's the same key point Friedman made in early 2010, after pouring over the ACORN tape transcripts:

In fact, in every ACORN office seen in the Breitbart/O'Keefe vidoes


as understood only by reviewing the text transcripts, since the videos are so purposely misleading on this point

ACORN employees advised that [Hannah] Giles must pay taxes, even if the income was gained through illegal prostitution. No ACORN employee ever advised the pair to "avoid paying taxes" as so many who fell for the hoax have described.

For the record, I know what it's like to make the evading-taxes mistake with regards to ACORN because I made it myself when I started looking into the pimp hoax story last year.

But Media Matters immediately corrected that mistake. Will the New York Times now do the same?

Person
Andrew Breitbart, James O'Keefe
We've changed our commenting system to Disqus.
Instructions for signing up and claiming your comment history are located here.
Updated rules for commenting are here.