In a video posted on BigGovernment.com, conservative filmmaker James O'Keefe claims that he has uncovered census supervisors in a New Jersey office "systematically encouraging employees to falsify information on their time sheets." Following his pattern of selectively editing videos, O'Keefe excluded a clip -- which was subsequently aired by ABC -- of a census leader telling workers that they must carefully and accurately report on their time sheets the number of miles they drive when they are doing their enumeration work.
O'Keefe removes relevant information from video posted on BigGovernment.com
ABC airs additional clip showing census crew leader stressing need for accuracy in time sheet reporting. On June 1, ABC's Good Morning America interviewed O'Keefe and Andrew Breitbart. From the June 1 edition of ABC's Good Morning America:
GEORGE STEPHANOPOULOS (host): But this was the training program. And you concede that in the actual Census program, they were holding workers to much stricter standards. We have some video tape of that as well.
CREW LEADER (video clip): This is not a big issue here, but when you start doing this enumeration thing, you want to make sure you are watching your miles, OK? Set the odometer and every day record it. Don't estimate it, don't guess it. That's part of their ability to audit you, would be to look at your miles, take a look at the places you went to, if it didn't add up, you know, they'll go crazy.
BigGovernment video omits this relevant clip in claiming that "Census supervisors" were "systemically encouraging employees to falsify information on their time sheets." In the ten-minute video posted on Andrew Breitbart's BigGovernment.com, O'Keefe stated that he had been hired as a Census worker and attended two days of training. He said, "What I found were Census supervisors systematically encouraging employees to falsify information on their time sheets." The video includes clips of census leaders, who according to O'Keefe, "didn't seem to have a problem with the discrepancy" of the hours recorded on his time sheet versus the hours he claimed to have worked. O'Keefe omitted the clip aired by ABC, which shows a census leader emphasizing the importance of accurately reporting on miles driven by census enumerators.
Breitbart and O'Keefe criticized for selective editing and manipulating previous videos
California attorney general: ACORN videos were "severely edited by O'Keefe." According to the California attorney general's office:
Videotapes secretly recorded last summer and severely edited by O'Keefe seemed to show ACORN employees encouraging a "pimp" (O'Keefe) and his "prostitute," actually a Florida college student named Hannah Giles, in conversations involving prostitution by underage girls, human trafficking and cheating on taxes. Those videos created a media sensation.
Evidence obtained by Brown tells a somewhat different story, however, as reflected in three videotapes made at ACORN locations in California. One ACORN worker in San Diego called the cops. Another ACORN worker in San Bernardino caught on to the scheme and played along with it, claiming among other things that she had murdered her abusive husband. Her two former husbands are alive and well, the Attorney General's report noted. At the beginning and end of the Internet videos, O'Keefe was dressed as a 1970s Superfly pimp, but in his actual taped sessions with ACORN workers, he was dressed in a shirt and tie, presented himself as a law student, and said he planned to use the prostitution proceeds to run for Congress. He never claimed he was a pimp.
Law enforcement sources criticize O'Keefe's and Giles' editing ACORN tape "to meet their agenda." A March 1 New York Daily News article reported that "a law enforcement source" said of O'Keefe and Giles: "They edited the tape to meet their agenda." A March 2 New York Post article, headlined "ACORN set up by vidiots: DA," reported of O'Keefe's and Giles' ACORN tapes: "Many of the seemingly crime-encouraging answers were taken out of context so as to appear more sinister, sources said."
Breitbart and O'Keefe released "heavily-edited video" of Philly ACORN office. On October 21, 2009, FoxNews.com reported that O'Keefe and Giles released "a heavily-edited video on Wednesday depicting their visit to ACORN's Philadelphia office." Fox reported that a "new eight-minute video depicts O'Keefe and Giles entering ACORN's Philadelphia office and meeting with [ACORN employee Katherine] Conway-Russell. O'Keefe and Giles are seen speaking with Conway-Russell, but audio portions of the video are missing or edited in some portions." Fox News correspondent Eric Shawn stated, "They played that heavily edited tape but did not show the ACORN worker's audio for legal reasons." O'Keefe later wrote: "We muted the audio of the ACORN employees on the video released today due to ACORN's legal attack upon us. We call upon ACORN to state publicly now that it has no objection to the public release of any its employees oral statements to us. If they are interested in the truth, why wouldn't they do so?"
O'Keefe falsely claims he sought advice from DC ACORN on establishing brothel for "prostitution of a dozen underage girls." In a voiceover at the beginning of his Washington, D.C., ACORN video -- which was promoted by Breitbart -- O'Keefe claims that in Washington, he and Giles "sought housing assistance from ACORN in order to establish a brothel where we could profit off the prostitution of a dozen underage girls trafficked in from El Salvador." In fact, at no point in the transcript of Giles and O'Keefe's visit to the Washington, D.C., ACORN office does either Giles or O'Keefe clearly state that they are planning to engage in child prostitution.
O'Keefe falsely labels NY ACORN video a "Child Prostitution Investigation." O'Keefe's YouTube videos of his visit to a New York ACORN office -- videos that are posted on Breitbart's BigGovernment website -- are falsely titled, "ACORN NYC Child Prostitution Investigation." In fact, the transcript posted on BigGovernment shows that O'Keefe and Giles did not clearly discuss with the New York ACORN employees their purported intention to engage in child prostitution.
Friend of O'Keefe reportedly objected to past transcript distortion. A September 18, 2009, New York Times article reported that Liz Farkas, a college friend of O'Keefe's while at Rutgers University, said she "grew disillusioned" after O'Keefe asked Farkas to help deceptively "edit the script" of a video involving a nurse at the University of California at Los Angeles.