Fox News Sunday's Chris Wallace rang in the New Year by hosting Rep. Darrell Issa (R-CA) to attack Attorney General Eric Holder for supposedly not "do[ing] anything about ACORN," or "anything effectively about the New Black Panthers." In fact, both issues are phony scandals pushed by Fox News.
Wallace Hosts Issa To Advance Attacks On Holder
Wallace Invites Issa To Attack Obama Justice Department Over ACORN And New Black Panther Party. On the January 2 edition of Fox Broadcasting's Fox News Sunday, host Chris Wallace said to Issa: "You have repeatedly criticized the Justice Department over not investigating the community group ACORN, for scaling back a voter intimidation case against the New Black Panther Party and for failure to go after Wikileaks." Wallace then asked Issa: "What do you think of Attorney General [Eric] Holder?" Issa claimed Holder is "guilty of all of those things," and claimed "he isn't doing enough. Certainly, he didn't do anything about ACORN. We're going to continue to make sure we don't have that kind of waste in government. He didn't do anything effectively about the New Black Panthers." [Fox News Sunday, 01/02/11]
Fox Incessantly Pushed Bogus New Black Panther Party Scandal In 2010. Fox News has incessantly hyped the unsubstantiated allegations of right-wing activist J. Christian Adams and others that the Department of Justice improperly handled a voting rights case involving the New Black Panther Party. Indeed, a Media Matters for America report found that Fox News pushed the allegations at least 95 times between June 30. 2010, and July 16, 2010. [Media Matters, 7/16/10]
Fox Also Pushed Claims Against ACORN. Media Matters has also documented how Fox News has repeatedly pushed claims that ACORN acted illegally and had inappropriate connections with President Obama and other Democrats. [Media Matters, 11/5/10]
In Fact, Investigations Have Cleared ACORN Of Criminal Wrongdoing
New York City Prosecutors "Cleared ACORN Of Criminal Wrongdoing" Because O'Keefe And Giles "Edited The Tape To Meet Their Agenda." A March 1 New York Daily News article entitled, "B'klyn ACORN cleared over giving illegal advice on how to hide money from prostitution," reported:
Brooklyn prosecutors on Monday cleared ACORN of criminal wrongdoing after a four-month probe that began when undercover conservative activists filmed workers giving what appeared to be illegal advice on how to hide money.
While the video by James O'Keefe and Hannah Giles seemed to show three ACORN workers advising a prostitute how to hide ill-gotten gains, the unedited version was not as clear, according to a law enforcement source.
"They edited the tape to meet their agenda," said the source. [New York Daily News, 03/01/10]
Independent Review Found "No Evidence That Action, Illegal Or Otherwise, Was Taken By Any ACORN Employee On Behalf Of The Videographers." In his December 7, 2009, "Independent Governance Assessment of ACORN," former Massachusetts Attorney General Scott Harshbarger (D), who was hired by ACORN to conduct an inquiry in part into the videos, wrote:
While some of the advice and counsel given by ACORN employees and volunteers was clearly inappropriate and unprofessional, we did not find a pattern of intentional, illegal conduct by ACORN staff; in fact, there is no evidence that action, illegal or otherwise, was taken by any ACORN employee on behalf of the videographers.
Instead, the videos represent the byproduct of ACORN's longstanding management weaknesses, including a lack of training, a lack of procedures, and a lack of on-site supervision. [Independent Report, via Proskauer.com 12/07/09]
CA Attorney General: "[S]ome Members Of" ACORN "Engaged In 'Highly Inappropriate Behavior,' But Committed No Violation Of Criminal Laws." In an April 1 press release, then-California Attorney General Jerry Brown said that the videos show "some members of the community organizing group ACORN engaged in 'highly inappropriate behavior,' but committed no violation of criminal laws." The press release added: " 'A few ACORN members exhibited terrible judgment and highly inappropriate behavior in videotapes obtained in the investigation,' Brown said. 'But they didn't commit prosecutable crimes in California.' [CA Attorney General's Office, 04/01/10]
The New Black Panther Party "Scandal" Based On Unsubstantiated Allegations Of Right-Wing Activist
New Black Panther Party Case Allegations Were Brought By Long-Time GOP Activist. J. Christian Adams is the originator of the claim that the Obama Justice Department was motivated by race to narrow its case against members of the New Black Panther Party, who were accused of intimidating voters in 2008. Adams is a long-time Republican and conservative activist.
- Adams Has Likened Obama To The Appeasers Who Caused The "Carnage" Of World War II. In a piece criticizing the Nobel Peace Prize committee for awarding the 2009 Nobel Peace Prize to Obama, Adams suggested that the prize was similar to the peace prize awarded in 1933, which Adams said helped pave the way for Britain's policy of appeasement toward Adolf Hitler. [American Spectator, 10/30/09]
- Adams Has Reportedly Volunteered With The National Republican Lawyers Association. A December 2009 article on the Main Justice website reported that "Before coming to the Justice Department, Adams volunteered with the National Republican Lawyers Association, an offshoot of the Republican National Committee that trains lawyers to fight on the front lines of often racially tinged battles over voting rights." [Main Justice, 12/02/09]
- Adams Reportedly Served As A Bush Campaign Poll Watcher In Florida. The Main Justice article also reported: "In 2004, Adams served as a Bush campaign poll watcher in Florida, where he was critical of a black couple for not accepting a provisional ballot in early voting after officials said they had no record of the couple's change of address forms, according to Bloomberg News." [Main Justice, 12/02/09]
- Adams Once Filed An Ethics Complaint Against Hillary Clinton's Brother, Hugh Rodham, That Was Subsequently Dismissed. The Washington Times had reported (accessed via Nexis) that "Adams said Mr. Rodham put his Florida law license 'in jeopardy' with an admission that he accepted a contingency fee in obtaining the commutation for Carlos Vignali, the convicted drug dealer released from prison after serving six years of a 15-year sentence." A July 22, 2001, New York Times article (accessed via Nexis) reported, "The Florida bar has cleared Hugh Rodham of violating legal ethics." [Washington Times, 2/24/01 (accessed via Nexis)]
Adams Hired By DOJ Official Found To Have Illegally Used Political Reasons In Hiring Decisions. Adams was hired as a Justice Department lawyer by Schlozman. A July 2008 report from the Department of Justice Inspector General's Office and the Office of Professional Responsibility concluded that Schlozman "considered political and ideological affiliations when hiring and taking other personnel actions relating to career attorneys in violation of Department policy and federal law." [Justice Department Inspector General, 07/02/08]
Civil Rights Commissioner: No Voters Have Come Forward Claiming That They Were Intimidated In The New Black Panther Party Case. In an April 23 hearing on the DOJ's decision in the case, Civil Rights Commissioner Arlan Melendez stated that "no citizen has even alleged that he or she was intimidated from voting," adding, "This absence of voter intimidation was clear to the Justice Department last spring, which is why they took the course of action that they did." [Commission on Civil Rights, 04/23/10]
Main Justice: "No Voters At All In The Philadelphia Precinct Have Come Forward To Allege Intimidation." A July 2 Main Justice article reported that "no voters at all in the Philadelphia precinct have come forward to allege intimidation." The article continued: "The complaints have come from white Republican poll watchers, who have given no evidence they were registered to vote in the majority black precinct." [Main Justice, 07/02/10]
GOP Commissioner Said Investigation Into NBPP Case Is An Effort To "Topple" Administration. Politico reported that Abigail Thernstrom, the Republican vice chairman of the Civil Rights Commission, said that the commission's investigation into the New Black Panther Party case "doesn't have to do with the Black Panthers, this has to do with their fantasies about how they could use this issue to topple the [Obama] administration." Politico also reported that Thernstrom said: "My fellow conservatives on the commission had this wild notion they could bring Eric Holder down and really damage the president." [Politico, 07/16/10]