WaPo to O'Keefe: Sorry We Called You Racist in ACORN Story

The Washington Post today published on page A2 a correction to a September 18 article on James O'Keefe and Hannah Giles, the duo behind "The $1,300 Mission to Fell ACORN" (h/t NewsBusters tipster Sean O'Brien):

A Sept. 18 Page One article about the community organizing group ACORN incorrectly said that a conservative journalist targeted the organization for hidden-camera videos partly becase its voter-registration drives bring Latinos and African Americans to the polls. Although ACORN registers people mostly from those groups, the maker of the videos, James E. O'Keefe, did not specifically mention them.

In other words: sorry we tagged you as a racist by putting words in your mouth.

Of course, the original Post article didn't say race was "partly" the impetus for O'Keefe's hidden-camera piece, it suggested it was the only reason and that other conservatives despise ACORN for racially-motivated reasons. Here's the original offending passage in the article:

Though O'Keefe described himself as a progressive radical, not a conservative, he said he targeted ACORN for the same reasons that the political right does: its massive voter registration drives that turn out poor African Americans and Latinos against Republicans.

"Politicians are getting elected single-handedly due to this organization," he said. "No one was holding this organization accountable. No one in the media is putting pressure on them. We wanted to do a stunt and see what we could find."

Nowhere in their correction did the Post note that O'Keefe was likely referring to voter registration fraud when he accused ACORN "single-handedly" getting politicians elected.

Indeed, in the original article, the only concession on voter fraud was that "Republicans accused ACORN of voter-registration fraud in last year's presidential race." Nowhere in the original article was there a mention of ongoing criminal proceedings into alleged voter fraud committed by ACORN officials.

Ken Shepherd
Ken Shepherd
Ken Shepherd is a writer living in New Carrollton, Md.