On Monday’s The O’Reilly Factor on FNC, during the show’s regular "Reality Check" segment, host Bill O’Reilly highlighted video of President Obama from 2007 in which he bragged about having a close association with the recently discredited left-wing group ACORN. O’Reilly introduced the clip, which can be viewed at HotAirPundit, by crediting California Republican Congressman Darrell Issa with finding the video: "President Obama has avoided the subject of ACORN ever since that activist group got into a lot of trouble. But there is a new tape, recorded in 2007, and discovered by Republican Congressman Darrell Issa’s office. The tape is heavily edited, so keep that in mind."

The FNC host then played clips of Obama in which the then-Senator declared himself to be a "friend" of ACORN, and, as he invited the group’s "input," he promised that "You don’t have to ask me about that. I’m going to call you even if you didn’t ask me." Obama also asserted that when he ran a voter registration drive in Ilinois, "ACORN was smack dab in the middle of it," and declared that he had "been always a partner" with the liberal group while he was in the Senate.

Below is a transcript of the relevant portion of the Monday, February 22, The O’Reilly Factor on FNC:

http://i739.photobucket.com/albums/xx40/mmatters/OliviaAlairLinkedInPic0210So in Barack Obama's America, what happens to a person who:
  • Served as presidential candidate Barack Obama's regional communications director for Ohio for Change?
  • Was also cited as "an Obama spokeswoman in Ohio"?
  • Also served as "a campaign spokeswoman" for fleeting presidential candidate Joe Biden in early 2008?
  • In October 2008, registered to vote in the Buckeye State, even though she was not a resident, and apparently obtained an early-voting ballot?
  • Along with a dozen others, avoided a threatened felony prosecution that month by signing "a form letter asking the Franklin County elections board to pull their names from the rolls."

Why, you get hired by Uncle Sam at what is probably a six-figure salary to be a Transportation Department spokesperson. Isn't that obvious?

The person involved is one Olivia Alair, whose name has appeared several times in the past 24 hours in connection with establishment media stories covering an internal Toyota company presentation turned over to congressional investigators and subsequently leaked to the press. Here are a few examples (previous related NewsBusters posts are here, here, and here):

For some in the left-wing mainstream media the truth is too much to handle. I am referring specifically to Salon.com's Alex Koppelman who is gunning for a spot on the list of "useful idiots" defending organized crime syndicate ACORN. (Salon's Joe Conason is already on the list.)

Koppelman didn't like what I wrote yesterday about Patrick Corvington working for the ACORN-friendly Annie E. Casey Foundation so he decided to accuse me of "sloppy reporting." It is a strange allegation to make, especially since he does not accuse me of making a factual error. He essentially admits in his piece that he didn't like the conclusions I arrived at so he simply went around the accuracy issue altogether and smeared me. It's all so typical of the left.

I'm guessing Koppelman felt compelled to act because my blog post got significant play in the media. It was cited by the Washington Examiner which in turn was cited by the Drudge Report.

Before I go farther, some background is needed here.

When the far-left finds a character to assassinate, it doesn't let facts get in the way. That, at least, is the lesson we can draw from the latest bout of liberal character assassination, this one aimed at James O'Keefe.

The slandering of his reputation has occurred mostly at Salon.com, the Village Voice, and an obscure hard-left organization called the One People's Project. Together, they have waged an all-out war on James O'Keefe's character by associating him with supposedly racist people and organizations. Just one problem: their claims are predicated on falsehoods, exaggerations, and assumptions (but mostly just falsehoods).

Max Blumenthal, who penned the Salon piece, and the stalwart non-journalists at OPP (the Village Voice, for its part, issued a mild retraction) alleged that O'Keefe had helped to organize a gathering of "anti-Semites, professional racists and proponents of Aryanism." They also claimed (and produced a cropped picture that could not possibly validate this claim) that O'Keefe had manned the literature table at the event.

Some in the liberal media continue to insist that James O'Keefe and his three cohorts were trying to "bug" or "tap" Sen. Mary Landrieu's phone lines when law enforcement officials have clearly said that they were not. Since the left doesn't like O'Keefe, the liberal media seems to think standard practices of journalistic integrity don't apply here.

According to MSNBC, one law enforcement official, who was not named, said "the four men arrested for attempting to tamper with the phones in the New Orleans office of Sen. Mary Landrieu (D) were not trying to intercept or wiretap the calls." This statement comports with the affidavit filed in court after O'Keefe and company were arrested, which did not mention wiretapping or bugging, and only referred to the "tampering" of phone lines (h/t Patterico).

But the Boston Globe parroted this false accusation this morning in a gossip blog post about one of the alleged perpetrators, Joe Basel. The Globe--the same Globe that complained about ACORN's "trial-by-video"--called him a "political dirty trickster who was busted in a Watergate-style bugging operation earlier this week," and said again a couple paragraphs later that Basel was "bagged by the feds allegedly trying to bug the phones" in Landrieu's office. At least the Globe writers said "allegedly" the second time.

James O'Keefe, from file footage on CNN's American Morning | NewsBusters.orgThe Associated Press on Wednesday insinuated there might be a wider conservative plot behind James O’Keefe’s alleged misdeeds at Senator Mary Landrieu’s office, and invoked the Watergate scandal in their lede: “Was it an attempt at political espionage? Or just a third-rate prank? How high did it go? And what did the right wing know and when did they know it?

AP writers Michael Kunzelman and Brett J. Blackledge, in their article titled, “Phone-tampering case: Prank or political spying?,”got even more explicit about the Watergate comparison in subsequent paragraphs:
In what some Democrats are calling the “Louisiana Watergate,” four young conservative activists — one of them a known political prankster — were arrested this week and accused of trying to tamper with the telephones in Democratic Sen. Mary Landrieu’s New Orleans office.

But two days after their arrest, neither the FBI nor federal prosecutors would say what the defendants were up to or whether they were part of some larger conspiracy....

Update - 1/28, 10:25 AM | Lachlan Markay: Law enforcement officials have clarified that O'Keefe is not being charged with an attempt to wiretap phones. Will Shuster issue a retraction?

It's often said that bias shows through in what journalists decide to cover or not cover. So it was telling when Politico's Michael Calderone tweeted today, "@DavidShuster just said he's off to New Orleans to report on the O'Keefe arrest." "He's giddy," added Mediaite's Steve Krakauer.

Shuster's Twitter account, meanwhile, was lighting up with scorn for activist filmmaker James O'Keefe, who was arrested yesterday after an alleged attempt to tamper with phone lines in an office of Sen. Mary Landrieu (D-La.). After O'Keefe tweeted, "I am a journalist and the truth will set me free" yesterday, Shuster responded: "a) you are not a journalist b) the truth is you intended to tap her phones c) it's a felony d) you will go to prison."

So Shuster is personally invested in O'Keefe's fate and convinced not only that he tried to tap Sen. Landrieau's phones--a contention that the affidavit does not support, not that that has stopped others in the mainstream media from reporting it as fact--but that he is, without a doubt, guilty.

All three morning shows on Wednesday highlighted the revelation that a conservative activist had been arrested in connection to an attempt to tamper with the phones of Democratic Senator Mary Landrieu. Despite jumping on the "Louisiana Watergate" story only 17 hours after it was first reported, the networks took five days to file full reports on the same James O’Keefe and his undercover footage exposing corruption at ACORN.

On ABC’s Good Morning America, reporter Pierre Thomas recounted O’Keefe’s previous expose, charitably describing ACORN as "an advocacy group which helps the poor." On NBC’s Today, Pete Williams found sinister motives in right-wing outrage at the organization. He sneered, "Because ACORN helped register thousands of low income voters, Republicans pounced." (Could the illegal activities and voter fraud associated with the group have been another reason for GOP attacks?)

Yesterday, Media Research Center (MRC) President and NewsBusters Publisher Brent Bozell sat down in the MRC studio for a Skype interview with Breitbart.tv's "B-cast." [see video embed below the page break]

The topic: the latest MRC special report, "Omitting for Obama," which is a study of four stories --- Van Jones, Anita Dunn, ACORN, and ClimateGate -- "highlighted by the New Media in 2009 that were damaging to the Obama 'brand'" but were avoided like the plague by the old guard mainstream media.


Managing Editor's Note: The following is a reprint of Michael Moriarty's original December 14 post to Big Hollywood. Moriarty, you may recall, played a prosecutor in the first few seasons of the long-running NBC drama "Law and Order."

Well, I think I’ve been fairly calm and forgiving of "Law and Order" for about fifteen years. Living outside of the U.S. has certainly helped in more ways than one. Out of sight, out of mind. "Law and Order" has, for years, been just a press of the remote away from non-existence.

However, recent events have "Law and Order" just begging for my reassessment. I hardly expected my old television series to be the clown act that leads the American viewing audience into an increasingly predictable pile of hard left propaganda.


The seemingly creepy fixation some MSNBC on-air personalities have with Minnesota Republican Rep. Michele Bachmann just continues to persist on the cable network.

The latest installment involves MSNBC's "Ed Show" host Ed Schultz relying on a left-wing publication, The Minnesota Independent, which found a high rate of foreclosures relative in Bachmann's district relative to the rest of the state of Minnesota. Schultz, on his Dec. 2 program, contended Bachmann was spending too much time as a conservative activist and not enough time focusing on the problems of her district. But it turns out the data might not be at all accurate.

"One last page in my playbook tonight," Schultz said. "It looks like Minnesota congresswoman and ‘Psycho Talk' regular Michele Bachmann needs to spend a little bit more time riling up the right-wing nut job partiers out there and focus on her own back yard." 

The scandal surrounding the Association of Community Organizations for Reform Now has provided a number of case studies in liberal media bias. The initial silence of the vast majority of media outlets on the story, the attempts by leftist commentators to excuse ACORN and discredit the group's critics, and Andrew Breitbart's strategy of rolling out video exposes periodically to counter those commentators, all speak to the liberal media paradigm, and activists' efforts to combat it.

Breitbart and his filmmaking proteges James O'Keefe and Hannah Giles have released another video showing an ACORN employee volunteering her help in establishing an underage prostitution business. This employee, Lavelle Stewart, had been trumpeted by liberal pundits as a shining example of ACORN's refusal to aid in criminal deeds. Stewart, they claimed, had refused to help Giles and O'Keefe as many other employees had.

But the new videos (Part 1 video embedded below the fold) tell a different story. "There are ways, people do it all the time," Stewart told O'Keefe when asked if he could launder prostitution money into his congressional campaign. "Yeah there are ways, especially out here in California," she added. Stewart, who works in an ACORN office in Los Angeles, was the latest staffer of the organization to volunteer her services in smuggling underage girls into the country, setting up a prostitution ring with those girls, and laundering the proceeds into a political campaign.