Kathy Shaidle

Media Matters accepts "senior moment" excuse from ACORN's Rathke

Posted on September 30 2009 9:00 am
Kathy Shaidle blogs at FiveFeetOfFury, now entering its 11th year online. Her latest book is Acoustic Ladylandkathy shaidle, which Mark Steyn calls "a must-read."
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 Jon Favreau, Jim Messina and Patrick Gaspard on Marine One

Jon Favreau, Jim Messina and Patrick Gaspard on Marine One

Here’s the “gotcha” Media Matters is highlighting on its web site today: “Latest fact-check fail: Fox News runs with claim that White House official worked for ACORN”:

After Matthew Vadum wrote in The American Spectator that “[e]vidence shows that years before he joined the Obama administration,” White House political affairs director Patrick Gaspard [who now holds Karl Rove’s old job at the White House] “was ACORN boss Bertha Lewis’s political director in New York,” Fox News seized on the blog post, asserting that — in Sean Hannity’s words — “ACORN has somebody on the inside of the White House.” However, Politico’s Ben Smith has since reported that the allegation “just isn’t true” and that the White House has denied the American Spectator report; in its reporting, Fox News gave no indication that they attempted to fact-check the Spectator report or contact the White House for a response.

Once again, the George Soros Steno Pool employs its uncanny ESP powers to inform us on what gets said and done during and after FOX News production meetings.

And hey, if you can’t trust the White House to give you the facts…

Finally, Media Matters posts this explanation from the source of the “misinformation” himself, ACORN co-founder Wade Rathke, who also would never ever lie to you, cross his heart:

In almost 1400 blogs I’ve done, sometimes I don’t get it right, call it a senior moment or whatever it might be, but reading the blogsphere with me as a source took me back searching for whether or not I could be causing a problem here inadvertently. Patrick was never on the staff of ACORN.

I wonder how the tough minded investigative journalists over at Media Matters would react if Rathke’s counterpart in the conservative movement pleaded “not guilty by reason of senility” after making an embarrassing gaffe.

The Spectator‘s Vadum responds today with a “gotcha” of his own: “I didn’t publish all the evidence I have of Gaspard’s ties to ACORN.”

Vadum adds:

ACORN has a confusing structure and its network of who-knows-how-many taxpayer-funded tax-exempt nonprofit affiliates. As I’ve written ad nauseam, this is deliberate. (…) The Politico’s Ben Smith is a living case study showing what happens when sincere, well-meaning journalists write about something they do not understand.

Vadum goes on to explain that Patrick Gaspard once worked as SEIU State Council for the Working Families Party (WFP).  And according to ACORN’s own website (at least, for now) in 1998, “ACORN members spearhead[ed] formation of the Working Families Party, the first community-labor party with official ballot status in New York state in more than 50 years.”

Here’s more from Discover the Networks:

Currently composed of some 30,000 members, the Working Families Party (WFP) is a front group for ACORN (the Association of Community Organizations for Reform Now). WFP functions as a political party in New York State and Connecticut, promoting ACORN-friendly candidates. Unlike conventional political parties, WFP charges its members dues — about $60 per year — a policy characteristic of ACORN and its affiliates.

According to the party’s website, WFP is a coalition founded jointly by ACORN, the Communications Workers of America, and the United Automobile Workers. However, ACORN clearly dominates the coalition. New York ACORN leader Steven Kest was the moving force in forming the party, and WFP headquarters are located at the same address as ACORN’s national office, at 88 Third Avenue in Brooklyn, New York.

Oh, and one of the co-founders of WFP was Bertha Lewis. Here she is in an extremely irritating but blessedly brief October 2008 video, sitting in front of a WFP banner, telling viewers to vote for Barack Obama:

PS: There’s an interesting article over at, dated June 23, 2009:

Al Sharpton had just stepped out of a meeting with Barack Obama.

It was January 2007, and he was down in the Obama Senate office during a trip to Washington to meet with a number of Democratic presidential contenders. Mr. Obama had been almost uncannily pitch-perfect, Mr. Sharpton thought, hitting every talking point and preempting every question.

As he was leaving, he caught sight of a familiar face in the reception area of the office.

“I said, ‘That looks like Patrick.’ And Patrick starts laughing,” Mr. Sharpton said.

At the airport on the way back to New York, he said, he had a further revelation.

“It hit me when I got to the shuttle that a lot of what Obama was saying meant that he must have been talking to Patrick Gaspard,” Mr. Sharpton said. “Obama made me feel like he knew every move I made. I said, ‘Patrick did it again.’”

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