Calvin Freiburger

Anatomy of a Lie: ACORN, Charles Hynes, & the Church of Liberalism’s Canonization Process

Posted on March 5 2010 3:41 pm
Hailing from Fond du Lac, Wisconsin, Calvin Freiburger is a political science major at Hillsdale College. He also writes for the Hillsdale Forum and his personal website, Calvin Freiburger Online.
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Global warming is settled science.  Saddam Hussein never had WMDsTax cuts only benefit the rich.  Ever wonder how so many leftist talking points come to be accepted as conventional wisdom?  Often, it’s simply a matter of the media saying so as if they’re vetted, well-established conclusions, despite skipping the messy “vetting” and “establishing” parts.

Today the Daily Beast has provided us with a lovely example of the phenomenon, by highlighting a recent stunt by Comedy Central’s Stephen Colbert, having a few laughs at Sean Hannity’s expense (be warned that the video is somewhat risqué):

Sensing an opportunity in Sean Hannity’s evaporated support for the now largely-discredited “ACORN Pimp” videos, Stephen Colbert made a dubiously-edited video of his own for Thursday’s show… and wore a fur coat, to boot.

What’s the Beast’s source for dismissing James O’Keefe & Hannah Giles’ expose of ACORN as “largely-discredited”?  A brief New York Times report quoting Brooklyn District Attorney Charles J. Hynes as saying “no criminality has been found” in the videos.  But the Times also admits that “Mr. Hynes declined to elaborate on his decision” (indeed, Hynes’ original press release has all the substance and nuance of, well…Jersey Shore).  So, it turns out that “largely-discredited” is really Beast-speak for “a single New York Democrat says so.”

And what’s this?  Not just any New York Democrat, but a New York Democrat with a past as a member of the ACORN/Working Families Party?  Hmm, seems to me that sort of thing would be kind of important to include in a report…

Earlier this week, Conservative Chessboard Queen Ann Coulter eviscerated Hynes’ conclusion in Human Events:

I’m not a lawyer — oh, wait, yes, I am — but I count approximately a half-dozen state law crimes being discussed on those tapes, from money laundering to advancing prostitution.

In a “Eureka” moment, ACORN Employee-of-the-Month Volda Albert identifies for O’Keefe and Giles the problem they had been having getting a mortgage:

Albert: Um, is it legalized? Is prostitution legalized in New York state?
O’Keefe: It’s not. It’s not, unfortunately.
Albert: Well see, that’s your problem

As ACORN employee Milagros Rivera said, “You can’t say what you do for a living because of the law.” But displaying ACORN’s can-do attitude, she explained: “Honest is not going to get you a house.”

ACORN employees helped concoct a scheme to hide from the lender the source of O’Keefe and Giles’ down payment money. Albert suggested that O’Keefe “pay a down payment — or (Giles) can transfer to somebody else, who is not in that business … a close friend, then (Giles) can transfer that, and then he can give you, like, a gift to purchase.”

Under New York law, hiding the true source of down payment money from a lender constitutes mortgage fraud. Also, using the proceeds of criminal conduct in any banking transaction is money laundering.

Read the rest of it to get a full sense of just how preposterous it is to conclude the tapes show “no criminality.”  Regardless, the lie that the ACORN exposes have been discredited will be uncritically repeated by “respectable” news outlets and joked about by “mainstream” funnymen like Colbert.  All the right people seem to be saying the same thing, so it must be true, right? The debate’s over, nobody’s behind the curtain, and it’s time for “the ACORN tapes were faked” to take its place as part of the official canon of the Gospel According to Liberals.  Which means, of course, that those of us who dissent from the party line have to be the true partisan hacks, and thus must be shunned as heretics.

In the messaging department, the Left has a distinct advantage over the Right because they understand the concept of the echo chamber, and they control so many institutions—the mainstream media, K-12 education, higher learning, and popular culture—that they can simply pick a narrative they like and reinforce it themselves.  It’s by no means impossible to overcome leftist propagandizing, but until conservatives manage to break the Left’s monopolies on at least some of America’s major institutions, we’re always going to have an uphill battle.


Hailing from Fond du Lac, Wisconsin, Calvin Freiburger is a political science major at Hillsdale College.  He also blogs at the Hillsdale Forum and his personal website, Calvin Freiburger Online.

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