Bad Ideas: ACORN Sues Videotapers For Illegal Wiretapping

from the streisand-went-to-acorn? dept

Sometimes these things just make you wonder what people are thinking. If you follow political news at all, you've no doubt heard about the whole ACORN scandal, with workers at the organization being filmed having no problem offering advice to a fake "pimp and ho" on how to handle the tax implications of trafficking in underage sex workers. The whole thing has been pretty ridiculous, with pretty much everyone holding any sort of political office shoving each other aside to distance themselves (and any gov't funds) from the organization. Honestly, if you've ever watched Candid Camera (dating myself) or any of its modern equivalents, I'm not really sure that getting a few people to do stupid stuff on camera really says all that much about an organization, other than that it needs to better train people, but what really calls ACORN's judgment into question is its decision to sue the folks who made and financed the videos for an "illegal wiretap." Even if they broke wiretapping rules by recording the meeting without letting the worker know, no good can come from this lawsuit. In that link, Andrew Moshirnia from the Citizen Media Law Project goes through a variety of reasons why it makes no sense to sue, even if they have a chance of winning the lawsuit. All it does is call more attention to the whole thing at a time when the organization should be apologizing profusely and detailing what steps it's taking to make sure such things never happen again. Suing just makes the organization look like it still defends those actions. ACORN screwed up big time, and it's only adding to its troubles by trying to sue those who exposed the organization for an illegal wiretap.


Reader Comments (rss)

(Flattened / Threaded)

  1.  
    icon
    iNtrigued (profile), Sep 30th, 2009 @ 6:01pm

    Reversal?

    It is funny because at one point they were actually thanking the people that they are now suing?? (Half-way through typing that I actually got confused) This move makes no sense, but then again not much acorn does these days makes sense. They might as well pack it up, because they aren't getting another dime from the government. They should just take the good people from the organization and start a new one.

     

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  2.  
    identicon
    Pax, Sep 30th, 2009 @ 6:33pm

    You don't need to date yourself. There are plenty of people out there - I'm sure you could find *one* willing to go out on a date with you.

    Boom boom, thanks for listening, I'm here all week.

     

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  3.  
    identicon
    Gary Byron, Sep 30th, 2009 @ 6:39pm

    Defending ACORN?

    This is a CRIMINAL organization, whose core members are communists and socialists, who firmly believe the ENDS justify the means. They clothe themselves in service to humanity ONLY to achieve their goals. They appear to be sheep but are ravenous wolves. The film makers are HEROES; I only hope they would or do expose the corruption that is also present in the so-called right.

     

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  4.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Sep 30th, 2009 @ 6:40pm

    Re: Defending ACORN?

    Didn't I see you on Morons with Signs?

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  5.  
    icon
    thublihnk (profile), Sep 30th, 2009 @ 7:15pm

    Re: Defending ACORN?

    You just have a Google Alert beep you every time someone says ACORN, don't you?

    Heard anything about a sequel to the Alvin And The Chipmunks movie?

     

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  6.  
    identicon
    dorp, Sep 30th, 2009 @ 7:23pm

    Re: Defending ACORN?

    Joe, Joe McCarthy? Is that you?!

     

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  7.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Sep 30th, 2009 @ 7:46pm

    The Sacramento Gazette reported this almost months ago, it's a non-issue but because it got pulled into FOX, all the jackass politicians got involved.

    Old news.
    Like 3 months. And Mike, you call yourself a journalist.

     

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  8.  
    icon
    scarr (profile), Sep 30th, 2009 @ 7:49pm

    Re: Defending ACORN?

    How is keeping someone from paying taxes communistic?

     

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  9.  
    icon
    scarr (profile), Sep 30th, 2009 @ 7:57pm

    You didn't point out that the "filmmakers" are 20 and 25-year-old students. Suing kids going through school rarely gets you sympathy.

     

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  10.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Sep 30th, 2009 @ 7:57pm

    Re:

    "And Mike, you call yourself a journalist."

    Umm, no he doesn't.

     

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  11.  
    identicon
    JupiterSuite, Sep 30th, 2009 @ 8:10pm

    Going Nuts

    ACORN: Alien Children Offered Regularly Nationwide
    ACORN: Authorities Caught One Registering “Napoleon”
    ACORN: Assembly of the Complacent: Organized, Registered & Non-productive!
    ACORN: Association of Criminals Obama Represented in the Nineties
    ACORN: Assorted Crazies, Oddballs, Reprobates, and Nincompoops
    ACORN: “Audacity” and “Change” that Obama Represents Nationally
    ACORN: A Crooked, Offensive, Repulsive Nut
    ACORN: Agitators, Cheats, Offenders, and Repugnant Nonentities
    ACORN: Association of Crooks O’Keefe Revealed in a Nanosecond
    ACORN: Advising Criminals, Organizing Radical Nutjobs
    ACORN: Assisting Call-girls, Obama, Reid & Nancy
    ACORN: Advancing Collectivism, Obamamania, Reparations Now!
    ACORN: After Clinton, Obama Retards a Nation
    ACORN: Alike Carter, Obama is Regretful and Negative
    ACORN: America, Could Obama Resign Now??
    ACORN: Against Conservatives, Order, Republicans, and the Nation
    ACORN: American Cash Outflows to Rathke’s “Nonprofits”
    ACORN: Apparently “Community Organizing” Really is Nefarious
    ACORN: Awarding Capital to Objectionable Rent-seeking Noncontributors
    ACORN: Apathetic, Crybaby, Odiferous, Rejected Nothings
    ACORN: Andrew Clearly Outplayed the Resentful NYT
    ACORN: Always Cheating, Often Ruining Neighborhoods
    ACORN: Addled Crack-heads and Obnoxious Race-baiting Neurotics
    ACORN: Appalling Cesspool; Obscene Revolting Nightmare
    ACORN: A Clan of Odious, Ridiculed Nitwits
    ACORN: Another Corrupt Obama Run Network

    Others? Please suggest!

     

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  12.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Sep 30th, 2009 @ 8:13pm

    Re: Re:

    Whatever Mike calls himself, he's probably not going to answer. Because talking to yourself is just crazy.

     

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  13.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Sep 30th, 2009 @ 8:18pm

    Civil discovery

    IANAL but if the case does get the discovery stage, I believe both sides involved get to ask their opponents all sorts of questions, some of which may not even be 100% related to the cases. Questions like "Where does all of your money come from and where does it go?"

    Now if this is true, it seems to me that ACORN will come out the big loser as they would definitely have more skeletons in the closet than the two people who did the filming. This may get interesting.

     

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  14.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Sep 30th, 2009 @ 8:23pm

    Thanks, Mike, for providing insight to the issues surrounding bad wiretap law.

    Hell, it was reported that the woman in the video actually was involved in a prostitution ring, but it was plea-bargained down if she worked with a producer who created the video.

    There's apparently a lot more to this story than you know.

    But as the free court MSM press works, always hungry for leads, the video was aired that following Monday without verifying with sources or leads.

    Thanks, FoxNews.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  15.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Sep 30th, 2009 @ 8:24pm

    Thanks, Mike, for providing insight to the issues surrounding bad wiretap law.

    Hell, it was reported that the woman in the video actually was involved in a prostitution ring, but it was plea-bargained down if she worked with a producer who created the video.

    There's apparently a lot more to this story than you know.

    But as the free court MSM press works, always hungry for leads, the video was aired that following Monday without verifying with sources or leads.

    Thanks, FoxNews.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  16.  
    icon
    thublihnk (profile), Sep 30th, 2009 @ 8:24pm

    Man, way too many Glenn Beck watchers have figured out how to use Google Alerts.

    I'm all for relevant, insightful discussion on the issues at hand, but seriously?
    ACORN acronym games? What are we, twelve?

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  17.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Sep 30th, 2009 @ 8:24pm

    Thanks, Mike, for providing insight to the issues surrounding bad wiretap law.

    Hell, it was reported that the woman in the video actually was involved in a prostitution ring, but it was plea-bargained down if she worked with a producer who created the video.

    There's apparently a lot more to this story than you know.

    But as the free court MSM press works, always hungry for leads, the video was aired that following Monday without verifying with sources or leads.

    Thanks, FoxNews.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  18.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Sep 30th, 2009 @ 8:25pm

    Thanks, Mike, for providing insight to the issues surrounding bad wiretap law.

    Hell, it was reported that the woman in the video actually was involved in a prostitution ring, but it was plea-bargained down if she worked with a producer who created the video.

    There's apparently a lot more to this story than you know.

    But as the free court MSM press works, always hungry for leads, the video was aired that following Monday without verifying with sources or leads.

    Thanks, FoxNews.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  19.  
    icon
    Overcast (profile), Sep 30th, 2009 @ 8:30pm

    Funny to see people actually defend them - talk about blind partisanship.

    The whole concept of suing them, just makes them look even more guilty - if that's possible.

     

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  20.  
    identicon
    Bob Vila, Sep 30th, 2009 @ 8:33pm

    Re: Defending ACORN?

    Why do these freaks CAPITALIZE certain WORDS? Jump on the Digg forums, you'll see THEM posting EVERYWHERE. I think it's worse than people who have the caps lock key stuck. Most of those people are just making an extremely dumb mistake but freaks like this guy are actually doing it on purpose.

     

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  21.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Sep 30th, 2009 @ 8:34pm

    Re: Re: Re:

    Anonomous Coward without a stick up their ass? Why yes, I like!

    Hey
    Go fuck yourself. Mike doesn't need anyone, you little hempshooter.

    Hey why don't you go wave a Green Flag and keep telling everyone needs to *VOLUNTARILY* give up their paycheck to save the Earth?


    It will make it easier when the powers that be make it law.

    That's quite a *yay... I'm an Asshole* flag you got there, AC. Hope you know how to use it.

     

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  22.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Sep 30th, 2009 @ 9:52pm

    Re: Defending ACORN?

    Uh....

    If the FILM MAKERS broke a LAW to catch someone else breaking a different law, how is that not ALSO an ENDS justifying a means?

    If they're true heroes, they should "man up" and accept whatever legal PUNISHMENT may result from their freely chosen actions.

    That's called RESPONSIBILITY.

    I know it's not COMMON in the world. But it's nice to see it on the rare occasions when it DOES show up.

     

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  23.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Sep 30th, 2009 @ 10:17pm

    Goodbye ACORN, your time has come to close shop.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  24.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Oct 1st, 2009 @ 5:31am

    Re: Going Nuts

    ACORN: This joke is never funny.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  25.  
    identicon
    ..., Oct 1st, 2009 @ 6:13am

    Video == Wiretap ?

    I thought that wiretapping was a criminal offense.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  26.  
    identicon
    I like Olbermann, Oct 1st, 2009 @ 6:22am

    Uh Oh - the fox news brigade

    What a bunch of psychos

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  27.  
    identicon
    Sean, Oct 1st, 2009 @ 6:25am

    Candid Camera?

    "Honestly, if you've ever watched Candid Camera (dating myself) or any of its modern equivalents, I'm not really sure that getting a few people to do stupid stuff on camera really says all that much about an organization..."

    Honestly, Candid Camera wasn't about government employees explaining how to handle tax implications in underage sex worker smuggling.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  28.  
    identicon
    JoeNYC, Oct 1st, 2009 @ 6:41am

    ACORN

    Those of you defending this criminal enterprise (yes, they should be prosecuted under RICO) should be ashamed of yourselves. The people on the video were obviously not sophisticated enough to come up with these criminal schemes. Where do you suppose they learned them??

     

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  29.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Oct 1st, 2009 @ 6:44am

    fox news brigade

    I expected more spelling errors

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  30.  
    icon
    Overcast (profile), Oct 1st, 2009 @ 6:50am

    Who needs Craigslist when you have Acorn?

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  31.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Oct 1st, 2009 @ 7:16am

    ACORN - Maryland

    ACORN, Inc.–the parent organization of all things ACORN–forfeited its corporate charter in Maryland in 2006. ACORN Housing forfeited its corporate charter in 2008. Any ACORN office in the state of Maryland is potentially operating illegally.

     

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  32.  
    identicon
    Kevin, Oct 1st, 2009 @ 8:34am

    ACORN needs to better train people??

    ACORN employees ready, willing and able to discuss illegal and immoral activities with potential clients, and you think that it is just an issue of needing to train people better? You honestly believe that ACORN management was not aware of what was going on? Just imagine what would happen if a conservative organization was caught doing something similar. I'm sure that the libs would figure out how to blame Bush for it....

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  33.  
    icon
    Allan Masri (profile), Oct 1st, 2009 @ 9:31am

    Great story, strange conclusion

    Most of the commenters have already decided that ACORN is a criminal enterprise. Why is that? Because the right wing media have been proclaiming it for years without offering proof? If you tell a lie enough times, people will believe it. Some of these people need to get their noses out of the Washington Times and the Fox media and look at some stories from the other side. I suggest Mediamatters.org is a good place to start, since they cover the right-wing smear campaigns directly. If you look there, you will find that, contrary to right-wing claims, ACORN workers did call police to talk about the "pimp and hooker" that came into their office. Also, you guys should recognize that there was no criminal enterprise involving child prostitution (it was just a prank, right?) so ACORN staffers committed no crime by failing to report it.

    Th lawsuit is an excellent idea. The two protagonists may be students, but Fox news and BigGovernment.org, an Andrew Breitbart enterprise, have plenty of money. Those two co-conspirators aired edited videos that slandered ACORN and led to the loss of millions of dollars in grant money intended to aid the poorest segments of our population. In the court case, ACORN will be able to obtain the unedited videos and discover whether the editing slanted the raw material.

    As for Fox News, what legitimate news organization would air edited video clips as news? True, Fox regularly airs video clips taken out of context, but at least those are legitimate quotes (from Obama or someone else) and can be contested because the original video is part of the public record.

    Doesn't it bother you conservatives that the organizations being attacked most vociferously by Fox and friends (ACORN and SEIU) provide charitable assistance to minorities and the poor? I believe conservatives feel compelled to cover these stories because the targets are different from themselves, and hence threatening. The joke is on them, however. The attacks on ACORN have consumed time and money that could have been used to present conservative viewpoints needed to win elections. The group obsession with people of color has reflected badly on those who espouse it, as recent election results show. This obsession may be the fatal flaw that consigns the Republican Party to the dustbin of history.

     

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  34.  
    identicon
    angry dude, Oct 1st, 2009 @ 10:24am

    Re: Re: Defending ACORN?

    Well, I think you answered your own question. It's for EMPHASIS, asshole.

    You're WELCOME.

    dick.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  35.  
    identicon
    angry dude, Oct 1st, 2009 @ 10:26am

    Re:

    Think of it as an EDUCATION.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  36.  
    identicon
    angry dude, Oct 1st, 2009 @ 10:32am

    Re: Going Nuts

    Just
    Understand
    People,
    It
    Takes
    Everyone's
    Reason
    Suspended
    Until
    Idiots
    Terminiate
    Ever yone

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  37.  
    identicon
    angry dude, Oct 1st, 2009 @ 10:39am

    Re: Defending ACORN?

    Whee!

    Let's talk about ACORN more! Then our secret plan to divert attention away from SOCIALIZING healthcare will be complete.

    Did I say socializing? I meant COMMUNIZING!

    All you stupid Glenn Beckers have been POWNED!

    (silence)

    "Ha Ha Ha Ha Ha Ha Ha Ha Ha"

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  38.  
    icon
    iNtrigued (profile), Oct 1st, 2009 @ 11:09am

    Re: Re: Defending ACORN?

    From what I heard they did NOT break ANY laws, but the ones acorn THINKS exists.

    According to the laws in that state it is ONLY illegal to secretly record someone if there is a REASONABLE EXPECTATION of privacy. And there were NONE.

    Woohoo, CAPITALIZING certain words is FUN! But VERY DISTRACTING.

     

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  39.  
    identicon
    alternatives(), Oct 1st, 2009 @ 11:23am

    Re: Civil discovery

    if the case does get the discovery stage

    That may be the only reason to bother, *IF* you think the original producers kept the video of a bunch of workers telling the producers to go pound sand.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  40.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Oct 1st, 2009 @ 11:28am

    Re: Great story, strange conclusion

    As for Fox News, what legitimate news organization would air edited video clips as news

    Here's a history lesson:
    One of the modern masters of such media control was the German Communist from whom Joseph Goebbels learned his trade, Willi Munzenberg. Munzenberg was not only the inventor of spin, he was also the first person who perfected the art of creating a network of opinion-forming journalists who propagated views which were germane to the needs of the Communist Party in Germany and to the Soviet Union.

    Doesn't Fox News sound like a Willi operation?

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  41.  
    icon
    iNtrigued (profile), Oct 1st, 2009 @ 11:40am

    Re: Great story, strange conclusion

    Stop the partisanship, this is exactly what is wrong with Political discussion. People want to spend all their time trying to prove the other side wrong by throwing out all kinds of "facts". They start to actually believe they are the ones who are right. "There couldn't possibly be anything wrong with what I am saying," is their state of mind.

    Both sides have their flaws, both sides have portions of the media that only present news leaning their way, and both forget that there are many more things that they share in common than those they don't. But of course the loudest among them shove their idea of the truth and what is right down the throats of everyone else.

    So before we start casting blame on each other, lets take a good long look at ourselves.(Corny but true)

    The key is to diversify. Don't just get your news from one place, try going to the other side's news distribution center. Really listen to what they are saying and try to find what you agree with because of course most of what they say you aren't going to agree with at all.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  42.  
    icon
    iNtrigued (profile), Oct 1st, 2009 @ 11:52am

    Re: Re: Great story, strange conclusion

    Why is it so popular to hate Fox News? If you don't like what they are saying, turn the channel; because most other channels present news from the other side of the isle.(olbermann & maddow from MSNBC for example)

    In regards to both sides calling the other communist/nazi/hitler/etc. it just makes you look stupid. Its really easy to point and call the other side names, but it takes a person of intellect to start an open and honest debate. Completely free from name calling and other kindergarten tactics.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  43.  
    identicon
    Bob Vila, Oct 1st, 2009 @ 12:14pm

    Re: Re: Re: Defending ACORN?

    Asshole and dick have 2 different meaning retard. I can only be one of the 2. Watch Team America for further clarification. No, I didn't answer my own question. I was just randomly capitalizing words. Thank you for the clarification.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  44.  
    identicon
    DeusInvictus, Oct 1st, 2009 @ 2:22pm

    Re: Reversal?

    "They should just take the good people from the organization and start a new one"


    kind of hard to start an new organization with the good people from ACORN when they had none to begin with.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  45.  
    identicon
    Deus Invictus, Oct 1st, 2009 @ 2:24pm

    Re: Re: Re: Re: Defending ACORN?

    And yes you did answer your own question, because by randomly capitalizing words you applied emphasis to your question why do people randomly capitalizing words.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  46.  
    icon
    iNtrigued (profile), Oct 2nd, 2009 @ 3:13pm

    Re: Re: Reversal?

    Ah, it may be that I have just been bested. For even I do not know everyone in the ACORN organization.

    Well played good sir.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]


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