The right-wing zealots were forced to release their unedited ACORN pimp tapes to California Attorney General Jerry Brown. Brown found that O'Keefe had never claimed to be a pimp, and that the editing was creative to the point of dishonesty.
He's not the first to find similar nefarious-ness behind the ACORN tapes. James O'Keefe, an activist who thinks he's a journalist, had claimed that he'd wandered into ACORN offices dressed as a pimp, accompanied by a friend dressed as a prostitute, and found them willing to dispense illegal advice. Previous investigations had found that, and Andrew Breitbart (his mentor at BigGovernment.org, who aired the videos) had done some, um, creative editing.
But Brown's findings are the most damning yet. Here, via MediaMatters, is one excerpt from Brown's office's report, and another from their press release. The findings echo those of all the professionals — including the Brooklyn DA's office — who have looked into the matter. ACORN was by no means perfect, but:
O'Keefe stated he was out to make a point and to damage ACORN and therefore did not act as a journalist objectively reporting a story. The video releases were heavily edited to feature only the worst or most inappropriate statements of the various ACORN employees, and to omit some of the most salient statements by O'Keefe and Giles.
Videotapes secretly recorded last summer and severely edited by O'Keefe seemed to show ACORN employees encouraging a "pimp" (O'Keefe) and his "prostitute," actually a Florida college student named Hannah Miles, in conversations involving prostitution by underage girls, human trafficking and cheating on taxes. Those videos created a media sensation.
Evidence obtained by Brown tells a somewhat different story, however, as reflected in three videotapes made at ACORN locations in California. One ACORN worker in San Diego called the cops. Another ACORN worker in San Bernardino caught on to the scheme and played along with it, claiming among other things that she had murdered her abusive husband. Her two former husbands are alive and well, the Attorney General's report noted. At the beginning and end of the Internet videos, O'Keefe was dressed as a 1970s Superfly pimp, but in his actual taped sessions with ACORN workers, he was dressed in a shirt and tie, presented himself as a law student, and said he planned to use the prostitution proceeds to run for Congress. He never claimed he was a pimp.
O'Keefe asked for, and was granted immunity from prosecution for breaching California's privacy laws in exchange for the unedited tapes. There's so much more, and links to the unedited tapes (if you can sit through them) here.