I don’t think there’s anything defensible about what the workers did and they were rightfully fired, if what happened in the article is true (I haven’t watched the video). I can see how the ACORN spokesperson’s statement can also be true, though, if conclusions were made by the filmmakers that this is somehow and endemic problem within ACORN or if the film was manipulated to draw larger conclusions about ACORN’s involvement in this (in contrast to the story being about two stupid people who happen to work for ACORN). They apparently tried this stunt in a bunch of different locations and the Baltimore people were the only ones to take the bait.
Was this a whoosh? If so, you caught me; if not, “bemused” and “amused” mean different things.
If they were seriously offering advice to clients (or muckrakers posing as clients) trying to set up an illegal prostitution ring, then no, it’s completely indefensible.
However, I’d like to see fuller information before I definitively pronounce sentence:
On the one hand, I don’t see how anyone at ACORN national offices can say for certain what happened at the Baltimore office if he hasn’t yet seen the full video. On the other hand, the muckrakers in this case are apparently motivated by a strong desire to cause trouble for ACORN.
In any case, though, it was at the very least pretty stupid and irresponsible for the Baltimore ACORN workers to do or say anything that even appeared to indicate tolerance or support for activities involving illegal prostitution.
This was a couple of politically motivated slimeballs out to smear ACORN. I wonder how many ACORN people they had to go to before they could find a couple who played along. Congratulation. If you search hard enough you can find people in any profession who will behave inappropriately. What is that supposed to prove about the profession?
This says nothing about ACORN, so I don’t see why it’s newsworthy. All of the right wing smear attempts against ACORN have been disgusting, baseless and transparently racist, in my opinion.
Whoop-dee-doo. They paid some people $5 for getting 21 registrations. OK, if it’s against the law, they shouldn’t do it. But jeez, is this worth getting excited about? And they turned in some fraudulent registrations. In many cases, local law requires them to do so. And they flag any suspicious registrations for the local officials. And none of the fraudulent registrations resulted in any illegal votes. A pretty wise man once said remove the plank from your own eye before looking at the speck in your brother’s.
Withholding judgment until I see the whole thing. There’s nothing in the story or the video that clearly shows anything along the lines of, “Hey, I want to start a child prostitution ring, can you help me with that?” “Sure, let me tell you how to sneak unregistered teen hookers past customs!” Funny that the film’s creators pulled a ding-dong-ditch on being interviewed.
Frankly, from what the video showed, it sounded like the two “undercover journalists” went into the office asking for tax advice, then started tossing out lines about the alleged prostitution stuff. The little clips shown don’t give us much to tell whether the employees were even taking them seriously or not; they may have been blowing them off as cranks and just giving enough advice to satisfy them and get them out of the office. For all I can tell from the video, the “journalist” may have portrayed himself as a foreign bumpkin who didn’t understand the difference between a “performing artist” and a “prostitute”. Doesn’t Jeff Dunham do a bit about how he performs for people and makes them happy to make money, with his pimp-daddy ventriloquist dummy answering, “Then you da ho!”?
They could have ascertained the facts by other means, like, perhaps, interviewing the employees involved? Asking witnesses? Considering it sounds like the film was heavily edited, it seems like that would be a more accurate way of figuring out what happened, anyway.
It should be added that ACORN is not permitted to disallow registration forms on its own, no matter how obviously fraudulent they may be. All they can do is flag them and send them on. The only reason anyone knew about the bogus registration forms is because ACORN itself flagged them as suspicious.
The smearing of ACORN has been one of the saddest jokes of the last year.