Rachel Maddow embarrasses the rest of mainstream media by doing actual, you know, investigating and fact-checking in her segment about the lies being spread about ACORN. Her opener sets the stage for a look at the corporate machine fueling the campaign to take down the group:
ACORN has been caricatured like congressman King as "a corrupt, criminal enterprise" that "steals elections," and "turns a blind eye to prostitution." That’s the storyline the mainstream media has latched donto, as well. What you might not know from all the breathless ACORN damnation coverage, is what ACORN actually does. They do things like advocating for a higher minimum wage. They do things like helping low-income families file their taxes. They do things like helping low-income families find jobs. They do things like registering people to vote. That sort of work, as you might expect, has the tendency to rile up the industries that…aren’t that psyched about lots of poor people being registered to vote. And as we discovered most recently in the healthcare debate, when industries sense a threat to their profits, they go into kill mode.
They create corporate-funded purportedly grassroots organizations to derail and destroy whomever they believe to be the source of that threat.
She also has on her show Peter Dreier, a professor at Occidental College who co-wrote a report (download here) uncovering exactly how deep the mis-information and anti-ACORN smears went, and how unquestioningly they were accepted by mainstream media. There are some choice findings in there. Like that 80% of stories about ACORN voter fraud failed to mention that ACORN was the group that reported the irregularities in the first place. Or that 11% of the stories made the false claim that Barack Obama worked for ACORN. Hold on for the whole 12 minutes. Not only does Maddow report the facts, she’s able to give much-needed political context tying the corporate campaign to sabotage healthcare reform with the assault on ACORN.