A telling event occurred on Sept. 15, Day 6 of the drip, drip, drip ACORN video rollout. President Obama met for lunch with former President Bill Clinton at trendy Il Mulino in New York City.
For the second consecutive day, the New York Post featured the ACORN scandal on its cover - complete with James O’Keefe and Hannah Giles in their outrageous “pimp and ho” costumes.
Does anyone think the president and the former president were unaware that the city in which they were dining was mesmerized by the ACORN scandal - especially since ACORN had bragged that its employees had kicked Mr. O’Keefe and Ms. Giles out of their New York office?
The Sept. 15 edition of the New York Post explored the political angles and directed attention to the Brooklyn District Attorney’s investigation into why an ACORN office in its jurisdiction helped instruct a prospective brothel owner how to hide his prostitution proceeds in a tin in his backyard.
No one in the morally superior media world has asked, why did Mr. Obama have lunch with Mr. Clinton that day? So let me take a guess, and it seems like an obvious answer. Mr. Obama, under siege by a video-a-day expose that was exposing the Democratic Party to an avalanche of consequences (ACORN defunded in the House and Senate, ACORN delinked from the census, etc.), needed advice from the last president to navigate through a major political scandal.
On this day, neither the president or the former president, nor the media knew how many more videos were coming.
The next day, Clinton Chief of Staff John Podesta, the Democratic Party’s top fix-it guy with control over much of the left’s well-funded vast attack machinery (think George Soros, the Tides Foundation, et al.), was among a small advisory group placed in charge of investigating the matter.
With the mainstream media continuing to ignore the evidence on the tapes, Mr. Podesta is now clearly in charge of feeding them information about his well-structured investigation into the investigators. The ACORN internal probe is a “war room” aimed at destroying the messengers and is not meant to clean up major corruption.
Since Mr. Podesta was appointed to investigate ACORN, the only thing investigated has been the investigators, Mr. O’Keefe, Ms. Giles and the publisher of the journalism behind it, yours truly.
Every journalism inquiry from the mainstream media continues to focus on the successful operation that exposed ACORN, not on ACORN itself, as if there is no evidence to sift through or common traits to be found in the videos. Why is the story about journalistic process rather than institutional corruption?
The Washington Post and the Associated Press have had to issue embarrassing retractions for falsely implying Mr. O’Keefe’s motives were racist. The New York Times, too, had to issue a retraction on an issue raised to impugn his tactics.
It was so predictable that I actually predicted it - in this column four days before the first video was aired. We needed to document the plan to prove it was a success. And to show that the media’s duplicity and institutional biases were directly targeted.
So, who is John Podesta? He runs the Center for American Progress think tank, which in 2004 helped launch Media Matters for America, the well-funded watchdog outfit run by ex-conservative journalist David Brock, which feeds the media reams of anti-conservative documents that attempt to diminish the credibility of alternative media outlets.
Both the CAP and Media Matters sites are focusing their attention on Ms. Giles, Mr. O’Keefe and me.
Does anyone really think Mr. Podesta is investigating ACORN, when his well-greased external machinery is so blatantly investigating us?
To show the Sept. 15 lunch is still bearing fruit, Mr. Clinton showed Sunday that the 1998 “blame the messenger” strategy is back in full force, claiming the “vast right-wing conspiracy” is up to its old tricks.
“It’s not as strong as it was, because America has changed demographically,” he said on NBC’s “Meet the Press.” “But it’s as virulent as it was.”
Need we remind Mr. Podesta and Mr. Brock and Mr. Clinton and Mr. Obama of Jon Stewart’s “The Daily Show” rant that should have put an end to the attacks on the messenger: “ACORN appears to be a corrupt organization that aids and abets criminals and gets millions of dollars in taxpayer money.”
The left is betting that 2009 is 1998 again and that the media will help them out like last time. Mr. Obama is betting that Mr. Clinton’s 1998 strategy and his resources can extricate him from this growing mess. But 2009 has a new set of circumstances, new technologies and new citizen journalists that can now hold the mainstream media in check for its naked partisanship.
Plus, unlike Mr. Clinton’s war-room blame-the-messenger excuse - “it’s just about the sex” - this year’s ACORN scandal won’t be pushed aside, because this time it includes 13-year-old sex slaves from El Salvador.
• Andrew Breitbart is publisher of the news portals Breitbart.com and Breitbart.tv. His latest endeavor, Big Hollywood (http://bighollywood .breitbart.com), is a group blog on Hollywood and politics from the center-right perspective.