Browse Primary Sources
". . .The sensational undercover video showed ACORN Housing employees in the group’s Baltimore office trying to help the two journalists set up a brothel. The pair told ACORN employees that underage girls from El Salvador were ready to enter the U.S. and start working as child prostitutes. . ."
The American Spectator 2009-09-14
". . . How exactly do we assess such a thing [undercover stings]? It’s not scientific. But Poynter’s Bob Steele has ventured in the past to provide a checklist of rather strict guidelines that must all be adhered to if deception is to be justified in journalism. These include: the information obtained being in the public interest; all alternative methods of obtaining the information being exhausted; the story being told fully; any harm prevented outweighing the harm caused by the deception; and all ethical and legal issues being closely considered. With those in mind, and the particulars of each case on hand, here’s our trip down an ethically murky memory lane. . . . "
Columbia Journalism Review 2011-03-10
". . .Is it ever permissible to lie to get the truth? This is a perennial question of moral philosophy and religious thought, but one that also bites into the very core of undercover journalism–an issue that’s been in the news lately, with the work of the controversial, conservative filmmaker James O’Keefe and pro-life activist Lila Rose making national waves. You may recall that Lila Rose, right, sent undercover agents to a Planned Parenthood clinic in New Jersey. The agents, posing as a pimp and prostitute couple, taped their interaction with a Planned Parenthood rep who eagerly gave the couple advice about procuring contraceptives and STD tests for underage sex slaves. O’Keefe, below, has been responsible for many undercover ambushes. The most famous one confirmed that certain members of ACORN were legally-challenged. The most recent one exposed that certain executives at NPR are mentally-challenged (which, of course, is not a crime). These undercover videos beg an important question: can you misrepresent yourself in pursuit of some higher aim? Does the greater good ever allow you to lie? . . ."
The Blaze 2011-03-09
"The temperature was hovering near 90 degrees on the afternoon of Memorial Day when James O'Keefe III emerged from the woods and ambled over to my car. He was tall and thin, with pale skin and matted reddish hair. When his mug shot ran in the papers, some people told him he looked like Matthew Modine. Others said Lee Harvey Oswald. On the day I met him, he wore muddy work boots, filthy jeans and, despite the heat, a long-sleeved shirt. “Keeps the mosquitoes off,” he said. All day he was in the outback of a regional park just west of the Hudson, breaking rocks with a pickax to construct a trail. As a boy he was an Eagle Scout, but this wasn’t a nature project. O’Keefe, the man whose video stings helped take down high-ranking people at National Public Radio and led to the demise of Acorn, the nation’s biggest grass-roots community organizing group, was doing federal time. . ."
The New York Times 2011-07-27
Youtube description: Undercover investigation featuring smuggling and Child Prostitution at ACORN in San Diego.
Youtube description: Undercover investigation at ACORN in New York.
Youtube description: Undercover investigation at ACORN in Washington, DC.
Youtube description: "Undercover investigation featuring prostitution, sex trafficking, tax evasion, and money laundering.
The Project Veritas 2009-09-09
Youtube description: "Undercover investigation featuring corruption and murder at ACORN in San Bernadino.
"Beleaguered community organizing group Acorn filed for Chapter 7 bankruptcy Tuesday, marking the end of a tumultuous two-year period in which attacks by conservatives and its own missteps proved too much to overcome.In a statement on Acorn's website, Chief Executive Bertha Lewis said she saw the end “coming for some time,” and blamed the group's downfall on “a political onslaught” that caused the organization “irreparable harm.” Acorn had become a GOP target by registering 3 million voters in swing states that turned blue in the 2008 presidential race. But it also made blunders of its own, including shoddy record-keeping and its founder's cover-up of his brother's $1 million embezzlement from the organization.Already weakened by the cover-up and allegations of widespread voter-registration fraud in the months before the 2008 presidential election, the final straw came last year when conservative activists masquerading as a prostitute and her boyfriend visited Acorn offices around the country and made hidden camera recordings. The videos, selectively spliced to make it appear as if employees were breaking the law, exploded onto the Internet and Fox news late last summer."
Crain's New York Business 2010-11-03