Did the media finally start informing its consumers, after a Senate vote defunding ACORN, about the undercover investigations at ACORN which showed staffers in three cities giving assistance for tax evasion by a prospective child-prostitution ring? After all, they did manage to report on the Van Jones story after his resignation forced media outlets to finally report that Barack Obama had hired a 9/11 Truther as a close adviser, with his hands on $80 billion for “green jobs” promotion. The widely bipartisan Senate vote stripping funding from the HUD and Transportation appropriation took place at 6 pm ET, plenty of time for the East Coast dailies to let their readers know about the vote — and the reasons for it.
The Los Angeles Times did get around to reporting it this morning:
The Senate voted Monday to block the Housing and Urban Development Department from giving grants to ACORN, a community organization under fire in voter-registration fraud cases.
The 83-7 vote came as ACORN , which stands for the Assn. of Community Organizations for Reform Now, is receiving bad publicity related to surreptitious videos. Two conservative activists posed as a prostitute and her pimp, then released a hidden-camera video in which ACORN employees in Baltimore advised the couple on house-buying and how to account for the woman’s income on tax forms. Two other videos, aired frequently on media outlets such as the Fox News Channel, depict similar situations in Brooklyn and Washington, D.C.
If the House agrees with the Senate, ACORN could not win HUD grants for programs such as counseling low-income people on how to get mortgages.
Last week, the Census Bureau severed ties with ACORN, saying it does not want the group’s help with the 2010 count. The group, which advocates for poor people, conducted a voter registration effort last year and became a target of conservatives when some workers were accused of submitting false registration forms with names including Mickey Mouse.
How about the New York Times and the Washington Post? Neither newspaper reported on Van Jones’ Trutherism until an embarrassed White House pushed Jones out the door, leaving them to explain to their readers why a high-ranking Presidential adviser quit — and why they hadn’t mentioned the scandal that forced the issue until that moment. The Washington Post, which last I looked publishes from the same city in which Congress works, reprinted the AP coverage rather than assign a writer:
The 83 to 7 vote would deny housing and community grant funding to ACORN, which stands for the Association of Community Organizations for Reform Now.
The action came as the group is suffering from bad publicity after a duo of conservative activists, who posed as a prostitute and her pimp, released hidden-camera videos in which ACORN employees in Baltimore gave advice on home buying and how to account on tax forms for the woman’s income. Other videos depict similar situations in ACORN offices in Brooklyn and the District.
The Senate’s move would mean that ACORN would not be able to win HUD grants for programs such as counseling low-income people on how to get mortgages and for fair-housing education and outreach.
The New York Times, which is another AP client, didn’t even bother to put that in print. Their Caucus blog reported it on line, but their print readers won’t have a clue. That’s exactly how the Times treated their print readers with the Van Jones scandal, and also how they handled the Eason Jordan controversy back in 2005.
If newspapers keep their print readers in the dark like this, is it any wonder they have fewer and fewer of them? After all, if the New York Times keeps its news segregated into its online blogs (especially political news it doesn’t like), that signals readers that the print edition is more or less worthless and drives them online instead. Maybe print media executives should stop complaining about Internet competition and start reporting all of the news in the print editions.