Mr. Breitbart claims victory, and in extravagant terms: “At every step of the way, we were correct. At every step of the way, the mainstream media took the lies of Acorn. At every step of the way, the mainstream media attempted to cover up for Acorn. . . . If they think that Acorn or the Democratic Party or the NEA or the Office of Public Engagement is the primary target, they couldn’t be more wrong. It is the Democrat-media complex. It is the mainstream media. No jury would need more evidence at this point. The Clark Hoyts of the world should just put their pens down and retire right now and walk away. They lost.”

Yet some caveats are in order. Partisanship was not the only reason for media resistance to the Acorn story. The approach Mr. O’Keefe and Ms. Giles used—lying to prospective sources or subjects—is grossly unethical by the standards of institutional journalism. Almost all major news organizations, including the Journal, strictly prohibit it. To be sure, there is a world of difference between employing such tactics and reporting on the results when others have used them. And there is no question that the pair’s findings were newsworthy. But journalistic discomfort with their methods is a sign of integrity, not corruption…

Mr. Breitbart says that some reporters have pressed him for information about the unreleased videos, and these demands make him indignant: “They were the desperate attempts of defense attorneys to say, ‘You have an obligation to tell us how many tapes there are.’ I said, ‘Isn’t that interesting, because Acorn wants to know that too . . . because they don’t know how big the scandal is.'” Yet while it’s true that journalists have no right to Mr. Breitbart’s information, one can hardly fault them for wanting all the facts.