Young People on the Front Lines

September 17, 2009 | NeW Staff

Fox News broke the story first.  Charlie Gibson hadn’t even heard about it days later.  Congressmen and Senators are now going on record to prohibit any further taxpayer funding for it.  What is this organization and why all the controversy?

The group in question, ACORN – Association of Community Organizations for Reform Now (yes, the same group during the 2008 Presidential election who registered dead people, Mickey Mouse and one person 50 times) aims to “organize a majority constituency of low- to moderate-income people…[to] take on issues of relevance to their communities, whether those issues are discrimination, affordable housing, a quality education, or better public services.”  That is ACORN’s mission statement, but what do they actually do?  Hannah Giles, 20 year old college student and friend, 25 year old James O’Keefe, set out on a mission to uncover the real story behind an organization that has received millions in federal funding since the mid-1990s. 

What they found in their undercover investigation, complete with hidden cameras and false identities, is both troubling and disturbing.  Posing as a pimp and prostitute, James and Hannah received advice on how to open and run a brothel, traffic young girls from El Salvador for their business, and commit tax evasion and fraud.  This was not an isolated incidence in one office.  They went to DC, Baltimore, New York and California  and found similar results in all four locations.  And according to Human Events, there are more videos to come.  My hat’s off to this brave duo, who sacrificed their savings to expose the corruptness within ACORN. 

But my bigger question is this:  Where were the major news networks on this type of investigative journalism? When this story became known, why did they turn a blind eye?  I have a hypothesis of my own, but I would like to hear your thoughts on this issue.  It gives me great hope to see that our generation is stepping into the shoes that the major media outlets have forgotten to fill.  Good journalism, as an earlier post noted, has been a thing of the past in the mainstream media.  However, individuals like Hannah and James are determined not to see this type of reporting fade, and their diligent work should be commended. 

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