The head organizer for California ACORN says a new video that appears to show a staffer at the organization’s San Bernardino office is fake journalism.The video, which was posted shortly before 2 p.m. Tuesday on a Web site called Big Government.com, shows a female ACORN employee talking to a man who claims to be a pimp interested in establishing a brothel where underage immigrant prostitutes would turn tricks in order to raise money for political activity.
The woman, identified on the video as Tresa Kaelke, appears on posted footage to be interested in cooperating the plan. However, California ACORN head organizer Amy Schur said the video is a gross misrepresentation of what actually happened.
“In this video, there are two actors who come into our office and who were messing with us. And our employee was messing with them,” Schur said.
She said that the complete and unedited video needs to be released to the public.
Schur said that in a moment not shown on the edited video, Kaelke asked the undercover “pimp” if he was joking and then proceeded to play along with the joke.
Furthermore, Schur said that Kaelke will sign an affidavit stating that she was not seriously entertaining the idea of cooperating with an apparent attempt to establish a house of prostitution.
“She (Kaelke) asked if they were joking and asked if they were reporters. They said they weren’t reporters and they aren’t. This is not legitimate news,” Schur said.
Schur’s statements follow comments from ACORN office supervisor Christina Spach, who said Kaelke was afraid of the “pimp” and “prostitute” who broached the prostitution ploy at ACORN’s San Bernardino office.The Big Government.com video identifies the “pimp” as James O’Keefe and the “prostitute” as Hannah Giles. O’Keefe and Giles could not be reached immediately for comment.
OK, let’s assume that she was “messing with them.” But ask yourself this hypothetical situation: you’re employed by a firm that you think may be involved in one or two gray areas of the law. You think two people are in your office to shoot a Sixty-Minutes-style hidden camera sting. So you play along and say the craziest, zaniest, nuttiest stuff possible?
If so, then you’ve just imitated a Saturday Night Live sketch from 1979, with Dan Aykroyd as Richard Nixon and perennial guest host Buck Henry as John Dean:
David Eisenhower: Uh.. you were telling us how they twisted the meaning of what you said.
Richard Nixon: That’s right, uh.. uh, yeah, yeah.. [ chuckles ] You see.. my administration.. had the greatest sense of humor that this country has ever seen. You see.. most of the time, we were.. making “party” tapes. Me, and Haldeman, and Ehrlichman, and Dean could joke for weeks on end. We actually.. played to the microphone..
[ slow dissolve to a flashback scene of Nixon's March 21st meeting with John Dean in the Oval Office ]
Richard Nixon V/O: ..We’d do anything to crack wach other up! And I remember, that day, Dean was on a roll, so I just followed his lead, and.. “played along” with the “joke”..
John Dean: [ standing over Nixon's desk; a microphone is unseen underneath a small lamp on the desk ] ..Plus.. there’s a real problem.. in raising money.
[ Dean holds up handwritten sign: "Let's Pretend There's A Cover Up"; Nixon laughs, removes lampshade to reveal hidden microphone ]
John Dean: Uh.. Mitchell.. Mitchell has been working on raising some money.. feeling he’s got, you know.. he’s one of the ones with the most.. to lose
President Richard Nixon: [ covers microphone with hand, tries not to laugh ] Martha!
John Dean: ..but.. there is no denying the fact that the White House – Ehrlichman, Haldeman.. [ points to himself ] ..Dean – are all involved in some of the.. early.. money decisions.
President Richard Nixon: [ stands slightly to speak directly into the microphone ] How much money do they need?
John Dean: Well.. I would say these people are going to cost, uh.. uh.. [ looks to Nixon for help, who sticks both thumbs in the air to silently cue Dean to pick a high number ] ..a million dollars! Over the next.. two years.
[ Nixon and Dean pound on the desk to subdue their laughter ]
President Richard Nixon: We could get that.
John Dean: [ stifling laughter ] Uh-huh.
[ Nixon scribbles on a pad, then, laughing silently, holds it up to reveal the message: "Let's Talk In Incomplete Sentences" ]
President Richard Nixon: Uh.. uh.. You, uh.. on the money.. if you, uh.. need the money, I mean, uh.. you could get the money. Let’s say, uh..
John Dean: Well, I think if we’re going to, uh..
President Richard Nixon: What I meant is, uh.. you could get, uh.. you could get a million dollars. And you could get it in cash.
[ Dean stick two pencils up his nose, resembling a walrus; Nixon practically falls out of his chair laughing at the sight ]
President Richard Nixon: I, uh.. I know where it could be gotten!
John Dean: Uh, huh! [ puts lampshade on his head and dances in a circle, to nixon's amusement ]
President Richard Nixon: I mean it’s not easy.. but it could be done!
[ Dean drops his pants and continues to dance with lampshade on his head; Nixon falls to the floor laughing, as Dean pounds on the desk in a fit of laughter ]
[ slow dissolve back to the Nixon household, present day ]
Richard Nixon: You see, David? Things aren’t always as they seem.
David Eisenhower: Well, I.. guess people just hear what they want to hear.
Julie Eisenhower: I’ll say. You know, Dad’s only crime was having too good a sense of humor.
Richard Nixon: You’re damn right, Kitten!
David Eisenhower: You know, Dad.. you should try to.. get those tapes released, and then everyone can hear how you were joking around.
Julie Eisenhower: Yeah! That’s a good idea!
Richard Nixon: Well, uh.. you know.. even audio tapes can be a little misleading. The expression on your face is really important, too!
Julie Eisenhower: Ohh.. it’s too bad you didn’t make any videotapes.
David Eisenhower: Yeah.
Richard Nixon: [ eyes shifting ] Yeah.. yeah.. too bad..
Heh. Unintentional Nixon homages aside, on the surface, this sound like a variation on the left’s favorite mulligan, the “botched joke” excuse. But if so, it’s rapidly becoming a botched joke with teeth. As Moe Lane asks, when even Barbara Boxer “can see the writing on the wall”:
Let me put it this way: after seeing the first part of the San Bernardino ACORN video – the one where the ACORN stooge is bragging about her husband’s death, her running of her own brothel, and the way that she knows Senator Barbara Boxer – GayPatriot called up Boxer’s office*. He’s reporting that the Senator’s staff is pointing out in their responses that their boss voted to defund ACORN. When Senator Barbara Boxer can see the writing on the wall…
Wonderful, wonderful DOOM.
Update: Speaking of Boxer, Gay Patriot adds this quote from Natalie Ravitz, Senior Advisor to Mrs. Boxer:
I got your message regarding this tape of the ACORN worker “Teresa”: Not only has this woman never talked to Senator Boxer, but we’ve checked with our staff here in Washington and in each of our California offices, and no one has ever heard of her or spoken to her.
One way or another, she’ll presumably have plenty of time in the near future to work on her line readings.
Update: Michelle Malkin writes that the New York Times could have had a scoop on the ACORN story last year, but backed off for partisan reasons. That never happens in the legacy media! Meanwhile, Dan Riehl asks, what if Tresa Kaelke wasn’t joking about her background?
Update: An ACORN-SNL connection in real life! (Of course “real” and “Al Franken” are rather tenuously related, I know.)
Update: John McCormack of the Weekly Standard writes, “Good News: ACORN Organizer Probably Didn’t Commit Murder — She May Only Be Willing to Help Child Sex Traffickers Evade Taxes to Establish a Brothel.”
Whew! Glad we cleared that up…