Dan Gainor

Bruce Springsteen once wrote: “From Small Things (Big Things One Day Come).” I doubt he expected that story of love gone wrong would become ideal political commentary for the group known as ACORN.

Arguing with Idiots By Glenn Beck

The small scandal showing an embarrassing video of Baltimore ACORN staffers giving tax advice on how to set up a brothel for underage girls is now national news. This story has everything you could ever want – corruption, sleazy actions at tax-funded organizations, firings, government ties, sex, hookers. It is a network news director’s dream. Imagine the ratings!

Only almost no one is covering it.

This is the news media in the era of Van Jones and President Obama. The major outlets cover what they want and create the themes they want. When they find something inconvenient, they let it pass. They didn’t like the Van Jones story because he was a community organizer and environmentalist, so they ignored it. The network news media liked the financial entity known as Fannie Mae, so they ignored that scandal-plagued organization for years. ACORN is getting the same treatment.

But it isn’t working any more. The ACORN fiasco has now impacted four offices – Baltimore, Washington, New York and San Bernardino – with laugh-out-loud videos featuring hookers and pimps reminiscent of the 1970s “Starsky and Hutch” show. Huggy Bear returns! Four employees have been fired, with more likely to come. And the controversy was so laughably bad that the Census Bureau cut off all ties to the group known formally as the "Association of Community Organizations for Reform Now." They called it the “tipping point” to shed themselves of ACORN. More nuts for someone else, I guess.

And yet. And yet it’s still been almost entirely ignored by the network news. Nothing on ABC, CBS or NBC for nearly a week. Finally, on Sept. 15, CBS broke ranks and did a thorough job on the story. Prior to that, the only thing any one of the three broadcast networks has done appeared in a blog post by ABC’s Jake Tapper. It's hardly worth noting except to show that the networks know about what’s going on. They just don’t care to report it. Only FOX News has bothered to report on the controversy.

ABC’s “World News Tonight with Charlie Gibson” anchor Charlie Gibson is especially bad. The anchor told Don Wade of 890 WLS in Chicago that he “didn’t even know about” the story five days after it broke. Remember that the next time the media complain a Republican – Bush, Palin, Reagan, etc. – is somehow uninformed.


Dan Gainor

Dan Gainor is The Boone Pickens Free Market Fellow and director of the Media Research Center’s Business & Media Institute.