Hoyt attempted to paint MonCrief as an unreliable source. But Times reporter Stephanie Strom had relied on her for months to break a series of ACORN corruption stories. Moreover, MonCrief's allegations fit the shady money-shuffling pattern among ACORN and its affiliates to a T. Strom had reported on ACORN's own internal review of shady money transfers among its web of affiliates conducted by lawyer Elizabeth Kingsley.
The Kingsley review of the incestuous relationship between ACORN and Project Vote found, in the Times' own words, that it was "impossible to document that Project Vote's money had been used in a strictly nonpartisan manner" and "raised concerns not only about a lack of documentation to demonstrate that no charitable money was used for political activities but also about which organization controlled strategic decisions." ACORN, joked independent investigative journalist Matthew Vadum, "moves money around its network with a boldness and agility that Pablo Escobar would have admired."
MonCrief says she was prepared to hand over documentation on the Obama/Project Vote donor-sharing arrangement to Strom before the Times' editors decided to cut bait. The paper's Election Eve incuriosity about potential tax and campaign finance violations by Team Obama belies its repeated denials of bias and conflict. At a self-aggrandizing media conference in 2007, New York Times Executive Editor Bill Keller declared:
"We are agnostic as to where a story may lead; we do not go into a story with an agenda or a preconceived notion. We do not manipulate or hide facts to advance an agenda. We strive to preserve our independence from political and economic interests… We do not work in the service of a party, or an industry, or even a country. When there are competing views of a situation, we aim to reflect them as clearly and fairly as we can."
Rhetoric, meet reality.