This is the network that sent out an intrepid NBC News reporter in a canoe to cover treacherous New Jersey flooding in 2005 -- only to be shown up by passers-by who sloshed in front of the camera and demonstrated that the water was only a few inches deep.
This is the network that tried to arrange Islamophobia stings at NASCAR events in 2006 to try to "expose" racism among Southerners. The network worked with a Muslim activist who sent a recruitment notice across the Internet:
"I have been talking with a producer of the NBC Dateline show, and he is in the process of filming a piece on anti-Muslim and anti-Arab discrimination in the USA. They are looking for some Muslim male candidates for their show who would be willing to go to non-Muslim gatherings and see if they attract any discriminatory comments or actions while being filmed. … NBC is willing to fly in someone and cover their weekend expenses. The filming would take place all day on Saturday and Sunday."
The same sting tactics were adopted by ABC News' Primetime Live news show in Alabama and Texas.
"Professional" undercover journalists see their work as serving the public and national interests, exposing wrongdoing, and blowing the whistle on illicit activities that would not otherwise see the light of day. But this is exactly what the ACORN stings have done.
Taxpayers deserve to know how ACORN and its vast web of nonprofit, tax-exempt affiliates are using their money (40 percent of the group's revenue comes from the government). The flagship group trains publicly funded ACORN tax advisers and mortgage counselors across the country. In fact, ACORN is now managing apartments in Bedford-Stuyvesant, N.Y., for the newly completed Atlantic Avenue Apartments. Yet, ACORN Housing Corporation has a long history of abusing federal housing funds and AmeriCorps grants for political activities.
Head-in-the-sand ABC News anchor Charles Gibson claimed he "didn't know" about the ACORN scandal this week and snarked that "maybe this is just one you leave to the cables."
Giles and O'Keefe's investigations (and there are more to come, according to BigGovernment.com's Andrew Breitbart) have exposed not one but two protection rackets: ACORN's -- and the ostrich media's.