Why ACORN Was in the News, and What the News Got Wrong

Discussion in 'Media' started by Bfgrn, Sep 28, 2009.

  1. Bfgrn
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    Bfgrn Gold Member

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    Accurate reporting sidelined as mainstream media repeats allegations of Republican Party operatives and politicians

    Recently released study finds widespread inaccuracy in the reporting of an alleged “voter fraud” scandal involving ACORN


    CEDAR FALLS, Iowa — An independent study by two prominent academics, released this week, found repetition of unverified allegations and distortions was the rule in national reporting of a purported “voter fraud” scandal involving the community organizing group ACORN (Association of Community Organizations for Reform Now) during the 2008 presidential campaign.

    The analysis of the narrative framing the ACORN stories demonstrates that — despite long-standing charges from conservatives that the news media are determinedly liberal and ignore conservative ideas — the news media agenda is easily permeated by persistent conservative media campaigns, even when there is little or no truth to the story.

    The authors conducted a content analysis of all 647 stories about ACORN that appeared in 15 major news media organizations from 2007-2008. The news media analyzed included USA Today, The New York Times, Washington Post, and the Wall Street Journal, ABC, CBS, NBC, Fox News Channel, CNN, MSNBC, National Public Radio (NPR), and NewsHour with Jim Lehrer (PBS). They also examined all stories about ACORN from three local newspapers representing cities in which ACORN has a long-time presence: the Cleveland Plain Dealer, Minneapolis Star-Tribune, and Pittsburgh Post-Gazette.

    Using the controversy over ACORN as a case study, the report illustrates the way the media help set the agenda for public debate, and frame the way that debate is shaped. It describes how what the authors call opinion entrepreneurs (primarily business and conservative groups and individuals) set the story in motion as early as 2006, how the “conservative echo chamber” orchestrated its anti-ACORN campaign in 2008, how the McCain-Palin campaign picked it up, and how the mainstream media reported these allegations without investigating their truth or falsity. As a result, the relatively little-known community organization became the subject of a major news story in the 2008 U.S. presidential campaign, to the point where 82 percent of the respondents in an October 2008 national survey reported they had heard about ACORN.

    In October 2008, at the peak of the campaign season, negative attacks dominated the news about ACORN with these key findings:

    * 76 percent of the stories focused on allegations of voter fraud.
    * 8.7 percent involved accusations that public funds were being funneled to ACORN.
    * 7.9 percent of the stories involved charges that ACORN is a front for registering Democrats.
    * 3.1 percent involved blaming ACORN for the mortgage scandal.

    The report also found that the media, including the mainstream news media, failed to fact-check persistent allegations of voter fraud involving ACORN despite the existence of easily available countervailing evidence. The media failed to distinguish allegations of voter registration problems from allegations of actual voting irregularities. They also failed to distinguish between allegations of wrongdoing and actual wrongdoing. For example:

    * 82.8 percent of the stories alleging voter fraud failed to mention that actual voter fraud is very rare.
    * 80.3 percent of the stories alleging involvement in voter fraud failed to mention that ACORN was reporting registration irregularities to authorities, as required by law.
    * 85.1 percent of the stories alleging involvement in voter fraud failed to note that ACORN was acting to stop incidents of registration problems by its (mostly temporary) employees when it became aware of these problems.
    * 95.8 percent of the stories alleging involvement in voter fraud failed to provide deeper context, especially efforts by Republican Party officials to use allegations of voter fraud to dampen voting by low-income and minority Americans.
    * 61.4 percent of the stories alleging involvement in voter fraud failed to acknowledge that Republicans were trying to discredit Obama with an ACORN scandal.

    The authors reveal that the attacks on ACORN by Republicans and conservatives — and the same pattern of reportage that repeats allegations without any attempt to independently verify the facts — have persisted throughout 2009. For example, despite recently discovered e-mails revealing Karl Rove’s role in the firing of U.S. Attorney David Iglesias for failing to prosecute ACORN on charges of voter fraud despite the lack of evidence, not a single major daily newspaper mentioned ACORN as the Republicans’ target.

    Download the full report at www.uepi.oxy.edu/acornstudy
     
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  2. Oddball
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    Oddball BANNED Supporting Member

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    Look!!...Over there!!.....Shiny beads and a puppy!!! :rolleyes:
     
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  3. Bfgrn
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    Bfgrn Gold Member

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    Look...a PEA brain named DUDe...
     
  4. mdn2000
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    mdn2000 BANNED

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    When did the Liberal/Marxist decide the only way to win election is through fraud and corruption

    The Complete Guide to ACORN Voter Fraud « Thoughts Of A Conservative Christian

     
  5. CrusaderFrank
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    CrusaderFrank Diamond Member

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    Accusing ACORN of voter fraud is like accusing the Gambino Crime family of being in the Mafia.
     
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  6. Bfgrn
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    Bfgrn Gold Member

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    Hey pea brain, here's a FACT for you to choke on...

    There was ZERO voter fraud in the last election attributed to ACORN...NONE...NOT ONE cartoon character appeared at any polling place...

    SO...Let's destroy agencies like ACORN that help people find jobs, warn citizens about predatory lenders and work to raise wages for workers and instead let's prop up the scum bags contractors that KILL our soldiers through electrocution and rip off the public for more $$$ in ONE day than ACORN gets in a year!

    Albert Camus said: "It is the job of thinking people not to be on the side of the executioners."

    You right wing pea brain shouldn't be allowed to cross the street without adult supervision...you're THAT stupid!
     
  7. mdn2000
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    mdn2000 BANNED

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    Uh, oh, uh, no,no, you the peabrain, no you no cross street, you pea brain
     
    Last edited: Sep 28, 2009
  8. Lonestar_logic
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    Lonestar_logic Republic of Texas

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    How many Acorn officials were convicted of voter fraud and/or voter registration fraud?
     
  9. Bfgrn
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    Bfgrn Gold Member

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    WHO reported the fraudulent voter applications to government officials and fired the workers that filled them out?

    Hint: ACORN
     
  10. xsited1
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    xsited1 Agent P

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    Moral to the story: Mainstream Media sucks.

    Yeah, we knew that.
     

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