Would the House have joined the Senate today in voting to deny ACORN federal funding if James O’Keefe and Hannah Giles had conducted a different, less prurient kind of “sting” operation, posing not as pimp and prostitute, but instead as a deadbeat Dad and his new wife, trying to get help buying a home, despite his past backruptcies, delinquent child support payments and bad credit report.
In short, without the sexual angle, would the latest ACORN scandal have attracted any notice?
For much longer the past year, conservative editorial pages, newsmagazines, websites, blogs and even the inerior pages of major dailies have been rife with stories of corruption, mismanagement and malfeasance at this left-wing organization. We’ve read of embezzlement, money shuffling, vote fraud, racketeering. Just last week, “arrest warrants were issued” in Florida for 11 workers hired by ACORN “on charges of voter registration fraud.”
And yet none of these stories stirred the popular imagination or registered outside the domains of conservative blogs (and other right-of-center circles). Now, a guy poses as a pimp, looking for the left-wing organization’s help in setting up a brothel and even Jon Stewart takes notice. The Senate votes to deny the group federal funding, the House follows suit. The President tries to distance himself from the organization whose support he eagerly embraced and whose coffers his campaign generously filled.
Our lesson of the day? Sex sells.
UPDATE: Byron York offers:
Although Republicans had long fought against ACORN, it is not an exaggeration to say that none of this would have happened now without the BigGovernment undercover videos. Democrats who in the past had reflexively supported ACORN ran for cover after seeing ACORN employees encouraging tax evasion and prostitution. The BigGovernment videos mark an important moment in the development of alternative media sources, and official Washington responded before most of the establishment press did. This is truly an extraordinary series of events.