ACORN Video Sting a Lesson in New Journalism

By John Johnson,  Newser Staff
Posted Sep 24, 2009 2:50 PM CDT
A Baltimore ACORN worker in one of the hidden-camera videos.   (AP Photo/
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(Newser) – Andrew Breitbart may have an ideological ax to grind, but so what? The undercover ACORN videos he's posted illustrate a significant strength of 21st-century American journalism, writes Jack Shafer: "It will accept contributions from everybody from amateurs to entertainers (I'm looking at you, Jon Stewart) to gadflies to billionaires to activists to students to genocidal tyrants." Breitbart's right-wing slant doesn't taint the work.

"Viewing the world through an ideological lens can sometimes help a journalist to discover a story," Shafer writes for Slate. And don't believe the specious argument that the videos aren't a legitimate story. They smack of Borat and are "kind of a mess," but they've resulted in deserved national scrutiny of ACORN. Breitbart, a Matt Drudge associate, has similarly embarrassed the NEA of late. "Give the man two cheers. If he keeps up the good work, toss him a third."