The Problem Posed by What Hannah Giles Wrote Last Year
Last year Ms. Giles wrote: "He only made these phone calls in states where it is legal to audio record without the other party's consent (i.e. Ohio, New Mexico, Idaho, Oklahoma)."
David Weigel, "HuffPo Cofounder Takes On ‘Democrat-Media Complex’: Breitbart Uses Netroots Tricks to Take Down ACORN," Washington Independent (September 24, 2008):
"On September 10, Andrew Breitbart launched his new site, BigGovernment, with hidden-video camera footage of two young conservative activists who’d gotten Association of Community Organizations for Reform Now (ACORN) employees to advise them on hiding prostitution profits from the IRS. Within hours, Breitbart was doing interviews with reporters who wanted to know how, exactly, the story had come about, and why Big Government was releasing the videos and the identity of the muckrackers — 25-year-old James O’Keefe III and 20-year-old Hannah Giles — so slowly.
“'It was strategized,' Breitbart told TWI this week, so 'that they would be deprived of the type of information that a defense attorney would try to gather in order to create a defense.'"
The extent of the strategizing to expose ACORN's criminal nature and who was and was not involved is unlikely ever to be fully known to the public, but it is indisputable that there was strategizing and that it succeeded in discrediting ACORN devastatingly.
That said, there IS a legitimate question as to whether "rules" were broken in the process.
Breitbart: “I get accused of breaking some journalism school rules. Well, why don’t we have the Howard Kurtz conversation on a low-rated CNN show after this? Or at a J-school of your choice? I’m willing to be accused of being a monster.”
ACORN and corruption are the real monsters. Understand the sting conducted against ACORN in the same way that sensible people accept waterboarding of some terrorists as necessary to save innocent lives and realize that sausage is better enjoyed if the process by which it is made is not examined. Danger invites rescue. The Republic was (and is) in danger because ACORN is corrupt, ACORN corrupted the political process and the liberal media establishment did not do what the media is supposed to do: scrutinize and report the facts. Therefore, a couple of intrepid young invesigators did some investigating and Breitbart made sure the results of their investigation were widely reported. Hurray!
"Guerrilla Journalism," Washington Post (September 25, 2009): "Breitbart told the Washington Independent: 'The unorthodox roll-out was orchestrated to protect James and Hannah. The moment that their peril ended, was when Jon Stewart reported on this, making fun of the media for missing the story. At that moment I called James and Hannah and said, "You're mostly in the clear, and the only people left who'll attack you will be some liberal bloggers."'"
It's not clear what Breitbart meant by "peril," but it is clear that "James and Hannah" and he ARE all in legal peril.
ACORN already filed a lawsuit that was characterized as foolish.
Allahpundit, HotAir.com: "In one fell swoop, the lawsuit (a) gives Fox a reason to keep covering the story, (b) presents a thorny legal issue that'll attract media to the scandal who might not otherwise have touched it, and (c) makes ACORN look like they're trying to punish people who exposed taxpayer-funded corruption. Which, of course, they are. . . ."
ACORN corruption and ignoble motivation are not fairly disputable, but, unfortunately, the pending lawsuit is NOT frivolous, other lawsuits based on the stings in California would be stronger, the sting at the Baltimore ACORN office is being investigated by the Baltimore City State Attorney's office and California prosecutors may be, or about to be, doing the same with respect to the stings there.
Outrageous as it will seem to so many, ACORN investigators Hannah Giles and James O'Keefe have a significant problem.
Ironically, it is part of an impassioned piece posted online by Ms. Giles about O'Keefe last year.
The Hannah Giles biography at Townhall.com is terse: "Hannah Giles is a townhall.com contributor and aspiring journalist. She is the journalist behind the ACORN prostitution/tax evasion sting. She is the oldest daughter of Townhall.com columnist Doug Giles."
That piece by Ms. Giles was not terse enough.
At age 19, Hannah Giles joined her dad Doug Giles as a Townhall columnist and contributed two articles.
The first, inspired by Hillary Clinton's endorsement of Barack Obama, is an impassioned piece titled "Don't Be A Zombie: Question Your Leaders!" (August 26, 2008) that should not come back to haunt her.
Ms. Giles concluded it as follows:
"Sen. John Sidney McCain III and Sen. Barack Hussein Obama are vying for the presidency this election year. These men have willingly and purposefully stepped into this race with strong intents to win. And when a person as influential and well-known as Sen. Hillary Clinton suggests that the Republicans forfeit their place in the competitive American political arena, she is asking them to submit. America has never submitted: Not to the British during the Revolutionary War, not to the Japanese after the bombings of Pearl Harbor, not to the torments of communism and certainly not to the terrorist attacks of Sept. 11, 2001. If America has not submitted before, then how can (and why is) Sen. Clinton asking at least half of the country to do so now? Due to the constant presence of underlying dogma, it is absolutely essential that the American people read deeper and understand what is being said and done during the fast times of presidential campaigning. After all, the free and prosperous American life depends on it."
"Mary" promptly commented:
"Read this column first, as I was hoping you were Doug Giles daughter. What a thoughtful, insightful article! What an incredible future you have! You have your dad's talent, but your own voice. How refreshing to read such conservative views from someone so young.
"PS: What a relief to know you haven't been corrupted by the dimocrats in So. Florida!!!"
Nearly a month later, Ms. Giles posted her second piece at Townhall.com--"The Truth is Too Scandal for You Tube" (September 23, 2008).
In it, Ms. Giles blasted "crude videos" that "are in no way bettering American society" in general and You Tube "habitually banning videos posted by UCLA Law Student James O’Keefe" in particular.
That's the same James O'Keefe who played pimp to Ms. Giles' prostitute in the sensational ACORN videos, one of which resulted in a lawsuit against them.
Unfortunately, this article appears to be problematic for both of them.
Ms. Giles gushed:
"A young lawyer in training, full of prospects and dreams, O’Keefe takes no prisoners and calls things as they are. Currently, he has his sights set on unveiling the deep-rooted prejudices of Planned Parenthood. O’Keefe, and other dedicated students, are tackling the American abortion industry, by revealing the basis of its existence. Although Planned Parenthood may advertise itself as a place to abort/destroy the lives of innocent babies, it happens to be far more than that. Planned Parenthood’s founder, Margaret Sanger was a massive advocate of negative-eugenics, and made the spread of 'race-hygiene' a personal goal of hers. In her book, The Pivot of Civilization, she says that, 'each feeble-minded person is a potential source of endless progeny of defect; we prefer the policy of immediate sterilization, so that parenthood is absolutely prohibited to the feeble-minded.'
"That right there is a head tilter and, ladies and gents, all O’Keefe wants to prove is that Planned Parenthood hasn’t strayed far from its Hitleresque roots."
Ms. Giles should have stopped there.
But Ms. Giles proceeded to relate a detail with respect to O'Keefe's prior great public service in exposing Planned Parenthood:
"In the summer of 2007 O’Keefe made phone calls to several Planned Parenthood clinics across the country. He only made these phone calls in states where it is legal to audio record without the other party's consent (i.e. Ohio, New Mexico, Idaho, Oklahoma). During the course of these calls, O’Keefe posed as a donor who expressed his desire to give money to Planned Parenthood. He would do so as long as they could guarantee his money would be used for the abortions of black babies, and went on to express his 'belief' that there are just too many black people around. Every Planned Parenthood clinic he called assured him his wishes would be fulfilled. O’Keefe says, 'This only confirmed the evidence of Planned Parenthood's eugenic ideology is consistent with the agenda of their founder, Margaret Sanger.'"
See the problem?
Last year Ms. Giles wrote: "He only made these phone calls in states where it is legal to audio record without the other party's consent (i.e. Ohio, New Mexico, Idaho, Oklahoma)."
That sentence is an acknowledgement that Ms. Giles knew last year that some states do not permit recording without "the other party's consent" and suggests (but does not definitely state) that O'Keefe took state law on recording into account when he conducted his earlier Planned Parenthood sting.
Did O'Keefe and/or Ms. Giles check Maryland and California law before conducting their ACORN sting this summer?
Did he/she/they simply assume that surreptitious recording was permissible in Maryland and California?
Did he/she/they misunderstand that law, or were he/she/they misadvised about it, or did they deliberately disobey it?
After all, a year ago Ms. Giles made it a point to write that O'Keefe "only made these phone calls in states where it is legal to audio record without the other party's consent."
That article also offers insight into Ms. Giles's views and dreams.
Later in her article Ms. Giles reprimanded You Tube for "hindrance of potential world changers," explaining that "O’Keefe is chasing down a story, he has done his research and he is getting results."
But there is no statutory exemption in either Maryland or California for "potential world changers" "chasing down a story" and "getting results."
Ironically, Ms. Giles, now famous for being videotaped as a prostitute (and for her legs as well as her acting and bravery), also opined on "inappropriate content," including "shocking" "video...dedicated to filming up ladies skirts."
Ms. Giles concluded: "...double standards don’t fly in this country. And in America, discrimination based on one person’s desire to spread the truth, has never met a quiet end."
History teaches that spreading the truth can be dangerous.
Lesson: What's posted on the Internet is findable and therefore better not be forgotten!
What also must not be forgotten is ACORN's political corruption, which has been either covered up or overlooked by the liberal media establishment, at least insofar as it involved the Obama presidential campaign.
The greatest importance of the sting is not its demonstration to the public of some of the depths of ACORN's depravity or the boldness, bravery and brilliance of O'Keefe and Ms. Giles, but the fact that the publication of the story has prepared the public to focus on ACORN political corruption and the danger to America that it poses.
With all due respect, while it is very helpful that the depths of depravity that ACORN plumbs have been memorialized on videotapes shared with the public, the willingness of some ACORN employees to facilitate the exploitation of imaginary "13-year-old sex slaves from El Salvador" in order to recruit members for ACORN is trivial compared to the corruption of the political process that ACORN has been engaged in for years as, in the words of Ms. MonCrief, "an unofficial arm of the Democratic Party" that included illicit coordination with the Obama presidential campaign and culminated in Obama's election with large Democrat majorities in the Senate and House of Representatives.
Now under counterattack from ACORN, Breitbart lamented:
"...Clinton Chief of Staff John Podesta, the Democratic Party's top fix-it guy with control over much of the left's well-funded vast attack machinery (think George Soros, the Tides Foundation, et al.), was among a small advisory group placed in charge of investigating the matter [for ACORN].
"With the mainstream media continuing to ignore the evidence on the tapes, Mr. Podesta is now clearly in charge of feeding them information about his well-structured investigation into the investigators. The ACORN internal probe is a 'war room' aimed at destroying the messengers and is not meant to clean up major corruption.
"Since Mr. Podesta was appointed to investigate ACORN, the only thing investigated has been the investigators, Mr. O'Keefe, Ms. Giles and the publisher of the journalism behind it, yours truly."
It would have been naive to assume that a sensational expose of ACORN wrongdoing would result in anything else.
After all, radical New Yorker Arthur Z. Schwartz is ACORN's general counsel as well as a William Kunstler acolyte and a former Obama delegate who endorsed Obama instead of his home state's then junior United States Senator, Hillary Clinton, in September 2007, when Senator Clinton was expected to win the 2008 Democrat presidential nomination.
Schwartz's Obama endorsement reveals much about the radicalism of both of them.
"...Barack Obama, a man who graduated from Columbia and decided to go back to Chicago to organize poor people around issues, is running for president. He has approached his campaign as an opportunity to build a movement — a movement based in communities around issues that matter. Using the power of the Internet, he has promoted the growth of local Obama support groups in local communities...and these groups keep reaching out and out and keep bringing more and more people into the most multiracial, upbeat, positive campaign about hope, and about the future, that this country has seen since the 1960s.
"Why are so many people responding to Obama? Because he is straightforward, and is clearly about a lot more than his own ego.... Obama hasn’t had to 'move to the left' or discover that he was wrong about Iraq. Obama didn’t discover unions and the rift between rich and poor after losing an election in 2004. Since being elected to the Senate, he has voted against the Bush tax cuts, against repealing inheritance taxes, against the Central America 'free trade' agreement, against drilling in the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge, against both Supreme Court Justice Samuel Alito and Chief Justice John Roberts, against Patriot Act wiretap extensions and against John Bolton’s appointment to the United Nations.
"Obama has stood against the ban on partial-birth abortions, against the Defense of Marriage Act, against the Federal Marriage Amendment and against the creation of personal retirement accounts under the guise of 'Social Security reform.' Unlike Hillary Clinton, Obama has been consistently solid on the key issues — and unlike Hillary, we know, if Obama is elected, where he will be on the issues. (Do we really need a second Clinton presidency, framed by lots of progressive hype, which delivers so little in the way of progressive legislation, and so much to Wall St?) And, perhaps most important, Obama’s followers have the potential — with the support of their candidate — to build a new progressive movement in the U.S. and a new reform movement in the Democratic Party. Obama speaks about his candidacy, and even his possible election as president, as part of the launching of a new movement to change America. The president of the United States encouraging a movement for progressive social change? Now there’s a thought!
"....next year, we can....look to elect a president who not only looks different, but who thinks and acts differently, a progressive champion who boldly reasserts government’s role as protector and uplifter of the people at home, and who can reinvent American foreign policy as a force for peace, not coercive power, across the globe.
"We need a candidate, and a president, who understands that he or she cannot succeed unless the people are standing alongside him — ahead of the powerbrokers and money guys — ready to help enforce their collective will. There is no question that Barack Obama is such a candidate.
"Unlike most elected officials in New York, I have not hitched my wagon to Hillary Clinton’s campaign. And I doubt that most of the 'liberal,' 'progressive,' 'activist' politicians from Manhattan who are publicly supporting Hillary can say to us, with a straight face, that their candidate is a force for progressive change in the U.S. I know that Barack Obama is.
"Having chosen to support Barack Obama, I challenge my colleagues...to rethink their support for Hillary and what it means....hook up today with the local groups organizing in your community. I promise you that politics will never be the same again."
Schwartz wasn't kidding: Obama's plan is to fundamentally transform America to suit ACORN, SEIU, La Raza et al., and Schwartz will help Obama and ACORN do it by protecting ACORN from whistleblower MonCrief, a former insider, O'Keefe and Ms. Giles, outside investigators, and Breitbart, publisher of news portals.
Just exposing ACORN criminality and defunding ACORN are not enough!
Michael J. Gaynor has been practicing law in New York since 1973. A former partner at Fulton, Duncombe & Rowe and Gaynor & Bass, he is a solo practitioner admitted to practice in New York state and federal courts and an Association of the Bar of the City of New York member.
Gaynor graduated magna cum laude, with Honors in Social Science, from Hofstra University's New College, and received his J.D. degree from St. John's Law School, where he won the American Jurisprudence Award in Evidence and served as an editor of the Law Review and the St. Thomas More Institute for Legal Research. He wrote on the Pentagon Papers case for the Review and obscenity law for The Catholic Lawyer and edited the Law Review's commentary on significant developments in New York law.
The day after graduating, Gaynor joined the Fulton firm, where he focused on litigation and corporate law. In 1997 Gaynor and Emily Bass formed Gaynor & Bass and then conducted a general legal practice, emphasizing litigation, and represented corporations, individuals and a New York City labor union. Notably, Gaynor & Bass prevailed in the Second Circuit in a seminal copyright infringement case, Tasini v. New York Times, against newspaper and magazine publishers and Lexis-Nexis. The U.S. Supreme Court affirmed, 7 to 2, holding that the copyrights of freelance writers had been infringed when their work was put online without permission or compensation.
Gaynor currently contributes regularly to www.MichNews.com, www.RenewAmerica.com, www.WebCommentary.com, www.PostChronicle.com and www.therealitycheck.org and has contributed to many other websites. He has written extensively on political and religious issues, notably the Terry Schiavo case, the Duke "no rape" case, ACORN and canon law, and appeared as a guest on television and radio. He was acknowledged in Until Proven Innocent, by Stuart Taylor and KC Johnson, and Culture of Corruption, by Michelle Malkin. He appeared on "Your World With Cavuto" to promote an eBay boycott that he initiated and "The World Over With Raymond Arroyo" (EWTN) to discuss the legal implications of the Schiavo case. On October 22, 2008, Gaynor was the first to report that The New York Times had killed an Obama/ACORN expose on which a Times reporter had been working with ACORN whistleblower Anita MonCrief.