Following Beck's instructions, Fox News attempts to change story from health care to ACORN
Research ››› ››› JEREMY SCHULMAN & MATT GERTZ
On September 9, Glenn Beck said that while the media "says they're going to be talking about health care" the next day, he didn't "think so," later suggesting that a video of Baltimore ACORN employees would instead be the top story. Apparently taking their cues from Beck, through 7 p.m. the following day, Fox News devoted at least 17 segments on six programs to airing and discussing portions of the video.
Beck: "[T]hings change" tomorrow due to video on ACORN
From the September 9 edition of Fox News' Glenn Beck:
BECK: America, I have to tell you, I'm going to be real honest with you. I am -- I'm afraid for the future of our country, because I think they're taking us in a direction that most people are just -- they refuse to look at. But I'm optimistic because more and more people are waking up. And these people are so arrogant in Washington. They'll -- I mean, they'll just end up tripping up and exposing themselves and destroying themselves.
I am honestly concerned for myself and for my family because I'd sure like to have some more friends here in the mainstream media -- you know, on NBC, ABC, CBS, CNN -- spread the news here on doing some actual investigating and telling people the truth. But until they do, we'll continue to tell you the truth as we know it.
Tomorrow -- tomorrow, things change. I think things change a lot for those in power. The tides are about to turn, and that will be on tomorrow's broadcast.
Trust me. Everybody now says they're going to be talking about health care. I don't think so. Tomorrow you will see an exclusive -- stuff on tomorrow's program. Don't miss it.
ACORN video the "exclusive stuff." Later in his September 9 program, Beck aired snippets of a video compiled by conservative activist and filmmaker James O'Keefe and TownHall.com columnist Hannah Giles going to ACORN's Baltimore office and, in O'Keefe's words, "posing the most ridiculous criminal scenario we could think of and seeing if they would comply-which they did without hesitation." Beck suggested the video was the "exclusive stuff" that the media would be "talking about" instead of health care.
Fox News follows Beck's lead in "talking about" ACORN video
Fox covers ACORN video in at least 17 segments on six programs. On September 10 through 7 p.m., Fox News aired at least 17 segments on the ACORN video, portions of which it often aired. Fox News programs covering the video included: Fox & Friends; America's Newsroom; Happening Now; Live Desk; Glenn Beck; and Special Report.
On September 10, Beck "trying to figure out how journalists don't report this today"
From the September 10 edition of Glenn Beck:
BECK: I'm trying to figure out how journalists don't report this today. I'm trying to -- OK. NBC I get. They're in bed with the Obama administration, and they're going to go down all the way to the end. They'll go down. That network will go all the way down, sink with the ship. CNN, where are you? ABC? CBS? Well, no. Hang on. They still have time. It might be on the evening news.
Conservatives frequently use ACORN to distract from real issues
Conservative media figures have frequently used ACORN as a bogeyman. In coverage of major news stories, many conservative media figures have frequently blamed ACORN for national crises and accused ACORN of receiving undeserved benefits from the government. Topics conservatives have used to scapegoat ACORN include: the 2008 financial crisis, voter fraud, the stimulus bill, the Minnesota Senate recount, Obama's nomination of David Hamilton to the U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals, and the 2010 Census.
Beck obsessed with linking groups to ACORN. Illustrating the conservative penchant for using ACORN as a bogeyman, Beck himself has devoted segments to tenuous or tangential "connections" between ACORN and the following people and groups: AmeriCorps, AARP, Judge Sonia Sotomayor, PRLDEF, and SEIU. Beck has also fearmongered about ACORN while attacking President Obama and his policies.