The Voice reports that James O'Keefe had "conservative financial backing to make his ACORN videos."
In case you've missed it -- (or heard the words "conservative filmmaker" and made assumptions) -- O'Keefe and his filmmaking partner Hannah Giles posted their videos on YouTube causing a flurry of press as they depict ACORN workers offering a pimp-costumed O'Keefe tax advice on how to run a brothel.
In response to accusations that he used hidden cameras to entrap ACORN workers, O'Keefe told the Washington Times, "Any fool knows a private citizen can't entrap someone."
O'Keefe apparently discovered his love for filmmaking while studying at Rutgers, and graduated from simple, joke prank videos to political prank videos.
ACORN is the umbrella group of numerous community organizations in major American cities meant to help the poor with housing, family services and legal advocacy and, after decades of work, has recently lost federal financial funding. ACORN is notable for their success in increasing voter registration, and some see them as a powerful, influential force when it comes to elections.
"Politicians are getting elected single-handedly due to this organization," O'Keefe told the LA Times. "No one was holding this organization accountable. No one in the media is putting pressure on them. We wanted to do a stunt and see what we could find."
While it seems O'Keefe's comments in the videos regard hypothetical situations, the words "child prostitution" rings an alarm, no matter what the context.
It's thus far unclear the extent to which the surreptitious recordings will get O'Keefe in trouble. Laws about consent to be on camera and recorded vary from state to state.
Anyone else curious about the full, un-edited footage? It's certainly worth considering before judging ACORN. Context is crucial. In an edited conversation, secretly produced with a clearly stated agenda, it would be worthwhile sifting through the editing room floor.