After losing HUD money and making more enemies on Capitol Hill, ACORN tried to fight back again Tuesday against hidden camera interviews that may have ruined the organization's credibility and reputation.
ACORN said a video involving a fake pimp and prostitute taken by James O'Keefe at the San Bernardino office was manipulated and that the organizer in the tape was trying to be funny with her responses.
"With their provocative costuming and outlandish scenario, she could not take them seriously," ACORN said in a statement. "So she met their outrageousness with her own personal style of outrageousness. She matched their false scenario with her own false scenarios."
“I decided to shock them as much as they were shocking me," Kaelke said in the ACORN statement. "Like Stephan [sic] Colbert does -– saying the most outrageous things with a straight face.”
ACORN said Kaelke told the couple that she had been abused by her former husband, which was true, and that she shot and killed him, which is not true.
ACORN said another part of the exchange was cut out of the edited version of the conversation that was distributed:
When the actors talked about bringing 12-13 year olds in from another country, supposedly because they needed a lot of money fast for a political campaign, Ms. Kaelke said, "You are going to need it for a lawyer!"
Colbert-esque, it was not.
As unfunny as that alleged attempt at Comedy Central was, ACORN must be laughing even less at the reaction to the videotape on Capitol Hill. On Monday the Senate voted 83-7 to strip ACORN of more than $1.6 million in federal housing money. The move came after the U.S. Census Bureau severed ties with ACORN on Friday.
The Wall Street Journal reported that four employees seen in the videos have been fired, so apparently not all ACORN workers are trained to be comedians. Kaelke, however, has not been fired, probably because of the Colbert defense.
ACORN said the videos were a form of entrapment and vow to battle for its reputation in court. One suggestion: don't bring the funny.