The other night the Daily Show ran a spot on the Acorn story (read about it here). No actually they ran two spots last week on it. The second one was a brief mention in a story about something else. I'm too lazy at the moment to fill in the links. The point of the longer story, however, was odd for a satirical news program, one of whose specialties is the mock interview, inasmuch as Stewart did not seem to get the irony.
No one but the completely clueless or maliciously dishonest would take a Daily Show-style interview as evidence of anything but a clever editing job. Match that with some confusing questions and you can get people to admit almost anything–add a hidden camera and you can make it even worse. Stewart, however, seemed impressed at the evidentiary value of the story. The real joke is that the media seem to be running with the idea that this is something serious.
(Even the Liberal) New York Times ran a story on this–making reference to the Daily Show coverage. That story, however, did–unlike the Daily Show–pointed out that the snippets of film shouldn't be considered evidence of anything:
Not everyone among Mr. O’Keefe’s acquaintances agrees. Liz Farkas, a Rutgers student who called Mr. O’Keefe “a nice guy and a loyal friend,” said she grew disillusioned after he asked her to help edit the script of a Planned Parenthood sting.
“It was snippets to make the Planned Parenthood nurse look bad,” Ms. Farkas said. “I said: ‘It has no context. You’re just cherry-picking the nurse’s answers.’ He said, ‘Okay’ — and then he just ran it.”
Asked whether the left-leaning documentaries of Michael Moore do not do the same, Ms. Farkas said: “Michael Moore goes after the rich and powerful. James isn’t doing that. He goes after low-level bureaucrats and people who are trying to help low-income people.”
Why the journalist asked the Michael Moore question is beyond me–he doesn't use a hidden camera and he always identifies himself. To repeat, the real issue here is that the Daily Show does this all of the time without anyone calling for congressional investigations.