Media Blog

Why Newspapers Are Dying

It seems the next target of James O’Keefe is HUD and the Obama tax-credit for first-time home buyers. But what’s more interesting is that the Detroit Free Press turned down the story:

Wired (Via Big Journalism):

O’Keefe finally lopes into the Manhattan apartment, wearing a black newsboy cap and leather jacket. Only the stubble on his chin keeps him looking 25 instead of a skinny 14. He is as serious as Breitbart is goofy, as focused as Breitbart is scattered. All O’Keefe will say about his relationship with Breitbart is “He doesn’t tell me what to shoot.” Then he asks me to turn off my tape recorder, powers up his laptop, and talks us through his latest sting. I keep taking notes.

This time, there are no prostitutes involved, just a shady, and serious, tax-fraud scheme. The ploy involves the Obama administration’s 10 percent tax credit to first-time home buyers. The law says that the credit maxes out at $8,000 for an $80,000 home. But at the Detroit office of the Department of Housing and Urban Development, the rule seems open to interpretation. O’Keefe asks a staffer, What if I bought a place for $50,000, but the seller and I agreed to write down $80,000 as the purchase price?

“Flip it any way you want,” the staffer replies.

What if the place is worth much less — like only $6,000?

“Yup, you can do that.”

O’Keefe and fellow activist Joe Basel ran the same sting at HUD’s Chicago office and at several federally supported independent housing groups. Breitbart paces the parquet floor. The video is damning but not exactly Acorn-explosive.

Then O’Keefe stops the playback. “Oh yeah, I forgot,” he says. “We went to the Detroit Free Press, to the managing editor. We told her the whole thing. She said she wasn’t interested. Wanna see the tape?”

Breitbart starts to cackle. Of course he wants to see the tape. Sleazy HUD administrators are important, sure. But media covering up sleaze? That’s entertainment. “Dude, that’s the most important part!” he says. “I have seepage coming out of five parts of my body right now.”

O’Keefe hits Play. A world-weary Freep editor listens to O’Keefe’s kickback story and politely declines. There could be a thousand reasons why, but to O’Keefe and Breitbart, there’s only one explanation: liberal bias. Breitbart slaps the walls like they were congo drums, grinning. “OK,” he tells O’Keefe, “now I officially adore you.”

I wonder how many other editors turned down the story?

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