Reseachers Peter Dreler and Christopher Martin argue that before October 2008, most people didn’t know about ACORN, and its news coverage was generally limited to the metropolitan areas where the community organization conducted its activities. However, the activities of ACORN became a high profile news story in 2008, especially at the end of the presidential election campaign when the Republican candidates and other conservatives attacked the group. Dreler and Martin show that more than 60 percent of all stories about ACORN during 2007 and 2008 appeared in the single month of October 2008, creating a “well‐orchestrated October Surprise.” This is when ACORN vaulted onto the entire nation’s public agenda.

The media’s handling of the ACORN story is, according to Dreler and Martin, a perfect example of the “agenda-setting” effect. Opinion entrepreneurs set the story in motion as early as 2006, the conservative echo chamber (ranging from rodeo clowns like Glenn Beck and Michelle Malkin to “serious” sources like the Wall Street Journal) orchestrated its anti‐ACORN campaign in 2008, the McCain campaign picked it up, and the mainstream media reported its allegations without investigating their truth or falsity.

Lost in the media hoopla were the facts

Read through the link to the full piece. I think she’s right that we haven’t seen the end of this. In addition to attacking one of the few organizations with the scale to truly help the poor, anti-ACORN folk have their sites set on the Obama administration. It ain’t over. Not nearly.

Posted via web from baratunde’s posterous

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