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Jim Rainey Brings the (Always Unintentional) Laughter


Unflappable Los Angeles media watchdog Patterico reminds us why we're lucky to have James Rainey to kick around. L.A. Times media columnist Rainey is the Gale Gordon of newspapermen: an absurd figure whose absurdity comes from his taking himself with absolute, scowling seriousness. No matter how much ridiculous writing he generates or how many ethical pickles he gets himself into, Rainey is never less than 110 percent convinced of his own rectitude.

Gale Gordon and James Rainey: Has anybody ever seen them together?

And when you know you're right, you don't need to check any facts. Back when the still-unfolding ACORN hidden camera story started breaking, Rainey condemned the conservative media's unseemly race to the bottom. If he had been content merely to bury all signs of life under the reliably heavy snowdrifts of his prose (sample: "No legitimate news organization can claim editorial integrity if it merely regurgitates information from political activists without subjecting the material to serious scrutiny"), Rainey would have been OK. Sadly, in his zeal to exonerate ACORN, Rainey uncritically regurgitated some self-exculpatory quotes from local ACORN employee Lavelle Stewart, who asserted that she had sent Hannah Giles and James O'Keefe away after they claimed to be, respectively, a prostitute trafficking in underage sex slaves and a pimp with congressional aspirations. 

Now the James and Hannah show has come to the City of the Angels. Patterico, who was skeptical of Stewart's claims from the start, takes up the narrative:

When Rainey failed to respond, I contacted [Andrew] Breitbart (he's very easy to reach) and asked him. Breitbart confirmed that Rainey hadn't bothered to contact Breitbart — or Giles or O'Keefe — to ask their side of the story. I asked Breitbart what he would have told Rainey about Lavelle Stewart's denials, and Breitbart said he would have told Rainey:

As an empathetic being, I urge you to think twice before accepting the word of an ACORN employee for anything. Because every journalist who has done so has ended up with egg on his or her face.

It's too bad Rainey never received that warning. Because guess who is the star of Giles and O'Keefe's latest ACORN video?

The new video is up at Big Government, and as always, I find it kind of moving the way these ladies at ACORN seem to treat Hannah Giles with real sisterly affection. Here, when Stewart senses Giles is depressed, she gives the fake human trafficker a nice you-go-girl pep talk. (She also offers to provide research and networking assistance to Giles and O'Keefe in setting up their "international sex business.")

Last year, Nick Gillespie had fun with a gaseous Rainey column on editorial cartoonists, which reminds me of the first time I fell afoul of Rainey—by making fun of a completely awful Times editorial cartoon in Rainey's glaring, glowering presence.

NEXT: Maybe We Need More Tax Cheats in High Places

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  1. Thought the headline said Jim Varney. Release Ernest the PIRAte!

  2. Pirate

  3. “Ethical pickles” is taunting the vegan spambots.

    Pingback: Organic Fair Trade Non-Israeli From Certified Free Range Cucu…

  4. if o’keefe and giles are on the up and up, why is the video so heavily edited? it appeard from what is shown on the video that giles told stewart she has a bounty on hr head and fears for her life. this seems to be stewart’s main concern. watch the videos again. stewart offers no advice in regards to illegal human trafficking and constantly returns to concern for ms. giles safety and well being. seems to me to be a pretty low game these two are engaged in eliciting sympathy with phony sob stories about being in grave danger and then editing videos to make it look as if those showing them sympathy are the villains. but, i guess they could just release the whole tape unedited and prove me wrong.

    1. I don’t know. But I do know that in the past ACORN accused O’Keefe and Giles of doctoring the videos — who then released the unedited versions, which fully backed their edited ones. Game, set and match.

      Maybe it’s different this time — but I wouldn’t bet that way with real money.

    2. I think its priceless watching liberals scurry to cover for each other (ala the poster above). Like watching cockroaches scurrying from the light. And don’t worry ‘manfredo’ they will release the full unedited take just to sooth your worries, because they have integrity. Unlike Jim Rainey who I am sure is in full scurry-mode at the moment.

    3. Keep hope alive, manfredo. This is nothing to worry about.

    4. I think you would be a tad bit more disturbed by the fact that this woman was NOT willing to stop these people from going into a sex trafficking business. Do you have children? A daughter? What if she were taken by someone and sold into that life? Or even if she ran away and it was “what she wanted”, wouldn’t you hope someone would notify police? Wouldn’t you want your daughter back?

    5. Simple politics and a belief in political machines would tell you if it was faked they would have been found out by now. Do you think for one minute the liberal machine didn’t tear through their background and history as soon as this started? I’ll bet the people involved in this have been vetted better than any Czar sitting in DC.

    6. Manfredo, you haven’t been following this game, so you fell in the simple trap. You have to hand it to Breitbart. It is all in the knee-jerk principle of 21st century political theatre. “All the actors have their parts.”

      1. Manfredo, try to follow the plot. Breitbart always releases a highlight film, which provokes the usual protest that its unfairly edited and taken out of context, after which he issues the unedited tape, showing that the protestations of unfairness are 100% bullshit.

  5. James Rainey = retarded fetus.

    1. James Rainy = Mister Mooney?

    2. No way would I describe Rainey that way. A “retarded fetus” is no way guilty of anything in the eyes of God.
      Rainey on the other hand is a worthless, gullible, left-leaning …lol

  6. “If he had been content merely to bury all signs of life under the reliably heavy snowdrifts of his prose”

    I’m serious when I say that I love your writing and please don’t lay off the amphetamines.

  7. Does the telephone Rainey is holding have a rotary dial?

    1. You’re kidding, right? You’re showing your age (or I’m showing mine!). The picture is of Gordon, not Rainey.

  8. Hey, it’s not like children from El Salvador are human beings. Right, James Rainey?

  9. But ACORN workers are liberals, and that’s all you need to know to prove their moral superiority over you, regardless of how they actually behave. How else would it be just a given that liberals can be trusted with the govt power they demand, even if you buy their claims that things would be better w/ that power “in the right hands”?

    1. I doubt that most ACORN workers have any real ideology. Just a vague set of notions they’ve absorbed over the years, reinforced by the lefty press, professional shakedown artists and race-baiters (Sharpton, Jackson), and the culture at large.

  10. James Rainey = anal sphincter

  11. Now Breitbart is saying they have more tapes, and they will be released up until the 2010 election unless and until Holder opens a clean investigation of ACORN.

    The stones on that guy.

  12. For the superciliousness alone, he’s more a Lyle Talbot than a Gale Gordon.

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