They find that partisan attacks “yielded a bountiful crop of misinformation,” but in addition, “most mainstream journalism organizations were negligent by repeating rather than fact-checking the spurious allegations.”
So, for example, few stories reported that the reason voter regisitration irregularities were coming to light in the first place was that ACORN was reporting them to authorities. Or that documents released in the U.S. Attorneys scandal revealed Karl Rove’s role “orchestrating an attack on ACORN.” And so on.
Notably, the exceptions included metropolitan newspapers, where reporters were familiar with ACORN’s actual work in communities. And unlike national news media, which merely presented charges and denials, local reporters actually went to local election officials to verify the facts of their stories.