GLENN BECK, ACORN, AND DOLLS…. Now, I can appreciate the notion that some news stories are hard to explain with just text or words. Graphics, charts, video, etc. can help a news consumer understand an item with more depth.

But when Glenn Beck starts playing with dolls on national television to go after ACORN, explaining a “story” that really isn’t especially complicated, it’s a helpful reminder of the caliber of “reporting” we’re getting from Fox News.

As Nicholas Graham noted, “Beck used the dolls to illustrate that the federal government’s probe of ACORN was too narrow, and that by focusing on one of their houses in New Orleans, they were letting the ‘villains’ just drive away and set up shop elsewhere.”

Well, that’s probably what Beck was trying to get across. With him, it’s hard to say for sure what he’s talking about.

I should also note that Beck “reported” that ACORN is in the process of changing its name. In our reality, that’s not true, either.

As for the dolls, Graham added, “[P]erhaps a visual aid was necessary to distract from the fact that Beck’s not making much sense.” If so, it didn’t work.

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Follow Steve on Twitter @stevebenen. Steve Benen is a producer at MSNBC's The Rachel Maddow Show. He was the principal contributor to the Washington Monthly's Political Animal blog from August 2008 until January 2012.