The Shirley Sherrod Saga

Plenty of anger to go around here, but most of mine is directed at the incompetence of the Obama Administration, specifically of Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack.  How do you fall for this?  Andrew Breitbart specializes in making misleading videos that tells fictitious, or at least extremely misleading, stories about liberals.  Furthermore Fox News played a large role in creating the Tea Party movement.  The White House had to know that the NAACP would be on Breitbart’s short list with ACORN out of the way, and they had to know that Fox News would be looking to take down the NAACP after it requested Tea Party action against its racist elements.  Of course the Vast Right Wing Conspiracy has spent the past week denying there are any racists in the Tea Party movement, the plain evidence of the racial epithets against Congressman and Selma survivor John Lewis and other incidents notwithstanding.  There has also been the attempt to point out black racism with the dismissed voter intimidation case against members of the New Black Panthers (Black Panthers are racist?  Shocking!).  But it should have surprised no one when Breitbart and Sean Hannity did an edit job on the video of a speech at an NAACP function given by an employee of the Agriculture Department named Shirley Sherrod.

Which begs the question; why did Vilsack fire her summarily?  Would it have really harmed anything to spend a day or two at least investigating things, getting her side of the story, making sure that was the full story?  To my knowledge the thing wasn’t even a story on neutral media until after the poor woman was fired.  Now of course its a huge story and everyone looks bad.  If Vilsack and the White House had shown some of Obama’s customary rationality and patience it would have only been Breitbart and Fox News that looked bad.  The White House did a very poor job of knowing thy enemy.


2 Responses to “The Shirley Sherrod Saga”

  1. Brian Says:

    Look, I won’t defend Breitbart, even taking him at his word he should have checked out the veracity of that video more than he did. But,

    “the plain evidence of the racial epithets against Congressman and Selma survivor John Lewis and other incidents notwithstanding.”

    What evidence is that precisely? Point me to the YouTube link showing me this evidence. Show me the credible news reports quoting people who heard these epithets.

    (Suffice to say that I think that perhaps that incident was overblown, and while yes, there are racist people in the tea party, they are as much on the fringe as folks who want to execute W. are on the left.)

  2. Damo Says:

    I think it was blown way too huge.

    There are a couple of things that I have noticed over the last two years in politics.

    1. Our country is still racist as it has ever been and is far more vocal than they have been in the past. The Tea Party has been the vehicle for this. The Tea Party has allowed people. The media calls it “angry voters.” I feel that it is more acceptable right now to be racist. Arizona’s immigration law and lynch Obama signs are only the beginning.

    2. The 24 hour news media is the problem. The 24 news stations need to fill their time slots. There are only some many times that you can put out the same AP headlines. Fox and MSNBC and all have to play to their base. The only way they can do it is find the most radical people and give them 30 or 60 minutes to be unintelligent.

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