Well, I guess we’re not talking about alleged Tea Party racism anymore! Now we’re talking about those evil reichwingers, Fox News and Andrew Breitbart. As long as we’re not talking about the Dem’s squandered mandate everything is going as planned for November, right Libs?
But what is being ignored in this entire episode is the sequence of these rapidly unfolding events. Andrew Breitbart posted the video on his site Monday, July 19 at 8:18 a.m. By mid-afternoon Shirely Sherrod had been fired. Fox News didn’t report the story until later that evening. Who’s to blame for her firing? Fox News? Breitbart? That is absurd.
By mid afternoon of the same day, Ms. Sherrod’s boss, Cheryl Cook, called her and fired her because “you’re going to be on Glenn Beck tonight”. In fact, she did not appear on Beck that night. He made no mention of her whatsoever. She did appear on Beck the following night though, and he was DEFENDING her. The first mention of the Shirley Sherrod tape on Fox News was on Bill O’Reilly’s show which aired at 8 p.m. That’s almost five hours AFTER Sherrod was fired. Nor did the FoxNews.com website report the story until July 20.
The edited video posted by Andrew Breitbart on his website, BigGovernment.com, wasn’t edited to exclude Sherrod’s racial “redemption”. The video that appeared on his site actually INCLUDED Sherrod saying “That’s when it was revealed to me that it’s about poor versus those who have. And not so much about white….it is about white and black… but it’s not…you know… it opened my eyes because I took him to one of his own.” On his website, Breitbart says:
In the first video, Sherrod describes how she racially discriminates against a white farmer. She describes how she is torn over how much she will choose to help him. And, she admits that she doesn’t do everything she can for him, because he is white. Eventually, her basic humanity informs her that this white man is poor and needs help. But she decides that he should get help from “one of his own kind”. She refers him to a white lawyer.
Sherrod’s racist tale is received by the NAACP audience with nodding approval and murmurs of recognition and agreement. Hardly the behavior of the group now holding itself up as the supreme judge of another groups’ racial tolerance.
He has not concealed anything that could exculpate Shirley Sherrod on the longer unedited tape of which, by the way, the NAACP has always been in possession. When Breitbart appeared on Sean Hannity the next day, he insisted that this video was NOT supposed to be about Sherrod; it was about the people in the NAACP audience applauding and agreeing with her story when she talked about her racist feelings towards that white farmer, and giving him less than her full support (the pre-“redemption” part of the story). Breitbart said, “The NAACP members in the audience did not know at that point that this was a transformative story about overcoming her own racism. And yet they were laughing and clapping when she talked about not wanting to help that white farmer.”
Now the NAACP is whining about being “snookered”, and Fox News is being blamed for getting Shirley Sherrod fired when they didn’t even air the tape until many hours AFTER Ms. Sherrod was fired; and when in fact the NAACP always had the full unedited tape in their possession but couldn’t be bothered to check it. Why didn’t the NAACP or the White House check the tape? Why did they overreact by firing her? It’s not because they were snookered, but because they are immoral and unprincipled cowards who use race as a political weapon against conservatives, and firing Shirley Sherrod was just their reflexive “return shot” in this filthy blood sport when conservatives try to defend themselves.
The fact that Breitbart did not immediately post the full video does concern me just from a journalistic standpoint. You always cite the source. [We now know Breitbart didn’t have the full tape]. He would respond that Ms. Sherrod wasn’t the issue, and it’s not his job to defend her anyway because the video does in fact show racial insensitivity in the crowd and also a little from the speaker, even if today she disavows her past racism. His larger point, however, is that the NAACP should be more careful about throwing racist stones at the Tea Party when they obviously live in their own racial glass houses.