So far both the White House and Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack have apologized to Shirley Sherrod:
The Obama administration issued an extraordinary public apology Wednesday and offered to reinstate a federal official who was fired after she appeared to make racial comments on a misleading snippet of video.And in what must be a new definition of chutzpah, Andrew Breitbart has even chimed in:
When it became clear that Shirley Sherrod's comments had been taken out of context, Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack spoke to her by phone to apologize and to ask if she would return to the department.
Andrew Breitbart, who posted the clip of USDA official Shirley Sherrod that got her fired, said today that he feels sorry for Sherrod.That last part? That's just bullshit.
"I feel bad that they made this about her, and I feel sorry that they made this about her," he told MSNBC. "Watching how they've misconstrued, how the media has misconstrued the intention behind this, I do feel a sympathy for her plight."
Breitbart says his intention was never to prove that Sherrod, until this week the Georgia state director for rural development, was racist. He says the video he posted proves instead that the NAACP is racist, because of the audience's reaction to her speech.
Since his smear of Sherrod was repudiated, Breitbart has claimed that his story is "not about Shirley Sherrod" but rather about "the NAACP." In fact, in his initial post on July 19, Breitbart claimed that the video is "evidence of racism coming from a federal appointee" and that Sherrod discriminated against a white farmer in her "federal duties" as the USDA Georgia Director of Rural Development. The video itself also included text that said, "Ms. Sherrod admits that in her federally appointed position, overseeing over a billion dollars she discriminates against people due to their race." Breitbart also posted a tweet on July 19 asking, "Will Eric Holder's DOJ hold accountable fed appointee Shirley Sherrod for admitting practicing racial discrimination?" After the USDA forced Sherrod out of her position in response to the deceptive video, Big Government celebrated with a post titled: "Racist Govt Official/NAACP Award Recipient Resigns after Big Government Expose."And Breitbart bullshit part II:
In a July 20 Fox News appearance, Breitbart claimed that the video proves there are racists among the NAACP because "the audience was laughing and applauding as she described how she maltreated the white farmer," and he argued that the audience did not "know that there was going to be a point of redemption" in her story. On a July 21 appearance on ABC's Good Morning America, Breitbart again claimed that his video shows that "at an NAACP event, people are applauding racism." But in his initial post, Breitbart described the audience reaction as only "nodding approval and murmurs of recognition and agreement," not applause. Indeed, a review of the full video indicates that the NAACP audience does not applaud at any point in her story about her interaction with the farmer.Apart from Shirley Sherrod, no one looks good in this. The wingnut press (Andrew Breitbart, Fox "News" and so on) for lying, the mainstream press for not (not ever) calling them on it and finally and unforgivingly the Obama Administration for caving so quickly.
A pox on all their houses.