Democracy Has Prevailed.

July 21, 2010

Anatomy of (Yet Another) Right Wing Smear

Mediamatters has the story:
Based on what appears to be selectively edited footage, Andrew Breitbart falsely suggested that Shirley Sherrod said that, in her former position with the USDA, she had discriminated against a white farmer. In fact, Sherrod's statements in the video corroborate her statement that the story she was discussing is 24 years old.
Turns out that the video was edited. Edited to the point where it said almost exactly the opposite of what Breitbart said it said. Here's Breitbart (by way of mediamatters):
We are in possession of a video from in which Shirley Sherrod, USDA Georgia Director of Rural Development, speaks at the NAACP Freedom Fund dinner in Georgia. In her meandering speech to what appears to be an all-black audience, this federally appointed executive bureaucrat lays out in stark detail, that her federal duties are managed through the prism of race and class distinctions.

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 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.
The full video vindicates her story that she was taken out of context. She was discussing incident that occurred 24 years ago and how that incident made her realize that:
You know, and they could be black, and they could be white, they could be Hispanic. And it made me realize then that I needed to work to help poor people -- those who don't have access the way others have.
That last part was in the full video, but not in the edited video posted by Breitbart.

Of course, the Obama Administration demanded her resignation (and got it).
Given that this is a complete smear, will she get her job back?

And why should anyone trust Andrew Breitbart from now on? Remember, he's the guy who brought us the ACORN/pimp tape (so he's no stranger to edited smears).

1 comment:

EdHeath said...

Only the fact that Maria has beaten him to the punch will prevent HTTT from posting Breitbart's sort of rebuttal to your post. Actually, HTTT would have loved to do that, since Breitbart's post has nothing to do with the Sherrod story, and thus fulfills the need of conservatives to respond to liberals with non sequiturs.

That HTTT, he do love him some Breitbart links.

Of course, liberals are now ticked off at Vilsack and by extension, Obama. Just because it shows up on Fox does not mean the administration has to accept it without waiting even a little bit for independent confirmation. Of course, this means that if some new video shows up on Fox, and the Obama administration hesitates to act, Fox and Breitbart and company will howl about how elitist liberals have a double standard (actually, they already are, see Maria's post).