From JOE CONASON at Salon:
Former USDA official Shirley Sherrod, a dedicated public servant innocent of the prejudice and misconduct falsely imputed to her, deserves justice. As soon as the White House and Tom Vilsack restore her job, with an appropriate apology, they will begin to remove a stain of cowardice from their administration. But while that may be all the government can do, it isn’t sufficient to close this case.
Real justice, as I suspect Sherrod would agree, also requires due process for Andrew Breitbart, the Internet impresario who framed her on his Big Government website. In these circumstances, that means a fair, thorough and tough examination of the media fraud that launched his operation last year: the ACORN tapes, whose misuse by Breitbart closely parallels his behavior in the Sherrod affair.
Recalling Breitbart from his days as eager lackey to Matt Drudge, I warned from the beginning that nothing he produced would resemble journalism. More than once since then, I’ve mentioned the accumulating evidence of deception by [James] O’Keefe and Breitbart in creating and then publicizing the ACORN tale. It was a “scandal” that became a national story only after wildly biased coverage on Fox News Channel, followed by sloppy, scared reporting in mainstream outlets, notably the New York Times, the Washington Post, CNN, and the national TV networks (some of whom flagellated themselves for failing to publicize this canard sooner!).
Investigations […] have served to exonerate ACORN of the most outrageous charges of criminality (while still criticizing ACORN employees and leadership). More important, from the perspective of journalistic ethics, those investigations revealed that the videotapes released and promoted by Breitbart’s website were selectively and deceptively edited to serve as propaganda, not news.
For months, Breitbart continued to resist every request that he release the full, unedited ACORN videotapes, which ought to have alerted editors and producers that something was wrong. But then in the course of the California investigation, [California Attorney General Jerry] Brown struck a plea deal with O’Keefe, who was in jeopardy of indictment for violating the state’s privacy laws. (According to Brown’s final report, “the facts presented here strongly suggests that O’Keefe and [Hannah] Giles violated state privacy laws and provides fair warning to them and others that this type of activity can be prosecuted in California.”) The plea agreement deal forced O’Keefe to turn over the complete set of tapes to state investigators. Brown’s verdict on their misuse was scathing.
Meanwhile, Times public editor Clark Hoyt, like his colleagues in other mainstream outlets, has been forced to acknowledge gross errors in the paper’s coverage – such as the false claim, encouraged by Breitbart and Fox, that O’Keefe went into the ACORN offices “dressed so outlandishly [as a pimp] that he might have been playing in a risqué high school play.” In fact, the filmmaker never wore his ridiculous pimp regalia into a single ACORN office, always dressing instead like a buttoned-down junior accountant.
Since then much more evidence has emerged, without generating the kind of reassessment that is overdue. Now Breitbart has struck again, manipulating a gullible media establishment and a frightened administration in an attempt to destroy the reputation of an innocent federal employee.
Even today, despite overwhelming proof that he posted a snippet of the Sherrod video without any pretense of due journalistic diligence, he replies with taunts and gibes rather than any honest answers. His latest smear is to claim that the white farmers who vouched for Sherrod are not who they claim to be.
Like the late Joe McCarthy, Breitbart smears both reflexively and with premeditation. And like McCarthy, he badly needs someone to show the public how he does his dirty work.
So here at last is an opportunity for the Times and all the other media outlets that aided and abetted the ACORN fraud to restore a minimum level of standards and honor. Investigate Breitbart, O’Keefe, Giles and the making and editing of the ACORN tapes without fear or favor — then report the findings on page one.
From MEDIA MATTERS:
Fox News spent much of July 19 and 20 ginning up controversy about the false claim that Shirley Sherrod made racist remarks at a NAACP meeting earlier this year. As the claim unraveled, Fox media personalities disappeared their role in the story, continued to smear her as “descriminat[ory]” in the face of contradictory evidence, and boldly suggested the network did not contribute to the controversy.
Fox’s initial reaction: “Racist” Sharrod “must resign”
[Bill] O’Reilly: “Sherrod must resign,” her remarks are “unacceptable.”
[Sean] Hannity called Sherrod’s remarks “[j]ust the latest in a series of racial incitents,” called for the NAACP to be “held to account” to repudiate Sherrod.
[Dana] Perino [on On the Record]: “This video adds fuel to a growing controversy after the NAACP” asked the tea party to denounce racists.
[Steve] Doocy [on Fox & Friends]: Sherrod “sure sounded racist,” is “[e]xhibit A” of “what racism looks like.”
[Glenn] Beck plays “videotape of USDA administration official discriminating against white farmers.”
After the tide turned: Fox “didn’t even do” the Sherrod story
Bret Baier absurdly claims Fox News “didn’t even do” the Sherrod story. On the July 20 edition of Special Report, Bret Baier claimed “Fox News didn’t even do the story, we didn’t do it on Special Report, we posted it online.”
Beck on Fox: “Based on the facts that we have right now, this is something that I wouldn’t air and demand a resignation on.”
Doocy on Sherrod: “What was the big hurry for them to condemn her in the first place?”
[James] Rosen [on Happening Now]: “Did the White House essentially railroad an innocent woman in this?”
The holdouts: Sherrod was still “discriminating” against the farmer
Hannity doubles down, says Sherrod “still admits discriminating,” suggested he’s unfairly “getting blamed.”
O’Reilly’s ignores context, still claims “What [Sherrod] said is ridiculous.” On the July 20 edition of his show, O’Reilly was still claiming that “What [Sherrod] said is ridiculous,” and stated the real story is “the news blackout” on the Sherrod story, and how “the establishment press tilts left and is reluctant to do damage to a very liberal president.”
From MEDIA MATTERS:
As Andrew Breitbart’s Shirley Sherrod smear dissolved, rather than blame Breitbart for posting the deceptive clip of her speech, Glenn Beck, Michael Savage, and Rush Limbaugh ludicrously began speculating that he and the conservative media could have been the victim of a “set-up” that had been “orchestrated” by the White House.
Beck: Did White House “plot” Sherrod story to “destroy the credibility of Fox News”?
Beck: “Maybe I’m being too conspiratorial” but “was this a diversion?” Also on the July 21 edition of his radio show, Beck questioned whether the Sherrod story was a “diversion” created by the Obama administration. Beck asked, “Did they do something else with the other hand yesterday that we’re not paying attention to?”
Savage: “I’m beginning to believe that this entire affair was orchestrated by the government itself to smear Breitbart.” On the July 21 edition of his radio show, Michael Savage suggested that he was “beginning to believe that this entire affair was orchestrated by the government itself to smear Breitbart and the Tea Party movement.” He continued by stating that the scandal “is part of the dirty tricks campaign that the Democrats are famous for” and suggested that the Democrats had “released these tapes — these edited tapes — of the black bureaucrat through a third party or a fourth party, whispering ‘oh, do we have something for you Mr. Breitbart.’ ”
[Rush] Limbaugh: “For all I know, the White House orchestrated this whole thing.”
28 responses to “The Amazing Race-Baiter”
Amazing at deception. What a group fooling around with truth, and this time it seems even the White House bought it. Here’s hoping we get some control of the media! You got the license plate right nonnie. Slander it is!!!!
i can’t believe anyone bought it when they knew it came from andrew not-too-breitbart. even if they bought it hook, line, and sinker, what kind of place, especially in government, fires a person based on that kind of evidence? you stop, take a deep breath, and talk to the employee to get her side of the story. then you investigate. you don’t fire first and ask questions later. if it was a conservative employee, you can bet the administration would have walked on eggshells to protect his/her rights and reputation.
Hook, line, and Sinker. I used to give out two awards by that name, one for casting out a hook and another for biting on it. The casting out hook used to be named for Pierre Salinger. I have half a mind to rename after Breitbart. That way, both awards would be named after kooks.
if you want to name one after not-too-breitbart, you can call the awards hook, line, and stinker. 😉
When I first heard the guy’s name on the morning news, I thought they said, “Brightfart.”
Then later I saw Ms. Sherrod on ‘The View’ and realized she was sharp as a tack and planned to throw it back into as many tea baggers and Fox News bastards as possible.
When will guys like Notsobrightfart realize that if he can get a copy of a video, anyone can?
I guess it doesn’t matter if these crackpots are caught in blatant lies, the idiots who listen to them don’t care about the truth as long as the lie discredits, “one of them people.”
I’m sick of racism.
We’re gonna have a French-like Revolution if this shit continues much longer.
while i don’t love the fact that they picked on shirley, i love that she’s so smart and so unwilling to be kowtowed by anyone. little andy not-too-breitbart will rue the day he picked on shirley. he’ll be nothing but a pile of bones by the time she gets done with him. 😆
Wow. I didn’t think Breitbart, Beck et al (the other bigots) could get any scummier, but now they lay their slander and libel at the feet of the White House. Must have been a setup by the black president. What pieces of shit.
whenever we think the right-winguts can’t get any scummier, they always manage to do so. they just can’t bring themselves to admit that they were wrong. instead, they insist that they’re the victims. 🙄
Hannity still believes that Hussein had WMD’s. Not even the story that his people were lying to him … he claims that Hussein had them and sent them to Syria.
‘Cause, you know, megalomaniacs are always taking their only weapons and giving them to someone else so that the invaders can kill ’em.
and even though iraq could have wiped england off the map in 45 minutes, there was still plenty of time to read a book to elementary school kids.
Breitbart should be put in stocks in the middle of a pig farm & flogged until the porcine population can’t stand the smell of his putrid flesh any longer.
just what we need–pigs revolting! then again, pigs could never be as revolting as andrew not-too-breitbart.
And once again, I find myself asking my brethren who are also aligned with the Right, “What about that ‘Don’t bear false witness’ thing? Do we even care about that?”
the problem is that they think they have the final say on what’s true and what’s not. it has nothing to do with facts. it’s their version of truthiness.
OMG…you did it and it’s incredible woman….great writeup too…will this man finally become a pariah that he deserves to be?
Thank you Nonnie..I bow to your greatness m’dear friend. 😉
you didn’t think i’d lie to you, did you, dusty? 😉
Can I steal it and make it my Photo of the Day for a few days?
i’m flattered! 😳 of course you can use it. i was actually going to use a different movie, but i was tired, and this one seemed like it would be easier. i still might do the other one, too.
here’s a bit of trivia/irony for you. andrew not-too-breitbart’s father-in-law is orson bean. orson bean was once blacklisted in hollywood for being a commie (he’s become a fundie conservative since), and he was a panelist for many years on to tell the truth. you can’t make this stuff up. 🙂
Of course you wouldn’t lie to me sweet sista-woman, and this puppy is staying up as Photo of the Day until you make another one of this pond scum-sucking piece of sheep shit.
OMG…that is ironic about his daddy-in-law!
Evil Ruperts style of broadcasting can only find a comparison on the telescreens of 1984. The regulars are using the memory holes properly and Ailes wrote the book on the Two Minutes Hate. And now the paranoia ramps up to being tricked by the White House, worrying that it will hurt their credibility, like that ever existed. Looks like lawsuits are the future for Breitbart just like his little punkass O’Keefe…….and after events today Nonnie, you might want to keep an eye out for a “None on the Run” poster for dear Sharron.
while you were composing this comment, jerry, i was working on a poster about the delightful obtuse angle. actually, i started it after getting bored with another poster, and then i had to rush to get it done tonight right before posting time, because i was out all day.
Breitbart smells like a week-old dead skunk in the middle of the road, (during a 105 degree heat-indexed Pennsylvania summer day), stinking to the high heavens! If he, Fox News, all the newsies concerned more with looks, ad infinitum are considered journalists and journalism, that rumbling you hear is Walter Cronkite, Howard K. Smith, Huntley & Brinkley (‘Goodnight Chet! Goodnight Dave!’), Heywood Hale Broun, Frank Reynolds, John Facenda, Vince Leonard and all the classic, wizened journalists rolling in their graves!
Now, if the news outlets, sans Fox, and the administration have any balls left they damn well should investigate this slimeball and throw the book at him. I’d like to see Shirley Sherrold have an opportunity to shoot some buckshot into his ass! Yeah, the Tea Party and GOP aren’t racist? The TP signs and verbal abuse and this GOP Suck-suck and his editing are proof they sure as hell are. And CNN, if you’re going to have talking heads piss and moan about the administration, then have someone say a few choice words about this Hollywood-wannabe racist asshole GOP dickhead and Fox News pimp.
i hope shirley sues for slander, and i hope it goes to trial. i’d love for faux news to get hit with depositions. of course, they’ll claim that they don’t have to disclose any of their sources, but that doesn’t mean roger ailes won’t have to explain what he does in order to verify that the stories he runs are factual.
I know I would sue that piece of ugly if he did that to me, but if he did it to me, I’d make an exception to my not using a gun rule and fill his ass with buckshot! He wouldn’t be able to sit down for a month or two and he’d set off metal detectors from ten feet away! =) He’d look better if he’d put his white hood and robe on, because we all know what a racist bastard he is. A poster child made in heaven for the GOPers!
i would go on every talk show and news show that would have me, and i’d call him a lying wuss. i’d use every opportunity to ridicule him and deservedly drag his name through the mud. faux news is trying, with the help of asswipes like not-too-breitbart, to resurrect the joe mccarthy era. it’s time to ask roger ailes and uncle rupie if they have any shame.
Pingback: The Macaca Awards! Part II « HYSTERICAL RAISINS
Pingback: A Few of My Favorite Zings | HYSTERICAL RAISINS