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Gibbs calls on media to do soul searching about Sherrod mess

The Shirley Sherrod mess has ignited another national conversation about race, but if Robert Gibbs has his way, it will also spark some soul-searching by members of the media about their willingness to legitimize bogus stories, particularly ones pushed by the right.

Last night, Gibbs sent me an email in response to my post yesterday arguing that one moral of the Sherrod tale is that big news orgs are far too willing to pursue stories ginned up by folks who are known to cook the facts. Gibbs wrote:

"Just as the Department of Agriculture and this Administration will review its actions, I also hope this starts a conversation in the media about how it operates."

This might irk some media figures, who don't like to be told by the White House how to do their jobs. But this is interesting because it opens a window on one of the White House's running frustrations.

To wit: It drives the White House bananas when big news orgs are all too willing to demand responses to stories ginned up by the right before anyone determines whether they're legit. That's because this paradoxically confers more crediblity on them, making it harder to undo their damage once they're shown to be bogus.

In particular, Gibbs argues that some news orgs in effect were also duped by the Breitbart tape. They sought comment from the White House on the tape before anyone had established whether it fairly represented what the woman said. This forced the White House to respond to a bogus story -- thus making it a real story.

To be clear, there's no excusing the administration's conduct here. Its response actually enabled the process Gibbs is complaining about. And many news orgs did in fact show appropriate skepticism about the Breitbart tape.

But as Howard Kurtz notes today, some news orgs ran with the story early and did force the White House to respond to the bogus tape before the facts were in. And beyond this one case, it hardly seems arguable that there is a larger problem here, in which some are too quick to legitimize stories -- particularly ones pushed by the right -- before it's determined whether they are real news or whether they have any real relationship to reality.

By Greg Sargent  |  July 22, 2010; 12:47 PM ET
Categories:  Political media  
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Comments

Based on a brief overview of articles that have come out since the full video broke, I have noticed no soul-searching.

Posted by: dkp01 | July 22, 2010 12:57 PM | Report abuse

Since Greg's readers have been bashing Fox News Channel for their part in this it is worth noting (from the linked article):

"The network didn't touch the story until her forced resignation was made public Monday evening... an e-mail directive was sent to the news staff in which Fox Senior Vice President Michael Clemente said: "Let's take our time and get the facts straight on this story. Can we get confirmation and comments from Sherrod before going on-air. Let's make sure we do this right."

See also:

http://latimesblogs.latimes.com/showtracker/2010/07/bill-oreilly-apologizes-to-shirley-sherrod-for-not-doing-my-homework.html

"Michael Clemente, senior vice president of news editorial, said the network’s news programs reported the story with caution. “When I heard about this Monday morning and saw it on Breitbart’s website, I said, ‘OK, could be a story, let’s check it out,’ ” Clemente said. “We did the normal fact-finding we would do on any story.”

"...Sherrod ended up resigning Monday afternoon, hours before O’Reilly broke the story on his show. The first reported piece on Fox News, by correspondent James Rosen, aired on Tuesday morning, and included a second video clip that added context to Sherrod’s comments."

"But Fox’s commentators showed less restraint..."

Posted by: sbj3 | July 22, 2010 1:01 PM | Report abuse

Would love to see media learn from this mess, but I'm not holding my breath…

Posted by: OKeefePup | July 22, 2010 1:03 PM | Report abuse

"nd beyond this one case, it hardly seems arguable that there is a larger problem here, in which some are too quick to legitimize stories -- particularly ones pushed by the right -- before it's determined whether they are real news or whether they have any real relationship to reality."

You mean like the doctored ACORN videos?

Or maybe how in unison with Fox this turned from a blame the black people to blame the Obama admin story?

Posted by: mikefromArlington | July 22, 2010 1:04 PM | Report abuse

Great article, but you know republicans are going to be stained with this from the birds of a feather rule right. But the greatest thing about this Shirley Sherrod debacle is that it is one part of a larger strategy. It's obvious. It is almost the same thing every time. The far-right has an agenda and they want Obama gone and the best way to do that is to bring up race, check out this article I just came across that looks at the big picture:

http://apleblog.com/2010/07/22/the-conservative-strategy-obama-is-a-racist/

Posted by: republicanblack | July 22, 2010 1:06 PM | Report abuse

Really Gibbs ? You're that naive or that stupid ?

Posted by: amkeew | July 22, 2010 1:15 PM | Report abuse

Nobody forced the White House to respond to this story before the facts were in. Nobody. They chose this path. What an embarrassment.

Posted by: teoandchive1 | July 22, 2010 1:17 PM | Report abuse

Its not about the media. Its about the White House making a Mistake, and firing someone before they had all the facts.
Here we go again, Democrats Pointing Fingers at others instead of facing the fact that you made a mistake.
No one told the White House to fire her... they did it on their own.

Posted by: ohioan | July 22, 2010 1:22 PM | Report abuse

@teo: "Nobody forced the White House to respond to this story before the facts were in."

That's right. Gibbs could've said, "We don't know all of the details yet, so we aren't commenting. And I don't think the press in this room should ask for our comment until they've fully reported the story. Right now it's just a rumor pushed by a website."

Posted by: sbj3 | July 22, 2010 1:24 PM | Report abuse

It's called fact checking people. In the era of instant news (add hype creates it's own sauce) no one seems to bother to fact check and instead rush to beat everyone else to the drum.

I think cable news networks like CNN and MSNBC would learn to simply use Fox's grabs at thin air to exploit their lack of credibility. Then again the people that really need to understand this watch Fox almost exclusively and will never get the message. Rupert Murcdoch is a master at identifying a demographic and catering to what they want to hear instead of what they should be told.

But Fox overall is down in ratings about 6% this year so either their viewership is A) waking up or B) they lost their jobs and can no longer afford satellite or cable.

Posted by: 1FLWB2 | July 22, 2010 1:25 PM | Report abuse

the wh acknowledged their mistakes and apologized -- that was both the right and the smart thing to do.

the good thing about the interwebz is that the media will not be allowed to forget this. whether or not they police themselves, and i think at least some of them will, enough people have enough knowledge of this debacle that it will be hard for fox and breitbart to pull this again.

and about fox, sbj claims that fox doesn't engage in racism and isn't pursuing a partisan agenda. that shows where he's coming from.

fox's chyrons claimed sherrod was working for the usda when she 'denied service' to the white farmers. did they apologize for, oe even correct, that?

maddow did a good piece last night showing fox news anchors rushing to judgment one day and then condemning others for rushing to judgment the next.

Posted by: blahgblogwordpresscom | July 22, 2010 1:28 PM | Report abuse

I buy Robert Gibbs' argument if its applied to stories published or aired by the media. I don't buy it with regard to questions asked. I see no reason why the Administration can't answer that they haven't yet had time to adequately investigate. If that means that the media will run a premature story without a response from the Administration, then that premature story might be a problem. But the problem is the story, not the question.

I think Ben Jealous and the NAACP are getting off too easily for their role in this mess. It was the NAACP's premature response that gave this story credibility. Remember, the NAACP was in possession of the full tape. It made sense for the media and the administration to give credence to the NAACP response. Their failure to verify the facts before responding was inexcusable.

Ben Jealous offered a weak excuse about having to respond quickly when he was interviewed by Rachel Maddow on Tuesday night. I was disappointed that Rachel Maddow didn't follow up.

Posted by: QuiteAlarmed | July 22, 2010 1:31 PM | Report abuse

Nobody's saying the WH didn't screw up. Of course they did. But nobody in the press (except, apparently, Bill O'Reilly) has apologized for latching onto yet another out of context video. The WH has apologized. NAACP has apologized. USDA has apologized. The main person who was pushing this at FNC has apologized.

When will the rest of the MSM apologize? They aren't even acknowledging that they were a party to this. This is hardly the first time they've collectively run with deeply flawed information, it's just the first time that information's been shut down in the same news cycle. If they're not willing to navel-gaze a bit, then there's no reason to believe it won't happen again.

Posted by: dkp01 | July 22, 2010 1:31 PM | Report abuse

The corporate media is almost entirely driven by the narratives concocted by the Radical Racist Right.

It was that way during the Bush Administration and it is painfully obvious that it is that way today.

The key to changing this dynamic is to remind them what their JOBS are. Their jobs as journalists is to report the facts. That is "journalism." Anything driven by hearsay and opinion is NOT journalism. You can be a journalist who is biased towards one side or the other, but you MUST USE FACT-BASED ARGUMENTS.

So, a question for our reporters and friends in the media, which should settle the score once and for all time:

ARE YOU JOURNALISTS OR NOT?

Posted by: Ethan2010 | July 22, 2010 1:31 PM | Report abuse

Everyone, from the White House to Fox News, missed the point of Breitbart's posting of the video. The point wasn't that Sherrod was a racist per se. If you examine the video, she used rhetoric laced with racist undertones("their kind", etc.) to which the audience seemed to be in accordance. Does his mean that the entire NAACP is racist and should apologize as a group? Of course not; but let's apply the same standard to the Tea Party movement, which by the way is not a unified established organization with one voice or one leadership anyway.

Posted by: tocono68 | July 22, 2010 1:33 PM | Report abuse

As long as the "news" media -- including but not limited to broadcast and cable TV news and commentary -- are as much in the entertainment business as in the information business, there will always be an incentive to "break a story," even if the story has no basis in fact.

They can always -- and frequently do -- turn it into a "story about the story," and so claim the lack of factual basis is irrelevant.

And from what I can tell, they are becoming MORE about entertainment than information, which suggests that this sort of thing will become worse and more frequent.

Posted by: bleh1 | July 22, 2010 1:35 PM | Report abuse

"This might irk some media figures, who don't like to be told by the White House how to do their jobs."

If the those media figures* actually had the slightest clue how to do their job, then maybe it wouldn't be needed.

*note: "Media Figure" is not interchangable with "Journalist"...a fact too many media figures forget.

Posted by: TheBBQChickenMadness | July 22, 2010 1:35 PM | Report abuse

Hmmm, let's see ...

The White House reacts quickly, makes a mistake, apologizes, and does what it can to rectify the harm done to Ms. Sherrod. Fox "and friends" blast the administration for jumping too fast.

OR

The White House reacts quickly, promising an investigation into the actual facts. Fox, Breitbart and company start screaming the administration is dragging its heels. The investigation concludes, the WH says Ms. Sherrod has done nothing wrong, indeed, was telling a parable about race, and Fox, etc., scream "coverup." Meanwhile, the American public has tuned out, sick of the subject, and never learns that (a) Ms. Sherrod did nothing wrong and (b) Fox "and friends" cooked up the whole thing.

Nothing like getting shafted no matter what you do. Though of the two alternatives, I still prefer (b), since it's most sensitive to Ms. Sherrod!

Posted by: blondie3 | July 22, 2010 1:36 PM | Report abuse

I just read an article in this month Readers Digest on Al Jazeera News. It has now earned the top spot as the most trusted news org in the world (except of course the xenophobic amurika) beating even the long standing BBC. The most important reason for its rise is the steep decline in western journalistic standards and its no nonsense news veteran, who is a canadian.

American fourth estate has truly become fifth columnists led by an australian and when amurika falls and fails, they will find themselves undermined by their own media and by then it will be too late.

After the iraqi and afghanisthan fiascos, the american saber rattling has reached the point of diminishing returns.

Posted by: amkeew | July 22, 2010 1:36 PM | Report abuse

LOL, the only reason right-wingers are claiming this video is exculpatory is because it allows them to hit the White House for acting too hastily and being reckless.

If the White House hadn't fired this woman, right now we would be discussing how reverse racism is a huge problem in America and how this woman still did something wrong, and how there's "mounting evidence" Obama tolerates black racists, blah blah blah.

The problem here is that Fox News is CREATING the news, yet everyone treats them as though they are REPORTING the news.

When will that stop? They are not a news organization. They are a partisan, activist organization.

Posted by: theorajones1 | July 22, 2010 1:37 PM | Report abuse

watch the actual video again, they clapped and cheered when she said she realized it wasn't about race.

you are entitled to your own opinion but not your own facts.

Posted by: blahgblogwordpresscom | July 22, 2010 1:38 PM | Report abuse

@Those Stupid Enough to Believe Bill O'Reilly "Apologized"

Read this: http://www.boomantribune.com/story/2010/7/21/223812/471

Then, please, stop being duped by the FOX PAC.

Posted by: TheBBQChickenMadness | July 22, 2010 1:38 PM | Report abuse

@Those Naive* Enough to Believe Bill O'Reilly "Apologized"

Here's a follow up:

http://www.boomantribune.com/story/2010/7/22/125227/044

*figured naive was a bit nicer...

Posted by: TheBBQChickenMadness | July 22, 2010 1:41 PM | Report abuse

"I think Ben Jealous and the NAACP are getting off too easily for their role in this mess."

Melissa Harris-Lacewell seemed to share your view on MSNBC last night, and also expressed some deep disappointment with Jealous. She explained that the name "Sherrod" is well-known in the NAACP, and should have caused him to immediately pause, and then check further.

Posted by: suekzoo1 | July 22, 2010 1:41 PM | Report abuse

@TheBBQChickenMadness

He still apologized. What he did later was dumb, but when you look at the words he said, yes, he actually did apologize.

And let's be honest: he's still done more than basically any other news organization or media figure to right his initial wrong.

Posted by: dkp01 | July 22, 2010 1:43 PM | Report abuse

From Politicalwire.com

"Newspaper Pulls Endorsement of Candidate
The Hutchinson News withdrew it's endorsement of Salinan Tracey Mann (R) in the crowded Republican primary in Kansas' 1st congressional district.

"Quite simply, the reason is that it turns out Mann is what is known as a birther. He questions the citizenship of President Barack Obama despite evidence that is irrefutable to most objective, rational people - including a birth certificate released by the Hawaii secretary of state and birth announcements printed in Honolulu's two major newspapers. That this even continues as an issue is appalling, which is why we didn't think to pose the question to Mann or any of the other candidates." "

It just goes to show that even in Kansas, and occasional sanity Oasis can be found.

Posted by: Liam-still | July 22, 2010 1:45 PM | Report abuse

How much money did Shirley Sherrod and her husband receive in the Pigford Farm Settlement? Was it $300,000.00 combined? Why did New Communities Inc. reportedly receive $13 million dollars in this case? What was Sherrod's role in this organization? How did Shirley Sherrod wind up at the USDA, a government agency she was suing, or had sued?

Posted by: carolinadreams | July 22, 2010 1:46 PM | Report abuse

Please don't miss the larger fall-out this whole mess could have yet: Congress failing to fund the USDA settlement reached with aggrieved minority farmers. They have already missed two deadlines this year.


http://tpmmuckraker.talkingpointsmemo.com/2010/07/shirley_sherrod_and_the_discrimination_of_black_fa.php?ref=fpa


Posted by: suekzoo1 | July 22, 2010 1:46 PM | Report abuse

bbq, he apologized one night then doubled down the next. Typical O'Reilly stunt, appear reasonable one minute, then go for the kill the next.

Posted by: lmsinca | July 22, 2010 1:47 PM | Report abuse

Do You See Yourself In This Mirror, Plumline? Well Do You?

From Political Wire:

"A Three-Ring Circus
First Read: "In Obama's first year and a half as president, there haven't been any sex scandals, any stories of widespread corruption, or any plans to wage war against a nation without WMD. But what does it say -- about the media, about Obama, and about us as a country -- that when the topic turns to race, Washington instantly transforms into a three-ring circus? As for the media, we've allowed this story over race bury one of the more consequential weeks of Obama's presidency thus far (the financial reform legislation becoming law, Senate passage of the jobless benefits, and Kagan clearing the Senate Judiciary Committee). Whether it's Sherrod, Gates, or Jeremiah Wright, the topic of race pushes the media's buttons like no other issue." "


Posted by: Liam-still | July 22, 2010 1:49 PM | Report abuse

This is all about race baiting. From both sides. You all should be ashamed.

But be warned. You that have made this bed are going to have to sleep in it.

Sweet dreams in hell.

Posted by: watertoo | July 22, 2010 1:51 PM | Report abuse

I saw O'Reilly yesterday. O'Reilly apologized for calling for Sherrod's resignation prematurely. However, he went on to suggest that now that he has seen the full tape Sherrod should be fired anyway. That's some apology.

Posted by: wbgonne | July 22, 2010 1:51 PM | Report abuse

Fresh off putting a set of tire tracks across Mrs. Sharrod's back the Whitehouse says the media needs to do some soul searching. Are you kidding me. How classless can you get. Staying home from the polls in November isn't even good enough at this point. The american people need a formal apology from every single liberal that voted for this group of scumbags just to begin to set things right.

Posted by: peterg73 | July 22, 2010 1:53 PM | Report abuse

give the bullshit a rest liam. this is an important story that goes to the very structure of the media landscape.

while you're berating greg and calling ostensible allies the 'lunatic left,' the adults are working to ensure that this episode is burned onto the brains of the media drones who habitually pick up fox narratives.

next time, it won't be so easy for them to do it.

Posted by: blahgblogwordpresscom | July 22, 2010 1:55 PM | Report abuse

I Have Seen A Lot Of Media Soul Searching Going On.

Each Of Them Is Searching Some Other Media Outlet's Soul, But Never Their Own.

The MSM will not even report that Gibbs has challenged them to do some soul searching. Did the big three networks even mention, on their evening news programs yesterday; that Gibbs pointed out how they also rushed to use the doctored video clip, without first looking into it.

Of course they did not, because they will never report any such criticism of their rotten performances.

TV News Is An Oxymoron.

Posted by: Liam-still | July 22, 2010 1:55 PM | Report abuse

peterg73, why, because the GOP will somehow be way more awesome about race than the Democrats? Sure, okay.

Posted by: dkp01 | July 22, 2010 1:57 PM | Report abuse

peter,

your troll kung fu is weak.

Posted by: blahgblogwordpresscom | July 22, 2010 1:57 PM | Report abuse

Why do stupid rw trolls always add some numbers to their names ? Is it because you learnt them just now and are proudly displaying your math skills ?

Posted by: amkeew | July 22, 2010 1:58 PM | Report abuse

liam,

your eeyore like pessimism notwithstanding, this a game changer. very few people watch the evening news. in the broader media landscape, these fake news narratives will no longer have such an easy time.

will it be immediate? no. will it be total? no. but it is a big deal.

Posted by: blahgblogwordpresscom | July 22, 2010 2:02 PM | Report abuse

The Lunatic Left thinks that this is the most important story, and should be covered around the clock, with no end in sight, just because The Lunatic Left think that they have cornered the market on living mistake free lives.

They will be off chasing Nader or Kucinich, or.... again, any day now, because that has worked out so well for them in the past, and has led to Republicans owning The White House for 7 of the past 10 terms.

Posted by: Liam-still | July 22, 2010 2:02 PM | Report abuse

watertoo,

There is no hell, only what yo make your life on earth. It's all you get, one shot. Make the best of it.

Posted by: 1FLWB2 | July 22, 2010 2:04 PM | Report abuse

Again;

Some of their own brethren are now saying what I was pointing out yesterday:

"From Political Wire:

"A Three-Ring Circus
First Read: "In Obama's first year and a half as president, there haven't been any sex scandals, any stories of widespread corruption, or any plans to wage war against a nation without WMD. But what does it say -- about the media, about Obama, and about us as a country -- that when the topic turns to race, Washington instantly transforms into a three-ring circus? As for the media, we've allowed this story over race bury one of the more consequential weeks of Obama's presidency thus far (the financial reform legislation becoming law, Senate passage of the jobless benefits, and Kagan clearing the Senate Judiciary Committee). Whether it's Sherrod, Gates, or Jeremiah Wright, the topic of race pushes the media's buttons like no other issue." "

Posted by: Liam-still | July 22, 2010 2:05 PM | Report abuse

The apology O'Reilly made that I thought was interesting was not the one to Sherrod which he basically rescinded later, but when he stated that he had not done his research. I was, perhaps naively, hoping that meant Breitbart's claims and bogus videos etc. might possibly be investigated before spreading through their "newsroom". I know I'm a sucker.

Posted by: lmsinca | July 22, 2010 2:06 PM | Report abuse

liam,

you engage in an awful lot of friendly fire for someone who claims to hate it so much.

you were down on sherrod from the beginning, even when you admitted you weren't following the story.

why is that?

Posted by: blahgblogwordpresscom | July 22, 2010 2:08 PM | Report abuse

Well, when the message is negative it's always a great strategy to shoot the messenger. And it's even better if the messenger is on your side. This must be what the teach the Grownups in Political College, just before they graduate and get the Imaginary Pony they can use over and over to mock any survivors who dare to articulate the negative message again.

Obama and the Democrats have themselves to blame because they've given their supporters the Middle Finger one too many times. Despise your friends and cower before your enemies; then wonder why you aren't popular.

Watch the Most Powerful People in the World panic in the face of some skeevy McCarthyite-wannabe with a videocamera and a PC. Watch the White House next as it fails to nominate Elizabeth Warren and puts Timmy Geitner's (Mr. Wall Street) sidekick in charge of the Consumer Protection Agency instead. Then watch as the White House folds like a cheap suit all over again and refuse to tax the SuperRich who stole all our money through Wall Street shell games and are now doing it all over again.

Get ready to savage the Left yet again when it rises up in fury and outrage. Blame the disappointed and disaffected supporters who dare to express criticism. Blame the demoralized and abased Left when it stays home in November. Great strategy from the Grownups & Professionals running the White House and the Democratic Party. A brilliant political strategy. Brilliant. What could possibly go wrong?

Posted by: wbgonne | July 22, 2010 2:09 PM | Report abuse

God Bless Jerry Brown.

For some time now, I have been calling Meg Whitman:

An Internet Flea Market Operator.

Glad to see that Jerry has latched on to that truth:

From Political Wire:

"Quote of the Day
"I've done this. I've been in government and overseen thousands of businesses. I've run charter schools. Those are businesses. She ran her... her website."

-- California gubernatorial candidate Jerry Brown (D), in an interview with Time, on his challenger, former eBay CEO Meg Whitman (R)."

Posted by: Liam-still | July 22, 2010 2:11 PM | Report abuse

Since at least the beginning of the Clinton administration, the right wing in this country has been planting bogus stories that are then picked up and published by mainstream media without verification. All the press does is ask for comment; it does nothing to verify the story independently. Lies have been published in this manner for years. Once the lie is published, many people believe it despite later correction. The Right has capitalized on the fact that if you repeat a lie often enough, people believe it (think of President Reagan's frequent misrepresentations). So the mainstream media's dissemination of lies is a function of their lack of fact checking. Most people would not have believed these stories if they had not been re-published by mainstream media. This re-publication was what gave these stories legitimacy, just like the media's publication of Reagan's misstatements without correction gave those statements legitimacy. This has been going on for, what, 20 years or more? An entire generation has been fed a news diet of lies and will surely vote accordingly. The Right found a weakness in the news process to exploit, and exploited the weakness. Mainstream media STILL has not bothered to change its methods to safeguard what it publishes as facts, as the Shirley Sherrod incident illustrates.

Posted by: ImSkeptical | July 22, 2010 2:12 PM | Report abuse

This Guy Is The Teabagger Candidate in Colorado.

"A new video shows Ken Buck (R), who is leading the Republican U.S. Senate primary in Colorado, repeatedly using the word "bullshit" and saying that voters should choose him over his female primary opponent "because I do not wear high heels.""


I may be wrong on this; but doesn't Grizzly Palin wear high heels?!

Posted by: Liam-still | July 22, 2010 2:13 PM | Report abuse

Yes, indeed, Liberals are the reason that the Democratic Party has become an assembly of invertebrates, hypocrites and sycophants. The fact that the GOP is worse is incidental. In fact, I'll bet that all over Capitol Hill there are Dems who wish they were Republicans and think the Republicans are correct 90% of the time.

Posted by: wbgonne | July 22, 2010 2:16 PM | Report abuse

When ever a Democrat mangages to win the White House, the Lunatic Left always thinks that they best way to fight the Republicans is to form a circular firing squad and to aim all their fire toward the the rare Democrat in the White House.

Posted by: Liam-still | July 22, 2010 2:17 PM | Report abuse

Liam.. I like how you think.

wbgonne, you're a constant unhappy left who would let the perfect be the enemy of the good. Good luck with your cynicism.

Posted by: Jalenth | July 22, 2010 2:18 PM | Report abuse

liam,

can the lunatic left bullshit. you're quite the most prolific circular firing squad member here.

why are you doing this?

Posted by: blahgblogwordpresscom | July 22, 2010 2:19 PM | Report abuse

"Good luck with your cynicism."

You are dead wrong. I am optimistic and hopeful, not cynical. Like many of Obama's supporters I believed him when he said Hope and Change were at hand. Now, we are being treated like recalcitrant children for complaining that the White House disparages those who actually believed in what Candidate Obama ran on. You want to see cynicism? Look right there.

Posted by: wbgonne | July 22, 2010 2:24 PM | Report abuse

I'm no fan of Breitbart, but I do enjoy how he is able to play corporate media for the fool time and time again. The media today care about little but profits and spectacle, and good for Breitbart for figuring out how to use them to his own ends.

Posted by: john65001 | July 22, 2010 2:27 PM | Report abuse

I am doing this because I am sick of the Lunatic Left going over the top about one small screw up, and allowing it to bury the fantastic accomplishments, in just a mere eighteen months in Office, of the best and brightest President that we have had, since FDR.


Ms. Sherrod will be fine. She will come out of this stronger than ever. Her new found fame will allow her to become the go to person for the Media, on such issues. This big screw up handed her a Lemon, but she will make Lemonade out of it.


A reminder; from the Harlem Renaissance.


Langston Hughes'
Mother to Son

Well, son, I'll tell you:
Life for me ain't been no crystal stair.
It's had tacks in it,
And splinters,
And boards torn up,
And places with no carpet on the floor --
Bare.
But all the time
I'se been a-climbin' on,
And reachin' landin's,
And turnin' corners,
And sometimes goin' in the dark
Where there ain't been no light.
So boy, don't you turn back.
Don't you set down on the steps
'Cause you finds it's kinder hard.
Don't you fall now --
For I'se still goin', honey,
I'se still climbin',
And life for me ain't been no crystal stair.


Posted by: Liam-still | July 22, 2010 2:27 PM | Report abuse

somehow the media again manages to cover for the real bad guys and excuse themselves for their role and turn this into It's Obama's Fault.
the president did not have anything to do with this story but, somehow is now the major player and central bad guy in this drama while Brietbart and Fox go scott free.
this happens all the time.
And people buy into this time after time and let themselves be led by the media.

How did a story about the smearing of an innocent woman by the rightwing become the president's fault.

Posted by: vwcat | July 22, 2010 2:28 PM | Report abuse

Gibbs is a toady.

Posted by: Phil5 | July 22, 2010 2:29 PM | Report abuse

"the best and brightest President that we have had, since FDR."

If Obama had even one-tenth of FDR's political skills or one percent of FDR's progressive passion we wouldn't be having this discussion.

Posted by: wbgonne | July 22, 2010 2:31 PM | Report abuse

O/T:

Uh-oh

http://www.nhc.noaa.gov/graphics_at3.shtml?5-daynl#contents

Posted by: wbgonne | July 22, 2010 2:32 PM | Report abuse

@john65001: good for Breitbart for figuring out how to use them to his own ends.

Really? Really?? Smearing an innocent person with video that completely distorts the message of the talk she gave is what we should be encouraging? REALLY???

Breitbart is a pernicious parasite, feeding of the media and injecting poison into the public sphere in return.

Posted by: srw3 | July 22, 2010 2:34 PM | Report abuse

@dkp01

"He still apologized."

Just because he said the words doesn't mean he apologized. If a murderer told you they were sorry while there stabbing you in the chest...would you consider it a legimate apology? No.

Make no mistake, he didn't apologize. He merely masked further attacks on Sherrod behind the words "I'm sorry".

I'm sorry Bill O'Reilly is a pompus tool. And I'm sorry that he is a worthless lowlife. And I'm sorry that I've said bad things about his pathetic, lying, dishonest, race-baiting, sexual harrasing, hypocrticial self.

See, I apologized! We're good, right?

Posted by: TheBBQChickenMadness | July 22, 2010 2:35 PM | Report abuse

liam,

you are extremely overreacting. calling people who merely called for the wh to apologize the loony left is no more than an online temper tantrum and only stalls progress toward the goals we share. please stop it.

Posted by: blahgblogwordpresscom | July 22, 2010 2:40 PM | Report abuse

Wbgonne just attacked President Obama and called him a dummy, and yet he is outraged when Teabaggers say the same things about our President.


Lunatic Left, is too kind a name for such Major Loons. You know the sort; they thought that it was a great idea to join up with Grover Friggin" Norquist, to defeat Health Care Reform.

An Old Irish Political Prayer:

Lord Protect Me From My Allies, Because I Can Protect Myself From Political Foes, all by myself.

Posted by: Liam-still | July 22, 2010 2:42 PM | Report abuse

@TheBBQChickenMadness

Yes, he still apologized. That he turned around and said dumb things later is an important, but separate issue. He apologized for not checking his facts.

Again, it's still more than what pretty much every other media outlet has done. Not only that, but one expects stupidity from Fox; the fact that Fox has actually admitted they jumped the gun puts it one ahead of real news organizations.

Posted by: dkp01 | July 22, 2010 2:42 PM | Report abuse

Liam, it appears to me you're setting up the "lunatic left" to take the fall when things don't go quite your way in November. Let's see, could it be the economy instead. If you and Ethan and a few others want to be cheerleaders I can probably find some old pom poms around here some place. Most of us complaining, legitimately we think, were happy to see the WH et al apologize to Mrs. Sherrod and we were glad to move on. You're the one harping on it and keeping it alive and well on Greg's threads.

Posted by: lmsinca | July 22, 2010 2:45 PM | Report abuse

peterg73, why, because the GOP will somehow be way more awesome about race than the Democrats? Sure, okay.

Posted by: dkp01
=======================================
There was hardly ever a story about racism in the news before this guy got elected. Now it's everyday. He's not even really black for christ's sake. His mother is white. He grew up in Hawaii. This whole razzle dazzle, look at me the first black president is so fake and you morons eat it up. He's just another cookie cutter, university, uber-liberal. If you think you have finally proved you are no longer racist by voting for Obama, you have only proven how easily manipulated you are.

Posted by: peterg73 | July 22, 2010 2:46 PM | Report abuse

Note to Secretary Gibbs:
America did not vote for, or elect, the media.

If your people did not recognize Breitbart's name and signature on this story, you are the fools. The man is a political terrorist, for God's sake.

How many black-white racism stories do you have to hear from Fox and Friends before you realize they are making them up, or distorting the trivial into a controversy?

Who will be the next "collateral damage" from the inevitable next "News Break"?

Posted by: OldUncleTom | July 22, 2010 2:47 PM | Report abuse

There was hardly ever a story about racism in the news before this guy got elected.

Posted by: peterg73

===========

irl lol

Posted by: dkp01 | July 22, 2010 2:48 PM | Report abuse

'He's just another cookie cutter, university, uber-liberal.'

ya, i sure hate all those edurkated people.

Posted by: blahgblogwordpresscom | July 22, 2010 2:49 PM | Report abuse

ken buck is a schmuck:

http://thinkprogress.org/2010/07/22/buck-high-heels/

GOP Senate candidate: Vote for me ‘because I do not wear high heels.’

Responding to a question at a local forum over the weekend, Colorado Republican Senate candidate Ken Buck said that voters should choose him over his female primary opponent, former lieutenant governor Jane Norton, “because I do not wear high heels.” Buck’s spokesperson quickly defended the sexist remarks, saying Norton’s campaign “has made gender an issue” and that “high heels have been invoked at several points in the campaign, including at least once by Norton’s campaign manager”:

“She has questioned my manhood; I think it’s fair to respond,” Buck continues in the video. “I have cowboy boots on. They have real bull— on ‘em. That’s Weld County bull—, not Washington D.C. bull—.”

Posted by: blahgblogwordpresscom | July 22, 2010 2:56 PM | Report abuse

"Lord Protect Me From My Allies, Because I Can Protect Myself From Political Foes, all by myself."

a/k/a The Modern Liberal's Lament.

"Wbgonne just attacked President Obama and called him a dummy"

The eyes must be going because I said no such thing. Obama is most certainly intelligent. And articulate. And decent. However, he is one lousy politician and is hardly committed to Liberalism. FDR was ALL of those things. And one thing more, too: FDR had guts. Know what he said when told that BWall Street despised him? FDR said, "I welcome their hatred." Can you imagine Obama even imagining such a thing?

You brought up FDR as the point of comparison. I'm just following through on the analysis.

Posted by: wbgonne | July 22, 2010 3:00 PM | Report abuse

And if any of you Lunatic Left types want to check the historical record;

Obama has accomplished far more, in getting major legislation into law into his first year and a half, than FDR did during his entire first term, or even through his first six years in office.

I Loved FDR and cherish his memory; but Obama has run rings around him, during the first eighteen months in office. FDR got almost nothing accomplished during his first year and a half.

I am one of most progressive people on this planet. I have fought for decades for equal rights for women, and their right to make their own reproductive health care decisions. I have fought for equal rights for gay people.

I have always fought for the equal rights of all people, regardless of their race, creed or ethnic origin.

That said: I will take the hides of of any Left Wingers who will seize on the slightest excuse to destroy any Democrat in the White House.

This is a great President, but not a perfect one. He 'screwed up" in a minor way, and has accomplished great goals, on Major issues.

I do not agree with him, on all his decisions. I have no problem with that. I was not voting to elect myself President.

A lot of the Lunatic Left appear to think that they actually were voting to elect their own perfect agenda.

I am with this President all the way, just like I was with him from when he first announced he was running.

Tear him down at your own peril. You will not see his likes again, for many decades, or perhaps during your entire life times. Certainly not during the remainder of my life.

Posted by: Liam-still | July 22, 2010 3:02 PM | Report abuse

"She has questioned my manhood"

He should challenge her to a duel.

Posted by: wbgonne | July 22, 2010 3:02 PM | Report abuse

Liam, once again you're spreading the same old mis-information about Hamsher and Norquist. They teamed up to ask for transparency in the December bailout of Fannie and Freddie (unlimited funds I might add), it had nothing to do with HCR, and there were quite a few signatories on the letter from both the right and the left. If you're going to criticize someone, at least get it right. You're still pissed at the "kill the bill" crowd and lump everyone who happens to criticize the President in with them as the lunatic left. Nice paint brush.

Posted by: lmsinca | July 22, 2010 3:03 PM | Report abuse

"FDR got almost nothing accomplished during his first year and a half."

Your history is wrong. FDR ENACTED Social Security AND Unemployment Insurance legislation within 100 days of his inauguration. Oh, and they BOTH has public options.

Posted by: wbgonne | July 22, 2010 3:05 PM | Report abuse

So Harry is going to introduce Climate Change legislation. Hardee har har.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=OTxCg6YHOCI

Posted by: actuator | July 22, 2010 3:06 PM | Report abuse

Liam: I like Obama. I think he is a very smart and thoughtful and reasonable. I just no longer believe he will be a great president. And, contrary to your rantings, that is not the fault of the "Lunatic Left." But, the common use of that phrase does in fact signify where the problem really lies.

Posted by: wbgonne | July 22, 2010 3:09 PM | Report abuse

a great strength of progressive thinking is that we can criticize the president and still support him. voicing criticism of the wh, or even calling on them to apologize for a mistake, is not attacking them.

we are able to constructively criticize and advocate certain actions.

Posted by: blahgblogwordpresscom | July 22, 2010 3:11 PM | Report abuse

1FLWB2,

That is what I said. I see a bunch of idiots creating their own hell on earth.

BECAUSE:

SOMEONE on the internet is WRONG.

1)Sherrod is almost a saint. She is what Obama promised he was.
2)You would be pretty hard pressed to show more than a few racist signs out of 10's of thousands of tea party signs.
IE Where is the video of the racist taunts from outside the capital building during the health care debate?

Folks on all sides --- if you want to politically race bait then don't complain when it comes back to bite you hard. You deserve what you will get.

Posted by: watertoo | July 22, 2010 3:12 PM | Report abuse

The Lunatic Left fails yet again to secure its Pony:

"Conceding they can't find enough votes for the measure, Senate Democrats will announce Thursday they are abandoning for now efforts to put together a comprehensive energy bill that would seek to limit greenhouse gas emissions, ending the immediate prospect for a key legislative priority of President Obama and congressional Democrats."

http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2010/07/22/AR2010072203614.html

Posted by: wbgonne | July 22, 2010 3:16 PM | Report abuse

water,

no, she's just a regular human. if you've only seen 'a few' racist signs, you have not been paying attention. so, because it isn't on video, it didn't happen?

do you also believe obama's not a citizen? think he's a secret muslim?

Posted by: blahgblogwordpresscom | July 22, 2010 3:17 PM | Report abuse

It would be nice to see some soul searching from the media, but I doubt it will stick. Narrative based reporting and commentary appear to be the ratings nirvana most news organizations gravitate to, no matter the consequences. And the tendency to give false equivalency to whacked out view points adds another obstacle to soul searching and returning back to some decent journalism. What is easier to a cable news show? Sending someone out in the field to research and report or have two blowhards from the right and the left to yell at each other their version of the facts? Report objectively and based on facts or give airtime to to some representative of the flat earth believer club to debate scientific evidence? Give weight and gravitas to complicated situations or sit at a microphone and channel some faux version of Edward R. Murrow (talking to you, Keith Olbermann). Unfortunately for most of the major cable news and increasing amounts of papers, the dumb version is the easiest.

Posted by: LABC | July 22, 2010 3:18 PM | Report abuse

Greg,

Why is no one trying to find out who edited the tape and who supplied it?

Posted by: jn2375 | July 22, 2010 3:21 PM | Report abuse

The frightening thing about FOX News in just how precise and dedicated it is to propagandizing. Every second of coverage is aimed at the central goal of undermining Democrats and Liberals. There must be some real Wizard of Oz doing it programming. Fact is, FOX is EXCELLENT at propaganda. Off the point, but I think this is where the show Mad Men is headed: the merger of Madison Avenue marketing and politics. And now a television network. While there has always been Yellow Journalism in the U.S., a 24/7 TV channel is a much larger order of magnitude and, very probably, the only device that could still successfully propagandize in the fractured modern world. In short, FOX is an essential component of the Right Wing Machine. Since FOX isn't going away, the only viable solution is to counter it with a competing 24/7 television news channel. CNN should be that channel but isn't because it is itself largely Right Wing (while it claims Centrality and Neutrality). MSNBC seems the only possible candidate. Until MSNBC goes 24/7 or CNN dramatically changes its content, it will be a deeply-inclined struggle.

Posted by: wbgonne | July 22, 2010 3:32 PM | Report abuse

All, my take on Journolist:

http://voices.washingtonpost.com/plum-line/2010/07/tucker_carlson_we_will_not_pub.html

Posted by: Greg Sargent | July 22, 2010 3:33 PM | Report abuse

Obama had and should have called Sherrod to apologize. But this is just an attempt to distract from the fact that their messaging problems are far from over -

http://disenchantedjourno.blogspot.com/2010/07/thought-of-day-told-you-so-obama-called.html

Posted by: DJOURNO | July 22, 2010 3:35 PM | Report abuse

Gosh, I wonder what the conventional wisdom would be were the journolist still active.

It is amazing that the WaPo won't touch that story.

Sherrod is a God-send to the liberal media. She's just the distraction they needed.

You guys should light a candle for Mr Brietbart.

Oh yeah, I forgot that I was on a liberal dominated comment thread. so let me explain. Lighting a candle is something we catholics do as a way of honoring someone or praying for something.

so I'll light a candle next sunday that the liberals stop using the slander of racism as a way to stifle speech with which they do not agree.

Posted by: skipsailing28 | July 22, 2010 3:36 PM | Report abuse

so I'll light a candle next sunday that the liberals stop using the slander of racism as a way to stifle speech with which they do not agree.

Posted by: skipsailing28
****************
Make sure you use some of that flame to burn some the idiotic signs you non racists use at the next tea party rally. God bless your little heart...

Posted by: LABC | July 22, 2010 3:42 PM | Report abuse

"Lighting a candle is something we catholics do as a way of honoring someone or praying for something."

I thought you molested little boys.

Posted by: wbgonne | July 22, 2010 3:42 PM | Report abuse

Lighting a candle is something we catholics do as a way of honoring someone or praying for something."

I thought you molested little boys.

Posted by: wbgonne
********************
Now, that's not fair wbgonne. They let the diocese move the child molesters to the other churches, they don't molest the children per se.

See, and I didn't even call skipsailing a racist...

:)

Posted by: LABC | July 22, 2010 3:54 PM | Report abuse

Re "Soulsearching"--

What is the difference between a journalist and a propagandist?

Wikipedia calls Andrew Breitbart a journalist.

Not in my book. Am I naive or what...?

Posted by: Spectator | July 22, 2010 3:54 PM | Report abuse

so I'll light a candle next sunday that the liberals stop using the slander of racism as a way to stifle speech with which they do not agree.

Posted by: skipsailing28

It will take a lot more than candle light to expose the filthy global pedophilia protection racket that is still being run out of The Vatican.

Posted by: Liam-still | July 22, 2010 4:03 PM | Report abuse

I would not characterize the media's failure to do its job as one of the White House's running frustrations. The public is equally frustrated and principled journalists should be as well.

The Sherrod story isn't the exception to the rule. It's the rule.

Look at the so-called "reporting" that has taken place in follow up to Arizona's law on checking immigration status. The governor of the state declares there are headless bodies strewn about the Arizona desert, one news outlet picks up the story without confirming the veracity of her claim, then the rest of the industry follows suit. Days later when one newspaper actually thinks to check the the facts by contacting the state coroner's office, it turns out that there is no truth whatsoever to the governors claim. Not a single news outlet picks up on that story, however.

You could pick any week of the year and pick your side of the political spectrum and probably find at least one similarly glaring example of incompetence.

For an industry that exists to sell one product -- accurate information -- the Sherrod story is just one more example of shoddy quality control.

Posted by: exco | July 22, 2010 4:07 PM | Report abuse

FDR got almost nothing accomplished during his first year and a half."

Your history is wrong. FDR ENACTED Social Security AND Unemployment Insurance legislation within 100 days of his inauguration. Oh, and they BOTH has public options.

Posted by: wbgonne | July 22, 2010 3:05 PM |

......................

Well, now that you have decided to create your own fictional history, it is clear proof that my label; Lunatic Left, fits you like a glove.


History

The Social Security Act created a Social Security Board (SSB),[5] to oversee the administration of the new program. It was created as part of President Franklin D. Roosevelt's New Deal with the signing of Social Security Act of 1935, August 14, 1935.[6] The Board consisted of three presidentially appointed executives, and started with no budget, no staff, and no furniture. It obtained a temporary budget from the Federal Emergency Relief Administration headed by Harry Hopkins.[5]

Posted by: Liam-still | July 22, 2010 4:08 PM | Report abuse

Robert Gibbs has a good point, and I'm glad you're publishing his email to you.

After all, it's the primary job of the media to check the veracity of a story and to report it as truthfully as possible. But even as I write these words, I understand how ridiculous that sounds in light of what Fox News does.

Not only did Fox News jump on this doctored tape, they also deliberately mis-reported the facts of the story. They did not report that this incident happened 24 years ago, and they deliberately made it sound as though Mrs. Sherrod had discriminated against the white couple when she was an official of the USDA in the Obama administration.

Let's be frank about this. Fox didn't just run the tape, they lied and doctored their own reporting once again to try to smear President Obama as a white-hating, socialist black man who is trying to hurt white America. This has been their continuing narrative for months now, and it's parroted on every single one of their programs.

The rest of the media can no longer just stand around and watch this going on without speaking out against it, and ever hope to keep their own credibility as journalists.

Thank you for speaking out about it, Greg.

Posted by: elscott | July 22, 2010 4:13 PM | Report abuse

To sbj3 and other readers:

I think you are wrong. Fox news DID air the story and lambasted Sherod. They did not air the story ONLY AFTER they heard of Sherod's resignation. That is false of Fox News to claime.
I heard the actual clip on NPR and they played the news clip and you can clearly hear the Fox News female reported saying something to this effect:" And she (Sherod) is apparently celebrating what she did about the white farmer....... listen to this tape."

This is why I do not ever tune in to Fox News. I don't like the way they operate. They don't tell the news anymore, they give their opinions. Fox News is always bitter about the government, undermines and always want to embarrass the President. They have no respect for the President, do you think they will respect this Sherod lady? Fox news plays dirty! I don't like Cavuto and Beck. They are always whining and they incite negative feelings. They undermine the President and all government. They think they are better than anybody, especially the government.

I wish Fox News would fold up. This news company is not credible any longer1

Posted by: carmimol | July 22, 2010 4:14 PM | Report abuse

"Freedom From Fear," by David Kennedy. at page 153:

"So ended the Hundred Days Congress. As Roosevelt signed the
final bills that arrived from Capitol Hill on June 16, he remarked that "more history is being made today than in [anylone day of our national life. "lJ By any standard, the achievements of the Hundred Days were impressive. The New Deal had decisively halted the banking panic. It had invented wholly new institutions to restructure vast tracts of the nation's economy, from banking to agriculture to industry to labor relations. It had authorized the biggest public works program in American history. It had earmarked billions of dollars for federal relief to the unemployed. It had designated the great Tennessee watershed as the site of an unprecedented experiment in comprehensive, planned regional development.

No less important, the spirit of the country, so discouraged by four years of economic devastation, had been infused with Roosevelt's own contagious optimism and hope. In the process, Roosevelt himself had dumfounded those critics who believed they had taken his measure months before and found him then so sorely wanting. Even some old acquaintances wondered if he were the same man. The oath of office, wrote one journalist, "seems suddenly to have transfigured him from a man of mere charm and buoyancy to one of dynamic aggressiveness.""

Obama is a good man and may be a good president, too. But he is NO FDR. He isn't even LBJ.

Posted by: wbgonne | July 22, 2010 5:04 PM | Report abuse

FDR was a great President but Obama ran.rings around him, when we compare their first 18 month stints in office.

Every one agrees that Obama inherited the worst Economic Crisis since the Hoover era Depression.

One big difference, that all the pundits and critics overlook. Obama was also handed two raging wars, and with massive deficits already squandered on them.

How would FDR have faired, if on top of inheriting Hoover's Economic Depression, he was also handed two ongoing wars, that Hoover had totally mishandled for the previous four years?

That would have made it much harder for FDR to launch his recovery efforts.

Obama had to deal with the two badly managed wars, and massive budget deficits, all of which were caused by the previous administration, and also had to immediately deal with the worst economic collapse since the Hoover era.

On top of all that, he passed a Health Care Reform Bill, that Presidents had failed to get done for the past century.

I saw a news report today, that said that a poll shows President Clinton to be more popular than President Obama. So what? The truth is that President Obama has passed more enduring major legislation, in his first eighteen months,than Bill Clinton did during his entire two terms.

President Obama has already established a strong legacy. Bill Clinton never did.
That makes Obama at least the greatest President since FDR.

The Lunatic Left will not accept that, because then they would not be able to cater to their self destructive whining addiction.

They are addicted to being miserable, and will go to any lengths to get their fix.

Posted by: Liam-still | July 22, 2010 5:24 PM | Report abuse

When people say Fuax News wasn't involved until AFTER Ms. Sherrod was fired, they are not telling the truth.

Faux News and Faux Nation were all over this story by mid-day on Monday. Media Matters has the time line and even the pages Fox later removed from its own website.

http://mediamatters.org/research/201007220004

Posted by: dastubbs | July 22, 2010 5:35 PM | Report abuse

It proves a larger point of Obama administration listening to the spin without looking at the whole facts before making a decision. It has been like this since the day he ran for President.

As a matter of fact I have heard that one of the commentator at FOX News(in the am) admit mea culpa on what they did and the mistakes were made on their part when they ran the story.

Posted by: beeker25 | July 22, 2010 5:35 PM | Report abuse

What a balanced piece of writing!

We shouldn't allow a rush to judgment on these story snippets especially with the "right" committing more of the offenses.

Who put a gun to the head of the USDA, the White House and the Washington Post to react to this story as quickly as they did?

Of course, Secretary Vilsak with his "classy" apology as described by Ruth Marcus had to also throw in the sordid history of the USDA and how he was working so hard to overcome this. I guess he called George Bush for his advice as to how to handle the Sherrod edited tape.

And the poor White House! What a bunch of babies. What is wrong with saying that you have no comment until they have checked out a story themselves. They may try as they might but their is no way they can foist the blame on to someone else.

Your column would have generated a lot more punch if you would just leave out your partisan take. There are plenty of "loonies" on both sides of the spectrum. There is no need to quantify.

Until the "mainstream" media recognizes this, we will continue to see more and more people flock to the loudmouths on Fox and MSNBC.

Posted by: mcljch | July 22, 2010 5:49 PM | Report abuse

blahgblogwordpresscom,

>>>no, she's just a regular human. if you've only seen 'a few' racist signs, you have not been paying attention. so, because it isn't on video, it didn't happen?

Which video? the one of racist signs or the one of Sherrod's speech? (If you get my point)


>>do you also believe obama's not a citizen? think he's a secret muslim?

What if he was? Are you telling me I should care? ...I don't and never did. I don't believe he was born in Kenya either. I never did. Maybe France.... ;-p

No my beef is with the race baiting no matter where it comes from. Its wrong. Unless you feel politics trumps everything.

Do you feel politics trumps everything?

Posted by: watertoo | July 22, 2010 5:55 PM | Report abuse

"FDR got almost nothing accomplished during his first year and a half."

Your history is wrong. FDR ENACTED Social Security AND Unemployment Insurance legislation within 100 days of his inauguration. Oh, and they BOTH has public options.

Posted by: wbgonne
---
Actually, he did several things after assuming office:
As part of the New Deal

Declared a banking holiday
Signed executive order to go off the gold standard
Economy Act was passed March 14, 1933
Farm Security Act-
Agricultural Adjustment Act -May 1933
Signed the bill to allow sale of alcohol that lead to the Repeal the Prohibition amendment
TVA
PWA
CCC

There's many more.

Posted by: beeker25 | July 22, 2010 6:01 PM | Report abuse

This has the take of what the YES Men did when they impersonated the Chamber of Commerce on their support for the climate bill when the real one did not. Lo behold the media was tripping over each other trying to be the first to report it.

Posted by: beeker25 | July 22, 2010 6:17 PM | Report abuse

The NAACP called for her to be fired. President Obama heard that, and probably accepted that such an organization would not have called for her to be fired, if she was not a loose cannon.

He already had gone through such a prolonged assault on his own character, with the Rev Wright tapes, that he probably felt compelled to squelch this latest race tape controversy rapidly.

If the NAACP had told me that the were convinced she needed to be fired, for what she said; I think I would probably have taken that as gospel.

I guess, since President Obama has nothing else on his plate, on any given day; he should have devoted an entire week to looking into the issue, before signing off on it. That is what we elect Presidents to do; right? Do nothing else but micro manage some lower rank personnel decision, that the NAACP said should be resolved by firing the person who addressed their gathering.

Posted by: Liam-still | July 22, 2010 8:50 PM | Report abuse

Since at least the beginning of the Clinton administration, the right wing in this country has been planting bogus stories that are then picked up and published by mainstream media without verification. All the press does is ask for comment; it does nothing to verify the story independently. Lies have been published in this manner for years. Once the lie is published, many people believe it despite later correction. The Right has capitalized on the fact that if you repeat a lie often enough, people believe it (think of President Reagan's frequent misrepresentations). So the mainstream media's dissemination of lies is a function of their lack of fact checking. Most people would not have believed these stories if they had not been re-published by mainstream media. This re-publication was what gave these stories legitimacy, just like the media's publication of Reagan's misstatements without correction gave those statements legitimacy. This has been going on for, what, 20 years or more? An entire generation has been fed a news diet of lies and will surely vote accordingly. The Right found a weakness in the news process to exploit, and exploited the weakness. Mainstream media STILL has not bothered to change its methods to safeguard what it publishes as facts, as the Shirley Sherrod incident illustrates.

Posted by: ImSkeptical | July 22, 2010 9:09 PM | Report abuse

Hey Greg, ask Howie Kurtz and the rest of the Washingtom media to read the latest post by the WaPo's Public Editor explaining why they hadn't been covering "the big story" about the New Black Panther Party -- another of the ginned up, Breitbart/FOX collaborations. Instead of telling the reader who was whining about the lack of coverage -- after all FOX is covering it!!!!! FOX!!!!! That makes it real News with a capital N! Right????

The Post answered that reader seriously promising to cover it and the suggesting that the only reason WaPo hadn't was because they just didn't have enough staff. The Public Editor provided a wishy-washy "if this exists it should be exposed, if that exists it should be revealed." What a bleeping cop-out.

And now in the harsh light cast by the outright fakery of the Sherrod story, the WaPo should have the courage to spike the NBPP story and expost FOX, Breitbart and the rest of the right wing media for who and what they are.

Otherwise, WaPo and the rest of the media are just being led around by the nose by Rupert Murdoch.

Katherine Graham is spinning in her grave. What a sorry state of affairs at what had been a flagship of American journalism.

Posted by: jade_7243 | July 22, 2010 9:42 PM | Report abuse

By no stretch of the imagination can what O'Reilly did be called an apology.

Posted by: gsross | July 22, 2010 9:56 PM | Report abuse

And the media is all ready to jump on the non story about the "New Black Panther Party" a group of about 5 wackos who screamed at black voters at a polling place. It's all Sean Hannity can talk about. And it was the Bush DOJ that dropped the case! Even Bush appointees on the Civil Rights Commission said this was "small potatoes"! But go ahead - get yourselves all worked up about this trivial matter. I'll enjoy watching you scrape the egg off your faces again!!!

Posted by: Misty630 | July 22, 2010 10:44 PM | Report abuse

The media gives the Right a pass too much of the time because they don't want to be labeled as 'liberals', which most of them are not to start with. It's an absurd game that keeps them from being too critical of the right wing, no matter how crazy and fascist they get.

As for the Right, well, the leadership sold their souls and ethics down the gutter a long time before now. I never thought I'd see the GOP come completely unglued, but that's clearly what's happened. Things are only going to get worse for them in the future, they've passed a turning point. The GOP is sort of a zombie party, they're past the 'terminally ill' point, & what we're seeing is the train wrecking. It'll be awhile before it gets done.

Posted by: Nymous | July 22, 2010 11:06 PM | Report abuse

I will give you my two cents, the media the real ones are doing us no favors by parroting lies from very questionable conservatives web sites and the FAKE NEWS NETWORK AKA FOX,remember acorn? Remember them promoting the tea parties(aka GOP ) rallies? Remember the death panels lies? It is past time that the media did it's job.

Posted by: corintonic | July 22, 2010 11:15 PM | Report abuse

What we all need to learn from this - as if we shouldn't have already known it from the heavily-edited "ACORN prostitution" tape - is that Andrew Breitbart is an integrity-free zone. He will do whatever it takes to advance his conservative agenda, and the truth is not necessarily part of that.

I wish the media would stop taking him seriously. He's a hack and liar. What's so hard to get about that?

Posted by: B2O2 | July 22, 2010 11:18 PM | Report abuse

Rangel is getting it.

Posted by: Phil5 | July 23, 2010 5:11 AM | Report abuse

Self-answering question: Why do Sargent and his ilk hate the idea of a free and independent press?

Posted by: thebump | July 23, 2010 6:14 AM | Report abuse

Looking through the comments I again can see that no one wants to get past race baiting.

Idiots

Posted by: watertoo | July 23, 2010 10:54 AM | Report abuse

dkp01,

Sorry I didn't see your post. You seem to be an exception to my previous post. Most people want there to be no middle so they do not have to take prisoners. So much simpler is everything is in black and white(absolutely no pun intended).

Posted by: watertoo | July 23, 2010 11:01 AM | Report abuse

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