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Happy Hour Roundup: NAACP "snookered" by Breitbart

UPDATE, 6:22 p.m.: Just amazing. The NAACP, in its statement just now, says it has reviewed the full tape and admits that they were "snookered" by Breitbart and Fox News into believing that Sherrod had withheld help from the white farmer for racial reasons:

With regard to the initial media coverage of the resignation of USDA official Shirley Sherrod, we have come to the conclusion we were snookered by Fox News and Tea Party Activist Andrew Breitbart into believing she had harmed white farmers because of racial bias.

Having reviewed the full tape, spoken to Ms. Sherrod, and most importantly heard the testimony of the white farmers mentioned in this story, we now believe the organization that edited the documents did so with the intention of deceiving millions of Americans.

The fact is Ms. Sherrod did help the white farmers mentioned in her speech. They personally credit her with helping to save their family farm.

There won't be any hell to pay here. The White House will not lean on Vilsack to reinstate Sherrod. Vilsack, who has already reiterated that he did the right thing, obviously won't do so on his own. And everyone will make obligatory disapproving noises about Breitbart, before promptly forgetting all about what happened, ensuring that this will happen again in due course. Happy to be wrong.

* One thing that sometimes gets lost is how important it is for party leaders to project a sense that they're on offense for the simple reason that it boosts the morale of rank and filers and elected officials.

And so, at the closed-door Dem caucus meeting today, Dem leaders showed this video to House Dems, in order to persuade the troops that that they're seriously on the attack:

The video shows multiple Dems on the air slaming Pete Sessions over his suggestion (since denied) that we need to go back to the Bush agenda. Who knows how much of an impact this particular attack will have, but the more important point is to persuade rank and filers that good things are happening.

* President Obama issues a statement hailing the Senate's passage today of an extension of unemployment benefits. It doesn't mention "Republicans," but it does slam a "partisan minority" for holding the livelihood of Americans hostage with "obstruction and game-playing."

* Takedown of the day: Alex Altman rips into the Politico over its story channeling what has to be one of the silliest right-wing-blogger-manufactured controversies yet.

* Sharron Angle goes up with a new TV spot that doesn't mention Harry Reid, but says people are "fearful" that what we'll be passing down to our children is "not liberty and freedom."

Also note Angle's citation of the well-known Reaganism about the evils of Big Government.

* Digby, who did great work on this today, points out that Tom Vilsack is in the cabinent and argues that the buck stops with the White House on Shirley Sherrod's firing.

* Steve Benen:

"The next time a right-wing website releases a video like this, can skepticism please rule the day until all the facts are out?"

Yeah, right!

* Andrew Breitbart acknowledges to TPM that he received the Sherrod video pre-edited.

The real tell here will be the full video, or barring that, a full accounting from the NAACP as to what she really said.

* Jed Lewison calls on Obama to reinstate Sherrod:

Let this be a teaching moment, that in this country we don't let innocent bystanders become victims of political assassins like Andrew Breitbart.

One more time: Yeah, right!

* And this isn't terribly surprising, but wow: A new Reuters poll finds Blanche Lincoln trailing by 19 points, 54-35. I seem to recall that some people predicted that would happen.

What else is happening?

By Greg Sargent  |  July 20, 2010; 6:01 PM ET
Categories:  2010 elections , Happy Hour Roundup , House Dems , House GOPers  
Save & Share:  Send E-mail   Facebook   Twitter   Digg   Yahoo Buzz   Del.icio.us   StumbleUpon   Technorati   Google Buzz   Previous: White House official: We didn't push for Sherrod's firing
Next: The Morning Plum: Vilsack must come clean

Comments

Republicans in FL vote AGAINST giving Floridians a vote on a ban on oil drilling off the Florida coast:

* Party-line vote ends Florida's oil drilling ban special session *

The Florida House abruptly adjourned a special legislative session after 49 minutes Tuesday, rejecting Gov. Charlie Crist's proposal to let voters place a permanent ban on offshore drilling in the Florida Constitution.

The party-line vote to adjourn the session was 67-44, with Republicans supporting adjournment and Democrats in favor of continuing the debate.

A heckler from the visitors' gallery shouted that all 67 were "in the pocket of BP."

http://www.mcclatchydc.com/2010/07/20/97836/party-line-vote-ends-floridas.html

Posted by: Ethan2010 | July 20, 2010 6:12 PM | Report abuse

Angle and Reid back in dead heat via PPP. Reid is toast once she floods the zone with her own ads like the one above that show voters she doesn't have horns on her head.

Posted by: Truthteller12 | July 20, 2010 6:24 PM | Report abuse

All, just posted NAACP's amazing admission that they were "snookered" by Breitbart. See update.

Posted by: Greg Sargent | July 20, 2010 6:36 PM | Report abuse

"Sharron Angle ... says people are 'fearful' that what we'll be passing down to our children is 'not liberty and freedom.' "

I think what most people are "fearful" of not passing down is economic security (or at least optimism).

Posted by: jzap | July 20, 2010 6:40 PM | Report abuse

I feel really bad for this woman. She has done nothing wrong and did not deserve this. And shame on the NAACP for being so stupid as to pile on. If they hadn't chosen to pick a fight with the tea party they wouldn't have been in a position where they had to repudiate there own. Ironic. The WH likewise is in a weak position due to the Black Panther deal and that likely forced their decision. Shame on Obama too. This woman should get her job back. We need a another beer summit

Posted by: Truthteller12 | July 20, 2010 6:44 PM | Report abuse

Krauthammer just said she deserves an apology and restitution and her job back. He's dead right. The Administration and NAACP look like fools.

Posted by: Truthteller12 | July 20, 2010 6:48 PM | Report abuse

Lets face it, the White House is bending over backwards to appear "impartial" vs white people. Well, you know what happens when you bend over backwards sometimes.
Ms. Sherrod should file lawsuits in all directions and let the chips fall where they may.

Posted by: stonetools | July 20, 2010 6:52 PM | Report abuse

the NAACP comes in my mind as looking the worse off than any other in this story for at the very least, for either believing this fool without first verifiying, and they I'm sure had a big hand in the lead up to this woman's "resignation", even though, the final "forcing" was at the hand of the WH.

As to certain people being upset with the Wh handling of this, first I ask, how is this admin handling different from how the Clinton admin would have handled, or does Obama being Afr Am make this handling somehow worse?

Secondly, it sure would be nice to here all these "angry" voices in reference to the Afr American farmers who were discriminated against by the usda for years, and recently won a court decision awarding this compensation for the effects of the discrimination, and still have not received their money.

No offense greg, but how many stories, blog posts, diaries on DKOS, etc have I heard from you and others about the plight of Black farmers at the hands of usda Greg? Why the selective outrage?

Posted by: lynell33 | July 20, 2010 6:53 PM | Report abuse

Truth, you are quick to cast "shame"...

...but you leave out Breitbart and Fox News even though it is public knowledge that the clips they posted were incomplete and out of context. THEY are the ones who did the race-baiting.

Why do you leave out Breitbart and Fox News in your comments?

Posted by: Ethan2010 | July 20, 2010 6:53 PM | Report abuse

lynell, I think I actually bent over backwards to be fair to the White House today. If you look at the other posts I think you'll agree to that.

Posted by: Greg Sargent | July 20, 2010 6:55 PM | Report abuse

jzap, I was looking at the PPP poll of Nevada...

10% thought that Angle was TOO LIBERAL!

I think I may be most "fearful" of those people!

Posted by: Ethan2010 | July 20, 2010 6:56 PM | Report abuse

Ms. Sherrod should file lawsuits in all directions. If even Charles Krauthammer thinks she should be reinstated, then there should be no debate on the issue. How the hell can ANYONE take that lying asshat Brietbarty's word for anything, I will never know.

Posted by: stonetools | July 20, 2010 6:57 PM | Report abuse

For the record, I'm with you lynell.

The story is truly two-fold:

1) race baiting by Breitbart/Fox

2) the plight of black farmers who have suffered DECADES of racial discrimination, but finally received the $1.25B settlement with the USDA *THIS YEAR*! That story is here for anyone who hasn't seen it yet:

http://online.wsj.com/article/SB10001424052748704269004575073820593191804.html

The rest is petty BS and CYA.

Posted by: Ethan2010 | July 20, 2010 7:00 PM | Report abuse

Ethan, this story is significant. It goes to the heart of whether Democrats are going to cave everytime right wing media yells "boo."

Posted by: Greg Sargent | July 20, 2010 7:04 PM | Report abuse

I should say that Ms. Sherrod's career is important and valuable in the story, and not part of the petty BS I referred to... I just think that her story is inextricably linked to the discrimination by the USDA against black farmers and that is the larger story than these out-of-context comments.

Posted by: Ethan2010 | July 20, 2010 7:04 PM | Report abuse

Greg, this is not any personally directed to your post today.

It's just a general problem that I have with the selective outrage that permiates some parts of the left.

When I listen to urban radio, and follow afr am blog site, I here stories like this all the time, but when I go to the same mainstream blog sites, it's as if none of the stuff I hear about in my community matters.

That's all I'm saying. The selective outrage is just so evident to me that's all

Posted by: lynell33 | July 20, 2010 7:07 PM | Report abuse

"Ethan, this story is significant. It goes to the heart of whether Democrats are going to cave everytime right wing media yells "boo.""

I disagree. This is nothing new.

What IS new is that it is an established fact that Andrew Breitbart and Fox News single out black people and black organizations to attack in a systematic fashion of race-baiting.

Posted by: Ethan2010 | July 20, 2010 7:08 PM | Report abuse

All this racial talk over an edited video in a time when any 13-year-old would tell you, from plenty of TV and YouTube, that you CAN'T believe everything you see.

And, what's worse, NO talk about the history of racism in the USDA and elsewhere, not to mention the structural racism that has and still does plague this country. Sherrod was, in fact, commenting on THAT.

Our appetite for, and ability to deal with, complexity in this country is very low. It's sad.

Posted by: BGinCHI | July 20, 2010 7:08 PM | Report abuse

Actually the buck doesn't stop with the White House. There are hundreds of thousands of employees in the government and the White House doesn't hire and fire them all.

The buck stops with Vilsack NOT the White House. He has the power to go back and review the entire tape as well as talk to Sherrod and go from there.

Posted by: maritza1 | July 20, 2010 7:09 PM | Report abuse

"This story is significant. It goes to the heart of whether Democrats are going to cave everytime right wing media yells "boo."

I think that Greg misses the target regarding right wing media. If this story had been reported by The National Enquirer would the result be any different? The admin is caving to anything that they perceive makes them look bad to white voters.

And I agree that this woman did not deserve this from Breitbart or to lose her job. Why on earth did she resign? What kind of pressure was put on her? Does anyone smell congressional hearings?

Posted by: sbj3 | July 20, 2010 7:10 PM | Report abuse

And Greg, on the Ar Sen poll: Yes! We've been saying it around here for the duration.

Did you see her unfavorability rating?

She is toast.

Posted by: BGinCHI | July 20, 2010 7:10 PM | Report abuse

i just don't think vilsack should have pressured her to resign. i just think the wh should not have backed him. it has nothing to do with anyone's skin color.

Posted by: blahgblogwordpresscom | July 20, 2010 7:10 PM | Report abuse

Big Brietbart really is the scum of the earth. I think it's important to be careful about using the racism charge.
Reserve it for those who clearly are racist -- otherwise it's counterproductive.

But Andrew Brietbart, Rush Limbaugh, Mark Williams, Steve King, Pat Buchanan, and Michelle Bachmann are all clear racists. They are truly despicable people. How they look themselves in the mirror every morning is beyond me.

Posted by: michael_conrad | July 20, 2010 7:11 PM | Report abuse

The woman should get her job back and this has NOTHING to do with the White House.

This has to do with the Agriculture department and it is up to Vilsack to reinstate this woman.

Posted by: maritza1 | July 20, 2010 7:12 PM | Report abuse

How can they plausibly have been snookered when this is a person they invited to speak at their own event? Do they find out from Fox News what happens at their own events?

Posted by: Truthteller12 | July 20, 2010 7:14 PM | Report abuse

Oh please, if anyone thinks Fox and Breitbart aren't accountable for this you are either dense or pretending to be. You know full well the history here with ACORN and, recently, the Black Panther bs.

It's race baiting. It ain't hard to figure out. You think Fox doesn't know its audience?

But I'd add that Vilsack needs his nuts in a vice over this too. The lack of courage implies a lack of conviction which seems to further suggest a lack of brains.

How the hell do these people fail upwards? Did Vilsack think Breitbart was an unimpeachable source? Do these people even have cable??

Posted by: BGinCHI | July 20, 2010 7:15 PM | Report abuse

ethan did post some good stuff on the racism in the usda and on last week's case regarding that history of discrimination.

but i, obviously, agree with greg that we need to punch the bullies in the nose on this instead of running away, yet again.

giving in will absolutely ensure that they do it again.

i think the wh should order vilsack to apologize and ask her to come back.

Posted by: blahgblogwordpresscom | July 20, 2010 7:15 PM | Report abuse

BG, excellent comment.

Besides, if we want to talk about issues, we need to talk about the racial disparities.

Want to talk "jobs" Republicans?

Unemployment for African-Americans is OVER 15% as of June 2010.

Don't even get me started on the health disparities between African-Americans and Caucasians.

The plain fact is that the Republican Party is engaged in race-baiting while thoroughly ignoring, in fact MOCKING, the African-American community. It is a disgrace.

Posted by: Ethan2010 | July 20, 2010 7:15 PM | Report abuse

ethan -- fair points, the race bating is probably the most important story here...

lynell, understood, thx

sbj, if it were National Enquirer Dems would argue it isn't credible and the messenger is flawed. They are unwilling to do that about Breitbart. That's the crux of the issue here.

Posted by: sargegreg | July 20, 2010 7:17 PM | Report abuse

"There won't be any hell to pay here. The White House will not lean on Vilsack to reinstate Sherrod. Vilsack, who has already reiterated that he did the right thing, obviously won't do so on his own. And everyone will make obligatory disapproving noises about Breitbart, before promptly forgetting all about what happened, ensuring that this will happen again in due course. Happy to be wrong."

Greg, I think you will be happy because you will be wrong. This woman gets her job back AND is reminiscent of Rosa Parks for reasons that have little to do with race. This is a BIG story because it says so much and it is simple, clear and emotional.

Posted by: wbgonne | July 20, 2010 7:18 PM | Report abuse

GREG

Any sentient human being would have taken a sceptical look at Breitbart's bs. The WH does not come off an "innocenti". No; the NCAAP and its enablers in the WH were caught with their pants down. I listened all day to the tv coverage. Mrs Sherrod comes off with greater dignity than Vilsack and the other idiots. You know, Greg, I have come to the conclusion that the Obama White House is now as bad as the Bush White House. they are trimmers and anglers. They lost my vote today. Count that as 6 for our family.

Posted by: bitterpill8 | July 20, 2010 7:18 PM | Report abuse

Arizona + Breitbart/Fox = No Colored Folks Allowed

The GOP doubles down on xenophobic homogeneity. There's the new conservatism, and it smells pretty old.

Oh, plus they don't know shinola about the economy.

Posted by: BGinCHI | July 20, 2010 7:21 PM | Report abuse

Greg: I have made one comment this week. But your system tells me I made too many comments this week, which is pure bs. But I was very critical of Vilsack and the WH on this issue. Poetic justice?

Posted by: bitterpill8 | July 20, 2010 7:21 PM | Report abuse

Email Tom Vilsack to reinstate Sherrod and end this travesty--

AgSec@usda.gov

Posted by: jandmward | July 20, 2010 7:21 PM | Report abuse

SBJ, how about Congressional hearings on the REAL outrage: the poor treatment of African-Americans by the U.S. government over decades and use of racial issues for political purposes by the Republican Party and their operatives in the media.

Posted by: Ethan2010 | July 20, 2010 7:22 PM | Report abuse

@Greg: "sbj, if it were National Enquirer Dems would argue it isn't credible and the messenger is flawed."

And you know this ... how? I disagree.

"They are unwilling to [say] Breitbart [isn't credible]?"

On what planet? They've already questioned the credibility of FNC from the WH Press office!

The crux of the issue here is that Obama is bleeding white voter support at an alarming rate.

Posted by: sbj3 | July 20, 2010 7:24 PM | Report abuse

bitterpill -- can you tell me what happened? I can assure you it isn't intentional or related to the content of your comment.

apologies for your difficulties.

Posted by: sargegreg | July 20, 2010 7:25 PM | Report abuse

@ethan: "SBJ, how about Congressional hearings on the REAL outrage: the poor treatment of African-Americans by the U.S. government over decades."

At some point you will realize that black Americans have supported the Democratic party for decades. You are arguing that it has gained them very little.

I agree.

Posted by: sbj3 | July 20, 2010 7:26 PM | Report abuse

"They lost my vote today. Count that as 6 for our family."

What a preposterous statement.

Just a matter of a few of months ago, the Obama Admin settled a long-standing civil rights suit with the USDA.

Andrew Breitbart didn't settle with black farmers for $1.25B... the Bush Admin didn't settle...

The OBAMA Admin settled with the black farmers.

If this stupid story causes you to change your vote, then you're letting a race-baiting scumbag like Andrew Breitbart rewrite history!

Read this article then please rethink your comment:

http://online.wsj.com/article/SB10001424052748704269004575073820593191804.html

Posted by: Ethan2010 | July 20, 2010 7:26 PM | Report abuse

sbj means the southern Dem party, but won't say it.

Someone needs a history lesson.

Let's just make it easier: the right pushes racist policies and the left opposes them. There are some exceptions, but there aren't many. Unless you think Jonah Goldberg knows what he's talking about, in which case sayonara.

Posted by: BGinCHI | July 20, 2010 7:28 PM | Report abuse

"At some point you will realize that black Americans have supported the Democratic party for decades. You are arguing that it has gained them very little."

No I am clearly not. I am arguing that, despite undeniable improvements in race relations, the U.S. government can and should do better by hard-working people regardless of race or income.

But then again, you also said that, "Obama is bleeding white voter support at an alarming rate," so that's proof enough that you are incoherent and will say anything for attention.

Posted by: Ethan2010 | July 20, 2010 7:31 PM | Report abuse

BTW, Greg,

Speaking of the USDA, I'd be interested in learning how many of the employees who were implemented in the ACTUAL discrimination against Black farmers still have their jobs within the USDA.

Actual acts of discrimination vs alleged acts later discovered not to be true...who should be the ones who lost their jobs!

Posted by: lynell33 | July 20, 2010 7:43 PM | Report abuse

Breitbart is out to make trouble and Fox News ran it without checking it out first but they didn't fire this woman. Obama can tell Fox news to drop dead if he wants but he fired a woman before he had the facts. The issue for me is a woman getting fired wrongly. Fox news is not the issue for me. I realize that Dems don't like Fox news. That's fine. You can blame them but the fact is that Administration got fooled and jumped the gun without all the facts and that was a mistake by them.

Posted by: Truthteller12 | July 20, 2010 7:51 PM | Report abuse

@sbj3: You are arguing that it [supporting dems] has gained them very little.

I guess they should go to the party that authored the southern strategy, the party that coined the phrase "cadillac driving welfare queens", the party that champions fictitious reverse racism (not actually possible, reverse discrimination yes, but racism is always perpetrated by the group in power), right sbj3? The dems sacrificed the votes of southerners for a generation to pass the civil rights act. Dems for all their faults have done orders of magnitude more for racial justice than repubs in the last 30 years.

Posted by: srw3 | July 20, 2010 7:51 PM | Report abuse

You missed the zinger of the day- Matt Yglesias ripping the WaPo Op-ed section along with Anne Applebaum... though maybe your editors would have a problem with you calling attention to it.

Posted by: Owen_Truesdell | July 20, 2010 8:00 PM | Report abuse

You missed the zinger of the day- Matt Yglesias ripping the WaPo Op-ed section along with Anne Applebaum... though maybe your editors would have a problem with you calling attention to it. http://bit.ly/bbSQyb

Posted by: Owen_Truesdell | July 20, 2010 8:00 PM | Report abuse

Huffington Post is silent on this illegal activity from Breitbart and Fox.

What does HP owe Breitbart? Is Arianna still beholden to him?

Posted by: mikefromArlington | July 20, 2010 8:39 PM | Report abuse

@Greg

Am I the only one who think the White House is missing a HUGE opportunity with this Breitbart mess?

I mean, this is a perfect, an absolutely perfect time for the White House to pound FOX as a PR attack dog, and not a news organization.

Posted by: TheBBQChickenMadness | July 20, 2010 8:47 PM | Report abuse

There is absolutely no way Vilsack cannot reinstate her.

If he doesn't, he deserves whatever comes his way.

Posted by: mikefromArlington | July 20, 2010 8:52 PM | Report abuse

Ms. Sherrod is our Teacher of the Year/Years...but, truth telling is dangerous. She admitted that she wondered about a white farmer having difficulty compared to the black farmers involved. A bell went off. Where are the white males who would admit that they "wondered" about a man of color and then looked at themselves and noticed another "opportunity to learn."

Posted by: judithclaire1939 | July 20, 2010 8:59 PM | Report abuse

the NAACP has posted the full video of Shirley Sherrod's speech, in which she talks about how her father was killed by a white man and how working for and with white farmers helped change and shape her views on race...http://www.naacp.org/news/entry/video_sherrod/the

Posted by: lynell33 | July 20, 2010 9:00 PM | Report abuse

Breitbart is on Hannity claiming the lady is a racist and Hannity is agreeing with him.

What a couple of d$@#ks.

Posted by: mikefromArlington | July 20, 2010 9:08 PM | Report abuse

I still support President Obama, but with this fiasco; my support is hanging on by its fingernails. The injustice that happened to this poor woman should genuinely upset the President, and if he is not upset about it, then I guess he is not the man I thought he was. The President has aptly referred to several previous crisis situations in his administration as "teachable moments." Okay, what are we going to learn about the firing of a hard working government employee who clearly deserves to get her job back?

Posted by: mscarborough | July 20, 2010 9:13 PM | Report abuse

Breitbart is on Hannity claiming the lady is a racist and Hannity is agreeing with him.

What a couple of d$@#ks.

Posted by: mikefromArlington | July 20, 2010 9:08 PM
==============================

http://mediamatters.org/mmtv/201007200078

The Stoopid keeps piling up.
~

Posted by: ifthethunderdontgetya | July 20, 2010 10:00 PM | Report abuse

"Snookered," no. Hoodwinked, yes. But they had options.

Posted by: CalD | July 20, 2010 10:07 PM | Report abuse

At some point you will realize that black Americans have supported the Democratic party for decades. You are arguing that it has gained them very little.

I agree.

Posted by: sbj3 | July 20, 2010 7:26 PM
==========================

sbj3, what's your argument for voting for Republicans?

When FAUX and Breitbart race bait with dishonest videos, Democrats cave in. Therefore vote for the racist party!

Makes as much sense as the economic argument: Democrats haven't fixed the mess Republicans made, therefore vote Republican!
~

Posted by: ifthethunderdontgetya | July 20, 2010 10:13 PM | Report abuse

A few things need to happen here: first, Obama should come out and say that although he didn't order the firing, he has ordered the SecAg to reinstate Mrs. Sherrod, who clearly was the target of an unfounded smear campaign.

Then: Mrs. Sherrod needs to get a really, really good attorney, and sue Breitbart, Fox, CNN and whoever else was involved in the pile-on. She has a strong case - Breitbart specifically pimped the tape as potraying the horrible racism of Mrs. Sherrod. Either he edited it to make it show the opposite of what the whole thing showed, or he failed to view the entire tape. Either way, he's responsible for the things he puts out there. Mrs. Sherrod was NOT a public figure; she could easily sue over this. Next, you have the media organizations who, having been suckered by Breitbart once already on the ACORN "pimp" tape, just take what he hands them and run with it. They could have found and reviewed the full tape and have no excuse for not doing so, given their past experience with Breitbart. So they were derelict in their duty to not falsely slander a private citizen.

I hope she sues the lot of them and wins. That would do more to shut down this kind of nonsense than anything else.

Posted by: JennOfArk | July 20, 2010 10:13 PM | Report abuse

I just watched the tape and it's clear the one innocent person in this whole mess is the one who lost her job. While everyone else throws racism back and forth and around in circles, she's the one who was being honest and forthright. Ironic for us, maybe devastating for her.

I agree Jenn, Obama needs to immediately reinstate her. Where is the courage of conviction if he doesn't. We already know Breitbart is a coward and is even tonight still calling her a racist apparently. Did he watch the tape?

It's not easy to overcome racial animosity or hatred, or to admit a changed perspective, but whenever it occurs is cause for celebration not ridicule or misinterpretation, or even worse used for political gain at the expense of an honest woman.

Posted by: lmsinca | July 20, 2010 11:05 PM | Report abuse

Jenn,

Yglesias, Benen, Digby, all the teenagers at ThinkProg, Marshall, both Kleins, Serwer, Ackerman, Weigel, Tomasky, Hayes, Cole, et.al. call people racist all the time.**

Don't think Ms. Sherrod has much of a libel case v. Breitbart.

However, the NAACP had the full tape, and Mr. Obama's Ag Secretary is presumably a grown-up...plus they have beaucoup deep pockets, they had better take some "corrective" action post-haste.

**(BTW: don't they all have a club of something? Perhaps they'll get a group rate if they ever have to lawyer-up.)

Posted by: tao9 | July 20, 2010 11:19 PM | Report abuse

Posted by: tao9 | July 20, 2010 11:19 PM
===========================

No. You don't get an excuse for your side's shameless race-baiting.

Go sit in the corner and wear your dunce cap.
~

Posted by: ifthethunderdontgetya | July 20, 2010 11:56 PM | Report abuse

if,

Do not require nor looking for an excuse for anything.

Simple question. Can Ms. Sherrod prevail in a libel suit v. Breitbart or not? I'd also add that this story is, as they say, "continuing" as I type.

And perhaps going forward you might try adding some substance as opposed to cut/paste/sadlyno-blow. Unless, of course, that's all there is in the if/ya quiver.

Posted by: tao9 | July 21, 2010 12:19 AM | Report abuse

Owen_ links Yglesias above. Here's the last graph...

"Something that I don’t think The Washington Post’s editors fully realize is that people who read the columns that appear in their paper—and the syndicated versions of those columns that appear in papers across the country—generally believe that The Washington Post’s editors take some kind of action to ensure the factual content of the stories that appear in their newspaper. The op-ed page doesn’t come with a banner saying “WARNING: THIS IS THE OPINION SECTION WHERE WE LET CONSERVATIVES MAKE THINGS UP.” But the policy of the paper is, in fact, that if conservatives want to make things up in the op-ed pages they are free to do so. Under the circumstances, I’m not entirely certain why the Post doesn’t offer that disclaimer. Presumably they think it would be bad for business for people to realize that a certain share of their daily “opinion” content consists of false assertions of fact. But if this is what they believe, they ought to take some steps to reduce or eliminate the quantity of such assertions in their pages." http://yglesias.thinkprogress.org/2010/07/casual-factual-distortions-in-the-washington-post-op-ed-page/?utm_source=feedburner&utm_medium=feed&utm_campaign=Feed:+matthewyglesias+(Matthew+Yglesias)

Amen.

Posted by: bernielatham | July 21, 2010 12:37 AM | Report abuse

This is the same old song republicans have sung for years. Racism is something that almost everybody agrees is bad: it took a brave congress, the Court and years of public education to do that but progressives won that fight... despite relentless and sometimes violent opposition from the right. Now conservatives want to turn one of our greatest victories that on its head by claiming "reverse" racism and stirring up a scared white voting block (for further reference see: Nixon and the south or just Utube M. Steele).
At least now they have PACs that do the heavy lifting (i.e. race baiting) so the GOPers don't have to get their hands dirty.

Posted by: eadsiv | July 21, 2010 12:39 AM | Report abuse

Don't you see? Breitbart won. This is a story about another rightwing hatchet job. They've claimed yet another scalp today. This is about modern-day McCarthyism. Breitbart did this to rain criticism down on the Obama Administration, and that's exactly what everyone is doing. Did Vilsack act stupidly? Yes. But realize what they are doing here. This wasn't about Ms. Sherrod. This was about undermining Obama.

The liberal blogosphere is so predictable. Talk about being snookered, the whole liberal blogosphere is up in arms *against Obama.* Ride that outrage pony while the rightwing sociopaths laugh in their beer. Save some outrage for them, why don't you?

Posted by: TomBlue | July 21, 2010 12:40 AM | Report abuse

So, the NAACP got snookered by a tape of someone's speech *at an NAACP banquet*? In other words, she made the speech to the NAACP in March, and the NAACP thought it was fine then. Today, someone complains about it, and the NAACP denounces her. Then, the NAACP claims it denounced her because it didn't know what she actually said at its own banquet, and now everything's fine with her again.

And we're supposed to take these bumblers seriously when they accuse other people of racism? Let's put it this way: Do you think the NAACP put any more thought into its denunciation of the Tea Party than it did into its denunciation of Sherrod?

Posted by: tomtildrum | July 21, 2010 12:41 AM | Report abuse

tao, cool weather magic headed your way.

Been hot up there? Really?

Up and down in the midwest; wet and then hot. Fungus weather.

Posted by: BGinCHI | July 21, 2010 12:42 AM | Report abuse

Added note...Owen_ suggests that Greg or this blog refrains from criticism of the parent paper. I've been posting here since the inception of this blog and that suggestion is false.

Posted by: bernielatham | July 21, 2010 12:47 AM | Report abuse

tomtildrum: "Do you think the NAACP put any more thought into its denunciation of the Tea Party than it did into its denunciation of Sherrod?"

Um, yes, idiot. Did you watch the tape? Did you see what she said and what the farmer said?

The people who "put no thought" into this were the following:

Fox

Breitbart

You

Do you think the NAACP is a black organization that has no reason for being watchful about the behavior of a dominant class of people?

If so, you, and the rest of the right, are too ignorant to argue with.

Posted by: BGinCHI | July 21, 2010 12:47 AM | Report abuse

And let's be clear:

Vitter visited a prostitute. Illegal. He works in the government.

Where's the right wing outrage at a gov't official breaking the law?

Oh, right, I guess it's not about principles.

Karl Rove wins again. Reality optional politics. Another sad day in a democracy.

Posted by: BGinCHI | July 21, 2010 12:51 AM | Report abuse

Tomasky makes two good points in this post, the first on Bush and the second on what we see presently...

"One thing I always gave George Bush credit for was the way he usually took pains to say after 9-11 that we weren't at war with an entire religion. Of course, other people on the right said or implied it, and Bush didn't go out of his way to distance himself from all that, at least as I recall. But the fact that a conservative president took that posture served to define the terms of the debate in a way about the practice of Islam in America.

Now that there's no conservative president, and there is in fact a president who some unhinged people think is in the White House to serve the larger Muslim agenda, all bets are off...It's an interesting thing that it's been only a year and a half since Bush left office, but in those 18 months America's right wing has zoomed to the extremist stratosphere with astonishing speed. Who'd have thought that Bush would have been an anchor to sanity?"
http://www.guardian.co.uk/commentisfree/michaeltomasky

Posted by: bernielatham | July 21, 2010 1:04 AM | Report abuse

From Andrew Sullivan - what Netanyahu thinks and does...

" “I know what America is. America is a thing you can move very easily, move it in the right direction,” - Binyamin Netanyahu, in a just-released and secretly taped private meeting in 2001. He also reveals his approach to the Palestinians:

“beat them up, not once but repeatedly, beat them up so it hurts so badly, until it’s unbearable.”

And so Operation Cast Lead makes more sense, doesn't it? He also describes how the notion that the Palestinians destroyed the Oslo process was a cover for his own sabotage:

Netanyahu exposed the naked truth to his hosts at Ofra: he destroyed the Oslo accords with his own hands and deeds, and he's even proud of it. After years in which we were told that the Palestinians are to blame, the truth has emerged from the horse's mouth.

And how did he do it? He recalled how he conditioned his signing of the 1997 Hebron agreement on American consent that there be no withdrawals from "specified military locations," and insisted he choose those same locations, such as the whole of the Jordan Valley, for example. "Why is that important? Because from that moment on I stopped the Oslo Accords," he boasts. ...

He calls then-U.S. President Bill Clinton "extremely pro-Palestinian," and says the Palestinians want to throw us into the sea. With such retrograde beliefs, no one can convincingly argue that he wants an agreement.

Netanyahu wants and has always wanted total Israeli control of the West Bank for ever, and believes in using the United States as a means to advance Israeli interests in the Middle East, whether they conform to US interests or not. Any administration that believes, as Obama patheticallly just said he did, that Netanyahu is “ready to take risks for peace” is engaged in naive fantasies. The man has contempt for America, seeing his country's prime ally not as a country to be supported and engaged, but a country to be pushed around and lied to. So when will Obama stand up for his own country against this charlatan?

Now remember: Netanyahu is increasingly a moderate compared with his coalition partners." http://andrewsullivan.theatlantic.com/the_daily_dish/2010/07/quote-4.html

Posted by: bernielatham | July 21, 2010 1:24 AM | Report abuse

bernie,

wow. that tomasky argument is sad and scary. what do you think? was it bush himself (or some advisor) that brought out such a recognition and vocalization of that realization or just the fact that the rightwing repubicans in general were in the wh?

i mean, the bushies are tied to the saudis very deeply, so i could see some personal influence there. and i don't necessarily mean in a cynical way -- perhaps such deep involvement with real people who happened to be muslim broadened his perspective, regardless of the plutocratic and anti democratic ends his involvement with those muslims was about.

otoh, was it just a practicality, even if perhaps dependent on the constraints in operation at the time of the bush ii admin?

Posted by: blahgblogwordpresscom | July 21, 2010 1:32 AM | Report abuse

@blah
My (educated) guess, for what it is worth is that Bush Jr wasn't a racist in the manner of Buchannan or what we are seeing now. Though he traveled little before his run for the WH, his father's political and business life and tenure in the WH would have given W a broad familiarity with Muslims and others.

Also, that WH demonstrated a pragmatic appreciation of the dangers of racism or at least of manifesting it openly. Is Rove a racist? Nothing to indicate it that I know of but of course he showed and shows little reluctance to use race as a divisive issue to gain electoral advantage. (I'll just set aside, for this argument, the matter of the neoconservative commonplace of anti-Muslim, anti-Arab prejudices).

Roger Ailes? I have no certain idea if he has any Muslim chums of if he imagines white/western culture superior to others. But it's a silly question because no one in the US presently has been more active or effective in promoting racist fervor than Ailes (he has a long history of this from the Nixon period up). Obviously, Murdoch is equally guilty in this present situation.

I expect most of us are deeply disgusted by the racism we see manifesting now in the tea party and elsewhere but we can also understand how such sentiments are greatly the consequence of where these folks live, the families into which they were born, etc. In a different situation, I'd surely be racist too.

But Ailes, Murdoch, Limbaugh, Rove and strategists/activists in the modern conservative movement who are fomenting latent racist fears and hatreds merely for their own personal gain or out of a notion of hoped-for electoral consequence are as morally vile as humans get. From these people we get ethnic cleansing (done by others) and mass murder (done by others) and the ripping apart of societies.

Posted by: bernielatham | July 21, 2010 6:52 AM | Report abuse

Well, well...better late, I suppose....

"I am of course willing and will conduct a thorough review and consider additional facts to ensure to the American people we are providing services in a fair and equitable manner," Vilsack said in a statement that arrived in inboxes after 2 a.m."


http://voices.washingtonpost.com/federal-eye/2010/07/tom_vilsack_usda_and_civil_rig.html

Posted by: suekzoo1 | July 21, 2010 7:14 AM | Report abuse

@sue - yes. If they don't get this one right, I'll be pissed. It's not just a matter of fighting back (with necessary vigor) against smear propaganda like Breitbart specializes in. It's a matter of justice.

Posted by: bernielatham | July 21, 2010 7:32 AM | Report abuse

More on racism as it shows up in institutionalized behaviors of police and politicians above them...

"No city in the world arrests more of its citizens for using pot than New York, according to statistics compiled by Harry G. Levine, a Queens College sociologist.

Nearly nine out of ten people charged with violating the law are black or Latino, although national surveys have shown that whites are the heaviest users of pot. Mr. Bloomberg himself acknowledged in 2001 that he had used it, and enjoyed it."
http://www.nytimes.com/2010/07/21/nyregion/21about.html?hp

Posted by: bernielatham | July 21, 2010 7:40 AM | Report abuse

On Sherrod. A few lessons learned, I hope:

1. Breitbart is an unreliable RW propagandist snake who should be ignored and left alone under his rock;

2. FOX News is the same as Breitbart. Other TV networks -- I'm looking at you, CNN -- should wake up and realize this. CNN and the MSM should take EVERY FOX News story as political propaganda unless and until verified. IOW: Don't base reports on FOX.

3. The WH -- and Dems generally -- should stop running like a frightened rabbit from every RW snake. Chop off their heads from time to time and watch how they disappear.

4. Political correctness is now a RW thing all the way. The NAACP should snap out if its coma. They were evidently so skittish about calling the racist TeaBaggers racist that they jumped like frightened rabbits when the RW said boo.

5. The RW smear machine has been exposed. ("At long last, sir, have you no sense of decency?") No one should avert his eyes or pretend otherwise any longer.

6. This decent woman has been recklessly and unfairly savaged and fired from her job. Let's hear Obama use this as a teachable moment but the lesson is not that "Both sides must stop" or "We all should take." No, it is time to call a snake a snake. FOX is a snake. SO is Breitbart. Obama should apologize for his Administration being too solicitous of snakes. Then he should apologize to Sherrod and offer her her job back.

ENOUGH IS ENOUGH.

Posted by: wbgonne | July 21, 2010 7:58 AM | Report abuse

Apparently, Shirley was on the "Today Show" this morning saying that she is not sure she wants to return to the USDA because she is not sure how she would be treated. Can't say I blame her. This whole story is just such a travesty. Unfortunately, the damage is done, and if the WH thinks they are above the fray on this one, I think they are wrong.

Posted by: suekzoo1 | July 21, 2010 8:02 AM | Report abuse

“I know what America is. America is a thing you can move very easily, move it in the right direction,”

Bernie, I thought this was very interesting and telling. He said this in 2001 and Republicans have been carrying his water ever since. Wonder how they feel about being pawns and malleable to Israels demands while thier fellow Americans begin to question Netanyahu's motives and commitment to peace? I'm beginning to wonder exactly which constituency they serve.

Posted by: lmsinca | July 21, 2010 8:23 AM | Report abuse

All, Morning Roundup posted:

http://voices.washingtonpost.com/plum-line/2010/07/the_morning_plum_56.html

Posted by: Greg Sargent | July 21, 2010 8:33 AM | Report abuse

@Ims - It really is a quote and a half, isn't it? We've all watched the tail wag the dog many times so it isn't any kind of news, of course. And frankly I doubt that any/many on the right will find this worthy of challenge because:
a) they already know it (probably better than we)
b) they believe, with good reason, that they can't risk making an issue of it because if they do, the tail will wag them out of office

Posted by: bernielatham | July 21, 2010 9:03 AM | Report abuse

Bernie, but it certainly shows them to be the weak partner to anyone who's paying attention, rather than the puffed chest strong "men" they like to portray themselves as. Funny in a sad sort of way.

Posted by: lmsinca | July 21, 2010 9:07 AM | Report abuse

What a bunch of hypocrites posting here!
Liberals cry foul over a half truth, taken out of context. (Which is wrong no matter who does it).

BUT where were you guys when
MSNBC’s Contessa Brewer told a HALF truth over health care reform protesters legally carrying guns: "A man at a pro-health care reform rally...wore a semiautomatic assault rifle on his shoulder and a pistol on his hip....there are questions about whether this has racial overtones....white people showing up with guns."

Brewer failed to mention that the video clip had been EDITED and the man she described was BLACK!

Or how about the editing of the video of the alleged white racist as "proof" of TEA racism that your side uses to "prove" TEA racist? This was shown on all left wing media but they edited and purposely OMITTED the part where the TEA party protesters were telling the guy he didn't represent them and to LEAVE the rally.

Pot kettle black. We see this sort of deception coming from the left all the time! Now Breitbart did it to you, (and says he was duped - and reported this fact asap) - and you cry foul.

Blame? Yeah, blame the NAACP and WH for ruining this woman's life without even checking into the claim!

Posted by: stvjo | July 21, 2010 9:38 AM | Report abuse

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