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The Morning Plum: Vilsack must come clean

* Now that the full Shirley Sherrod video has been released, vindicating her completely, Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack is promising to undertake a review of her firing. So maybe he will re-instate her after all.

But it isn't enough for Vilsack to reinstate her. People should demand that his review include an explanation for his own decision to fire her. We need to hear his justification for the decision to ax this woman before all the facts were in, on the strength of nothing more than an Andrew Breitbart smear.

Did Vilsack make any effort to learn more about her speech before giving her the push? If not, why not? Sherrod says she told top USDA officials that the full speech would vindicate her. Did anyone at USDA give her protestations even a passing listen? Did anyone try to obtain video of the full speech? If not, why not? Why was Breitbart's word alone allowed to drive such a high-profile decision?

People should also demand that the White House weigh in publicly on what happened here. The White House has only discussed this via anonymous leaks, and this morning, officials are conveniently leaking word that the White House prodded Vilsack to reconsider Sherrod's firing. That's nice, but was the White House told in advance that the firing was about to happen, and if so, why did it allow the firing to proceed?

This effort to "distance" the White House from this mess is unsightly at best. This was a major, high-profile screw-up by a cabinet secretary, and as Ben Smith notes this morning, it highlights this White House's tendency to sidestep racial controversies and cede turf to the right's efforts to stoke racial resentment.

This is an opportunity for the White House to drive home the point that the Breitbart-Fox-Glenn Beck axis -- which is out to destroy this presidency -- should be accorded no credibility whatsoever by news organizations. People should demand that the White House issue clear, unequivocal condemnation of what happened here.

*****************************************************************

* Sherrod may not even want her job back.

* Wall Street titans were not invited to today's ceremony where Obama will sign Wall Street reform into law. Pass the hanky!

* No end to the skittishness: Democrats on Capitol Hill have gone silent on the topic of Guantanamo, perhaps hoping that pretending the issue isn't there will make it disappear.

* This new Survey USA poll showing Dem Rep. Tom Perriello of Virginia losing by more than 20 points could be important: Keep in mind that Perriello has made a point of aggressively defending Obama's policies.

* The evidence is mounting that Karl Rove's group is going to raise and spend huge sums of cash on the midterms. Maybe Dems should pass the DISCLOSE act?

* House Republicans promise that their midterm election strategy will focus more on pushing GOP policy ideas and less on demonizing San Francisco liberal Nancy Pelosi.

* Snub of the year! Michele Bachmann didn't even bother to inform House GOP leaders that she was creating a Tea Party Caucus. She doesn't need them, after all. She has her own national power base!

* Also in the above link: Millions of Americans are giddy with anticipation as Bachmann prepares to hold her first Tea Party Caucus meeting today.

What else is happening?

By Greg Sargent  |  July 21, 2010; 8:27 AM ET
Categories:  2010 elections , Financial reform , House GOPers , Morning Plum , Political media  
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Comments

Greg - Could you please comment on the internal reaction to the HORRIBLE, UNSPEAKABLE piece on this that appeared on the front page of the Washington Post today. I amlmost lost my breakfast. What an embassament for a once-great newspaper. I would really be interested in what the rest of you think. There is no deadline excuse since the extent of this fraud was well known hours before the Post's deadline last night.

I think the reporters and the Post editorial staff owe an apoligy just as much as Vilsack and others do.

Posted by: Virginia7 | July 21, 2010 8:39 AM | Report abuse

Due to "Pass the hanky" and "Millions of Americans are giddy with anticipation," you have just Won the Morning Greg.

Much more importantly, your take on Sherrod is right on.

Posted by: michael_conrad | July 21, 2010 8:47 AM | Report abuse

"This is an opportunity for the White House to drive home the point that the Breitbart-Fox-Glenn Beck axis -- which is out to destroy this presidency -- should be accorded no credibility whatsoever by news organizations."

Greg; Spot on. OTOH, Ben Smith's piece is just the kind of "both sides are guilty" drivel that gives the Breitbart-FOX- Beck axis its license. Being fair doesn't mean being stupid. Sometimes, one side is really in the wrong. The Right Wing is a nasty bully that must be smacked down, not coddled.

Posted by: wbgonne | July 21, 2010 8:48 AM | Report abuse

Virginia, could you be a little more specific? There are a lot of things on the front page this morning. Are you referring to the Tumulty/Thompson article (which I haven't read yet)?

And in my opinion, this buck stops on Barack Obama's desk. Vilsack should be canned, along with whomever that woman was who repeatedly called Sherrod and insisted she resign immediately.

Posted by: msmollyg | July 21, 2010 8:50 AM | Report abuse

"in Sherrod's account, her firing was driven more by the exigencies of the news cycle -- and the administration's fear of conservative wrath."

http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2010/07/21/AR2010072101460_2.html?hpid=topnews

I want to hear the Obama Administration confess this. Because if they won't say it then they don't get it.

Posted by: wbgonne | July 21, 2010 8:53 AM | Report abuse

Spot on Greg. Obama missed a golden opportunity here to discredit the right wing media in a big way by his typical knee-jerk dem reaction. He totally blundered with his stupid 'I'm standing with vilsack on this issue' statement.

No wonder the rethugs have been in power for so long.

Posted by: amkeew | July 21, 2010 8:55 AM | Report abuse

I read the Tumulty article, and I agree with Virginia7 that this is shameful.

I will never knowingly click on a Politico link. They're electronic trash with nothing to say that I want to read. Blech

Posted by: msmollyg | July 21, 2010 8:57 AM | Report abuse

Anybody who knew Vilsack when he was the Governor of Iowa knows he doesn't tie his own shoes without marching orders. The decision to fire her came from above not from him. Also,this woman allegedly has sued and won big bucks from the government and not a peep from the media ( except for Fox) has been uttered. More information from the press should be written on that subject. Either deny or substantiate that claim. Afraid of something main stream media??? The tape is more than enough to have her fired. If that had been a white person in power that snippet would be all that was needed NO QUESTIONS ASKED TO HAVE THEM FIRED. The fact is that back tracking from doing so is nothing more than pandering to the left wing base who is up in arms that justice was done fairly. Blaming the person who released the tape is as low as I've seen Democrats go for a long time. Like maybe 5 minutes or so. Whose decision was it to fire her.. his? Right!! As with all episodes like this where a black person is accused of racism the main stream media charges to to defense. In a time and age where black people have more rights than whites tell me how allowing her to get her job back is going to help the black- white relationship, Especially after the NAACP recent actions against the tea party member for his comments. Of course the big argument will be that is different. Really?? Well no it's not but trying to convince the left wing radicals who want to keep blacks voting for the Democratic Party ain't gonna happen soon.

Posted by: WHOOSONPHIRST | July 21, 2010 8:59 AM | Report abuse

...it highlights this White House's tendency to sidestep racial controversies and cede turf to the right's efforts to stoke racial resentment.
========================

Well, sure. But where is the Washington Post apology for enabling the right's efforts to stoke racial resentment?

Just this week Andrew Alexander was concern trolling about the right's New Black Panther "story". If publications like the Post and the NYT didn't treat bogus stories coming from the right like ACORN and NBP as if they were news, then we wouldn't be where we are.

http://mediamatters.org/blog/201007190025
~

Posted by: ifthethunderdontgetya | July 21, 2010 9:01 AM | Report abuse

In terms of the Sherrod flap. It was human error that happened which happens from time to time.

All Vilsack has to do is say that he made a mistake with his rush to judgment and reinstate her. It is up to Sherrod whether she wants her job back but at least Vilsack should offer her back her job. People make mistakes. Just own up to it. Apologize. Then move on.

In terms of the White House, I doubt very seriously that it even got to the point of Obama on when she was fired in the first place. Believe me, Obama has A LOT on his plate and deciding whether or not to fire some one in the agriculture department isn't one of them. This was Vilsack's screw up.

I suspect the person in the USDA who was on the phone asking her for her resignation used the "spectrum of the White House" as the pressure to make sure that she did resign eventhough nobody in the White House had anything to do with it.

Saying it is from the "White House" eventhough it wasn't gives added weight so that is probably what happened.

It was a learning experience for all around from the White House to the USDA to the MSM to the NAACP. Also, the White House must realize that the great right wing conspiracy is out to get them just as they were out to get Bill Clinton.

Posted by: maritza1 | July 21, 2010 9:02 AM | Report abuse

I'm referring to the front page piece by Karen Tumulty and Krissah Thompson on the Sherold matter. The original print piece may have been removed from the website, since it is now OBEd. It was one of the worst pieces of reporting I have seen lately, and that's saying something. It accepted the right-wing spin without question and characterized the incident as a victory for the right in its effort to paint the Obama adminstration as racist.

The matter of the context of Sherold's remarks was not mentioned until around three-fourths through the article and on an inside page. This went to press several hours after it was known all over the blogoshpere that the whole thing was a fraud. Hiatt and company deserve nothing but scorn for allowing thie piece to be published.

Posted by: Virginia7 | July 21, 2010 9:03 AM | Report abuse

Study of the neoconservative mind in the turmoil and discomfort of cognitive dissonance.

The recent revelations of BP's lobbying efforts to get the Lockerbie bomber released from prison in order to gain drilling opportunities in Libyan waters presents a rather substantial noggin-conflict for people like Charles Krauthammer and John Bolton. As I noted earlier, Krauthammer's last WP column demonstrated an ideological conflict which pitted one cherished absolute against another. The result was, predictably, incoherence. To wit:

1 free enterprise is wonderful and government regulation of it is bad
2 terrorists (when Muslim) must be imprisoned forever if not executed

Faced with the revelation noted above, Krauthammer did the only thing he could do - avoid any suggestion that moral considerations ought to play a part in how BP (or any corporation) makes decisions (their only moral duty is to make money for shareholders being the ideological axiom in play here) and then assign moral failure to the Brit government for allowing BP to act in accordance with that axiom.

It didn't occur to Krauthammer to elucidate how a perfect government (which is as small as it can be made to be by people who don't like government and which is as powerless as it can be made to be by people who don't like regulations) might stand as any sort of counter-balance to the anything-for-profit corporate beast (which also happens to represent what is also the richest and most powerful corporate community on earth).

This morning, John Bolton, writing on his Facebook page (aren't you happy to know he has one? Don't you want to 'friend' him immediately?) which is linked at NRO ends up in exactly the same place.

"Mr Brown's Government perpetrated the worst perfidy, pressuring Scotland to grant "compassionate release" to the terrorist Abdul Baset Ali al-Megrahi, convicted of the Lockerbie bombing."

No 'perfidity' on BP's part identifiable by Bolton. Here's what Bolton thinks BP ought now to do (to, you know, make the world a better, more moral place in the future):

"Last week Mr Cameron reaffirmed that springing the terrorist was a mistake. Rather than defending BP, he should condemn the release, meet families of the Pan Am 103 victims, and promise full co-operation with the Senate investigation.

Then, Mr Cameron should tell BP to hire the PR firms that have served his image so well, and get back to No 10 as soon as he can."

Penance? Moral reflection? Reorganization? Restitution, full and honest? Nope. Hire some very big money PR firms. Then, presumably, fight tooth and nail to minimize shareholder loss and continue to fund politicians and front groups who will further weaken the government's stature in the eyes of citizens and further weaken them as regards the ability to regulate such wonderful corporate behavior.

Here's where incoherence leaks over into something which is, frankly, evil.

Posted by: bernielatham | July 21, 2010 9:04 AM | Report abuse

sorry, link here http://www.facebook.com/note.php?note_id=414601526462

Posted by: bernielatham | July 21, 2010 9:05 AM | Report abuse

Krugman:

"What’s shocking here isn’t the behavior of the right, which was par for the course. It’s the seemingly limitless credulity of the inside-the-Beltway crowd. I mean, there’s a history here: ACORN, Climategate, Vince Foster, Whitewater, and much much more. (Someone recently reminded me that the GOP held two weeks of hearing on the Clinton Christmas card list.) When the right-wing noise machine starts promoting another alleged scandal, you shouldn’t suspect that it’s fake — you should presume that it’s fake, until further evidence becomes available."

Subpoena. Power.

Posted by: wbgonne | July 21, 2010 9:18 AM | Report abuse

I said it last night and I'll say it again, the clear victim here is Shirley Sherrod. After reading all the comments, and as I stated last night, the WH should offer to reinstate her. Having watched the entire speech, it's clear the only honest discussion about race was taking place behind the podium where she stood. This is the kind of discussion that needs to be had in this country as evidenced by the comment at 8:59.

Posted by: lmsinca | July 21, 2010 9:19 AM | Report abuse

"continue to fund politicians and front groups who will further weaken the government's stature in the eyes of citizens and further weaken them as regards the ability to regulate such wonderful corporate behavior."

Bullseye, Bernie. That's what the "antigovernment movement" is all about. Plutocracy.

Posted by: wbgonne | July 21, 2010 9:20 AM | Report abuse

The Breitbart Circus...
http://www.theatlantic.com/politics/archive/2010/07/the-breitbart-circus/60137/

h/t TPM

Posted by: bernielatham | July 21, 2010 9:23 AM | Report abuse

BTW Greg, I think you've done a terrific job of reporting on this story. Really, the best I've seen anywhere. You kept your cool and stuck to the facts. Thanks.

Posted by: lmsinca | July 21, 2010 9:24 AM | Report abuse

The American aristocracy...
http://www.theatlantic.com/national/archive/2010/07/the-american-aristocracy/60095/

h/t Yglesias

Posted by: bernielatham | July 21, 2010 9:29 AM | Report abuse

@Greg

"This is an opportunity for the White House to drive home the point that the Breitbart-Fox-Glenn Beck axis -- which is out to destroy this presidency -- should be accorded no credibility whatsoever by news organizations."

Thank you! I'm glad I'm not alone on this one. It's probably the best opportunity the White House has ever gotten to tear away the utter fabrication that FOX is a "news" organization.

More than that...by doing so, they get to deflect their own embarrasment by playing the victim.

Look at it this way, if they come out hard, saying "Hey, we trusted them to be an actual News organization, and obviously that wasn't the case."

What are other news outlets going to do...admit that the White House shouldn't have believed FOX? That's admitting that everyone knows that FOX isn't news. Are they going to defend FOX in all this (as usually is the case)? This one is so blatent, I don't see it happening.

The White House should see this for what it is...right-wing media overreach. They got too cute by half, and FOX revealed itself as nothing more than a propaganda machine. Now is the time to strike. I really with Anita Dunn was still in the Communications office...I'd give all the money in my pockets to see her giving interviews on behalf of the White House right now.

Posted by: TheBBQChickenMadness | July 21, 2010 9:49 AM | Report abuse

@amkeew

"Obama missed a golden opportunity here to discredit the right wing media in a big way by his typical knee-jerk dem reaction."

Remember all this happened yesterday...this is an incredibly fast moving story.

The knee-jerk reaction was absurd and a mistake...but that mistake actually makes the arguement against FOX stronger. If they had immediately just challenged FOX on this, it would have been WH v. FOX (again) and when the White House was vindicated, everyone would shrug and move on.

Now, the White House can use their own mistake as a foil to hit FOX harder, and to clearly make a distinction between FOX and actual news.

The question is, will they? It's only been a day...there's still time to make that move.

Posted by: TheBBQChickenMadness | July 21, 2010 9:55 AM | Report abuse

From Politico:

BULLETIN -- Yielding to a late-night phone call from the White House, Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack reversed himself early today and said he will reconsider the abrupt firing of Shirley Sherrod, a Georgia-based Agriculture Department official who was the victim of a media frenzy over comments that turned out to have been distorted by video editing. Vilsack issued his statement several hours after NAACP President Ben Jealous declared that the organization had been “snookered” into condemning the former official. Sherrod, USDA's rural development director for Georgia, said she was ordered to resign on Monday after a video, posted on one of Andrew Breitbart’s conservative sites, showed her saying she had not given a white farmer her “full force.”

The NAACP later posted the full, unedited video of Sherrod speaking at an NAACP Freedom Fund Dinner, and it showed the remarks had been taken out of context in the version posted by Breitbart. Breitbart had said that he had posted the full version he was given. The farmer, Roger Spooner, now 87, appeared on CNN from his Georgia home and said Sherrod had been “helpful in every way — she saved our farm.”

“This … is a bunch of hogwash, in my opinion,” he said on “Anderson Cooper 360.” “She was just as nice to us as anyone could have been. And, as far as racism and all, that's — it's just ridiculous.”

--A White House official tells Playbook: “Not sure what the ultimate result will be, but it’s clear that with new information through the full speech, a longer look needed to be taken. The White House contacted the Department last night about the case and agreed, based on new evidence, that it should be reviewed.”

--The official tells us VILSACK IS EXPECTED TO REMAIN.

Posted by: jandmward | July 21, 2010 9:57 AM | Report abuse

Sargent: "...the right's efforts to stoke racial resentment."

I see Sargent continues to engage in the scandalous behavior of the Journolist creeps. It has been the left who has been stoking racial resentment, including Democratic politicians who lied about being spat upon and having racial epithets said to them during a Tea Party rally to the NAACP's pathetic attempt to call Tea Party activists racists (don't even try to deny this was what they are implying).

I wonder if the Post has gone so far down the sinkhole that they want to have their corporation tied to Sargent's deliberate lies.

Posted by: steve_tsouloufis | July 21, 2010 10:00 AM | Report abuse

"This is an opportunity for the White House to drive home the point that the Breitbart-Fox-Glenn Beck axis -- which is out to destroy this presidency -- should be accorded no credibility whatsoever by news organizations."

Once again, the media's responsibility, or lack thereof, is ignored...

Sherrod was pressured to resign because the media loves to fan the flames of racial controversy. If Vilsack had not acted swiftly, the WH could've had a full-blown racial disaster on its hands (especially if the initially allegations had panned out).

So, the WH was acting as any WH would to head off a potentially devastating controversy.

But, most importantly, look at how the media responded to this. Initial accounts among MSM journalists (i.e., journalists other than FOX News & Breitbart's folks) presumed that the Sherrod story was true. The real details were not known until liberal blogs started digging through the story to find the actual facts.

So, while the media loves to ignore its role in fanning controversies and blowing things out of proportion, it needs to take a serious moment of introspection now, as well.

The following two questions are a good starting point:

1) Why didn't MSM put the facts together before the blogs?

2) Why has MSM developed a (recent) tendency to hastily regurgitate and amplify conservative lines of attack without fully examining the validity (or lack thereof) of the attacks?

Posted by: associate20 | July 21, 2010 10:05 AM | Report abuse

BBQ - While I agree it was a 'fast moving' nontroversy fueled by msm, it is all the more reason for this admin to tread cautiously. While I could live with vilsack's knee-jerk reaction, I could not believe that the admin came in support of his stupid action. Now they have to walk the whole thing back, especially on the big effing deal D-day of finreg signing today.

Now their counter attack on the right wing media, if and when it comes, will be a weak tea, even if it is true.

I am very surprised by the differences in media management by candidate Obama and President Obama. And I say this a staunch Obama kool-aid drinker.

Posted by: amkeew | July 21, 2010 10:13 AM | Report abuse

A few comments:

1) I agree with Virginia above, that WaPo Tumulty article is pathetic.

2) But when I saw the lede of the AP article this morning I literally laughed out loud at how bad it was.

3) This story should definitely cause ALL INVOLVED some deep introspection...

4) ...but if it dominates the news cycle on a day when we get FinReg signed and Unemployment extended, I'm going to be PISSED OFF.

Posted by: Ethan2010 | July 21, 2010 10:14 AM | Report abuse

mistermix at Balloon Juice hits the nail squarely:

"I don’t know if its worth saying much more about the Sherrod case, but I’d like to comment on why it’s so disappointing.

For those of us who hoped that the Obama Administration would usher in a more thoughtful, nuanced and healthy attitude about racial friction, it’s pretty clear from this case that the attitude about race internalized by Obama’s appointees is anything but subtle. We can speculate about whether the White House intervened directly in the Sherrod firing, but it’s pretty obvious from the actions of Cook and Vilsack that Obama appointees believe that the way to please the boss is to jettison anyone who makes a racial gaffe, and to do it during the current news cycle. The Sherrod firing takes us in the opposite direction from the tolerance a lot of use hoped to see.

For those of us who admired the temperament of the Obama campaign and hoped the combination of intelligence, patience and confidence exhibited during his 2008 win would become part of their style of governing, this stupid, panicky and insecure response indicates that the right wing noise machine has some of the Obama crew rattled. Being provoked by a fringe provocateur is one of the dumbest political moves around, because it simply greases up the puke funnel. Mainstream media looks at this case and believe that they missed a major scoop: Sherrod was out before most of them had even filed a story on the controversy, and they’re not going to let that happen next time.

I think the Obama administration has a good chance to recover and learn from this episode, but as it stands, it’s a hell of a disappointment."

Posted by: suekzoo1 | July 21, 2010 10:18 AM | Report abuse

@amkeew:

I'm not sure I understand why the fault for this firing is being laid entirely at the foot of the WH.

Sherrod was removed after several MSM outlets ran with the Sherrod story without checking out the actual details. Even Huffington Post stoked the controversy by linking to an AP article about Sherrod.

Do people believe for a minute that this story wouldn't have mushroomed into a "Why haven't you guys fired that racist USDA lady" story in the MSM if the liberal blogs had not actually unearthed the facts as soon as they did?

If, instead of simply passing along the initial allegations, the media had actually checked out the full story, the WH probably wouldn't have felt it needed to move swiftly to keep this from becoming a huge political disaster (especially since, according to the initial AP article, she was appointed by Obama).

I guess, I'm just frustrated that the media stirs up these controversies, and then gets to sit back and put the blame for them on everyone else when the stories come crashing down because they didn't their jobs on the front end.

The media should NOT be absolved for its role in stoking this story.

Posted by: associate20 | July 21, 2010 10:25 AM | Report abuse

sherrod should be given vilsack's job.

Posted by: benjoya | July 21, 2010 10:29 AM | Report abuse

*World's big energy users agree to steps on clean energy*

As political agreements on clean energy remain elusive, the countries that use most of the world's energy launched steps Tuesday to get more clean energy into the global market, including moves toward TVs that waste less electricity, more cars that don't need gasoline, and buildings and factories that use power more efficiently.

Energy Secretary Steven Chu announced the agreements at the first gathering of energy officials from countries that use 80 percent of global energy: the U.S., Russia, China, Canada, Australia, Brazil, India, European countries, South Korea, Japan, South Africa, Mexico and the United Arab Emirates.

Chu said the plans would eliminate the need to build more than 500 midsized power plants worldwide over the next 20 years. They also could smooth the way for international agreements on how to reduce the risk of climate change, he said.

The U.S. helped lead several of the plans, including:

* Promotion of high-efficiency appliances, starting with TVs and lighting, which together make up 15 percent of household electricity use.

* Advances in efficient buildings and industry. An international certification program would recognize methods of reducing energy use and pollution.

* Development of electric vehicles. The International Energy Agency, an intergovernmental organization, estimated that the electric vehicle portion of the plan would result in 20 million electric vehicles by 2020 and would reduce oil consumption by 1 billion barrels over the next decade.

Other plans announced at the meeting included getting solar lanterns to 10 million poor people around the world and improving technologies for storing carbon dioxide underground, the main heat-trapping gas that accumulates in the atmosphere and remains there for thousands of years.

http://www.mcclatchydc.com/2010/07/20/97842/worlds-big-energy-users-agree.html

Posted by: Ethan2010 | July 21, 2010 10:31 AM | Report abuse

Now we can get back to the JournoList story that the WaPo won't cover.

Posted by: grunk | July 21, 2010 10:33 AM | Report abuse

"It has been the left who has been stoking racial resentment, including Democratic politicians who lied about being spat upon and having racial epithets said to them during a Tea Party rally to the NAACP's pathetic attempt to call Tea Party activists racists..."

How telling, you're citing the same discredited Andrew Breitbart for that info. Breitbart, who took video from the day AFTER the allegations of racist epithets and spitting by TeaBaggers and paraded it around to "prove" it never happened.

Why, if we go by Breitbart standards of "evidence", it's clear that OJ Simpson was innocent, since we don't have any video of him killing his ex-wife.

Absence of evidence is not evidence of absence. There is no video from the day the alleged incidents happened. That's not proof that they didn't happen. Fortunately, Breitbart doesn't have to worry about whether or not stupid people will bother to put that together, as you've demonstrated. He can go on making things up and as long as they comport with what you'd like to believe, you'll cling to them no matter how many times he's publicly proven to be a liar and yes, a RACIST.

Posted by: JennOfArk | July 21, 2010 10:33 AM | Report abuse

Don't know why Fox gets singled out when they were the ones who said...wait a minute...there's been a mistake. Every other MSM outlet just passed onthe story without a credible review. besides the real story isn't the poor woman's story...it is the laughter and applause in the audience when she said she didn't help the guy as she should have because he was white.

Posted by: PanhandleWilly | July 21, 2010 10:35 AM | Report abuse

@steve_tsouloufis: If its so bad, why read it? Are you just writing to see your text on the site? Have you heard of the southern strategy. This was the stated strategy of the repubs for 40 years. It was explicit. It was ugly. If you want to criticize racism and hatred fueled by politics, there it is.

I know that reading comprehension is a struggle for you, but if you actually read the NAACP statement, they called on the tea party to renounce some of the more racist statements that leading tea partiers made and signs that were clearly racist. They made a point of saying that they didn't believe that the movement as a whole was racist. YOur clearly false stating of their position is worse than anything said on jornalist.

Posted by: srw3 | July 21, 2010 10:35 AM | Report abuse

BBQ - I am not at all saying that the frigging, third rate, two bit media should be absolved of this willfully lying and manipulation. Au contraire, I feel that the President (let's face it, everything stops at his table, at least as far this Prez is concerned) lost a golden opportunity here in exposing the msm as a whole being untrustworthy by being hasty in endorsing vilsack's action. That's the part I am unable to stomach.

Posted by: amkeew | July 21, 2010 10:36 AM | Report abuse

"Also,this woman allegedly has sued and won big bucks from the government and not a peep from the media ( except for Fox) has been uttered."

It's this kind of comment that makes me wonder about the intellectual level of some citizens. This story just came out a few days ago, so how could Ms. Sherrod have sued and won a judgment in such a short time? No wonder it was only mentioned on Fox!

Posted by: marmac5 | July 21, 2010 10:39 AM | Report abuse

From the This Better Not Be True File:

"Nearly all signs point to Elizabeth Warren not getting the nod from Obama to head up the newly created consumer financial protection bureau. It appears that the White House and Senate Democrats simply don't have the stomach for a fight over this position, and they anticipate -- probably correctly -- that picking Warren would spark a fight."

http://www.talkingpointsmemo.com/

Spineless and stupid. That's leadership?

Posted by: wbgonne | July 21, 2010 10:40 AM | Report abuse

@FirstRead:

Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid said Republicans are making him burn the 30 hours that is required, but often waived, after a filibuster is broken. "We just passed badly needed legislation to help two-and-a-half million unemployed," Reid said on the Senate floor. "To show the lack of understanding and feeling and compassion of the Republicans, they're making us waste 30 hours."

Just horrible, awful. Republicanism is an illness.

Posted by: Ethan2010 | July 21, 2010 10:40 AM | Report abuse

Maybe they should get a bunch of 40oz. and their crew of poverty pimps and have a malt liquor summit. Maybe invite that hate filled monkey Skippy Gates and a toke cracker or two. The democrat party at it's best!

Posted by: carlbatey | July 21, 2010 10:41 AM | Report abuse

Benen:

Ben Stein pushed the anti-jobless line to new depths this week.

The people who have been laid off and cannot find work are generally people with poor work habits and poor personalities. I say "generally" because there are exceptions. But in general, as I survey the ranks of those who are unemployed, I see people who have overbearing and unpleasant personalities and/or who do not know how to do a day's work. They are people who create either little utility or negative utility on the job. Again, there are powerful exceptions and I know some, but when employers are looking to lay off, they lay off the least productive or the most negative.

Stein went on to suggest that young people learn lessons on "how to do a day's work." Among the things he wants folks to learn: call your colleagues "sir" or "ma'am," and remember the importance of "not talking back."

http://www.washingtonmonthly.com/archives/individual/2010_07/024824.php

As I said... Just horrible, awful. Republicanism is an illness.

Posted by: Ethan2010 | July 21, 2010 10:43 AM | Report abuse

Ethan2010:

The Republicans and the Right Wing are lying sc*mbags and Obama and the Democrats must stop pretending otherwise. For their own good, never mind for the country.

Posted by: wbgonne | July 21, 2010 10:43 AM | Report abuse

Another from Benen:

The Washington Times reports today, however, on a new matter that has nothing to do with Steele's notorious gaffes, and more to do with his notorious mismanagement.

The Republican National Committee failed to report more than $7 million in debt to the Federal Election Commission in recent months -- a move that made its bottom line appear healthier than it is heading into the midterm elections and that also raises the prospect of a hefty fine.

In a memo to RNC budget committee members, RNC Treasurer Randy Pullen on Tuesday accused Chairman Michael S. Steele and his chief of staff, Michael Leavitt, of trying to conceal the information from him by ordering staff not to communicate with the treasurer -- a charge RNC officials deny.

Mr. Pullen told the members that he had discovered $3.3 million in debt from April and $3.8 million from May, which he said had led him to file erroneous reports with the FEC. He amended the FEC filings Tuesday.

When it comes to consequences, the financial problem could cause all kinds of trouble for Republicans. Deliberately filing deceptive FEC reports is criminal, and could lead to stiff penalties -- if not formal charges -- before the elections.

http://www.washingtonmonthly.com/archives/individual/2010_07/024823.php

Umm. Again... Just horrible, awful. Republicanism is an illness.

Posted by: Ethan2010 | July 21, 2010 10:45 AM | Report abuse

So Greg, when do you plan to enforce your own admitted site policy of "User reviews and comments that include profanity or personal attacks or other inappropriate comments or material will be removed from the site" ?

Like that POS from carlbatey.

Or is it all fair & balanced bl..$hite ?

Posted by: amkeew | July 21, 2010 10:45 AM | Report abuse

The hell it "vindicates her completely".

Vilsack fired Sherrod because the NAACP called for her to be fired.

Sherrod also said it was the White House sacked her, not Vilsack and certainly not Fox News nor Andrew Breitbart.

Barry the incompetent boob Obama did the firing. Barry made the decision. Barry and his three ring circus of monkeys.

Posted by: screwjob17 | July 21, 2010 10:53 AM | Report abuse

Hey screwjob and racist p*g$ here, why don't you just go and f$%#K yourself ?

Posted by: amkeew | July 21, 2010 10:56 AM | Report abuse

Ethan2010 you have made my day; absolutely hilarious and truthful stuff.

Posted by: theobserver4 | July 21, 2010 10:59 AM | Report abuse

Posted by: screwjob17 | July 21, 2010 10:53 AM
==========================

Shorter right wing: It's all Obama's fault for listening to our racist b.s.
~

Posted by: ifthethunderdontgetya | July 21, 2010 11:00 AM | Report abuse

All, Senate Republicans are successfully delaying the vote extending unemployment benefits:

http://bit.ly/9APZ74

Posted by: Greg Sargent | July 21, 2010 11:00 AM | Report abuse

Vilsack's response more than anything else shows that racism is still alive and well in the Dept of Agriculture. Would he have reacted like this to a smear of a white employee? A man? Not likely. I'll say it again--Vilsack should go. Replace him with Michelle Obama.

(Ok, I know, relatives can no longer be in the cabinet, but still.)

Posted by: Mimikatz | July 21, 2010 11:06 AM | Report abuse


Barry the incompetent boob Obama screwed up big time. As so often is the case, Barry is asking an underling to fall on his sword when it is Barry inept bungler "the Cambridge police acted stupidly" who is responsible for his own cabinet officials and department heads. Barry made the call.

Posted by: screwjob17 | July 21, 2010 11:16 AM | Report abuse


Barry the incompetent boob Obama screwed up big time. As so often is the case, Barry is asking an underling to fall on his sword when it is Barry inept bungler "the Cambridge police acted stupidly" who is responsible for his own cabinet officials and department heads. Barry made the call.

Posted by: screwjob17 | July 21, 2010 11:16 AM | Report abuse

"Vilsack should go. Replace him with Michelle Obama."

SECOND!

Posted by: Ethan2010 | July 21, 2010 11:19 AM | Report abuse


Shirley "his own people" Sherrod is a moral reprobate who let down her guard because she thought she was in a "safe" environment at an NAACP meeting.

Sherrod says in her own words that the White House called her and forced her to resign.

Posted by: screwjob17 | July 21, 2010 11:22 AM | Report abuse

Circular firing squad in full effect. Breitbart and FOX News can say "mission accomplished." The conversation is about the Administration, not them.

They get away with baselessly smearing a woman on national television. And an entire summer of Black Panther fear-mongering. They can continue to claim that journalism is the same thing as spreading lies to make the administration look bad.

I hope the Fox News correspondent likes Helen Thomas' chair.

Because it appears no one is willing to honestly admit that if the administration hadn't fired this woman, every conservative pundit would be talking about how the full video doesn't exculpate her and members of the "responsible" media would report the story as a he said/she said, and as though a reasonable person could think there was a reason to think this woman was a problem. Because, you know, to do otherwise would be biased and not admit the "controversy."

We're all seriously pretending that after what we saw with ACORN and with the Black Panther nonsense we can believe that the facts would have mattered?

I'm disgusted that FOX News, an organization that claims to be a journalistic enterprise, reports this story. The Administration treats them like a legitimate journalistic enterprise and fires the person who was the subject of their story. Only it turns out that Fox News isn't a legitimate media enterprise, and they put up a shockingly inflammatory and selectively edited story when they didn't know any of the relevant facts or context. But the bad guy here is the Administration, because they treated Fox News like a legitimate media enterprise that had sourced a bombshell like this before running with it.

And even as they crucify the Administration for treating Fox News like a legitimate media enterprise, every mainstream media outlet continues to treat Fox News like a legitimate media enterprise.

If you think the Administration should have treated Fox News as something other than a legitimate media enterprise, then you have to stand by this. Deny them Helen Thomas' seat. Give it to NPR or to Bloomberg.

This is the total insanity of the beltway. The administration was damned if they did, damned if they didn't, and Fox News' actions in creating this no-win situation are totally beside the point.

I'm so disgusted with you reporters.

Posted by: theorajones1 | July 21, 2010 11:23 AM | Report abuse


Shirley "his own people" Sherrod was told the White House had ordered her to resign. Quote:

Shirley Sherrod, the former Georgia director of Rural Development, said she received a phone call from the USDA's deputy undersecretary Cheryl Cook on Monday while she was in a car. Cook told her that the White House wanted her to call it quits.

"They called me twice," Sherrod told the Associated Press. "The last time they asked me to pull over the side of the road and submit my resignation on my Blackberry, and that's what I did."

Posted by: screwjob17 | July 21, 2010 11:27 AM | Report abuse

@JennOfArk:

Breitbart had nothing to do with producing any videos of those race-baiting members of Congress walking through the Tea Party rally. He offered $100,000 for video proof that it happened. Nobody has claimed the reward. Get your story straight.

"Absence of evidence is not evidence of absence. There is no video from the day the alleged incidents happened."

Are you kidding? Try to make that point in a court of law. All your doing is allowing charges of racism to fly around as fact without any evidence to back it up. That's exactly what these race-baiting members of Congress did and what the NAACP did.

@srw3:

Sorry to burst your bubble, but the NAACP was attempting to make it out as if the entire Tea Party movement as racist, without evidence proving the entire Tea Party movement is racist, and the leftist MSM went along with it. This is exactly how the Journolist wanted.

Posted by: steve_tsouloufis | July 21, 2010 11:34 AM | Report abuse

@JennOfArk:

"Absence of evidence is not evidence of absence. There is no video from the day the alleged incidents happened."

One other thing. This proves Breitbart's point. There was no video, nobody collected on the $100,000 reward, therefore no evidence.

Posted by: steve_tsouloufis | July 21, 2010 11:36 AM | Report abuse


Why is Obama so afraid of FOX News?

It seems like now if Fox News tells Obama to dance, then Obama gets up and does the soft-shoe.

Posted by: chasemonster | July 21, 2010 11:38 AM | Report abuse

steve_tsouloufis, I'm beginning to feel sorry for ignorant people like you. It's truly your loss that you support vehement racism.

Posted by: Ethan2010 | July 21, 2010 11:46 AM | Report abuse


I don't know WaPo hacks are swallowing what NAACP has posted as "the full video", because the NAACP YouTube video is clearly edited in the middle of the "farmer story" at 20:59 there is clearly a cut in the middle of a sentence followed by a scene change, and who knows how much has been by the NAACP during the gap that was edited out. There is a very visible scene change possible to edit out additional race baiting remarks by Sherrod.

See for yourself:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=E9NcCa_KjXk

Posted by: screwjob17 | July 21, 2010 11:55 AM | Report abuse

Obama is concerned about the bigger issues and has a low tolerance for people issues that centers around race..I believe that he is too ready to make issues like this go away because he does not want anything to nullify his forward progress for his agenda for America..but in this case more scrutinity and due diligence should have been done to assess the validity of the reporting by FOX and Breitbart.. when their sole purpose for getting up everyday is to create a "waterloo" for him.

Posted by: sabrina2 | July 21, 2010 11:57 AM | Report abuse


The "full video" has NOT been release by NAACP

I don't know how the leftist WaPo hack dares call that "the full video" because the NAACP YouTube video is clearly edited in the middle of at 20:59 there is clearly a cut in the middle of a sentence and who knows how much has been by the NAACP during the gap that was edited out right in the middle of her "farmer story". Quite possible Sherrod uttering more race baiting remarks.

See for yourself the scene change happens right around 20:59 so the liars at NAACP clearly cut out some content.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=E9NcCa_KjXk

Posted by: screwjob17 | July 21, 2010 12:05 PM | Report abuse

"Ben Smith notes this morning, it highlights this White House's tendency to sidestep racial controversies and cede turf to the right's efforts to stoke racial resentment."

==============

This is going to be really long, and I apologize.

I've said it before, and I'll say it again: our political press corp is very, very white and it shows. They don't really understand why minorities in professional positions, like the Presidency, have in some cases more problems handling race issues than our white colleagues. One big reason why Obama couldn't get visibly angry at BP on television was because he ran the risk of being called an "angry black man"--white men like Carville and Chris Matthews never get labeled with stereotypes like that. Remember when he calmly said that "the police acted stupidly" in arresting Skip Gates in his own home? All of a sudden, people across the political spectrum started questioning whether he was "angry" and wondered whether his statement was racially motivated. And of course there was the whole Rev. Wright scandal, which, incidentally, was based on another tape that was taken somewhat out of context.

Not only that, but look at how quickly the Post and other "responsible" news outlets were willing to believe the claim that Sherrod was/is prejudiced. It's a dangerous line for a racial minority to walk.

Is it terrible that the White House didn't step up and support Sherrod, or at least intervene? Yes. And in a painful twist, their actions allowed Glenn Beck to chastise them for firing her over an out of context remark. But it's not surprising, really, that the administration has to walk an awkward and often painful line when it comes to race. Like I would never, ever, in a million years complain about some instance of racism in my workplace unless I had a white person to back me up. The President has Joe "the whitest guy in America" Biden to back him up, and he should use him more often, but y'all in the press need to look inward and realize that even though he's the President, his White House doesn't have the same privileges that the largely white press corp has. Racial minorities literally cannot have the same discussion as whites on a national stage. That's where white allies come in to play, but I don't really see them stepping up.

Posted by: dkp01 | July 21, 2010 12:12 PM | Report abuse

i dont get it, is this bill clinton's robert byrd standard applicable to all democrats, not just ones of whom we try not to speak ill of because they are passed?

I doubt if George Allen made friends with the guy he called "macaca" and gave a speech saying how he learned from it that any of these people defending sherrod would be very impressed.

it may just be a media attempt to distract from the real telling part of this video, that some people in the crowd voiced subtle agreement with her recounting her discriminatory acts and the man seated next to her was smiling while she explained her acts of discrimination.

in any event, the way this has backfired on the left and the white house is deliciously ironic. as for shirely sherrod, its hard to have sympathy considering the modius operandi of the group she was associating herself with in that video.

Posted by: dummypants | July 21, 2010 12:12 PM | Report abuse

"its hard to have sympathy considering the modius operandi of the group"

Yeah, we know you racists hate racial equality.

You are VASTLY outnumbered scumbag.

Posted by: Ethan2010 | July 21, 2010 12:19 PM | Report abuse

"Breitbart had nothing to do with producing any videos of those race-baiting members of Congress walking through the Tea Party rally. He offered $100,000 for video proof that it happened. Nobody has claimed the reward. Get your story straight."

Nice try, dimbulb. I didn't say Breitbart had anything to do with producing any videos of (as you characterize them) "race-baiting members of Congress" (that's an interesting new term for people with darker skin). What I said was he pimped a video shot the day AFTER the incidents alleged and claimed it PROVED that the alleged incidents - which again, happened the day BEFORE the video he was pimping was shot - never happened. And you bought it and are still buying it.

Just because nothing happened on the day of the video he DID show, it doesn't prove that nothing happened on the PREVIOUS day. And FWIW, most rational, reasonable people realize that you're more likely to see people acting like asses when they don't have video cameras pointed at them recording their actions. Which is why we didn't see that activity the following day, which again, is the day the video that Breitbart pimped was shot.

I still have to say I find it curious that you consider "walking on public property while black" to be "race-baiting." Just further proof that there's no racism in the TeaBagger movement, I'm sure.

Posted by: JennOfArk | July 21, 2010 12:21 PM | Report abuse

BS on you noting Ben Smith! It's exactly that sort of false equivalency by the media that give the Breiberts, Becks and Fox News undue credibility.

Posted by: NMP1 | July 21, 2010 12:22 PM | Report abuse

If this is the entire video - then vulgar, screaming, knuckle-draging rightwingers fooled American yet again! NOTHING on this video is racist.

Posted by: ANTGA | July 21, 2010 12:23 PM | Report abuse

This was no Breitbart smear as you assert. Breitbart never called for the firing of Sherrod. His point was the NAACP's audience reaction to her story before she shared her moral. Why can't you and the media get your facts straight. As to trusting the media, why would anyone, including the Obama administration, trust the main stream media?

Posted by: sarno | July 21, 2010 12:24 PM | Report abuse

FOX, Beck?

The NAACP should come clean too. They are so quick and so accustomed to playing the 'race card' that they played it one of their own. Too darn lazy to even watch the full tape before they dumped on Sherrod. Some evidence don't you that the NAACP is a racist outfit?

And Greg, did you participate in the Journolist game that connived to manipulate the news by playing the RACE CARD against conservatives who, in 2008, were doing what the in-the-tank-for-Obama mainstream media wouldn't do, namely report on the remarks of a real racist, and Obama mentor, the Reverend Jeremiah Wright?

And when will the WaPost cover the Journolist story? After all, it was started by a POST "reporter" (snicker, snicker), Ezra Klein?

Just how many WaPO (snicker, snicker) "reporters" were conniving at Journolist to ' report' news 1970s-Pravda style?

WaPost and objective reporting = oxymoron!

Posted by: hartwr1 | July 21, 2010 12:28 PM | Report abuse

Other things that never happened, because there's no video proof of them:

The murder of Julius Caesar
The black plague
The Battle of Waterloo
Washington's victory at Yorktown
The eruption of Krakatoa
& etc etc etc

Even stupid people are smart enough to recognize that sometimes things happen when no video camera is rolling. So I have to assume that the ignorance on this point is entirely willful.

Posted by: JennOfArk | July 21, 2010 12:28 PM | Report abuse

Post Racial = Most Racial. Stimulus ? Health reform? Jobs? Hmm, what do ya think the talking points for Nov? Well, if poll #’s were higher, you know our pals in Journolist would run with the magnanimity and historical fluff. Seen those Greek columns? But, but , but we need to change the subject and darn, race and class are so tried and true. Call the groups, NAACP, CBC, & OUR team with” tingles up their legs”, it’s back to the bottom of the deck. Truth is so yesterday, especially when the lie detector is broken. Blame Fox and talk radio, after all everyone else is on vacation and only G-d knows everything. The NAACP really ran with the ball. After all we can’t have racists resonating with African Americans and women? We take care of those folks, what’s wrong with a little dependency and identity politics in exchange for votes and power retention? Hey, Congressional Black Caucus forgot about all those video cameras that exposed no, zippo, nothing in the “N” word or epithets were yelled, but the suits at the networks have our back. Let’s show the Tea folks how it’s done. Where’s my golf bag?

Posted by: pauldia | July 21, 2010 12:29 PM | Report abuse

And, as if on cue, pauldia weighs in to prove the wisdom of my last statement.

Posted by: JennOfArk | July 21, 2010 12:34 PM | Report abuse

"I don't know how the leftist WaPo hack dares call that "the full video" because the NAACP YouTube video is clearly edited in the middle of at 20:59 there is clearly a cut in the middle of a sentence and who knows how much has been by the NAACP during the gap that was edited out right in the middle of her "farmer story". Quite possible Sherrod uttering more race baiting remarks."

Yeah, it's all a liberal conspiracy that all tapes are made a certain length so that this one would run out at the precise moment she was going to say something racist. Keep throwing that poo up against the wall.

Posted by: schrodingerscat | July 21, 2010 12:34 PM | Report abuse

theorajones1

LOL! FOX didn't report the story until after Sherrod had resigned.

But as someone who probably spends all their time watching the hate merchants at MSNBC, you wouldn't know this.

Posted by: hartwr1 | July 21, 2010 12:38 PM | Report abuse

Looks to me like the Obama Administration and the NAACP have some explaining to do. I don't think a beer garden event on the White House lawn will fix this one. This is not about Beck. Last I heard, he was not in Sherrod's chain of command. The judgement was made by people serving in the administration. That judgement was obviously poor; an all too common theme in Washington. Seems to me that the ones who so easily throw the racism spears would do well to take an introspective look at themselves. Makes one wonder who the real racists are.

Posted by: donchew1 | July 21, 2010 12:44 PM | Report abuse

Jennof Ark

Well, by your standard, I guess slavery didn't happen either. Kumbaya! Kumbaya!

Posted by: hartwr1 | July 21, 2010 12:47 PM | Report abuse

To heck with Vilsack. He takes his orders from the White House. The more important issue is that we have a ROPA DOPE problem in the West Wing. This is the third or forth time the administration has been snookered by Fox News and people like Mr. Breitbart. Same twisted facts, edited video, accusations of black on white racism. An obvious bomb dropped by the usual suspects just to stir up racial resentments. You would think by now the White House would have caught on to the tactic and not knee jerk a reaction. But no. They fall for it every time. Duh! Are Mr. Axelrod and Immanuel and Ms Jarret so immersed in election year politics that they miss the fact that they are being “played.” This time they are looking particularly foolish. How much you wanna bet they will not ADMIT to being snookered! We will hear a lot of words but no real apologies. As to Mr. Breitbart it is time the media grew a pair and exposed him..... his agent provocateur act has become dangerous.

Posted by: tarryh | July 21, 2010 12:50 PM | Report abuse

I don't think this was a Vilsack mistake. Rather I think this is a classic Obama sandbag.

Greg, I think you nailed it in your close.

This is an opportunity for the Obama administration to point out the lack of credibility from far-right "news". It's like when Dan Rather took the forged military documents public -- it cost him his job and CBS credibility.

Going into the far right fantasy season, he'll be able to point out the Sharrod scandal created by the right. Th scandal is that the right bent the news to the point of outright lies.

Posted by: colonelpanic | July 21, 2010 12:50 PM | Report abuse

@hartwr1 : Can't you go over to the Journolist thread and post your vicious lies there. You would could converse with lots of people from your hometown in farrightwingnutistan...

"LOL! FOX didn't report the story until after Sherrod had resigned."

LOL Fox didn't try to verify the accuracy of the tape, get the source who provided it, speak to any of the principals involved, or point out that Breibart has been caught repeatedly editing tapes to distort their meaning before showing it.

That's real journalism.

Posted by: srw3 | July 21, 2010 12:50 PM | Report abuse

"Well, by your standard, I guess slavery didn't happen either. Kumbaya! Kumbaya!"

I'm sure your poor reading comprehension hindered your understanding that I made exactly the opposite point.

As I said, absence of evidence is not evidence of absence. There were no witnesses to Nicole Brown's murder, and no video. That doesn't mean she wasn't murdered, which is the standard that idiot TeaBaggers have adopted to "prove" that no one spit on or used racist epithets against black congressmen. So there's no video of it. That's not proof that it didn't happen.

So many dull knives in the drawer.

Posted by: JennOfArk | July 21, 2010 1:02 PM | Report abuse

@screwjob17 : I'd be interested in your take on what the actual subjects of the story, the couple who Sherrod helped save their farm said about Sherrod's alleged "racism." Don't you find it strange that those folks defend Sherrod against the false charges of racism? just askin...

Posted by: srw3 | July 21, 2010 1:03 PM | Report abuse

Anyone hear this truly awful segment on NPR by Andrea Seabrook called: "Victories In Congress May Cost Democrats At Polls"?

http://tinyurl.com/2a4exqq

The first thing she told everyone was to ignore the substance of the bills passed -- that's what she said! -- and instead look at their number.

Then she turns around and spends the rest of the time trying to paint the substance of the bills (which we're supposed to be ignoring) as the product of partisanship and -- trumpets please -- the reason why the Democrats are going to get pummeled in November.

The whole piece was worthy of Politico.

Posted by: leoklein | July 21, 2010 1:03 PM | Report abuse

since context matter, why dont we take a look at the rest of that tape/audio where a tea partier called a black congressman a you-know-what.

oh, wait, i forgot, there is NO tape/audio of that ever happening, even though there is footage with audio from the same place at the same time! because it NEVER HAPPENED!

Posted by: dummypants | July 21, 2010 1:06 PM | Report abuse

Here is the sad part; in spite of how this event has now been shown to be a contrived hoax, aided and abetted by a right wing blogger, cheered on by slanted coverage from Fox News and magified by the new media which is more concerned about getting the story out rather than getting it out, not a thing is going to change how stories like this are covered or received by the public.

Ms. Sherrod is going to go down in history as collateral damage to a 21st Century version of Joseph Goebbel's big lie theory of propoganda. Tell a story, slant it to take advantage of prejucices and pre-conceived notions and then say it as loud and as frequently as you can. Voila? a large percentage of the population believes it to be true particularly absent any contrasting facts or point of view.

We will see this kind of misdirection and confusion again because political activists and the new media understand they can profit from it. Does anyone expect Glen Beck or Rush Limbaugh to be ashamed of how they used this edited piece of video tape an added their own right wing and racist narrative? Of course, not; they will look for the next incident to build their ratings and credibility with the audience who listens to them and believes everything they say as if it were gospel. when you hate, you hate and no amount of objectivity or logic can change that. And, while their audience will not admit it to themselves those who religiously follow the message and teachings of Beck and Limbaugh do have a predisposition to hate those who are not like them or who disagree with their views. They cannot be real "patriots" or "Americans."

There were so many uniindicted co-conspirators in this crime, it is impossible to list them. But, maybe some reading this post might ask themself a simple question. If you had been treated like Ms. Sherrod how would you feel today? And whom would you seek to hold accountable for, first, creating a false rumor and, then for so aggressively and viciously spreading it around?

Posted by: bobfbell | July 21, 2010 1:22 PM | Report abuse

Tom Vilsack is a coward. For that matter so is NAACP's Benjamin Jealous.

Posted by: NoCoffee | July 21, 2010 1:24 PM | Report abuse

@JennOfArk:

"What I said was he pimped a video shot the day AFTER the incidents alleged and claimed it PROVED that the alleged incidents - which again, happened the day BEFORE the video he was pimping was shot - never happened. And you bought it and are still buying it."

Excuse me, but Breitbart's $100,000 offer had nothing to do with any type of video you say he was pimping, but that he wanted somebody to provide video evidence of Tea Party racism. No video was provided. Ergo, no proof of any racism by those who made it.

'I still have to say I find it curious that you consider "walking on public property while black" to be "race-baiting."'

Nice try. Those politicians were race-baiting not because they walked on public property while black, but because they later claimed, and continue to claim, loudly and publicly, without evidence, that they were subjected to the "evils" of the Tea Partiers.

"Even stupid people are smart enough to recognize that sometimes things happen when no video camera is rolling."

Let's see how well that holds up. You have thousands and thousands of people at a rally. You have thousands of people with video cameras within their cell phones. You have news crews with video cameras all around. There were many people filming those Congressmen walking through the rally. Yet, not one video exists showing what certain politicians claimed, that they were "victims of racism" by Tea Partiers. And this with many video cameras pointing at them.

Even stupid people are smart enough to recognize that sometimes things don't happen when video cameras are rolling. Like assertions of racism made later by lying, race-baiting politicians.

Posted by: steve_tsouloufis | July 21, 2010 1:27 PM | Report abuse

Nice try Steve. But Brian Buetler of TPM personally witnessed & reported on the incident of Barney Frank being called a "f***ot" by the tea baggers in that same crowd only moments after the alleged racial slurs were shouted at the black congressmen. And there's no tape of Barney being called a "f***ot", either. Perhaps because the teabaggers in the crowd realized that not everyone would find their antics as amusing as they did, so they erased them or kept them private. Or perhaps because no one was filming. Either way, it's not a HUGE stretch of the imagination to think that a crowd who screamed "f***ot" at a gay congressman would shrink from screaming "N***ER" at a black congressman.

Further, after the incident with Frank, as Buetler reports,security started trying to clear the TeaBaggers from the area. The TeaBaggers quickly summoned a compatriot to come film the incident with video equipment, at which point security backed off.

Ok, so: we know the Frank incident occured right after the alleged racist incident, and no one filmed it. We also know that very shortly after the Frank incident, the TeaBaggers SUMMONED someone with video equipment TO THE AREA to film them bein' oppressed when security tried to eject them after their boorish stunts.

All of the facts lend to supporting that no one was filming either the Frank incident (which was witnessed) or the alleged racial incident.

Furthermore, Buetler published this account on the day the alleged incident occured, NOT after the arrogant congresspeople stepped over the line and harrassed the poor orderly TeaBaggers by walking on public property the following day.

The tape that your fellow traveller dummypants (appropriate handle, BTW!) thinks proves that these incidents never happened is one from the following day, when Nancy Pelosi joined the black congressmen in their walk to the House to cast the vote for health care. We all agree there were no racial epithets shouted that day. Then again, networks had cameras on the scene. But that doesn't prove anything about the events of the previous day, and there's ample evidence of bad behavoir on the TeaBagger's part THAT day.

Posted by: JennOfArk | July 21, 2010 1:58 PM | Report abuse


"Here I was faced with having to help a white person save their land. So I didn't give him the full force of what I could do. So I figured if I take him to one of them [a white lawyer], his own kind would take care of him. ... I took him to one of his own "

- Shirley Sherrod

Now change that to

"Here I was faced with having to help a black person save their land. So I didn't give him the full force of what I could do. So I figured if I take him to one of them [a black lawyer], his own kind would take care of him. ... I took him to one of his own "

Acceptable commentary by a high ranking white government official if the subject were a black man? Hmm?

Posted by: screwjob17 | July 21, 2010 2:04 PM | Report abuse

Buetler's account can be found here: http://tpmdc.talkingpointsmemo.com/2010/03/tea-partiers-call-lewis-nr-frank-ft-at-capitol-hill-protest.php

The events in question are alleged to have occured when the congressmen exited the Cannon Building, where they were gathered with the president the day before the health care vote. Yet you yabos still insist that because no one was shouting "n***er!" in that tape with Nancy Pelosi and the congressmen walking to the House, that it couldn't have happened the previous day.

Posted by: JennOfArk | July 21, 2010 2:12 PM | Report abuse

@JennOfArk:

Brian Beutler is your sourse. Brian Beutler of TPM. Brian Beutler, one of the Journolist people who don't have a moral problem with smearing people with false charges of racism and using it as a political tactic. That is your source?

Let me know when you come up with something credible.

Posted by: steve_tsouloufis | July 21, 2010 2:52 PM | Report abuse

@JennOfArk:

I'll say this. Beutler probably did hear the things he reported. In his own head, but not from any of the Tea Party activists. Kind of like when Maureen Dowd heard Rep. Joe Wilson say "You lie, boy" during Obama's health care speech last year when what Wilson actually said was "You lie." So Dowd heard "boy." But it was in her head.

Posted by: steve_tsouloufis | July 21, 2010 3:00 PM | Report abuse

steve - those are all nice dodges from the central point that you've been claiming all along that "nothing happened" based on the events of an entirely different DAY.

Of course you don't believe Beutler, because that's not what you WANT to believe. But there doesn't seem to be any question that the slurs against Frank took place. Frank commented on them, and they motivated security to try to clear the area, at which point, as noted, the TeaBaggers called in someone to videotape them bein' oppressed.

And the best you can come up with is "I don't know who Brian Buetler is but he reports for TPM so obviously he's a liar, despite the other facts that support what he says."

You deserve to go through life stupid.

Posted by: JennOfArk | July 21, 2010 3:18 PM | Report abuse

@JennOfArk:

"You deserve to go through life stupid."

Maybe I do deserve it, but it's a good thing I haven't. I've figured out that what is stupid is taking anything said by leftists or liberals or progressives (or whatever else you all call yourselves these days) or Democrats (and most Republicans) as gospel, since lying and subverting the Constitution are SOP for them.

Posted by: steve_tsouloufis | July 21, 2010 3:59 PM | Report abuse

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