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White House official: We didn't push for Sherrod's firing

A White House official insists that the White House didn't pressure Shirley Sherrod to resign, or pressure USDA chief Tom Vilsack to fire her, over the Andrew Breitbart video allegedly showing her claiming she didn't help a white farmer 24 years ago because of racial reasons.

"We did not pressure USDA or Ms. Sherrod," the White House official emails me. Ben Smith was told something similar.

Separately, Vilsack, who fired Sherrod while declaring zero tolerance for "discrimination," released a statement that seemed to take ownership of the firing, without quite clarifing whether the White House had any role:

Yesterday, I asked for and accepted Ms. Sherrod's resignation for two reasons. First, for the past 18 months, we have been working to turn the page on the sordid civil rights record at USDA and this controversy could make it more difficult to move forward on correcting injustices. Second, state rural development directors make many decisions and are often called to use their discretion. The controversy surrounding her comments would create situations where her decisions, rightly or wrongly, would be called into question making it difficult for her to bring jobs to Georgia.

Our policy is clear. There is zero tolerance for discrimination at USDA and we strongly condemn any act of discrimination against any person. We have a duty to ensure that when we provide services to the American people we do so in an equitable manner. But equally important is our duty to instill confidence in the American people that we are fair service providers.

Some have been claiming that the firing shows the White House allowed itself to be led around by the nose by Breitbart. And this quote from a White House official may not quiet the criticism, perhaps understandably, since it's anonymous.

Whatever the White House role, if Vilsack canned this woman based on the strength of the Breitbart video alone, before the facts were in -- and we don't know for certain that it happened this way, though it certainly appears so -- that's appalling on its own.

UPDATE, 6:17 p.m.: Much more in the way of reactions to this right here.

UPDATE, 6:30 p.m.: The NAACP admits to having been snookered by Breitbart and Fox.

By Greg Sargent  |  July 20, 2010; 4:26 PM ET
Categories:  Political media  
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Vilsack is the one who ought to be resigning. At least he took "credit" for firing her, but to do so without hearing the full story, as seems evident from Ms. Sherrod's statements to CNN, is outrageous. Her story actually is a perfect example of the kind of thing the USDA is trying to overcome, and how to do that. And she was working for an entirely different agency when it happened 24 years ago.

This is outrageous and Vilsack should either resign or be fired himself for cowardice and undue haste in terminating her.

Posted by: Mimikatz | July 20, 2010 4:31 PM | Report abuse

vilsak should certainly apologize and offer sherrod her job back.

ethan has posted on the other thread that the usda just last week made some headway on combating pervasive racism at the usda which, if accurate, would seem to counsel against firing vilsak outright. but he should apologize and ask her to come back.

the wh has to take ownership of this. they are ultimately responsible and, anyway, this can be a way for them to highlight the shallow discursive techniques used by so many rightwing republicans these days.

Posted by: blahgblogwordpresscom | July 20, 2010 4:36 PM | Report abuse

Boy Greg, you and digby are really riffing off each other today. Here's her response to both Vilsack and the WH statement. I fall into her camp on this one and it is a pattern, we all know it, IMO: Acorn, Dawn Johnsen, Van Jones, Abortion coverage in the high risk pool, letting illegals purchase health insurance, etc. etc. It is what it is, let's see what they decide to do with Elizabet Warren.

""Her decision 'rightly or wrongly" will be called into question" because some right wing hitman put out an edited tape that makes her sound as if her point is the opposite of what it is, so she had to be fired.

They are telling wingnuts everywhere that all they have to do is gin up a phony controversy (especially about a black person, apparently) and the administration will fire them so as not to shake confidence that they are "fair service providers."

This is sheer cowardice."

Posted by: lmsinca | July 20, 2010 4:39 PM | Report abuse

blah: "this can be a way for them to highlight the shallow discursive techniques used by so many rightwing republicans these days."

But most likely they will pass on this opportunity, because it will also highlight that they fell hook, line & sinker to the likes of Breitbart...again!

Posted by: suekzoo1 | July 20, 2010 4:41 PM | Report abuse

I don't want to rush to judgement and criticize those who are rushing to judgement and blaming the administration for rushing to judgement over the resignation of Sherrod, who might have rushed to judgement about the farmer.

Posted by: converse | July 20, 2010 4:41 PM | Report abuse


i agree. they need to push back on this nonsense, not repeatedly cave in to it.

Posted by: blahgblogwordpresscom | July 20, 2010 4:42 PM | Report abuse

I think Mimikatz is right, though I think Vilsack resigning would be too much. An apology and re-instatement would be the way to go. I disagree that the WH needs to get more involved. This is yet another well-timed Republican race-baiting distraction story.

Here are the two links I posted earlier:

Black Farmers, USDA Agree to $1.25 Billion Settlement

Second Chance For Black Farmers

Posted by: Ethan2010 | July 20, 2010 4:43 PM | Report abuse

I looked at the video clip on Youtube. I think she was very stupid to have even start telling that story. She showed very poor judgment in recounting it.

She did say: "I did not give him the full force of what I could do". She then said that she assumed that he had been send to her by the dept. of agriculture, and that he would report to them if she had helped him, so she took him to a "white lawyer" and was going to let him take care of it.

I understand where she is coming from, based on her life experience with having witnessed so much discrimination against people of her race, but what she said at the start of the tape, is something that would be hung around President Obama's neck by The Republicans for the next two years at least, if she were kept on in her current position.

That is the cold hard reality of the situation.

The women has a good heart, and feels bad about how she first treated the man. That is clear, but politics ain't bean bag, and if she were to remain in her current position, she would allow the Republicans to use her over and over in their drive to make President Obama a President for blacks only.

That is what at stake here folks. You need to wrap your minds around that political reality.

Posted by: Liam-still | July 20, 2010 4:43 PM | Report abuse


a well timed mea culpa on this could actually have an exponential effect that carries over to a number of other issues.

but, they'd have to bite the bullet and actually do it.

the farmer's wife talked about sharing tomatos with sherrod. maybe they should all be invited to the wh for a tomato summit.

Posted by: blahgblogwordpresscom | July 20, 2010 4:45 PM | Report abuse

This is ridiculous. The White House should announce that they have decided not to accept Sherrod's resignation (over Vilsack's head) until all the facts in this situation are presented. But as I would assume that Vilsack's statement was reviewed by the White House before circulation, I don't see this happening….

This type of manufactured scandal (literally given it's the *disgusting* Breitbart) will be hyped to death by the MSM now & given that Sherrod was fired unjustly (something most American's will sympathize with), the White House is screwed for not rectifying this mess NOW.

Oh & can't wait for this insanity to completely overshadow Fin Reg bill signing tomorrow. Wonderful.

Posted by: OKeefePup | July 20, 2010 4:46 PM | Report abuse


i disagree. she's clearly recounting a lesson learned experience. why do you think the video was strategically cut off when it was.

politics ain't bean bag and all we need to do to counter the lies is show the *entire* video that will demonstrate how deliberately misleading the edited video is.

Posted by: blahgblogwordpresscom | July 20, 2010 4:49 PM | Report abuse

Many of us, when we saw this woman on the clip, related to that situation. We've either witnessed someone being treated poorly by someone like her, or, we've been a victim ourselves.
This is not an isolated incident.
It brings to mind a couple of frustrating situations without our public school system while my own kids were in school.

Posted by: ohioan | July 20, 2010 4:50 PM | Report abuse

Liam: "You need to wrap your minds around that political reality."

As if the political reality only has one side? What about the political reality of a woman from a minority group getting railroaded out of her job without a full investigation into the facts? That is full of political reality of another persuasion.

Posted by: suekzoo1 | July 20, 2010 4:52 PM | Report abuse


so, why did spooner's wife call sherrod a life long friend and credit her with saving the family farm?

that doesn't wuite fit your narrative, does it?

Posted by: blahgblogwordpresscom | July 20, 2010 4:54 PM | Report abuse

Putting another notch in Breitbart's belt isn't my idea of political reality. Where are the grown ups? Racial tension still exists as we all know and if we're going to deal with it, let's get going instead of dancing around the edges. How does firing someone who was expressing regret for conflicting thouthts within the USDA some twenty years ago move that ball forward, other than catering to the new "blacks are racist" meme floating out there in conservativeloonyland?

Posted by: lmsinca | July 20, 2010 4:55 PM | Report abuse

Now that we know the Whiteshous stands behind Vilsack, I can now agree with digby. If the Whitehouse knows what we all know now, the fact the the video producer says what Sherrod said was true and they still don't want to force Vilsack to at least offer the woman her job back they're equally wrong here. See, it's not hard for an Obama supporter to disagree with him and I do!

Posted by: roxsteady | July 20, 2010 4:57 PM | Report abuse

The right wing conservative who leaked this about Sherrod did the most disgusting bit of race baiting I've ever witnessed. All he did was whip up the white racists, and take her speech utterly out of context. Sherrod was trying to illuminate her audience 24 years ago to the error of not providing equal and just work for whoever needs it. And Faux News has been doing nothing but repeating the conservative right winger's story, trying to whip up a frenzy. All of you racists posting in here need to sit back and realize this is what you are doing. Unbelievable. Then one moron posted that well, it was the White House who fired her. NO IT WAS NOT. THAT IS A BIG FAT LIE.

Posted by: swatkins1 | July 20, 2010 4:58 PM | Report abuse

I looked at the video clip on Youtube.
That is what at stake here folks. You need to wrap your minds around that political reality.

Posted by: Liam-still | July 20, 2010 4:43 PM |

I disagree Liam.

Political reality: if you let yourself be cowed by selectively edited video from dishonest GOBPers, you'll keep getting more of the same.

This is ACORN redux from Breitbart.

Posted by: ifthethunderdontgetya | July 20, 2010 4:59 PM | Report abuse

run from bullies and they keep chasing you with more of the same.

bop them in the nose and they go home crying to mama, or in this case, fauxnews.

Posted by: blahgblogwordpresscom | July 20, 2010 5:04 PM | Report abuse

It is her story, so stop trying to spin it. She started out gloating about how that white guy was trying to condescend to her, and she said: "I knew what he was doing"

There is something on that tape, that jumped out at me. She did not get the big laughs and the right on sister shouts, from the audience, that I think she was expecting. It looks to me like she was taken back somewhat by that. Look at her body language at that point. How uncomfortable she appeared to get. It was then that she pivoted into telling about how she suffered qualms about what she had done, and then sought to provide more support to the man.

Her telling that story was the big mistake. President Obama should not be required to pay a big political price for her having run her mouth off.

She was not appearing before a truth and reconciliation commission, where such a confession would be appropriate.

Just a few days ago; Greg recounted about how Republicans said President Obama only cares about terrorist attacks on black people.

If this women were kept on, that would allow the Right Wingers to further advance the claim that Obama is not the President of White Americans.

I agree that she had to go. Keeping her on, would add further fuel to the Republican race favoritism claims about President Obama, and keep that race card alive for the next two years.

She put her foot in her own mouth. There is no reason for President Obama to transfer it to his.

Posted by: Liam-still | July 20, 2010 5:07 PM | Report abuse

BTW, It was Andrew Breitbert who leaked this totally edited for racists story. He is the one who needs to be taken to the woodshed.

And I also amend my earlier post about Vilsack....He needs to be taken to the woodshed and bent over next to Briebert. Firing Sherrod for what Briebert leaked is spineless and chicken.

Posted by: swatkins1 | July 20, 2010 5:09 PM | Report abuse

makes you wander how many farmer's she screwed before that one?

Posted by: shu_dogjd01 | July 20, 2010 5:12 PM | Report abuse


please explain how i'm trying to spin it.

i'm repeating what she and the farmer's wife said -- not exactly what i'd call spin.

even in it's edited form, at the end she recounts how she realized it wasn't about race.

and she was working for a non profit at the time, not the gov.

again, how am i spinning this?

Posted by: blahgblogwordpresscom | July 20, 2010 5:13 PM | Report abuse

Liam-stil wrote" "I looked at the video clip on Youtube. That is what at stake here folks. You need to wrap your minds around that political reality."




.It has been established that Brietbart edited the video to fit his right wing outlook. No one denies that, yet there you are, attempting to tell us the video is truth. What now, Faux News vomiter?

Posted by: swatkins1 | July 20, 2010 5:13 PM | Report abuse


i'll ask you the same questions i've asked liam and ohio:

so, why did spooner's wife call sherrod a life long friend and credit her with saving the family farm?

that doesn't quite fit your narrative, does it?

Posted by: blahgblogwordpresscom | July 20, 2010 5:14 PM | Report abuse

Yeah ... I'm "wandering" about that too doggy boy.

Posted by: cmccauley60 | July 20, 2010 5:17 PM | Report abuse

Vilsack will end up getting fired. The Obama administration is a joke why are they so scared of Fox News? CNN demolished their story within 24 hours with good old fashion reporting. A simple investigation would have vindicated this woman.

Shame on Brietbart, Fox News, Vilsack and the Obama administration.

I guess the silver lining of this story is that I was exposed to fine Americans like Sherrod and the Spooners, real Americans and classic reporting from CNN.

Posted by: cleancut77 | July 20, 2010 5:22 PM | Report abuse

swatkins1: "It has been established that Brietbart edited the video to fit his right wing outlook."

Ummm..not exactly. Breitbart only received the edited video. He told TPM that he does not have the entire thing.

From TPM: "Andrew Breitbart, who published the video clip of Shirley Sherrod's speech that led to her forced resignation, tells TPM he doesn't have the entire video either and that the clip came to him from a source already edited. But he's seen enough: "I think the video speaks for itself. The way she's talking about white people ... is conveying a present tense racism in my opinion. But racism is in the eye of the beholder."

Posted by: suekzoo1 | July 20, 2010 5:24 PM | Report abuse

I only care about what she said, at the outset of her speech in that public forum. All the rest is just damage control. It was a self inflicted wound. She is not bigger than the future election chances of Democrats. She can be replaced quite easily. Stop being such a bunch of naive political babes in the woods. This is how this kind of thing ends up, almost all the time.

When someone become politically radioactive, they get shoved out, so they do not start capturing future news cycles.

The Administration were right to let her go, instead of handing the Republicans a race preference weapon to beat them over the head with, for the next two election cycles.

Posted by: Liam-still | July 20, 2010 5:27 PM | Report abuse

Speaking of present tense:


Posted by: ifthethunderdontgetya | July 20, 2010 5:27 PM | Report abuse


so, you don't care if the video was selectively edited to give the opposite impression of what she actually said?

this is the second time brietbart has done this on a large scale -- acorn being the first.

please don't call me a political babe in the woods when you are advocating giving in, again, to a deliberately misleading and deceptive tactic.

what, do you think they'll play nice from now on and stop doing after we give in again?

Posted by: blahgblogwordpresscom | July 20, 2010 5:32 PM | Report abuse

And sue - don't necessarily believe breitbart about getting only the edited version. First he told TPM that he would release the entire video if he could get permission. It was only after he realized that he had played this game once too often did he change his story into only having the edited version.

Posted by: cmccauley60 | July 20, 2010 5:35 PM | Report abuse

cmccauley60: "First he told TPM that he would release the entire video if he could get permission."

Yeah, I know. When I read that earlier, it sounded to me that he was bluffing while trying to get his hands on the whole tape.

Whose permission would he have needed? Just a totally odd statement.

Posted by: suekzoo1 | July 20, 2010 5:40 PM | Report abuse

ya, i 'm not ready to believe that claim by brietbart either.

my point is that this cheap tactic need to be forcefully countered. if not, they rightwingers can force anyone out simply by releasing a misleadingly edited video of them and then demanding their removal because of the ginned up controversy.

will someone please explain how giving them this stick to cudgel us over and over again with makes the slightest bit of sense?

Posted by: blahgblogwordpresscom | July 20, 2010 5:41 PM | Report abuse

I'm thinking if she's a male, Obozzo sends in JockHolder to investigate. At the very least he should have held one of his famous and obviously highly effective beer summits.

Posted by: Bcamp55 | July 20, 2010 5:41 PM | Report abuse

I thought I just saw an interview with her on CNN and she said she got three phone calls telling her that the WH wanted her to resign because it was going to be on Glen Beck. WH house is lying as usual.

Posted by: Truthteller12 | July 20, 2010 5:41 PM | Report abuse


Apparently, one of your WaPo colleagues is misquoting Sherrod on the WH role in this.

From TPM:

"Point of Clarification
David Kurtz | July 20, 2010, 5:11PM"

There's been some confusion today over one aspect of this Breitbart/USDA story that I want to try to clear up.

Shirley Sherrod, the USDA official forced out, did an on camera interview with CNN at midday. In the interview, Sherrod described the pressure she came under yesterday from within the USDA to resign her post in light of the Breitbart video. Shortly after that, the Washington Post had a write-up of the interview in which they quote Sherrod as saying, "I got three calls from the White House. At one point they asked me to pull over to the side of the road and do it because you are going to be on Glenn Beck tonight."

Now that purported declaration -- that she got three calls from the White House demanding her resignation -- seems off to anyone who follows these things. Sherrod is a low-level official. The White House wouldn't need to get involved so directly and rarely ever wants to. Why get involved directly in a mess that you can leave to a cabinet department to handle? So if Sherrod's account of what happened yesterday is off, then how reliable is her account of the speech she gave back in March?

But here's the thing: We can't find any evidence she actually said that, either in the video or in CNN's transcript. What she did say, our review of the video shows, was: "I had at least three calls telling me the White House wanted me to resign."

That's very, very different."

Posted by: suekzoo1 | July 20, 2010 5:44 PM | Report abuse

I guess she was sleeping during all those Rev King speech and missed the part where he was wishing people could be measured by the content of your character vs the color of your skin. She's got plenty of time to smell the coffee now.

Posted by: Bcamp55 | July 20, 2010 5:44 PM | Report abuse

Suekzoo1: What happened to journalism? Is the internet to blame. Such sloppy conveyances I'm not sure if I can believe a fraction of what I read anymore. I'll just stick to CNN.

Posted by: cleancut77 | July 20, 2010 5:46 PM | Report abuse

Bcamp55: "She's got plenty of time to smell the coffee now."

So do you.

Posted by: suekzoo1 | July 20, 2010 5:47 PM | Report abuse

This happened 28 years ago and the moral of her story is not about color but poor people in general. The White farmer she helped called her a good friend and she helped to save their farm. The Republicans are just trying to use this to help win the elections because they are a tired party with old failed ideas that don't work. The Republicans have no agenda, ideas or plans to move this country foward so they are trying to play the race card. Now that we know the full extent of what she said, now were discussing the White Houses involvement in this. Republicans aren't going to win with trickery, miseducating the publice and manipulation of the American People. The need to get serious and get an agenda.

Posted by: amosdefnails | July 20, 2010 5:50 PM | Report abuse

Sounds like bcamp has been sniffing the glue.

Posted by: cmccauley60 | July 20, 2010 5:50 PM | Report abuse


You can try to spin it all you want to. What she said at the start of video is coming right out of her own mouth, and she has not denied that.

President Obama is too smart a politician to keep her on, because she would then become a race card anchor that would drag him down.

This is just yet another example of Political Reality 101 being played out.

That is the reality that I care about. All this talk about doctored tapes, and being taken out of context, and all the rest of it, counts for nothing.

Once the tape of her talking about how she handled a white farmer, when he applied for help, surfaced, her fate was sealed.

She had to go, or else you were going to hear from the Republicans about how every white person in positions of responsibility were not given the same breaks. You were going to hear about poor mistreated Trent Lott, and on and on.

Posted by: Liam-still | July 20, 2010 5:50 PM | Report abuse

Liam, you can spin it all you want, but most people would be interested in and would consider the entire story, not just the sound bite.

Posted by: suekzoo1 | July 20, 2010 5:53 PM | Report abuse

The Republicans want to use this 28 year old story that they edited to attack Obama. Thats what this is about. They can't beat Obama on any other stage so now they wan't to paint him as a racist or his staff are racist. If the Republicans want to win elections why don't they get some new ideas, plans, and get rid of the old failed Bush policies that don't work. If the Republicans had an agenda they wouldn't have to edit Ms. sherrods speech and call her a racist.

Posted by: amosdefnails | July 20, 2010 5:54 PM | Report abuse

This is bizarre beyond belief. How could anybody be fired for this sort of alleged incident 24 years after it happened? How could anybody be fired for such an alleged incident that took place when she was employed elsewhere?

According the to farmer, Shirley Sherrod actually helped save the farm from foreclosure.

This is part of the problem of the Internet age: So many decisions made all too quickly thanks to the lightening-fast communications network.

Then again, the Internet age has changed the role of fringe politics, enabling the radical right get the kind of attention it couldn't get before the Internet and enabling it to kidnap the Republican Party.

And the Internet has lowered the level of political discussion and civilty. The proof is right here with the incredibly nasty things posted, admittedly mostly by members of the radical right.

Posted by: dl49 | July 20, 2010 5:54 PM | Report abuse


again, please explain how i am spinning this. i'm just reporting the actual facts.

like the fact that this was 24 years ago when she worked for a non profit. does this little fact mean anything to you?

and, you haven't answered how giving in again to lies makes any sense. do you honestly think they'll stop if we give in yet again?

did you listen to the interview on cnn? did you read the ajc article? did you hear the wife of the farmer call her a life long friend and credit her with saving the farm?

are you just going to call these questions spin? again?

seriously, please answer these questions.

Posted by: blahgblogwordpresscom | July 20, 2010 5:55 PM | Report abuse

Who's Lying Here?
The reason she was thrown under the Bus is a vain attempt
of the NAACP to keep the Tea Party racist story going.

Posted by: BEP58 | July 20, 2010 5:56 PM | Report abuse

REPUBLICAN PARTY GET AN AGENDA. STop running scared of Obama and come up with some new ideas and plans to move this country foward. This is proof the Republicans are running scared. Whenever they start race baiting its because they don't have any other cards to play. The Republican Party is a loser Party.

Posted by: amosdefnails | July 20, 2010 5:57 PM | Report abuse

The White House may not have pushed for it, but they also didn't force Vilsack to do a better job of handling it.

I'm sure Shirley Sherrod is not the most PR savvy goverment official. And in the current climate of "made-for-FOX-News-fake-scandals" the administration wanted to nip this in the bud -- unfortunately at cost to Shirley Sherrod.

But here is where mainstream media can stop parroting FOX news and report the real, unedited story (which in and of itself will repair Ms. Sherrod's character.)

Enough with the fake, trumped up scandals. Enough with Breitbart and FOX and the rest of the rightwing smear machine. Enough!

Posted by: jade_7243 | July 20, 2010 5:58 PM | Report abuse

This couldn't of work out better for the Tea Party. This exposes
the White House and the NAACP for what they are.

Posted by: BEP58 | July 20, 2010 5:59 PM | Report abuse

blah, Liam's first comment on this story is that he hadn't been following it. Apparently, now, he has watched the Breitbart clip. And he's read the comments here. Beyond that????

Posted by: suekzoo1 | July 20, 2010 6:00 PM | Report abuse

Vilsack is a sack of excrement. Just another horrible choice of Obama's, which shows what Obama truly is.

This woman does NOT deserve to be fired.

I despise Obama for the way he throws everybody he can under the bus just to appease repugs.

Posted by: solsticebelle | July 20, 2010 6:00 PM | Report abuse

Hey, I have an idea!

Let's argue over whether it was the right decision whether to fire her or not, and not go after the people who perpetrated this incident!

Cmon Liam, Blahg, ya'll are better than to fall for this trap.

Posted by: Ethan2010 | July 20, 2010 6:02 PM | Report abuse


sadly, you may be right. he certainly doesn't seem to have all the info that's readily at hand.


i'm guessing you're a puma, right?

Posted by: blahgblogwordpresscom | July 20, 2010 6:04 PM | Report abuse


i *am* advocating going after brietbart and fox and not giving in to their lies.

sadly, liam appears to be advocating the opposite.

Posted by: blahgblogwordpresscom | July 20, 2010 6:05 PM | Report abuse

G-d-mm-t, Obama!! Stop playing a blame game! The buck stops with you. Take responsibility, apologize to her, give her her job back, and discipline Vilsack.


Posted by: uh_huhh | July 20, 2010 6:07 PM | Report abuse

and i'll say that i usually agree with liam. on this issue, however, i think he is all turned around.

Posted by: blahgblogwordpresscom | July 20, 2010 6:07 PM | Report abuse

The video clip is not of her speaking twenty four years ago. It is in very recent times.

Looks like some who want to hang their hats on the video having been manipulated to put words in her mouth, to show her saying something she never said, are not above trying to manipulate the truth by claiming that it is twenty four year old story.

It is not. What she is talking about may have happened twenty four years ago, but she is the one who told the story in very recent times.

We can not defeat the lies of the other side, by trying to distort the truth toward our own ends.

She chose to tell that story recently, which makes it a recent story, not a twenty four year old one.

She had to go. I am glad that The White House recognized that, and took swift action.

Posted by: Liam-still | July 20, 2010 6:07 PM | Report abuse

blahg, right on, then leave him to his devices before the thread disintegrates. This story, like ACORN etc, SUCKS. It is race baiting BS and everyone knows it.

So let's point the finger at the perpetrators -- Breitbart and Fox -- and call it a day.

There are VASTLY more pressing and important issues afoot. Unemployment benefits, Kagan, FinReg gets signed tomorrow...

Posted by: Ethan2010 | July 20, 2010 6:09 PM | Report abuse

All, Happy Hour Roundup posted:

Posted by: Greg Sargent | July 20, 2010 6:09 PM | Report abuse

What a clusterf**k. I can't see how anyone "wins" from this. Unless, the Administration does an about face with Sherrod.

I tell you one thing, the GOP/Wingers have gotten the country so riled up with race-baiting b.s. the Admin is looking behind its back all the time now.

Just what the country needs...BUT, if the Admin doesn't cave to ridiculous accusations and proceeds *deliberately*, maybe some of this crap will end.

Posted by: ChuckinDenton | July 20, 2010 6:11 PM | Report abuse


did you hear at the end of even the edited bit when she said she learned it wasn't all about race?

she wasn't working for the gov -- does that mean *nothing* to you?

does the testimony of the farmer's wife mean *nothing* to you?

and, again, please explain how giving into this deceitful tactic yet again prevents, in any way, them from doing this tomorrow and every day till the election?

again, i'm not distorting or spinning anything. you have yet to show how i am. i am simply repeating the available evidence.

you advocate surrendering to this tactic. fine. i get that. but i think that is the worst possible decision.

check out the cnn interview. read the ajc article.

Posted by: blahgblogwordpresscom | July 20, 2010 6:19 PM | Report abuse

Were they to do an about face then they would look far worse, because then they will be admitting that they did not know what they were doing. That would put them in the Bush Incompetence Picture Frame.

That is why it is absolutely stupid for supporters of President Obama to be pushing for to bring her back.

That would make him look incompetent, and hand the Republicans a race card to play, with impunity. Stop the insanity.

Does no one here know how to play this game?!

Posted by: Liam-still | July 20, 2010 6:20 PM | Report abuse


not everyone here or in the country will be as easily deceived by the edited video as you appear to have been.

Posted by: blahgblogwordpresscom | July 20, 2010 6:26 PM | Report abuse

This unfortunate elderly lady was called on her mobile phone on three separate occasions when driving back from a field stop and told on each occasion that the "White House" wanted her resignation because it feared political Repercussions from the tape and its connection with the NAACP, which has apparently been high jacked black racists. The NAACP immediately attacked the lady without viewing the tape or investigating.

Andrew Breitbart, a Jewish Conservative agitator, aired the edited tape because Obama is considered an apostate Muslim who is forcing the Israeli PM to solve the Palestinian refugee issue that has lingered for more than six decades. He is an operative of Israel and the AIPAC, but he did not "lynch" Shirley Sherrod. The Obama White House did. I believe her story. Obama and his gang of thus have demonstrated unconscionable ineptitude at the art of governing. Here is what Thomas Sowell - a black man - wrote today of Obama the impostor:

Among people who voted for Barack Obama in 2008, those who are likely to be most disappointed are those who thought that they were voting for a new post-racial era. There was absolutely nothing in Obama's past to lead to any such expectation, and much to suggest the exact opposite. But the man's rhetoric and demeanor during the election campaign enabled this and many other illusions to flourish.

As Obama's own books point out, he has for years cultivated a talent for saying things that people will find congenial.

You want bipartisanship and an end to bickering in Washington? He will say that he wants bipartisanship and an end to bickering in Washington. Then he will shut Republicans out of the decision-making process and respond to their suggestions by reminding them that he won the election.

You want a government that is open instead of secretive? He will say that. He will promise to post proposed legislation on the Internet long enough for everyone to read it and know what is in it before there is a vote. In practice, however, he has rushed massive bills through Congress too fast for anybody-- even the members of Congress-- to know what was in those bills.

Racial issues are more of the same. You want a government where all citizens are treated alike, regardless of race or ethnicity? Obama will say that. Then he will advocate appointing judges with "empathy" for particular segments of the population, such as racial minorities. "Empathy" is just a pretty word for the ugly reality of bias.

Obama's injecting himself into a local police matter in Massachusetts, despite admitting that he didn't know the facts, to say that a white policeman was in the wrong in arresting a black professor who was a friend of Obama, was more of the same. So is Obama's Justice Department overlooking blatant voter intimidation by thugs who happen to be black?

There is not now, nor has there ever been, anything post-racial about Barack Obama.

Obama's policies have been Black racist policies.

Posted by: gorasaab | July 20, 2010 6:30 PM | Report abuse

=>In a statement, NAACP President and CEO Benjamin Jealous said:

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.<=

Posted by: ifthethunderdontgetya | July 20, 2010 6:31 PM | Report abuse


She has become a political liability, and some one The Republicans would love to have kept on, so they could play the race preference card against President Obama.

I said, go back and read my comments, that I understand where she was coming from, and that I believe that she has a good heart.

That has nothing to do with the political calculation that had to be made. Her own remarks about how she first f did not give the guy the same amount of effort, that she gave black people, is the sort of thing that Willie Horton like campaign ads are made from.

This President could not keep her on, because of that. Loose lips and all that. We live in the video age, where everything is on tape.

Were she to be kept on; her first few words would be included in a lot of Republican campaign commercials.

That had to be prevented.

Is it a raw deal for her? Sure; but that is how politics works. When someone becomes a negative lighting rod, and they have said just enough to let their words be used over and over, to attack the opposition, then they can no longer be retained.

Twas ever thus.

Posted by: Liam-still | July 20, 2010 6:34 PM | Report abuse

Well, the Admin was wrong. Its "better" for them to proceed apace rather than admitting a mistake? I don't think so.

Screw the wingers, I want the Admin to do the right thing.

What has happened (again) is that idiots have managed to muddy the waters re: race and cast doubt on the Admin, whether they deserve it or not.

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


the false impression generated by playing the first few words can be overcome by playing the rest of it.

the political reality is that giving in, again, will just encourage more of the same.

as i said before: run from bullies and they give you more of the same. bop them in the nose and they go crying home to mama, or fauxnews.

we can, and in fact must, fight back on this.

Posted by: blahgblogwordpresscom | July 20, 2010 6:42 PM | Report abuse

Republican TV ads would have a field day with the first few words she said.

That is what all many voters would ever hear.

She made those remarks less than three months ago. What the hell was she thinking!

I still think President Obama had no choice left, but to remove her.

Who the hell knows what other videos might surface of her talking in a similar and rambling fashion.

Best to end it right now.

I fully back My Man Obama on this one.

Posted by: Liam-still | July 20, 2010 6:51 PM | Report abuse

here's how it's done:


As I've said all day, I want to see the unedited video of Shirley Sherrod before drawing a final conclusion. But the NAACP has now reviewed the unedited tape (as I understand it, they've actually listened to the audio) and based on its review released a statement saying it was "snookered by Fox News and Tea Party Activist Andrew Breitbart into believing she had harmed white farmers because of racial bias."

NAACP President Ben Jealous, no doubt swallowing hard, admits, "Next time we are confronted by a racial controversy broken by Fox News or their allies in the Tea Party like Mr. Breitbart, we will consider the source and be more deliberate in responding."

The NAACP may release the unedited video as early as this evening.

--David Kurtz"

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

Simply amazing. Everyone is so caught up in fighting over party politics that nobody has actually really listened to what was said OR, more importally, how it was received.

Did any single person listen to the clapping and the one "yeah" when she talked about not helping the white guy except just enough so he couldn't complain?

And taken out of context? Pray tell how it was taken out of context. NAACP, speech about being a racist and being cheered on by the crowd. Whether or not she later said something to take the edges off that is irrelavent!

Plus, can someone please tell me who is lying? The Spooners or Sherrod? Either she shuffled the guy off to a "white lawyer" and "his own people", and did just enough so he couldn't complain OR she did everything in the world to help the couple keep their farm.

Me thinks, perchance, that Sherrod and the Spooners should have gotten together so that their stories would match!

And before anyone says anything or gets their bloomers in a bunch, I'm not white, I'm not a Republican, don't play one on t.v. and have never voted for a Republican!

Posted by: moonstone1 | July 20, 2010 7:52 PM | Report abuse

Thanks goodness, Lyndon B. Johnson was president during the height of the civil rights movement of the 1960s and not Barack Obama. I truly believe Obama would have been too timid to publicly and actively push for such civil rights legislation as equal accomodations; fair housing, voting rights, etc.

The Coalition 4 Change (C4C), a civil rights group combating and exposing employment discrimination in the Federal Government has recently petitioned the Obama administration to more aggressively combat employment discrimination in the Federal Government. The C4C recently wrote the president regarding several questionable appointments to his administration involving individuals who have been named in employment discrimination complaints and law suits. At this juncture, the Obama administration has been non-responsive.

Checkout the C4C's website at

Posted by: PTaylor8336 | July 20, 2010 8:02 PM | Report abuse

Good Riddance to racist rubbish. The firing of Sherrod signals racial progress in the United States. It's about time!

Posted by: ScottD2 | July 20, 2010 8:21 PM | Report abuse

We are only reading about this story because the Tea Party doesn't want to push back against Racist acts amongs their members. That all anybody want them to do. The Republicans don't have a message, ideas, or an agenda to help them win the Fall Elections so they want to play the race card to try and win seats hoping Americans forgot it was their failed Bush policies, they still believe works that got us into this mess. Just last Sunday the Republicans leaders was on Meet The Press and John Gregory ask them several times what they would do differently if they controlled congress now than during the Bush years. Neither Republican leader could answer the question or Tell Gregory what they would cut to reign in the deficit. The Republicans Play politics and the Democrats work hard to pass legislations to better the economy. The Republicans haven't governed in 18 months. Why would anybody believe they will do anything different to get us out of this disaster economy they created.

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

Sometimes the best course of action is to do nothing. Obviously, too many people did a rush to judgement. Now the facts are in, its time she gets her job back and an apology.

If Obama won't have her over for a beer, I'd be more than proud to have her over for a cup of coffee.

Its time we figured out we don't convict a person before a trial, even in a court of public opinion. She never had a chance to give her side of the story. She deserves her job back. She and the state of Georgia have been wronged.

Posted by: dhssresearcher | July 21, 2010 2:21 AM | Report abuse

I am a white male from Maryland and I think that Mrs. Sherrod should get her job back. The White House should NEVER believe a Faux Noise/Andrew Brietbart story without doing their own fact checking. She should sue Faux Noise and Andrew Brietbart for slander and defamation of character as well. Faux Noise has had a long history of racism as well.

Posted by: superbenA2002 | July 21, 2010 7:12 AM | Report abuse

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