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The firing of Shirley Sherrod -- and the cowardice of Tom Vilsack

From everything I’ve read, I’m told that the firing of Shirley Sherrod, the once and probably future Agriculture Department official in Georgia, is about race or dishonest journalism or the vagaries of the 24-hour, incessant news cycle. Permit me a dissent. It is mostly about cowardice.

The coward in question is Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack who, even though from Iowa, fired Sherrod in a New York minute, and by extension and tradition –“The buck stops here,” remember? – Barack Obama himself. Where do they get off treating anyone so shabbily?

Sherrod was caught on video supposedly telling an NAACP meeting last March that she had not given a certain farmer the service he deserved because he was white. A clip of that speech made the rounds of right wing blogs and media outlets -- Fox News, for instance -- and in no time Vilsack ordered the woman canned. He moved with what would have been commendable dispatch had he first heard her side of the story, viewed the entire video and asked what its source was. The answers should have stopped him in his tracks.

The full video showed that Sherrod, after repressing some racial antipathy, treated the farmer with dignity and efficiency -- and, anyway, the entire event took place more than 20 years ago. Had Vilsack seen the entire video, he would also have learned that Sherrod’s story had a moral: She learned that poverty, not race, is what mattered. Since this is America, it is God who taught her that.

But that full video was not shown by the right wing blogger Andrew Breitbart.

Sherrod was fired so quickly she says she was called on her cell phone while driving and told to pull over. Her resignation was then demanded. She did as she was told -- and then screamed to the media, which, since this is America, is her God-given right. Her story, complete with praise from the white farmer’s widow, started to spill out. It was clear she had been done wrong. Vilsack would not budge. The White House would not budge. The Obama administration could not afford to appear soft on black racism. They could not afford to say sorry, either.

Little by little, the administration backed down. Vilsack yesterday explained that he had asked for Sherrod’s resignation because “the controversy surrounding her comments would create a situation where her decisions, rightly or wrongly, would be called into question making it difficult for her bring jobs to Georgia.” These are appalling words. “Rightly or wrongly?” The two are not the same. One you punish, the other you defend. This is what our system is about. Look it up.

And, even if rightly, you do not dismiss an employee, wreck a career, without doing due diligence. What’s her side of the story? Where did the video come from? Is Breitbart a trustworthy source? The term “rightly or wrongly” suggests that the truth does not matter -- only perception, the politics of the situation. That, in turns, brings us back to the beginning. This entire episode is only partially about race or tawdry journalism. It’s fundamentally about cowardice -- about not doing the right thing until pressured and not adhering to fundamental principles of fairness.

Vilsack had a solemn obligation to treat his employee fairly. Obama, who reportedly was briefed on the matter and stood by his man, had a similar obligation. The two ought to be ashamed.

By Richard Cohen  | July 21, 2010; 9:18 AM ET
Categories:  Cohen  | Tags:  Richard Cohen  
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Next: Shirley Sherrod: in her own words

Comments

While Vilsack certainly deserves to be chastised, it is not in the least surprising that you'd cut the (right-wing) media all that slack and concentrate on blaming the Obama administration. If you don't have the guts to take on Fox and Breitbart and point out their mendacity and excoriate them for it, how are you in any way different from Vilsack?

Posted by: sembtex | July 21, 2010 9:36 AM | Report abuse

Vilsack overreacted and he made the cardinal sin of assuming anything he saw and heard on the right wing FOX, web sites, etc., could possibly be true. That is the real less of this debackle. Always check out something on FOX, right wing sites, etc., if you don't want to make a fool of yourself. Wonder if Cohen learned that.

Posted by: withersb | July 21, 2010 9:48 AM | Report abuse

Correction: The farmer is very much alive and expressed disgust with what was done to Ms. Sherrod, for whom he expressed affection, gratitude, and admiration.

Posted by: MaineWoman | July 21, 2010 9:51 AM | Report abuse

What this episode is really about is not only cowardice but the extent to which the Obama administration believes that right-wing accusations of black racism against whites are likely to score big in the midterm elections.

They have been put on the defensive on this issue for at least a year. It is connected to the "meta message" that Obama and his agenda are alien to American social, economic, and religious values -- a message being promoted by right-wing orgs ranging from the Tea Party to Fox News to the Chamber of Commerce.

The Republicans think they have a winner in this. They are playing with fire, and let us hope they are wrong.

Posted by: Meridian1 | July 21, 2010 9:52 AM | Report abuse

The Administration is proving what Sudhir Venkatesh's (on the NYTimes Freakonomics blog, who was tracking drug dealers) drug dealers (who were predominantly black) said.

They said the worst thing for them would be to have a black president, since the black guys crack down on non-whites far more than the white guys, to appear "non-racist"

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

No one should believe anything they see on fox.

Posted by: guy18349 | July 21, 2010 9:55 AM | Report abuse

No one should believe anything they see on fox.

Posted by: guy18349 | July 21, 2010 9:56 AM | Report abuse

The "Cowardice of Tom Vilsack"? Oh, I get it. The BUCK stops at Tom Vilsack. It's not OBAMA who's to blame.
I wonder how many stories Dick did on Jeremiah Wright, during the campaign? Or, how many stories he wrote about Husseins' relationships with such great Americans as: Weather Underground DOMESTIC TERRORISTS - William Ayers and Bernadine Dohrn? P.L.O. TERRORIST - Khalid Rashidi? Racist, Anti-Semite - Louis Farrakhan? The Black Panthers?
The BIAS never ends. Dick Cohen, and his fellow 'Media Watchdogs' fiddles, while the Left BURNS DOWN THIS COUNTRY.

Posted by: GoomyGommy | July 21, 2010 10:01 AM | Report abuse

Folks, dump on Fox all you want. I watch msnbc everyday and the morning hosts were all over it yesterday morning, criticising Mrs. Sherrod as well. Some of you have the narrative that Fox in the only biased news, but all sides got taken on the ride before we heard from her.

Posted by: slatt321 | July 21, 2010 10:01 AM | Report abuse

I agree with sembtex, and guy, what the hell are you suggesting?

I learned long ago that journalism is at least as much about attracting attention as it is about getting to the truth of the matter. Perhaps Cohen could not get readers if he covered the real story -- another in the long line of the dastardly tactics of Breitbart using Faux News as his path to the world. Isn't it time to hold Fox accountable? No self-respecting news outlet would rush anything to press with Breitbart as its source knowing his track record. But then Fox is hardly a self-respecting new organization. The real story here is that truest evidence of the inherent racism in the far right's views is best evidenced by Fox's rush to show "reverse racism" with Breitbart as its source. I mean really, as much as Vilsack can be charged with cowardice, what would you call what Breitbart and Fox do -- villainy posing as journalism. A true journalist would be incensed.

Another possible angle Cohen could have taken is that the NAACP called the right to hold their racist members accountable. Why does the right continue to tolerate the "reverse" race baiting of Breitbart? Kicking Willimas out of the Tea Party was hardly a start to the culling the right needs to do if they are truly not racist.

On the plus side, Ms Sherrod and the couple she served show the humility and compassion in the citizenry largely absent in the political class of either party.

Posted by: TJG1 | July 21, 2010 10:07 AM | Report abuse

I am surprised beyond belief that FOX has such pull.

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

I see that Mr. Cohen lacks the gumption to finger the real culprit, that being Andrew Breitbart and Fox News for calling the tune that the rest of the media danced to.

Why is this? Is he just afraid?

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

This is a sign of cowardice on the part of Obama and Vilsack, and it's disappointing to watch them abdicate their responsibility as public servants in this manner. I say disappointing because between the New Black Panthers non-story, the Tea Party's histrionic accusations of "reverse racism" against a venerable civil rights group, and immigration hysteria, Fox News and talk radio increasingly sound like they're trying to gin up a race war. And Obama seems uncomfortable pushing back against racism; his initial hesitance during the hysteria over Jeremiah Wright (hysterical because of the GOP's long history of courting ACTUAL hateful preachers) has set the tone ever since.

The unrelenting rhetoric of Fox and talk radio, laden with dog whistle bigotry, is shocking and appalling, especially in the hopes that Obama would usher in a post-racial era. Instead of appealing to the better angels of our nature, a significant portion of the commentariat is channeling the ghost of George Wallace.

Posted by: gwgnj | July 21, 2010 10:11 AM | Report abuse


"The Buck Stops There"

- Barack Obama

Posted by: screwjob17 | July 21, 2010 10:11 AM | Report abuse

Surprising that FOX has this much pull in the WH.

Posted by: etronsen | July 21, 2010 10:11 AM | Report abuse

"Her story, complete with praise from the white farmer’s widow, started to spill out."

As per usual Cohen completely misses the bigger story: To wit, a dead guy, Widow Sherrod’s husband, is going around giving interviews too!

Posted by: Bjartur | July 21, 2010 10:11 AM | Report abuse

The broadcast media in this country are a joke. Fox News is not news. And Obama is gutless.

Posted by: stevevalandra | July 21, 2010 10:11 AM | Report abuse

In the contest for deadliest warrior, Commanche v. Mongol computer simulations and predictions gave advantage to the Commance. The Commance fought with guerilla tactics, surprise element, and some tactical distance abilities. The Mongol, however, was a better one-on-one fighter.

Posted by: solid3 | July 21, 2010 10:14 AM | Report abuse

slatt321: no one believes Fox is the ONLY biased news, and "everyone is doing it" is a pretty weak defense.

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

This should be a teachable moment for everyone that we need a somewhat more nuanced view of race issues. The calls for firing came from whites who think any white person would have been immediately terminated in a race-reversal situation.

Racial discussion in this country has developed into kind of an iceberg. Blacks and their liberal allies think racism is all-pervasive force through American life that whites have simply gotten good at hiding the outward manifestations of. They look with microscopic intensity at every word uttered to see if a great bogeyman of racism is hiding inside the speaker who unintentionally let it out.

Let's stop the witch hunts and just admit that some groups of people have different enough life experiences that some things will seem different to them.

Posted by: WmarkW | July 21, 2010 10:15 AM | Report abuse

@ Goomy Goomy

Yes, if only we had known about Obama's ties to Rev. Wright and Bill Ayers. Actually, that topic was covered by numerous media outlets and frequently so. When will you, and others who continue to bring this up, realize that Americans simply did not buy what Republicans were saying about these relationships?

Posted by: ashotinthedark | July 21, 2010 10:16 AM | Report abuse

Ms. Sherrod should be allowed to fire Tom Vilsack.

Posted by: johng1 | July 21, 2010 10:18 AM | Report abuse

ENOUGH about all this so called racism. This is PROPOGANDA to focus all the attention OFF the REAL issues and the HIDDEN AGENDA of the "Speech Giver's" RADICAL policies.

Wonder what is being planned as the next BACK door LAW!!!

I bet this will turn out to be an ATTACK on FREEDOM of Speech and the internet!!

TERM LIMITS NOW !!

FAIR TAX NOW !!

DEATH TO JIHADISTS !!

SECURE THE BORDER!!

Posted by: 79USMC83 | July 21, 2010 10:18 AM | Report abuse

A pox on Fox, Vilsack, and Obama. Truth, honesty and integrity are out the window. (I'm an Obama supporter but not always happy with him)

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

Wow, a jew talking about cowards!

Posted by: guy18349
==========================================

Says the person posting under an alias instead of his own name...

Posted by: jayjordan | July 21, 2010 10:20 AM | Report abuse

Obama, Vilsack, the media...

As usual, not one of them even attempted to do the right thing. The facts just don't matter anymore... until it is too late.

Posted by: ducbil | July 21, 2010 10:20 AM | Report abuse

Waaaaiiit, didn't Briebart say he was highlighting how the NAACP AUDIENCE was clapping and laughing in APPROVAL during the point of Sherrod's story where she doesn't help the white couple?? Of course she did eventually assist them very ablely.

Typically the press is overlooking the real point of the video - which was how racist many of the NAACP members are ... or are we to believe only TP members are racists?

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

Some thoughts...You blame Vilsack...you honestly think he made the decision?

The left plays the race card yet again and get hoisted on their own petard. I say, poetic justice.

As the bumbling administration backpeddles what else, if anything, does Breitbart have in his quiver?

Posted by: twann9852 | July 21, 2010 10:22 AM | Report abuse

I saw the tape on Glenn Beck's show Tuesday at 5 pm. He showed the tape he had in it's entirety. NAACP would not release the rest of the tape. However, Glenn's tape showed the woman saying she had repented and Glenn said she should not have been fired. The MSM and WaPo is trying to fault Fox as BO will try to do. It is not Fox's fault. In fact, they are the leaders in the lady perhaps getting her job back. Fox and Beck spoke the TRUTH. Hard to come by in the Obama administration. In fact, foreign to the Obama agenda based on lies.

Posted by: annnort | July 21, 2010 10:22 AM | Report abuse

What I can't figure is what Vilsack...a democrat and democratic appointee...was doing on Drudge Report in the first place? Shouldn't he be fired for 'reading' with the enemy?

If he reacted in such a knee jerk manner...doesn't that call into question his ability to run a cabinet department?

Wasn't his inability to pause and get to the bottom of a story something that should have been discovered during his vetting process?

Doesn't this knee-jerk mentality reflect the predilections of his boss?

That's it...impeach Obama now!

Posted by: PanhandleWilly | July 21, 2010 10:23 AM | Report abuse

Ms. Sherrod should be allowed to fire Tom Vilsack.

Posted by: johng1
===========================================

I agree. I've worked for bosses that do not fight for their employees but will pull the rug out from under them at a moments notice. They should not serve as the head of ANY department.

Posted by: jayjordan | July 21, 2010 10:23 AM | Report abuse

I've heard Breitbart a few times and wasn't out to "get" Shirley Sherrod. His point was the racism in the audience which was evident by their reaction before she explained her moral message at the end. This was telling. How the Administration dealt with this was all on them.

Posted by: sarno | July 21, 2010 10:24 AM | Report abuse

Attaboy, Obama. Rather spineless, wouldn't you say?

Posted by: shanks1 | July 21, 2010 10:25 AM | Report abuse

Shirley Sherrod should come back that is clear.


However - it is the racially charged atmosphere which caused this.


We have a whole group of people in this nation who are calling everyone they can find RACIST for political gain.

The motive behind this is not racial progress, but to energize the democratic base for the fall elections.

This is where we are now.

The people who are making these false charges of racism are responsible - we have the NAACP joining into the attack dog politics last week.

Obama should be ashamed of himself

Posted by: YouCanPostThis | July 21, 2010 10:26 AM | Report abuse

Shame on Obama and Vilsack. Ms. Sherrod was actually very real in her statement and for the time...it was a milestone in race relations. Shame the members of NAACP were having a good old laugh at whitey before Ms.Sherrod was able to finish her story.

God bless her, give her her job back with restitution. Hope she sues. Screw the knee jerk Vilsack and "all politics all the time" Obama.

Breitbart posted the entire video and so did FOX. Strange MSNBC and the MSM didn't. Their noses were to far up Obama's butt to see further than what he did.

To quote Obama..."he acted stupidly".

Posted by: Straightline | July 21, 2010 10:26 AM | Report abuse

Oh well looks like everyone has done her wrong. FOX news is nothing but RACISTS. Obama & USDA was scared of the backlash from the GOP and others. In the end they will give her some money and some LOW CLASS Politician running for OFFICE will use it when they are behind in the POLLS. I challenge any POLITICIAN to leave it alone and earn YOUR SEAT BY NOT USING IT. Bloggers lets challenge them.

Posted by: access11 | July 21, 2010 10:27 AM | Report abuse

Yours is the best I've read on this sorry situation.

Posted by: WileyHall3rd | July 21, 2010 10:28 AM | Report abuse

Shame on Vilsack. He should have gathered the facts before making that decision. Reinstatement is in order! Where are the courageous leaders????

Posted by: yeswecan3 | July 21, 2010 10:28 AM | Report abuse

I would say that it's also about the illegitimacy of the media too, Cohen.

The News and Journalism that is reported by FOX Conservative Radio and T.V., and some Conservative WAPO news journalists, and others has turned into nothing but piles of "horse manure".

99% of the news being reported is highly toxic, highly opinionated, and highly partisan. It is Horse Manure!

What do you think the response from people and the WH is going to be when HORSE MANURE IS coming across the air-waves and over the internet every day and infiltrating our minds and daily lives everyday from so-called Conservative media types like you and FIXED News.

Who said Gangster Rap was bad for the mind.

Posted by: lcarter0311 | July 21, 2010 10:30 AM | Report abuse

I agree with you gwgnj but the main purpose of these 'stories' is to make race the issue of these (2010 & 2012) elections.
The republicans know (from the southern stategy) that all you have to do is have conflict between black & white people.
If they can stir up and polarize the American public, they believe that the majority of electorate will get 'tribal' and side with their respectve groups.

Posted by: priceisright | July 21, 2010 10:32 AM | Report abuse

Permit me a dissent Mr. Cohen. The real story is not about cowardice. The real story is about our failed media. The real story is about journalists and columnists such as yourself, who are completely lacking in integrity, and who use their positions of influence to push their own hidden, and not so hidden agendas. These days, in a manner that is as transparent as a pane of glass, you find any and every excuse to vilify Obama and his administration. You call their actions cowardice, and only mention the media's role in creating and fostering the half truth of the Breibart video only in passing. How dare you crucify the Obama administration for believing the lying media, while having little to say about the lying media itself. The Obama administration was absolutely wrong for taking media accounts at face value. Any why? Because the media is populated by souless, integrity challenged, opportunists such as yourself.

Posted by: sonny2 | July 21, 2010 10:34 AM | Report abuse

Brietbart explained several times that he was not given the rest of the film. MSNBC was not given the rest of the film. Hmm!? Could the administration already have decided since she committed this wrong (in March)that when it did finally air there was the understanding that the Sec. of Agri. was to can her immediately. Hmm! Pretty sneaky of Obama once again.

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

Not enough for Vilsack and Obama to be ashamed. Sherrod's self-reported transgression of long ago has been rightly forgiven by everyone who matters. Vilsack and Obama need to be held to a less forgiving standard. The electorate will have its chance.

Posted by: pauledwards1 | July 21, 2010 10:35 AM | Report abuse

Guy18349 wrote:

'Wow, a jew talking about cowards!' Excuse me? What is your inference here?

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

COWARDS! DIE A Thousand deaths!
This Woman told a story about redemption of Biblical proportion. Jesus would have been proud. Dems need some backbone, and Conservatives & FOX? Dragging America straight to hELL!

Posted by: minco_007 | July 21, 2010 10:35 AM | Report abuse

Shirley Sherrod remedy is to sue the race baiting media pushing pimps at Fox News include Murdock for defamation of character.

With the testimony of the White farmer and his wife, the case would be a slam dunk and with millions in settlement from News Corp she definitely wouldn’t have to work again for the rest of her life unless she just wanted to so.

Posted by: Citi__Street | July 21, 2010 10:37 AM | Report abuse

Doesn't the White House know that FOX is not real news organization? It is an entertainment organization that specializes and fetishes all things right wing. Hannity, O'Reilly, Palin, and Beck make millions to distort events and divide middle class Americans. The only way Rupert Murdoch, Roger Ailes, etc can profit is when their media elites distort reality so it conforms to right wing talking points. The intent is to scare ignorant people into thinking that tax cuts to the super rich will some how trickle down on their little heads.

Posted by: mdenny1 | July 21, 2010 10:37 AM | Report abuse

Bring back Sherrod, fire Tom No-Sack.

Posted by: koolkat_1960 | July 21, 2010 10:39 AM | Report abuse

Lazy journalism, a right wing media, and a cowardly administration. All three combined in this horrendous story. Obama might not have been briefed on this, but it is quite clear that he's trying to avoid the pitfall of the narrative that EVERYONE in the US media is perpetrating regarding race. Vilsack acted on that obvious fact and jumped the gun without the facts.

Nothing would strengthen this administration more than confronting the constant parade of lies by the big media outlets by constantly releasing statements that they're verifying information....then disproving each smear. They wouldn't get the 20% ultra right wing scumbag vote that way but there's absolutely nothing he could do to get that vote anyhow. Ignore them; just make sure they don't continue to poison the well.

Posted by: theobserver4 | July 21, 2010 10:39 AM | Report abuse

Tell me, those who talk about the audience reaction to her talk, what was the reaction? Describe it.

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

Richard Cohen shouldn't have slept with another man's wife.

Who's conduct was worse, Vilsack's (which can be undone) or Cohen's (which, you know, can't)?

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

Post Racial = Most Racial. Stimulus ? Health reform? Hmm, whada 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? Buuuut 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, CBC forgot about all those video cameras that exposed no “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 10:40 AM | Report abuse

I am appalled that Shirley Sharrod was asked to resign. If you listen to the full speech, it will be obvious that she did not say anything which could be considered racially insensitive. This is a woman who has spent her entire life working for justice in this country; her father was killed, when she was a child, by a white sheriff. Even from her account of that experience there is not any sense of hatred or bias toward White people. President Obama needs to intervene and rescind her resignation with an apology.

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

Gee, apparently, the knee jerk is the guding principle in the land of government service. Some might call it cowardice, I just resort to the old observations on incompetence and the Peter Principle. From my end, I believe Ms. Sherrod has grounds for a "defamation of character" suit against her detractors for purposely distorting her actual presentation--that it was given at an NAACP function in which her address underscored that poverty not race was our major crisis deserved kudos and not condemnation. Not that any reader of the comments posted in answer to the Editorial Opinion should not experience discomfort at the free display of ignorance and political bias that really has nothing to do with the manner in which Ms. Sherrod was treated. Politicians behaving like Media Mavens...gadzooks are we in trouble. What ever happened to the old principle, reflect before reacting?

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

As this unfolded late Tuesday Secretary Vilsack indicated that he is going to fall on his sword.The very worst of this is that the White House is apparently terrified of Glenn Beck, according to Ms. Sherrod, the most credible person in the entire scenario. But what about Mr. Jealous and Julian Bond of the NAACP? They were cringing and lying and squirming to avoid their own part in this.

Posted by: mmurray2 | July 21, 2010 10:42 AM | Report abuse

It is more than hypocritical for Cohen to call for due diligence when charges of racism are leveled in this situation, yet he is conspicuously silent when his colleagues brand the entire Tea Party as racists.

Did Cohen call for due diligence when Colbert King, EJ Dionne, the NAACP et al. made their baseless charges?

Let's face it: A charge of racism confers a scarlet letter "R" on someone, and it is not easily rectified when information comes out that suggests otherwise. These charges are serious and the staff at the Post, the NAACP, and Breitbart would be well advised to take these charges seriously before more lives and careers are needlessly ruined.

Posted by: diehardlib | July 21, 2010 10:44 AM | Report abuse

Shirley Sherrod remedy is to sue the race baiting media pushing pimps at Fox News include Murdock for defamation of character.

With the testimony of the White farmer and his wife, the case would be a slam dunk and with millions in settlement from News Corp she definitely wouldn’t have to work again for the rest of her life unless she just wanted to so.

------------------------------------------

Uh hellooo Earth to Citi_street.

FOX was the first to point out that Ms. Sherrod was wrongly accused. You didn't watch your just parroting.

I guess when you have been brainwashed into preconceived notions it's hard to see past your own nose.

There is a reason that FOX is by far and away #1 People realize who is "really" lying. Want to know what is happening in the world go to FOX. Then come to WAPO for the daily propaganda.

Posted by: Straightline | July 21, 2010 10:46 AM | Report abuse

Oh, that makes sense. Blame everything on Fox News and Bush. Breitbart, as stated by another commenter, was not given the full tape but MSNBC was. Hmmm!

Vilsack clearly "acted stupidly" (I love that quote!) and Ms Sherrod should not have been fired. But, why didn't the NAACP take action when the speech happened? Who takes the blame for that "ommission". BO is still trying to recover from his actions around Rev Wright and his Harvard professor buddy.

And, how would this discussion be going if it were a black farmer and white bureaucrat? There would be no a way white bureaucrat could recover. The NAACP, the black congressionl caucus, Jesse Jackson, Al Sharpton et al would see to that.

Posted by: rogerherd | July 21, 2010 10:46 AM | Report abuse

It's not about Sherrod, its about the NAACP.

Notice how they were laughing, hooping and hollering when they thought that Sherrod WAS discriminating against white farmers???

Posted by: pgr88 | July 21, 2010 10:46 AM | Report abuse

No, Mr. Cohen, you and the media are not getting off that easy! The entire media, including the Washington Post, failed to do any journalistic due diligence and pumped this story throughout the morning because you thought it was a sensational story about racism, reverse racism by an African American within the Obama [black] Administration. There is no party who comes away with clean hands except Ms. Sherrod and unbelievably Tony Harris at CNN. Who would have ever thought a caricature of a tv news man would best so-called credible journalists. Yes, this administration should ignore Fox News and the crazy right bloghesphere that have been trying to Willie Horton this President since before he entered the White House, but so should news organizations. Accept some responsibility!

Posted by: NMP1 | July 21, 2010 10:46 AM | Report abuse

Please follow my lead and phone the White House to demand that Vilsack resign.

While I am a strong supporter of the President, his subordinates display a disgusting arrogance and disdain for fair, thorough analysis of even the smallest if issues.

The refusal of DOA to check their facts instead of reacting knee-jerk and harming Ms. Sherrod, is outrageous.

The President needs to set an example by dismissing Vilsack immediately. Assuredly, there will be no mistaking his culpability in bringing his exit on himself.

Posted by: hoopdreamz | July 21, 2010 10:48 AM | Report abuse

Its not fair to call Vilsack a coward. However, Mr. Cohen must always find something to write about and suggesting that Vilsack is guilty of cowardice is simply a way of getting attention. Name calling sells even if it is a cowardly way of writing about something. Vilsack probably reacted too quickly. It is refreshing to see anyone in government react quickly even if the reaction is too quick.

Posted by: jimeglrd8 | July 21, 2010 10:49 AM | Report abuse

Please follow my lead and phone the White House to demand that Vilsack resign.

While I am a strong supporter of the President, his subordinates display a disgusting arrogance and disdain for fair, thorough analysis of even the smallest if issues.

The refusal of DOA to check their facts instead of reacting knee-jerk and harming Ms. Sherrod, is outrageous.

The President needs to set an example by dismissing Vilsack immediately. Assuredly, there will be no mistaking his culpability in bringing his exit on himself.

Posted by: hoopdreamz | July 21, 2010 10:50 AM | Report abuse

Fact check: Fox News did not even carry the story ubtil AFTER Sherrod was fired. So cut the crap.

Posted by: UncleMikey | July 21, 2010 10:52 AM | Report abuse

Besides Vilsak, there is the White House operatives that pulled the plug on this woman, the "little people" kind that do not deserve a fair hearing before passing judgement on them. Fox "news" has got this administration cornered. Shameful cowards

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

I would think that if Fox News was doing the reporting this would have been a huge tip to Vilsack that something was amiss and had better be checked. Not that Fox would ever do blatant misrepresentation of the truth. I do agree with others, that the other non-Fox journalist should have done there investigation as well prior to spreading Fox News lies.

Posted by: jrussell1 | July 21, 2010 10:54 AM | Report abuse

dihardlib-

The NAACP and the Obama administration has repeatedly said that the entire Tea Party is not racist. There are clearly racist elements to the Tea Party just like there are to any other group. This much has been acknowledged by various Tea Party leaders. Your attempt to turn this back on the NAACP and Obama by purposefully misstating what they have said about racism in the Tea Party is pathetic.

Second, why is everyone excusing the media by saying the entire video wasn't made available initially? Well don't release the video and story if you don't have the whole video and don't know the entire context. Not having the entire video does not excuse the media's behavior, it simply makes it worse.

Posted by: ashotinthedark | July 21, 2010 10:54 AM | Report abuse

Andrew Breitbart is a classic axxxole. if theres one characteristic of the right wing, from Rumsfeld, to Cheney, to Rove, to OReilly, Beck, and now this chump, its axxxxoleness. Problem is, if Obama tried to do his due diligence on this episode, and it turned out differently (ie she really did discriminate against this guy), buy the time Obama learned the whole story, the entire right wing would have been screaming "Obamas a reverse racist" at the top of the rafters, and the whole media machine would have followed right along, bowing down to the almighty Ratings God, and it would have hurt him.

Posted by: emoenergy1 | July 21, 2010 10:56 AM | Report abuse

The strategy that the right, via Fox News, Breitbart, et al, are pursuing for the mid-term elections, trying to stir up their conservative fearful, older white base, is a sign of the ultimate demise of the current conservative movement. As they move further and further from the mainstream of political thought in the country, all they can do is to once again rally their ever-shrinking base with race-baiting tactics, rather than try to appeal to the voters they need to woo in order to remain a relevant player in the nation's political life for the long-term. I hope this backfires on them in spectacular fashion. As for the way this was handled by Vilsack, I agree with Mr. Cohen, with the obvious caveat that you should never, ever believe anything you hear from the conservative media megaphone.

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

She should have been fired for having a big mouth. Doesn't matter how well she can do her job.

You all want someone THAT stupid and trusting to be working for the government? At least in the bad old days her statute of limitations would have run but she was still was working her same job. How could anyone NOT know that any public statement can end up on the web?

Posted by: billwald | July 21, 2010 10:57 AM | Report abuse

Physician, heal thyself! Cohen blames politicians for acting like politicians, but excuses a major media outlet (Fox Propaganda Network) for leading a 24 hour a day, 7 day a week campaign to incite race hatred. Look to your own profession Cohen, call out the dirt bags who are broadcasting outright lies, distorted videos and mischaracterizations in an attempt to foster a race war for political ends.

Posted by: codexjust1 | July 21, 2010 10:58 AM | Report abuse

Her 'career' wasn't ruined by Vilsack. She was a political appointee and could be removed at any time, for any reason, including having herself taped at the wrong time.

Now, if only the Administration would distance itself from the likes of real haters like Al Sharpton, he of the Freddy's Fashion Mart and Crown Heights "incidents."

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

Shame on Vilsack. He should have gathered the facts before making that decision. Reinstatement is in order! Where are the courageous leaders????

Posted by: yeswecan3 | July 21, 2010 11:00 AM | Report abuse

Physician, heal thyself! Mr. Cohen blames politicians for acting like politicians, but excuses a major media outlet (Fox Propaganda Network) for leading a 24 hour a day, 7 day a week campaign to incite race hatred. Look to your own profession Cohen; call out the dirt bags who are broadcasting outright lies, distorted videos and mischaracterizations in an attempt to foster a race war for political ends.

Posted by: codexjust1 | July 21, 2010 11:00 AM | Report abuse

Of course Vilsak and Obama acceted horribly in forcing the resignation of Sherrod. The first thing they did wrong was let Fox and a rightwing blogger run their agenda. The same thing happened with Van Jones and Acorn. Don't let these people tell your admin what to do, Mr. Obama. Cohen, where is your equal outrage for what Brietbart and Fox did to Sherrod, as well? This whole episode is sickening and the first thing for this administration to do is to reinstate her with a public apology. The next thing for Sherrod to do is sue the collective butts of of Brietbart and Fox News -- post haste.

Posted by: Sandydayl | July 21, 2010 11:03 AM | Report abuse

Why is Obama so afraid of FOX News all of a sudden?
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 11:04 AM | Report abuse

Obama promised a post-racial era and we get this over-heated racial skirmishing. Vilsack acted precipitously, that's true, but so did the NAACP which did not bother to watch the entire video before its president opened his mouth. Jealous reacted like a racial fanatic would- the same way Obama reacted when he immediately faulted the police in the Henry Louis Gates debacle. Typically, liberals attack Breitbart for furnishing a video. Why do liberals fear the truth? And why can't liberals discuss serious matters without resorting to scatological attacks? Immaturity?

Posted by: mhr614 | July 21, 2010 11:06 AM | Report abuse

Part of the problem in the Obama administration is that, for many cabinet-level positions, he has taken politicians and put them into administrative roles in the executive branch. To succeed in in the political arena requires a different skill set than what it takes to be an effective administrator of a large, largely technology-based, government agency with a professional, theoretically apolitical workforce.

He took Vilsack out of the Iowa governor's mansion and put him at agriculture. He elevated Hillary Clinton from her primary defeat to Secretary of State (although she seems, by her past and her demeanor, to be almost uniquely unsuited to that specific job). He took the Governor of Arizona and made her Secretary of Homeland Security -- WHY? He took the Governor of Kansas and made her Secretary of Health and Human Services -- what in her background made her the best choice for that role, particularly in the quest for health care reform? And, strangest of all, he took a REPUBLICAN and made him Transportation Secretary, where the industries he supported all his career -- oil and automobiles -- are the very ones that need to be dragged kicking and screaming into a cleaner future.

I can't help but think there were better people for all of these jobs, but political convenience won out.

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

Another high tech lynching? A cabinet level job is for a grown up who should know the difference between right and wrong and have some appreciation for fairness. Geez- where do they find these people?

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

For every "Cause" there is an effect.. why don't you focus your vitriol on the idiots who"s intent it was to throw fuel on the NAACP because they raised the question of racism in that racist tea party organization.. I do not believe that Breitbart was so intent on bringing Ms. Sherrod down as he was on casting a questionable light on the NAACP and the audacity of raising the racist issue with the tea party.. Well "Virginia" the truth does have it's place and as much of a GOD fearing woman as Ms. Sherrod is the truth was difinitely in her favor. so before you go pointing fingers please do not ignore the arrogance and malfeasance on the part of FOX news and Breitbart who in their haste to have a gotcha moment demonstrated to the world that they cannot bye trusted to speak the truth. Everyone involved should have vetted the information instead of being hasty to ruin a person's career and livelihood. I am not giving Vilsack or Obama a pass because they were to hasty to appease the right wing at any cost without due diligence..but their reaction was the effect what FOX and Breitbart did.. was the cause that set everyting into motion.

Posted by: sabrina2 | July 21, 2010 11:14 AM | Report abuse

For an old short fat guy, Roger Ailes is turning into the most feared man in the US. Obama needs some of that. It would be hard to say that anybody fears the President more than they fear FOX, and that's a startling statement.

On the other hand it's hard to imagine how good MSNBC would be if Ailes ran it. Beck is the only broadcaster more repulsive than smug Olberman. MSNBC is so bad, their on air talent isn't even attractive to the liberal crazies that should be their bread and butter.

Posted by: 54465446 | July 21, 2010 11:14 AM | Report abuse

While Vilsack certainly deserves to be chastised, it is not in the least surprising that you'd cut the (right-wing) media all that slack and concentrate on blaming the Obama administration. If you don't have the guts to take on Fox and Breitbart and point out their mendacity and excoriate them for it, how are you in any way different from Vilsack?

Posted by: sembtex | July 21, 2010 9:36 AM | Report abuse

Spot on. This is about the systematic dishonesty and race-baiting of the right wing hate machine.

Breitbart, Fox "news" and AM hate radio are poisoning our airwaves with lies, and of course, Cohen doesn't have the spine to call them out on it.

Posted by: losthorizon10 | July 21, 2010 11:17 AM | Report abuse

Wonder what the folks at Journolist would have had to say about this issue?

What a joy to see media elites and the Democrats hoisted on their own petard.

Posted by: Czer | July 21, 2010 11:17 AM | Report abuse

The only valid observation to come out of this sordid episode is that Vilsack is a lousy manager and should resign his position because he is obviously not qualified to lead even a small organization, let alone the Agriculture Department. His decision was purely political and to even suggest he intends to review his decision is pure slime. There is only one comment he could make to partially make amends: I was dead wrong.

Posted by: mywpidmywpid | July 21, 2010 11:17 AM | Report abuse

Just a further comment. I took an earlier, and well deserved, swipe at Richard Cohen for transparently using any opportunity to throw dirt on the Obama administration. Just to be clear, as I mentioned earlier, the Obama administration is dead wrong for acting on media stories before taking the time to find out what the real truth is. They absolutely deserve criticism, as do elements of the media for perpetuating half truths. But beyond that, what is the deal with the NAACP? They were one of the parties leading the charge to support this woman's ouster, and she made the speech to their organization. Are you going to tell me that they didn't have the full context of the speech? If you want to talk about cowardice, look at the initial statement put out by the Chairman of the NAACP in support of Sherrod's firing. If he didn't have the full context of the speech before he opened his fat yap, shame upon him. The speech was given to his organization. If he did have the full context, and my guess is that they did, double shame. Now there's a coward for you; a so-called leader, willing to throw an African American woman under the bus in an obvious and gutless attempt to appease and to please everyone. The NAACP easily comes out looking as bad as any of the parties to this whole sorry affair.

Posted by: sonny2 | July 21, 2010 11:18 AM | Report abuse

It's not about Sherrod, its about the NAACP.

Notice how they were laughing, hooping and hollering when they thought that Sherrod WAS discriminating against white farmers???

Posted by: pgr88

**********

Please provide the minute and second count of the video where this happens, especially any hooping and hollering.

Posted by: hitpoints | July 21, 2010 11:18 AM | Report abuse

President Obama needs to stop letting Fox "News" determine or in any way influence his agenda.
Tom Vilsack needs to learn how to manage his agency. Any decent and non-racist administrator ought to know better than to take his lead from Fox "News".

If Shirley Sherrod doesn't sue the whole sorry bunch she's a saint.

I am a 67 year-old white woman who supported President Obama from the very beginning. My disappointment is profound.

Posted by: jennynews1 | July 21, 2010 11:19 AM | Report abuse

The unfortunate thing is that the entire media gammit reported this story out of context while they did not perform due diligence to insure that the story was correct.

I was personally appalled that the headlines written were much more than the actually comment spoken out of context. I cannot say how disappointing it is to read garbage from journalists or supposedly credible media only to find that due diligence was not performed on their story.

There is enough blame to go around for everyone. It is imperative that the fourth estate perform due diligence if they expect our country to remain strong.

As for the creators of this "out-of-context" story, we all have seen them do their extraordinary gutless stories time and time again. Nothing new here!!!!

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

Fox ahem News makes any rag on the magazine stand look tame.
Their news is not news, it is innuendos and lies.
Fifty thousand lashes with a whip to Breitbart.

Posted by: lenegal77 | July 21, 2010 11:22 AM | Report abuse

Actually this may play to WH favor if the play it right. Put out a full court press on their mistake and give an apology. This will show the President will fire anyone even if Ms. Sherrod is an African American.

Posted by: AMQ1 | July 21, 2010 11:24 AM | Report abuse


Barry the incompetent boob Obama made the decision to sack Shirley Sherrod. Then in typical Obama fashion he tries to pin it on a department head.

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 11:25 AM | Report abuse

Not a coward, incompetent. Just like the rest of this administration and Congress. It is also indicative of the political nature of our current administration and Congress...they are politicians first and representatives or administrators second. This guy, along with countless others, simply jumped up and fired his "politically correct guy" before he aimed it. Just another reason to get these guys out of office as soon as possible.

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

The fact that won't go away is Sherrod's admission that she discriminated based on race. Had she confessed to discriminating against a Jewish farmer, you can believe Cohen would be telling us how brave Vilsack was. Mind you, before someone accuses me of being anti-Jewish, I believe she should resign if she discriminated on the basis of religion or ethnicity. Cohen is as disingenuous as they come. The other fact about bigotry is this: seldom does someone discriminate only once in their life. If Sherrod discriminated against one white farmer, my hunch is, the odds are good that she discriminated against others. There isn't a black person out there who would defend the principle that a white bigot would only discriminate once. She admitted this in an effort to present herself as someone who has overcome racism. She did so with hubris and amongst "friends" who would take that part of the story and disregard that she had in fact discriminated against a white farmer.

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

I guess there is enough blame to go around on this. The number one fault among the several organizations is the systemic failure to connect the dots--so to speak--- between the source of the alleged information, and the TRUE motivations of the source. I think it now pretty apparent that anything rising from this highly suspect source should always be treated with "jaundices eyes." The USDA should now reverse itself--- if the women is willing.. and vow never again to jump to conclusions regarding anything--- that comes out of the conservative camp.

Posted by: JRC906 | July 21, 2010 11:34 AM | Report abuse

Is Shirley Sherrod going to be the new Joe the Plumber? Plucked from obscurity to stardom? Maybe she should take Vilsack's place.

Somewhere along the way it should be mentioned that her father was murdered by a white man 17 years ago and despite 3 witnesses was never charged.

Posted by: rjma1 | July 21, 2010 11:34 AM | Report abuse

Perhaps the Vilsacks of the nation are whom AG Holder had in mind.

Posted by: snake_taylor | July 21, 2010 11:40 AM | Report abuse

I love how the FOX nuts spin this around to the firing and not the racist bating antics of FOX news. .

This whole episode screams "Why can't we have reasonable discussions about racial issues???" at me.

The answer is twofold:

First, Andrew Breitbart is a dirty, lying SOB who thrives on waving his malodorous lies around on Fox News and the Internet.

Second, the White House or USDA, depending upon which story you read, believed him. Though we knew was coming, something we knew it was inevitable after right wing activists and Fox News destroyed the community organizing group ACORN last year with supposedly incriminating video tapes that really weren't all. This is not meant to excuse what ACORN has done wrong in the past but the huge tide of negative publicity that followed these video tapes and the coverage they got on Fox, wall to wall for months was bull pucky. It was a dishonest political stunt that bears no resemblance to journalism and no resemblance to the actual facts of what happened in those offices.

But it worked.

The organization has been shut down. Means be damned, it worked. Who do you think is next on that list?
Shirley Sherrod was an employee of the USDA; specifically, the USDA Georgia director of rural development. In a speech to the Georgia chapter of the NAACP, she tells a story that appears to indicate she prefers to put black folks ahead of white folks.

Breitbart edits the video, puts it up, and the world goes mad. Sherrod is fired resigns, after being told pressure is coming from the White House to fire her.

Who's next?

I mean what did that bastard Andrew Breitbart do. Go around to every agency trying to fine any black official with anything on them and if not bend it to his liking. And FOX. What a piece of s..t they are

Jul 21, 2010 @ 11:33 AM

Posted by: sherardg | July 21, 2010 11:41 AM | Report abuse

So, you were duped by FoxNews? That would be pretty hard considering that Ms. Sherrod was forced to resign before Fox even got the story. In fact, Fox's story was about her being fired. Legs getting tired from all that backpedaling?

Posted by: rasalas | July 21, 2010 11:42 AM | Report abuse

Just to let you know, most Americans are keeping themselves informed of the situation by watching FOX news. It is where you will actually get the news that the Administratin in Washington doesn't want you to get. Americans are flocking in droves over there...


P2+ Total Day
FNC – 1,195,000 viewers
CNN – 384,000 viewers
MSNBC – 359,000 viewers
CNBC – 171,000 viewers
HLN – 264,000 viewers

P2+ Prime Time
FNC – 2,465,000 viewers
CNN – 417,000 viewers
MSNBC –760,000 viewers
CNBC – 162,000 viewers
HLN – 451,000 viewers

Posted by: Indpnt1 | July 21, 2010 11:43 AM | Report abuse

'The fact that won't go away is Sherrod's admission that she discriminated based on race.' This is the last comment. It is interesting that this person still does not know the facts. She did not discriminate against the white farmer, in fact she helped him. That was in the second half of the tape. She talks about we all need to help each other regardless of race.

I blame the Fox news that played this selected video non-stop on their network. But you expect from them, they are an opinion station and not a news station. So disgraceful.

Posted by: ak1967 | July 21, 2010 11:44 AM | Report abuse

Why is Fox being singled out? Easy answer. The liberals/progressives consistently attack Fox because they can't control the reporting and is viewed by more Americans than any other cable station. Why aren't they blaming msnbc for the same coverage of the Sherrod incident. Easy answer. MSNBC is controlled by the progressives. You won't be hearing anyone on the left blaming them. Fox corrected the story and demanded Sherrod's reinstatement long before the left/NAACP began their campaign to blame Fox.

The bottom line - there was a rush to judgment by the NAACP (for which they have taken no responsibility), USDA and the White House.

Posted by: bethg1841 | July 21, 2010 11:49 AM | Report abuse

THE REAL STORY THE LEFT WING MEDIA WON'T ADDRESS


The REAL story that the liberal media won't cover.

Sherrod was invited by the NAACP to speak at their function. During the story she told, she related how she displayed her racism towards a white farmer in not providing him all he needed, intentionally. The RACIST response from the NAACP was the big story here. They applauded and laughed at her display of racism. Yes, that's right, they laughed and applauded her racist actions. SPEAKS VOLUMES about this outdated group of old racist fossils.
And yes, this was BEFORE SHE REVEALED HER REDEMPTIVE EXPERIENCE.
I'm sure this will be your next story, right, Cohen?

BTW, the man who offered 100,000 dollars for anyone who could provide evidence of racial slurs as congress departed after the Obamacare vote, still has his 100,000.
As a matter of fact, he has running cameras that the media ignores that shows there were no slurs!
Worthless media and it's dying. Let it

FOX NEWS? Yes, it showed the WHOLE recording the next day when it got the recording. But YOU didn't report that did you Cohen. Hypocrite.

Posted by: jblast2000 | July 21, 2010 11:49 AM | Report abuse


I don't know how Cohen 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.

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

Posted by: screwjob17 | July 21, 2010 11:51 AM | Report abuse

"Just to let you know, most Americans are keeping themselves informed of the situation by watching FOX news. It is where you will actually get the news that the Administratin in Washington doesn't want you to get. Americans are flocking in droves over there...


P2+ Total Day
FNC – 1,195,000 viewers
CNN – 384,000 viewers
MSNBC – 359,000 viewers
CNBC – 171,000 viewers
HLN – 264,000 viewers

P2+ Prime Time
FNC – 2,465,000 viewers
CNN – 417,000 viewers
MSNBC –760,000 viewers
CNBC – 162,000 viewers
HLN – 451,000 viewers

Posted by: Indpnt1 | July 21, 2010 11:43 AM | Report abuse"

LOL Most Americans. Even the Fox total is a tiny fraction of Americans.

ROFL Most Americans. I can't stoop laughing at this post. BWAHAHAHAHAHAH

Posted by: koolkat_1960 | July 21, 2010 11:51 AM | Report abuse

Fire Vilsack. Give Sherrod his job.

Posted by: olthadi | July 21, 2010 11:53 AM | Report abuse

"...and, anyway, the entire event took place more than 20 years ago"

So, let's say a Republican in office is found out to have used the 'N' word more than 20 years ago...would that be any different?

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

Another Story the Liberal Media Won't Cover

Prior to the Presidential election and Rev Wright was exposed:
"Journalists working for Time, Politico, the Huffington Post, the Baltimore Sun, the Guardian, Salon and the New Republic expressed outrage over the tough questioning Obama received from ABC anchors Charlie Gibson and George Stephanopoulos at a debate and some of them plotted to protect Obama from the swirling controversy, according to the Daily Caller.

Spencer Ackerman of the Washington Independent pressed his fellow journalists to deflect attention from Obama's relationship with Wright by shifting topics to one of Obama's conservative critics, the Daily Caller reported.

"Fred Barnes, Karl Rove, who cares – and call them racists," Ackerman wrote."

You got to love that liberal media bias; it's all about the agenda and not the news.

Will this be your next story, Cohen? ROFL

Posted by: jblast2000 | July 21, 2010 11:55 AM | Report abuse

Can you imagine the pile up of rushing bureaucrats at DHS if one of their employees had said she thought terrorists were justified for a while and then found God and devoted her life to protecting America?

Posted by: bgreen2224 | July 21, 2010 11:55 AM | Report abuse

Fox News Channel beats NBC, ABC and CBS evening news in the age 25 to 54 demographic:

.............. NBC ABC CBS
• A25-54: 2,210,000 1,760,000 1,590,000

Most of the broadcast networks' new audience is oldsters.

Posted by: screwjob17 | July 21, 2010 11:59 AM | Report abuse

Right now, the media is pretty much free to print whatever truths, half-truths, lies, spins, libels and so on that they want to further their own agendas, without fear of retribution, financial or legal, whatsoever (apparently fear of the wrath of God is long gone already). Sherrod should be persuaded to sue the pants off Breitbart for his doctoring of her speech. Maybe America will then have a future to speak of. Is ill-intent so hard to prove in this case?

Posted by: KT11 | July 21, 2010 12:03 PM | Report abuse

I've got to hope in my inner heart that behind all of this Cohen is really kidding.

Posted by: box211 | July 21, 2010 12:07 PM | Report abuse

The best part was the NAACP crowd reaction...eating it up happily. It is disgusting.

Posted by: zap123 | July 21, 2010 12:10 PM | Report abuse

This should be a teachable moment for everyone that we need a somewhat more nuanced view of race issues. The calls for firing came from whites who think any white person would have been immediately terminated in a race-reversal situation.
Posted by: WmarkW | July 21, 2010 10:15 AM

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

Breitbart himself has said that the clip he used had nothing to do with Sherrod but the fact that the crowd cheered when she recounted the story of the white farmer being shafted.

Also WmarkW is absolutely correct that any white person doing that would not only be fired, but probably be under criminal investigation.

Posted by: bbface21 | July 21, 2010 12:11 PM | Report abuse

Broadcast Networks Ignore Racist Comments At NAACP Meeting
By Noel Sheppard (Bio | Archive)
Tue, 07/20/2010 - 01:12 ET
Despite all the attention given to last week's National Association for the Advancement of Colored People's resolution against the Tea Party, all three broadcast evening news programs completely ignored Monday's revelations of racist comments made at one of the civil rights organization's meetings in March.
At 8:18 AM Monday, Big Government reported that on March 27, Shirley Sherrod, the USDA's Rural Development director for the state of Georgia, delivered a racism-laden address at the NAACP's 20th Annual Freedom Fund Banquet.
Here's a taste of what the so-called news divisions at ABC, CBS, and NBC ignored Monday. As most readers are aware, this video has gone viral over the Internet. The Drudge Report posted its first piece concerning this matter at 5:28 PM.
Yet, according to closed caption dumps, the three broadcast evening news programs completely ignored the story.
I recall Bill O’Relly crowing about this last night. The Agriculture Department announced Monday, shortly after FoxNews.com published its initial report on the video, that Sherrod had resigned.

Posted by: sherardg | July 21, 2010 12:15 PM | Report abuse

Obama and his friends have no core beliefs, that is why in one day they can flip and flop from one point to the next depending on how they perceive the media to be siding with.

Other than big government socialism, what does Obama believe in?

Posted by: cpameetingbook | July 21, 2010 12:20 PM | Report abuse

http://www.foxnews.com/politics/2010/07/19/clip-shows-usda-official-admitting-withheld-help-white-farmer/

again

The Agriculture Department announced Monday, shortly after FoxNews.com published its initial report on the video, that Sherrod had resigned.

This from FOX News you dopes.

Posted by: sherardg | July 21, 2010 12:20 PM | Report abuse

Vilsack apologize to Sherrod and then resign!

Posted by: foofoofoo | July 21, 2010 12:25 PM | Report abuse

Vilsack apologize to Sherrod, reinstate her job, and then resign! In fact, Sherrod should be hired to replace Vilsack!

Posted by: foofoofoo | July 21, 2010 12:26 PM | Report abuse

I have always suspected that this administration reacts to whatever noise that comes from the extreme right and not what is good for all. This incident is a perfect proof of that. The unemployment in the black community is off the charts and Obama will not even mention that because he does not want to be accused of favoring blacks. The official underemployment rate for blacks is around 25% and twice that for black youth. Now, that's a calamity!

Posted by: biggy3 | July 21, 2010 12:28 PM | Report abuse

Mr. Cohen, I am having a problem practicing a new career as a Dissenter for hire. Specifically, the uneasiness I feel is cognitive dissonance of having to operate with contempt prior to investigation.

On this job, it is hard work not remaining neutral while creating one sided opinions by due diligence (or homework as it is known by us little people).

So, the challenge to me must be familiar to Lawyers or Political ops that try to stay in the gray areas of the law when practicing defamation of character.

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

Another victory for the right wing, no matter what. Democrats are so terrified of right-wing media that they rush, without facts, to appear "fair and balanced." Although the right-wingers played a dirty trick here, the Democrats are the ones who fell for it, and it is they who look foolish in several ways.

Posted by: RMS70 | July 21, 2010 12:29 PM | Report abuse

Guy18349, keep your mouth shut. Adults are trying to have a conversation. Better yet, don't hurl insults from behind the safety of your computer.

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

If this is the entire Sherrod video, then the vulgar, loud right has perpetuated fraud on the American polulation yet again. Nothing in this video is racist again st whites. Actually, her statements are about rich and poor farmers in rural areas - whether black, white or hispanic. What the heck did I miss?

Posted by: ANTGA | July 21, 2010 12:30 PM | Report abuse

Is race the destruct button of our society?
In the early 1960s, I attended a PSYWAR course while in the army. I see some of the same tactics in the media that was taught way back then.

The Tavistock think tank supplied most of our supplies. "Make people hate one another so you can move them in the direction you want them to go." "Give the people a reason to hate and if you own the media, then you do not have to prove anything." "Make everything so one-sided---and then switch sides, it keeps the people off balance."

Is the NAACP fighting in others what it sees in itself? Is the media doing it? I recommend people buy some books on psywar. It looks like the greatest fear of our government has is a well educated, well informed and well armed public.

Our politicians have sold themselves so many times that their souls are worn out.

Posted by: augury42 | July 21, 2010 12:31 PM | Report abuse

If this is the entire Sherrod video, then the vulgar, loud right has perpetuated fraud on Americans yet again. Nothing in this video is racist again st whites. Actually, her statements are about rich and poor farmers in rural areas - whether black, white or hispanic. What the heck did I miss?

Posted by: ANTGA | July 21, 2010 12:32 PM | Report abuse

"...and, anyway, the entire event took place more than 20 years ago"

So, let's say a Republican in office is found out to have used the 'N' word more than 20 years ago...would that be any different?

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

>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>
Indeed. Just look at the attacks on Fred Mallek for things he did during the Nixon Adminstration nearly 40 years ago.

Posted by: GRILLADES | July 21, 2010 12:33 PM | Report abuse

The truth is that EVERYTIME Obama gets himself into trouble he starts calling people RACIST.


This is a PATTERN - and it is vile.


In the South Carolina primary, it was Bill Clinton - Obama was called out by Tim Russert at a debate.


Later that spring, it was Gerry Ferraro - a convenient false racial incident to push Obama ahead.


In the summer, Obama called the Republicans all racist - Obama said "they haven't said anything yet, but they will."


Then after the health care debate - the nation witnessed a clear attempt to turn a legitimate political protest into a racial incident - complete with deceptions and lies.


Now we have the NAACP resolution - at another time when Obama is down in the polls -


This is another attempt to use false RACIST charges to ramp up the racially charged atmosphere - ALL FOR POLITICAL BENEFIT.


It is extremely important to point out that the goal of racial progress is NOT behind any of this - the objective is to shore up Obama's political standing.


So, we have an AFFIRMATIVE ACTION GUY - who when he is doing a horrible job, and things are not going well, RESORTING to false racist charges -


AND PURPOSELY CREATING A HIGHLY CHARGED RACIAL ATMOSPHERE.

This behavior has to be called out.


This behavior is shameful, vile and has no place in America.


It is a witchhunt - it is searching to label someone for something that really has not been done.


This time, Shirley Sherrod was the person caught in all of this.


BUT THE ROOT OF THE PROBLEM IS OBAMA - AND WHAT HE IS DOING ON PURPOSE - OBAMA'S TACTICS.


The NAACP jumped onto this last week - that did not help and those actions were wrong. What was said in the speeches at that Convention was wrong too.


The democrats and the media have a chance right now TO CORRECT THIS INJUSTICE AND TURN AWAY FROM THESE VILE TACTICS -


This has to be done - Obama has to be called out - because these tactics will only continue -


This nation will only CONTINUE TO ENDURE THESE CONTRIVED RACIAL INCIDENTS - RIGHT UP UNTIL THE 2012 ELECTION.


This is shameful - this is vile - the democrats and the media KNOW what is going on and they should be honest.


.

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

I largely agree, though I don't think the media gets a complete pass - Breitbart and FOX News's smear job is only possible because the rest of the media has been so well greased to catapult it into the mainstream.

However, having Vilsack get the sack would go a long way toward reversing the "failing upward" culture that thrived under Bush, yet still continues. The fact that Vilsack is employed and Sherrod isn't demonstrates that. I can have a lot of sympathy for Vilsack's overreaction, but not his cowardly, Bush-like unwillingness to correct a mistake, and instead compound it.

Giving Sherrod Vilsack's job would, finally, start to put in place insentives to be honest, and make cowardly enablers like Vilsack worry about the ramifications of jumping the gun.

Right now, the system rewards the smear artist and punishes the victim - Breitbart's mission has been accomplished, and his audience will reward him for the scalp.

Posted by: memekiller | July 21, 2010 12:36 PM | Report abuse

It's amusing that some folks want to jump all over FOX for the Administration not doing their homework before they ask this woman to resign. People need to do a little channel surfing between FOX, CNN, and MSNBC because their commentators were on her case. These cable news organizations, like the rest of the national media, are sharks; when they smell blood, they go into a feeding frenzy. All the cable networks are guilty for the mess. All needs to get the complete story and check the transcript before jumping to conclusions. The President and Sec Vilsack owe this woman a personal apology and her job back without prejudice. She's the only one in this story who has done nothing wrong and was honest.

Posted by: paulosfm1 | July 21, 2010 12:40 PM | Report abuse

Nice to know Fox News has more pull at the WH than the people who actually voted for Obama.

And it's not like the main stream media got out there and vetted Fox News. They just let them spew until it becomes a story they can criticize Obama over.

Posted by: SarahBB | July 21, 2010 12:40 PM | Report abuse

Correction:

Vilsack *should* apologize to Sherrod, reinstate her job, and then resign! In fact, Sherrod should be hired to replace Vilsack!


Posted by: foofoofoo | July 21, 2010 12:42 PM | Report abuse

ROPA DOPE 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 12:42 PM | Report abuse

OMG the spin on this is tremendous. If the roles were reversed and this were a white male instead of Ms. Sherrod this columnist would be trumpeting from the highest tower how the Obama Administration exhibited true bravery by demanding zero tolerance for racism.

And do we really think that Mr. Vilsack made his decision based on a report by Fox News? Really? Maybe he reacted the way he did because not the day before the Administration and the NAACP were espousing zero tolerance for racism when it applies to the Tea Party. Ms. Sherrod admitted that she acted purely in a racist manner but saw the errors in her ways and rectified the situation. In actuality it is quite vague on what she did or didn't do but the left wing would have you believe she nobly strapped on her shining armor and went the extra mile while stopping a tornado and feeding the poor. The right wants her put in prison after a public flogging.

The truth is somewhere in between. This is a woman in a position of power who has admitted to letting racist views effect the way she does her job. I understand those that want to forgive her but if we do why are we unwilling to forgive others who make the same mistake?

Posted by: ouvan59 | July 21, 2010 12:43 PM | Report abuse

"Fox News" is not a news organization. It's a propaganda-and-slander machine with a transparent political and ideological mission. And Breitbart is a serial liar and slanderer who shouldn't be treated as credible even by Fox, much less a responsible government official like Vilsack.

But I think Vilsack should go. His behavior here, in about the only visible thing he's done as agriculture secretary, was disgraceful and dishonorable. Vilsack, resign . . . or be fired!

Posted by: bradk1 | July 21, 2010 12:44 PM | Report abuse

WIRED magazine had a good piece on Breitbart and how he has figured out how to play the media like a bass fiddle. I think this whole thing is yet another ugly example of how lazy and hollow the American media is today. They are little more than stenographers for spectacle, as proven by a schoolyard bully getting his doctored tape into the headlines.

Posted by: john65001 | July 21, 2010 12:44 PM | Report abuse

The two ought to be ashamed. The right wing liars too. To some of the liars on this board - Obama never called his rivals racists. He never wanted to face the crucial reality that racism is indeed part of the fierce opposition he has been facing.

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

The liberal media, NAACP, Democrats are getting what they want. They throw the phony race bomb to detract from the Crap in Washington.

Thank goodness the Supreme Court did the right thing in flushing the grossly unconstitutional McCain/Feingold down the toilet. The worthless left wing media and their corporations won't be the ONLY ones with free speech before an election.

Posted by: jblast2000 | July 21, 2010 12:44 PM | Report abuse

Isn't there some way we can blame the Sherrod incident on Bush?

Posted by: jvetter2 | July 21, 2010 12:47 PM | Report abuse

The two ought to be ashamed. The right wing liars too. To some of the liars on this board - Obama never called his rivals racists. He never wanted to face the crucial reality that racism is indeed part of the fierce opposition he has been facing.

Posted by: ExpressReader | July 21, 2010 12:49 PM | Report abuse

Funny, I don't remember Richard Cohen coming to the defense of the many white men who have had their careers ruined by baseless accusations of racism over the past decades.

Richard: Why didn't you defend Nobel Prize-winner James Watson?

Posted by: pmendez | July 21, 2010 12:49 PM | Report abuse

If a white racist had been fired, Cohen's piece would have lauded the heroism and bravery or Vilsack.

Posted by: johnfchick1 | July 21, 2010 12:51 PM | Report abuse

Truth becomes more distorted with each repetition. Don't blame the messenger. The White House is the culprit. They harassed the Agriculture dept to execute the firing without having all the facts. Fox news did not air the story until after the firing had taken place. In fact, Glenn Beck is supporting the victim and has denounced both Agriculture and El Presidente.

Posted by: leberk | July 21, 2010 12:53 PM | Report abuse

Before you comment, watch this video in its entirety... then list the segment that might cause anyone/any group grief. I'm stunned because I saw nothing problematic!

Shame on you Obama for giving in to trailer park, rightwing trash hatred.

Posted by: ANTGA | July 21, 2010 12:54 PM | Report abuse

You take Uncle Sam's money, you take your chances.

Posted by: caribis | July 21, 2010 12:54 PM | Report abuse

Now, let me see; Ms Sherrod had her enlightening experience 20+ years ago and was fired because of the right-wing editing chicanery that did in Van Jones and Acorn.

She must have a solid pension coming and, undoubtedly, can and should capitalize on the horrendous treatment she has received from the media and her boss by writing the book that might lay bare what it means to be victimized by the media and sold out by her (I hope now unemployed) boss.

And don't blame Fox News; the New York Times gave us WMD Miller and so on. The media cannot be trusted; they have become, rather than intelligent and responsible critics, shills for the political arm that pays their bills.

Posted by: mini2 | July 21, 2010 12:56 PM | Report abuse

"Giving Sherrod Vilsack's job would, finally, start to put in place insentives to be honest, and make cowardly enablers like Vilsack worry about the ramifications of jumping the gun."

----------------------

So let me get this straight. A woman admits that she perpetrated a racist act and you want to reward her for it? That's great that she saw the error of her ways and may have rectified the situation but her initial act is still a blight on her character that needs to be addressed. It reminds me of the press making a hero out of Rodney King because he was the victim of police brutality completely disregarding the circumstances that surrounded the reason he was in a position to be arrested in the first place.

Posted by: ouvan59 | July 21, 2010 12:56 PM | Report abuse

Why is Fox still allowed to operate as a news station. That's not news what they do - there is no truth to anything that they do. Everything is slanted in the light they want it. they should be held accountable for screaming fire in public places when there aren't any. Fox is evil!

Posted by: love2much SE | July 21, 2010 12:58 PM | Report abuse

Interesting factual point...Fox News denied on air this morning that it actually ran any Sherrod video clips until AFTER she'd been fired by the Agricultural Department and AFTER the NAACP condemned her.

If that is factually true, then the NAACP is smearing FOX News...and Cohen is acting as an agent for them by repeating (without verifying) false claims in his column.

If true, the Cohen is guilty of EXACTLY the same sort of judgemental overreaction he is attempting to condemn in his column.

Posted by: Bsix | July 21, 2010 12:58 PM | Report abuse

I noticed on the video that the NAACP members laughed and clapped when Sherrod made her supposedly racist comments; before she hit the lesson learned punchline for the real intent of the story. I wonder why they laughed? The punchline had not yet been stated. Could it be racism within the NAACP? How politically unsensitive for me to notice. Why, I must be a racist!

Posted by: donchew1 | July 21, 2010 12:59 PM | Report abuse

To me it comes down to balls. It seems like Obama is obsessively consumed with what the Right thinks of him. The weenie Rahm can call liberals retarded, but Obama goes into panic mode if the Right farts on him.

Posted by: Grandblvd03 | July 21, 2010 1:01 PM | Report abuse

So let me get this straight. A woman admits that she perpetrated a racist act
_____________

Hey wingnut, she never amditted that and it's not in this video. Try watching it again and see all her references to how the poor farmers are treated in rural areas - "blacks, whites and hispanics alike" Enough with the BS already.

Posted by: ANTGA | July 21, 2010 1:01 PM | Report abuse

Secretary Vilsack's firing of Ms. Sherrod was not an act of cowardice; it was an act of political expediency and, as I believe, of political hari-kari!

Yes, Vilsack did act prematurely before all the facts were in (I wonder if in his capacity as Secretary of Treasury he is making really big buck decisions on how to spend his Department's money when he has only some of the facts of a matter?) and he seems all too ready to throw a subordinate overboard at the first sign of trouble (wonder how all those who report to him now feel about their job security) but he threw this lady under the bus for one simple reason: it is what all professional politicians do when they believe it can help them win a few brownie points with their bosses or the public regardless of the "collateral damage to one human being."

With this action Vilsack just showed every American who believes character and judgement are important criter for serving in high office he lacks both. This is the high point of his career; he can now go back to Iowa and open a lobbying practice where he can use the contacts he made in DC to benefit a few more corporate farmers.

Ms. Sherrod is not only owed her job back but a public apology from this craven excuse for a man. But, to protect his reputation he is more likely to stonewall on both and rationalize, as he has already done that the mere fact this woman was at the center of an injustice is grounds she cannot do her job. Only in politics would this kind of logic make any sense at all.

Posted by: bobfbell | July 21, 2010 1:04 PM | Report abuse

Sticking by your man like Bush during Katrina: Brownie, you are doing a heck of a job. The president I voted for needs to be just a little bit more loyal to his appointees. I would certainly not work for him.

Posted by: truth1 | July 21, 2010 1:04 PM | Report abuse

Sherrod should invite Vilsack and Obama to "beer summit" - and explain why the political chattering class and the media need to stop obsessing about race in all matters, and get on with the people's real business - dealing with the economy, deficits, debt, jobs, etc.

Posted by: XRayD | July 21, 2010 1:05 PM | Report abuse

What's wrong with this country. White folks still act like Ms. Sherrod really said something racist, despite the framer supporting her. Be Jealous and Vilsack need to resign. They are both poor mnanagers. Who makes this kind of decision without the facts? The undersecretary needs to go. She used the White House when she talked to Sherrod. Was she or wasn't she? The Obama administration and the President are also to blame. I wouldn't give the NAACP another dime in my life. What a bunch of cowards. Breibart & Fox need to be sued. What a bunch of amateurs.

Posted by: jpose | July 21, 2010 1:07 PM | Report abuse

I'm sure that Zippy axed Vilsack to throw the sista under the bus. So who's the coward?

Posted by: theBozyn | July 21, 2010 1:08 PM | Report abuse

guy18349,

Have you ever read Ann Frank's diary? You know, the little girl who was thrown into a concentration camp and was treated horrifically before being murdered by racist pigs? There's a story about Jewish bravery, and people just like you, all wrapped up into one neat package.

Posted by: CAC2 | July 21, 2010 1:08 PM | Report abuse

news cycles measured in nanoseconds... fear-soaked reactions on the part of the administration... half-baked bloggers and opinionators filling the internet with nonsense... what have we come to...

Posted by: notaliberalx | July 21, 2010 1:13 PM | Report abuse

As Breitbart made clear from the outset, the issue never was Sherrod, but rather the NAACP audience's real-time reaction to her remarks. The fact remains that the audience found her remarks entirely unremarkable.

Posted by: thebump | July 21, 2010 1:14 PM | Report abuse

"And, even if rightly, you do not dismiss an employee, wreck a career, without doing due diligence. What’s her side of the story? Where did the video come from? Is Breitbart a trustworthy source? The term “rightly or wrongly” suggests that the truth does not matter -- only perception, the politics of the situation. "

He's right.

Which is why she's not the only person who needs to lose their job behind this.

she mishandled the situation repeatedly and definitely had no business getting up in front of the NAACP and making a moral story out of it.

And whoever supervised this dismissal is now on the hot seat. Doesn't mean that hiring her back is the answer. What's done is done.

Posted by: dubya1938 | July 21, 2010 1:19 PM | Report abuse


"The Buck Stops There"

- Barack Obama

Posted by: screwjob17
====
The buck stops in my rich pals' pockets.
— George W. Bush

Posted by: lewfournier1 | July 21, 2010 1:20 PM | Report abuse

"Could it be racism within the NAACP? "

No, the NAACP is above such things. When they say it, it's the truth. When anybody else says it, it's racism.

Don't you know anything? In fact, if you question the NAACP, it makes you racist.

God bless America.

Posted by: Skeptic1 | July 21, 2010 1:24 PM | Report abuse

It appears the Obama administration has developed a “tick” reflex that they are off their game. They are on the defensive lately and are affected by the relentless far-right attacks notwithstanding these Faux sponsored attacks are without merit! I am afraid this may embolden more baseless far-right attacks on everything about the Administration. It is time for the administration to push back hard.

The secretary Vilsack should have waited all the facts before firing this lady.

(“Tick reflex” is a football term where the quarterback’s timing is affected by concern of getting hit after repeatedly getting hit by LBs. )

Posted by: KaneMan | July 21, 2010 1:25 PM | Report abuse

As Breitbart made clear from the outset, the issue never was Sherrod, but rather the NAACP audience's real-time reaction to her remarks. The fact remains that the audience found her remarks entirely unremarkable.

Posted by: thebump |

====
And that, Bump, is why context is important. Sherrod said at the start of the speech, which you obviously have not seen in its entirety, that the story ended well and good had come out of the incident.f The audience knew nothing bad would come out of the story.
Breitbart cut out the start of the speech and the end of the speech, knowing full well that people like yourself would jump to conclusions, and once having made up your mind would not be moved by the truth. Pathetic.

Posted by: lewfournier1 | July 21, 2010 1:26 PM | Report abuse

"If you don't have the guts to take on Fox"

Fox ran the story & video after Shirley was fired, so they had nothing to do with it.

Surely you know this?

I realize Richard Cohen doesn't, but he's a white guy on a guilt trip, so he flagellates himself with a photo of Al Sharpton every morning.

Posted by: Skeptic1 | July 21, 2010 1:27 PM | Report abuse

BLACK PEOPLE

DO YOU STILL CONSIDER OBAMA TO BE ONE OF YOUR OWN?

FACE IT...THE ONLY BLACK PEOPLE HE CARES ABOUT ARE HIS FAMILY AND MOMMA IN-LAW

I WOULDN'T VOTE FOR THIS MAN IN A NEW YORK MINUTE....

THAT'S WHY I HAVE NO REMORSE FOR VOTING FOR HILLARY CLINTON IN THE PRIMARY

BLACK FOLKS DON'T LET THIS MAN TAKE YOU FOR GRANTED

JESSE JACKSON WAS RIGHT
JESSE JACKSON WAS RIGHT
JESSE JACKSON WAS RIGHT

OBAMA HURRIED AND KISS UP TO THE WHITE COP...BLACK AG LADY...HE AIN'T SAYING ANYTHING

AS LONG AS HE HAS RAHM AND AXELROD (JEWS FROM CHICAGO WITH MONEY ARE MORE PREJUDICE THAN BRIDGEPORT IRISH)

BLACK PEOPLE DO NOT SUPPORT THIS MAN AND DON'T VOTE FOR HIM...HE'S NOT BILL CLINTON BUT BUSH-LITE

BLACK PEOPLE DO NOT SUPPORT THIS MAN AND DON'T VOTE FOR HIM...HE'S NOT BILL CLINTON BUT BUSH-LITE

BLACK PEOPLE DO NOT SUPPORT THIS MAN AND DON'T VOTE FOR HIM...HE'S NOT BILL CLINTON BUT BUSH-LITE

BLACK PEOPLE DO NOT SUPPORT THIS MAN AND DON'T VOTE FOR HIM...HE'S NOT BILL CLINTON BUT BUSH-LITE

BLACK PEOPLE DO NOT SUPPORT THIS MAN AND DON'T VOTE FOR HIM...HE'S NOT BILL CLINTON BUT BUSH-LITE

BLACK PEOPLE DO NOT SUPPORT THIS MAN AND DON'T VOTE FOR HIM...HE'S NOT BILL CLINTON BUT BUSH-LITE

BLACK PEOPLE DO NOT SUPPORT THIS MAN AND DON'T VOTE FOR HIM...HE'S NOT BILL CLINTON BUT BUSH-LITE

BLACK PEOPLE DO NOT SUPPORT THIS MAN AND DON'T VOTE FOR HIM...HE'S NOT BILL CLINTON BUT BUSH-LITE

BLACK PEOPLE DO NOT SUPPORT THIS MAN AND DON'T VOTE FOR HIM...HE'S NOT BILL CLINTON BUT BUSH-LITE

BLACK PEOPLE DO NOT SUPPORT THIS MAN AND DON'T VOTE FOR HIM...HE'S NOT BILL CLINTON BUT BUSH-LITE

BLACK PEOPLE DO NOT SUPPORT THIS MAN AND DON'T VOTE FOR HIM...HE'S NOT BILL CLINTON BUT BUSH-LITE

BLACK PEOPLE DO NOT SUPPORT THIS MAN AND DON'T VOTE FOR HIM...HE'S NOT BILL CLINTON BUT BUSH-LITE

BLACK PEOPLE DO NOT SUPPORT THIS MAN AND DON'T VOTE FOR HIM...HE'S NOT BILL CLINTON BUT BUSH-LITE

Posted by: danders5000 | July 21, 2010 1:30 PM | Report abuse

"If you don't have the guts to take on Fox"

Fox ran the story & video after Shirley was fired, so they had nothing to do with it.

Surely you know this?

I realize Richard Cohen doesn't, but he's a white guy on a guilt trip, so he flagellates himself with a photo of Al Sharpton every morning.

Posted by: Skeptic1 | July 21, 2010 1:27 PM | Report abuse

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


The Agriculture Department announced Monday, shortly after FoxNews.com published its initial report on the video, that Sherrod had resigned.
This from FOX News you dopes.

http://www.foxnews.com/politics/2010/07/19/clip-shows-usda-official-admitting-withheld-help-white-farmer/

Posted by: sherardg | July 21, 2010 1:33 PM | Report abuse

Broadcast Networks Ignore Racist Comments At NAACP Meeting
By Noel Sheppard (Bio | Archive)
Tue, 07/20/2010 - 01:12 ET
Despite all the attention given to last week's National Association for the Advancement of Colored People's resolution against the Tea Party, all three broadcast evening news programs completely ignored Monday's revelations of racist comments made at one of the civil rights organization's meetings in March.
At 8:18 AM Monday, Big Government reported that on March 27, Shirley Sherrod, the USDA's Rural Development director for the state of Georgia, delivered a racism-laden address at the NAACP's 20th Annual Freedom Fund Banquet.
Here's a taste of what the so-called news divisions at ABC, CBS, and NBC ignored Monday. As most readers are aware, this video has gone viral over the Internet. The Drudge Report posted its first piece concerning this matter at 5:28 PM.
Yet, according to closed caption dumps, the three broadcast evening news programs completely ignored the story.
I recall Bill O’Relly crowing about this last night. The Agriculture Department announced Monday, shortly after FoxNews.com published its initial report on the video, that Sherrod had resigned.
http://www.foxnews.com/politics/2010/07/19/clip-shows-usda-official-admitting-withheld-help-white-farmer/
again
The Agriculture Department announced Monday, shortly after FoxNews.com published its initial report on the video, that Sherrod had resigned.
This from FOX News you dopes

Posted by: sherardg | July 21, 2010 1:39 PM | Report abuse

This has nothing to do with Sherrod it's about making sure another Obama appointee resigns. The trick was really good and Fox Fake News was great in showing a clip from 24 years ago with leaving the rest of the clip out. Sherrod like others who learned not to become the person they saw do wrong. George Wallace apologized after learning racism was wrong. Strom Thurmond fooled everyone with a black love child. This was done to break down the Obama Administration and this trick worked except the shocker was the white farmer who came to Ms. Sherrod's defense. What a sight for the racist to see and that was never in the plan. Most of those from the 50's and 60's had to learn racism is wrong in any form by anyone not just whites. God taught that lesson and many learned to change by reading the bible. Your not born racist your taught racism. Fox Fact News and paid Journalist are working hard to break down Obama and America.

Posted by: qqbDEyZW | July 21, 2010 1:40 PM | Report abuse

What a pitiful attempt at spin!

With Fox and the right yammering endlessly as they are cornered on their racism, and childishly trying to turn the racism charge back at Obama, of course the administration has to act quickly if anything seems untoward. The Right would pounce like rabid animals if Vilsack HADN'T fired her. Cohen knows this quite well.

The racist thugs of the right planted this one and got caught, that's the only story here. This column severely undermines Cohen's credibility.

Posted by: info53 | July 21, 2010 1:46 PM | Report abuse

"and, anyway, the entire event took place more than 20 years ago."

So lets forgive Hitler - Hey that happened almost 70 years ago. Lets forget what the KKK did , that happened decades ago

You sir are a idiot and a firm believer that White people are the only racists

Posted by: nsanford1 | July 21, 2010 1:46 PM | Report abuse

"and, anyway, the entire event took place more than 20 years ago."

So lets forgive Hitler - Hey that happened almost 70 years ago. Lets forget what the KKK did , that happened decades ago

You sir are a idiot and a firm believer that White people are the only racists

Posted by: nsanford1 | July 21, 2010 1:48 PM | Report abuse

Did Obama check out things before he damned the Cambridge police? Mmmm! Mmmm! I don't think so! This entire administration is RACIST TO THE CORE!!!

Posted by: georges2 | July 21, 2010 1:50 PM | Report abuse

Posted by: YouCanPostThis

The truth is that EVERYTIME Obama gets himself into trouble he starts calling people RACIST.

This is a PATTERN - and it is vile.

____________________________________

The truth is that you cannot name one incident in which Obama called anyone racist. If you can please do so. Time place and who he called racist and the quotation of the words he used in doing so will be sufficient.

Posted by: Prakosh | July 21, 2010 1:52 PM | Report abuse

If you missed Greta Van Susteren's interview with Hillary Clinton on FoxNews you missed an interview with THE NEXT PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES!!! Dump Obama! He's toxic waste. He's a joke. He's laughed at all around the world. HILLARY CLINTON IS THE ONLY DEMOCRAT WHO CAN BEAT THE REPUBLICANS IN 2012! FORCE THE DEMOCRATIC MACHINE TO DUMP OBAMA! HILLARY CLINTON FOR PRESIDENT IN 2012! WE NEED SOMEONE IN THE WHITE HOUSE WHO'S REALLY INTELLIGENT - NOT SOMEONE, SUCH AS OBAMA, WHO PRETENDS TO BE INTELLIGENT!!!!

Posted by: georges2 | July 21, 2010 1:54 PM | Report abuse

WaPo will never report it, but Sherrod and her husband also rec'd $13 million dollars from the USDA in exactly such a racial suite she and her co-op brought against the US Govt.

Posted by: pgr88 | July 21, 2010 1:57 PM | Report abuse

What a pitiful attempt at spin!

With Fox and the right yammering endlessly as they are cornered on their racism, and childishly trying to turn the racism charge back at Obama, of course the administration has to act quickly if anything seems untoward. The Right would pounce like rabid animals if Vilsack HADN'T fired her. Cohen knows this quite well.

The racist thugs of the right planted this one and got caught, that's the only story here. This column severely undermines Cohen's credibility.


Posted by: info53 | July 21, 2010 1:46 PM | Report abuse


"and, anyway, the entire event took place more than 20 years ago."

So lets forgive Hitler - Hey that happened almost 70 years ago. Lets forget what the KKK did , that happened decades ago

You sir are a idiot and a firm believer that White people are the only racists

Posted by: nsanford1 | July 21, 2010 1:46 PM | Report abuse


"and, anyway, the entire event took place more than 20 years ago."

So lets forgive Hitler - Hey that happened almost 70 years ago. Lets forget what the KKK did , that happened decades ago

You sir are a idiot and a firm believer that White people are the only racists

Posted by: nsanford1 | July 21, 2010 1:48 PM | Report abuse

********************
these FOX nuts are despirate. Once again. Let me give you the truth from FOXnew.com.

LOOK IT UP.


TheY got caught and still continue to lie.

I recall Bill O’Relly crowing about this last night.
http://www.foxnews.com/politics/2010/07/19/clip-shows-usda-official-admitting-withheld-help-white-farmer/
again
THE ARGRICULTURE DEPARTMENT ANNOUNCED MONDAY, SHORTLY AFTER FOXNEWS.COM PUBLISHED ITS INITIAL REPORT ON THE VIDEO THAT SHERROD HAD RESIGNED.

The Agriculture Department announced Monday, shortly after FoxNews.com published its initial report on the video, that Sherrod had resigned.
This from FOX News you dopes


Posted by: sherardg | July 21, 2010 2:00 PM | Report abuse

Ms. Sherrod should be allowed to fire Tom Vilsack.

Posted by: johng1
===========================================

I agree. I've worked for bosses that do not fight for their employees but will pull the rug out from under them at a moments notice. They should not serve as the head of ANY department.

Posted by: jayjordan | July 21, 2010 10:23 AM
==========================================
You guys are the only ones that have it right.

Regardless of what is reported, when it is reported; once you have the whole story there is no excuse for doing the right thing.

It's a leadership issue not a disciplinary issue. No matter how small or large you want Government to become any government employee will still have the same rule book (in this case the 13th & 14th Amendments, 18 USC 242).

But, but, but ... No Business works like this. Oh well ...

Posted by: gannon_dick | July 21, 2010 2:01 PM | Report abuse

Give that girl some MONEY! She deserve it. Being trashed n all. Dang. What's a jigga gotta do to get a buck?

Posted by: justajigga | July 21, 2010 2:03 PM | Report abuse

The way Vilsack handled this, shows complete incompetence. He should resign or be fired! Maybe he can become a regular on Fox News.

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

To me, the bigger issue here is the integrity of journalism and the blogosphere. This story went viral and got way out of hand on the basis of doctored, edited tapes. Also BP doctored the backgrounds of their oil "war room" used in ads and news releases.

People used to say, "A picture is worth a thousand words." Nowadays doctored or edited pictures are worth a thousand lies. Don't trust what you see in blogs or what the media, including groups like WaPo and CNN, trumpet sensationally before they've checked into it and gotten all the facts.

PS. I agree with you that the secretary who fired her is a coward who don't wait for the whole story too.

Posted by: tinyjab40 | July 21, 2010 2:05 PM | Report abuse

Actually, if you watch the whole video you do NOT get the idea that she helped this farmer. You do get the idea that she came to the conclusion that it was really all about 'class' and not race, but not that she helped this family.

In the research that CNN did yesterday, where the farm family was interviewed and they said this woman went out of her way to help, you definitely can conclude she helped them, but I simply don't see it in the original video... whether it is edited or not.

+++

All news outlets get it wrong quite frequently. It should be expected. There are two real stories out of this incident.

One is that the idea that real news can be found in blogs. CNN got it right mostly because this happened in their back yard and they had the resources to research it properly. Blogs are woefully short of reporters.

The second story is the government firing this woman without due diligence. As Cohen says, it was cowardice.

+++

Posted by: Hawaiian_Gecko | July 21, 2010 2:06 PM | Report abuse

Okay, so the administration made a mistake. They should apologize and reinstate Sherrod. Every person and every administration makes mistakes. Everyone jumps to conclusions. Not everyone gets taken in by Fox but it happens. Get over it.

Posted by: jedrothwell1 | July 21, 2010 2:11 PM | Report abuse

Posted by: jblast2000

Sherrod was invited by the NAACP to speak at their function. During the story she told, she related how she displayed her racism towards a white farmer in not providing him all he needed, intentionally. The RACIST response from the NAACP was the big story here. They applauded and laughed at her display of racism. Yes, that's right, they laughed and applauded her racist actions. SPEAKS VOLUMES about this outdated group of old racist fossils.
And yes, this was BEFORE SHE REVEALED HER REDEMPTIVE EXPERIENCE.
___________________________

There is not one aspect of this part of your post that is accurate. Not one.

In the first place, Sherrod's father was killed by the KKK, is it any wonder that she was prejudiced against white people. If the KKK killed your father how would you feel? You seem to demonstrate some anger and hate care to tell us why? Could you muster even half the candor and truthfulness that Sherrod did in her speech and in her articulation of her "redemptive experience."

I don't think so, you are your ilk can only deny how you feel about everything and pretend that you have never harbored a racist thought or inclination, and are therefor superior to all those who have.

The story of Sherrod's redemptive experience makes no sense at all unless she tells how she felt at the beginning of her interaction with the farmer and his wife. In other words one cannot have a redemptive experience unless one has something to be redeemed from.

Let's be clear, the farmers who she helped in the late 80s when the incident she spoke of actually occurred said that she had saved their farm for them and that without her help they would surely have lost it. Have you ever done anything as noteworthy as helping someone keep their land and livelihood.

Ms. Sherrod is an American hero for her bravery, courage, honesty, and her work with the poor. I wish more white people could be as honest about their feelings and their struggle to overcome them, but most can't. All they can do is point fingers and claim that Black people are the real racists in society. Black people usually have reasons for being prejudiced, they have had to deal with white prejudice and superiority their whole lives. White people have no reason, except their lingering cultural memory going all the way back to 1617 when the first slaves were brought to Jamestown. And the early colonists began making laws and instituting cultural practices based on skin color and a misguided sense of white privilege and superiority.

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

"Is Breitbart a trustworthy source?"

AHA HAHAHAH HAHHAHH WHEW! AAAAAHHAAAHHAAHAHAHA HA HA HA HA HA OOOHHHHH MY STOMACH HURTS FROM LAUGHING.

Posted by: MadamDeb | July 21, 2010 2:13 PM | Report abuse

Mr. Cohen - Get a grip. It's not about race or cowardice. It's politics. Ms. Sherrod was a political appointee. She was hired to advance a political agenda. That's what political appointees do. She was canned by the folks that appointed her because she became a political liability.

It's really not that hard to understand.

Posted by: scarlett93 | July 21, 2010 2:17 PM | Report abuse

What several have noted, this is about cowardice; but more importantly it is about truth or lack of same in our social discourse, most especially journalistic jingoism and tabloid sensationalism as practiced by Fox, Christian radio, and more and more of our so-called main stream media in their corporate mindless zeal for the bottom line buck!
Our "news" sources can no longer be trusted to provide news, rather it is an endless biased diatribe of opinions and dogmatic propaganda intended to deceive and hide the truth for political or monitary objectives. Fox for instance contains virtually no factual news and has destroyed the national comity needed to have a viable, working culture and nation. And this is done for political power and just to prove that people can be manipulated; a spreading sickness of spirit, an evil force destroying the very soul of the nation, a foul hate-spewing pestilence of human depravity!

Posted by: CHAOTICIAN101 | July 21, 2010 2:18 PM | Report abuse

Cowardice is not exactly the word I would use, but stupidity certainly is. One of the first things I figured out when I became a supervisor was to not believe the first person I talked to about anyone or anything. There is always another side of the story. Unfortunately, those at the top always forget this, especially since their information is so filtered. I remember Obama was afraid this would happen to him as his presidency went forward. Already, he has forgotten! Unfortunately, this is a condition that I face everyday at work. Everyone is too busy to think things through. It is unproductive and paralyzing to work for a boss like this. I hope Ms. Sherrod finds a better job and a better boss.

Posted by: Shadetree1 | July 21, 2010 2:21 PM | Report abuse

Anyone who thinks Vilsack fired Ms. Sherrod without White House blessing is crazy! This entire situation is another reeking example of this administration's immediate knee-jerk reactions to events based on political damage control mentality. Time now for change we truly can believe in; time for Obama to join the ranks of book-writing, self-aggrandizing "former presidents!"

Posted by: MadJack1 | July 21, 2010 2:21 PM | Report abuse

Anyone who thinks Vilsack fired Ms. Sherrod without White House blessing is crazy! This entire situation is another reeking example of this administration's immediate knee-jerk reactions to events based on political damage control mentality. Time now for change we truly can believe in; time for Obama to join the ranks of book-writing, self-aggrandizing "former presidents!"

Posted by: MadJack1 | July 21, 2010 2:22 PM | Report abuse

Obama Equation.. 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?Heard of Cedra Crenshar, or Angela McGowan? How about Allen West? Hey, we take care of those folks, what’s wrong with a little dependency and group 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 2:27 PM | Report abuse

Anyone who thinks Vilsack fired Ms. Sherrod without White House blessing is crazy! This entire situation is another reeking example of this administration's immediate knee-jerk reactions to events based on political damage control mentality. Time now for change we truly can believe in; time for Obama to join the ranks of book-writing, self-aggrandizing "former presidents!"

Posted by: MadJack1 | July 21, 2010 2:22 PM | Report abuse

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

Ok so we agree. Now what about FOX putting out this bold face lie? Any comments on that?

Posted by: sherardg | July 21, 2010 2:29 PM | Report abuse

This story was out long before FOX NEWS carried it. Get your facts straight.

Posted by: milltownfan | July 21, 2010 2:29 PM | Report abuse

To all the people blaming Fox news: I hope you are just are critical of the media that accuses the Tea Party of racism. All of the media needs to be accountable.

Posted by: surgres | July 21, 2010 2:30 PM | Report abuse

A lesson for the White House
NAACP President Benjamin Todd Jealous: Is it true that Shirley Sherrod at the USDA has been caught on film making reactionary comments?
NAACP Employee: Yes Sir.
NAACP President Benjamin Todd Jealous: Contact the White House immediately
White House: Yes Mr. Jealous, we understand, this could end up on Glenn Beck tonight. Contact Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack immediately.
Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack: Yes Mrs. Sherrod, pull the car over now. The White House wants you to resign now, this will be on Glenn Beck tonight.
NAACP: Mr. Jealous, we have new information. I guess we should have watched the whole film.
NAACP President Benjamin Todd Jealous: Yes, that's right, Mr. President, we seem to have jumped the gun, the whole film shows a differenent story. Say, you haven't watched Glenn Beck have you?

Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack: Yes, Shirley, nobody's perfect. The NAACP seems to have panicked. Has Glenn Beck called you?

White House: Yes Mr. Vilsack, that's right, talk nice, and slow, don't get panicked. Here is what you will say. By the way, has Glenn Beck contacted you?

Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack: that's right folks, we will be looking at the whole picture, I mean the whole film. We will get this corrected.

White House: First, contact Pravda America, I mean MSNBC and CNN and tell them not to panic, we will tell them what to say. They will say, Fox News has caused the whole mess. Secondly, Tell Vilsack to send flowers to Shirley and to only speak to Vilsack. Lastly, for God sakes, put someone full-time watching Glenn Beck.

Only logical conclusion to this mess: The NAACP needs to invite Van Jones back for a second “Image” award, then the spotlight will be taken off of this truly embarrassing moment for the NAACP.

Posted by: youcancallmeroy | July 21, 2010 2:30 PM | Report abuse

Coward who's the coward. The Columnist who will not take on Fox News? Brietbart who must find reverse racism to make a living? Fox New who's zeal to promote republican talking points supersedes actual news reporting? Looks like there is plenty of cowardice to go around in this group. Should the FCC fine someone for showing their Azz on TV or is it not indecent for a group of liars to report lies?

Posted by: hilow | July 21, 2010 2:33 PM | Report abuse

This story was out long before FOX NEWS carried it. Get your facts straight.

Posted by: milltownfan | July 21, 2010 2:29 PM | Report abuse

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

THESE FOLKS ARE BRAIN DEAD.

AGAIN !!!

Broadcast Networks Ignore Racist Comments At NAACP Meeting
By Noel Sheppard (Bio | Archive)
Tue, 07/20/2010 - 01:12 ET
Despite all the attention given to last week's National Association for the Advancement of Colored People's resolution against the Tea Party, all three broadcast evening news programs completely ignored Monday's revelations of racist comments made at one of the civil rights organization's meetings in March.
At 8:18 AM Monday, Big Government reported that on March 27, Shirley Sherrod, the USDA's Rural Development director for the state of Georgia, delivered a racism-laden address at the NAACP's 20th Annual Freedom Fund Banquet.
Here's a taste of what the so-called news divisions at ABC, CBS, and NBC ignored Monday. As most readers are aware, this video has gone viral over the Internet. The Drudge Report posted its first piece concerning this matter at 5:28 PM.
Yet, according to closed caption dumps, the three broadcast evening news programs completely ignored the story.
I recall Bill O’Relly crowing about this last night. The Agriculture Department announced Monday, shortly after FoxNews.com published its initial report on the video, that Sherrod had resigned.
http://www.foxnews.com/politics/2010/07/19/clip-shows-usda-official-admitting-withheld-help-white-farmer/
again
THE ARGRICULTURE DEPARTMENT ANNOUNCED MONDAY, SHORTLY AFTER FOXNEWS.COM PUBLISHED ITS INITIAL REPORT ON THE VIDEO THAT SHERROD HAD RESIGNED.
This from FOX News you dopes

Posted by: sherardg | July 21, 2010 2:35 PM | Report abuse

A lesson for the White House
NAACP President Benjamin Todd Jealous: Is it true that Shirley Sherrod at the USDA has been caught on film making reactionary comments?
NAACP Employee: Yes Sir.
NAACP President Benjamin Todd Jealous: Contact the White House immediately
White House: Yes Mr. Jealous, we understand, this could end up on Glenn Beck tonight. Contact Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack immediately.
Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack: Yes Mrs. Sherrod, pull the car over now. The White House wants you to resign now, this will be on Glenn Beck tonight.
NAACP: Mr. Jealous, we have new information. I guess we should have watched the whole film.
NAACP President Benjamin Todd Jealous: Yes, that's right, Mr. President, we seem to have jumped the gun, the whole film shows a differenent story. Say, you haven't watched Glenn Beck have you?

Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack: Yes, Shirley, nobody's perfect. The NAACP seems to have panicked. Has Glenn Beck called you?

White House: Yes Mr. Vilsack, that's right, talk nice, and slow, don't get panicked. Here is what you will say. By the way, has Glenn Beck contacted you?

Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack: that's right folks, we will be looking at the whole picture, I mean the whole film. We will get this corrected.

White House: First, contact Pravda America, I mean MSNBC and CNN and tell them not to panic, we will tell them what to say. They will say, Fox News has caused the whole mess. Secondly, Tell Vilsack to send flowers to Shirley and to only speak to Vilsack. Lastly, for God sakes, put someone full-time watching Glenn Beck.

Only logical conclusion to this mess: The NAACP needs to invite Van Jones back for a second “Image” award, then the spotlight will be taken off of this truly embarrassing moment for the NAACP.


Posted by: youcancallmeroy | July 21, 2010 2:30 PM | Report abuse

Coward who's the coward. The Columnist who will not take on Fox News? Brietbart who must find reverse racism to make a living? Fox New who's zeal to promote republican talking points supersedes actual news reporting? Looks like there is plenty of cowardice to go around in this group. Should the FCC fine someone for showing their Azz on TV or is it not indecent for a group of liars to report lies?

Posted by: hilow | July 21, 2010 2:33 PM | Report abuse
**************

WAS I SUPPOSED TO LAUGH?

Posted by: sherardg | July 21, 2010 2:38 PM | Report abuse

""and, anyway, the entire event took place more than 20 years ago."

So lets forgive Hitler - Hey that happened almost 70 years ago. Lets forget what the KKK did , that happened decades ago

You sir are a idiot and a firm believer that White people are the only racists

Posted by: nsanford1 | July 21, 2010 1:46 PM"
========================

First of all, get your grammar correct before you call someone AN idiot.

Second of all, comparing Shirley Sherrod to Hitler is the ultimate sign of idiocy and that you have no other real argument. Sherrod overcame her prejudice (her father being killed by the KKK) and helped a white farmer over 20 years ago. She is now talking about the incident and about how people should look beyond race like she did.

Hitler sent millions to their death, and he died without a single regret. Sherrod more than made up for her action. Hitler did not.

Please, stop and read your post before you hit submit, it may save you from looking like a fool next time before you try to use Hitler as an example.

Posted by: ClandestineBlaze | July 21, 2010 2:40 PM | Report abuse

Richard, how are you able to even get out of bed in the morning, knowing that guys like Steve Kornacki are going to completely eviscerate your feeble-minded drivel? Seriously, you should be embarassed to cash your WP paychecks after getting pwnd like this:

http://www.salon.com/news/politics/war_room/index.html?story=/politics/war_room/2010/07/21/worst_reagan_obama

Posted by: Austin45 | July 21, 2010 2:41 PM | Report abuse

If it was a white dude saying the opposite he would have been fired quicker than her a-s was, DC is full of reverse racism, how many parking tickets to they write in Ward 8, I live in ward 2 and they jump out of the white van, ready to pounce on the white people cars, they probably get shot over there!

Posted by: GatorsnSkins | July 21, 2010 2:46 PM | Report abuse

It shows you all about Cohen, who thinks the story is about Vilsack, and NOT about the systematic and intentional lying of Breitbart, and Fox "news."

This exposes the instruments of the right wing hate machine for what they are: liars of the first order.

Posted by: losthorizon10 | July 21, 2010 2:59 PM | Report abuse

Wow, the pot calling the kettle black. The Post prints lies about the Obama administration on nearly a daily basis on their opinion page.

Richard Cohen:"the evidence Colin Powell presented to the United Nations — some of it circumstantial, some of it absolutely bone-chilling in its detail — had to prove to anyone that Iraq not only hasn't accounted for its weapons of mass destruction but without a doubt still retains them. Only a fool — or possibly a Frenchman — could conclude otherwise."

So Richard where is your resignation? How many died because "only a fool" wouldn't believe the WMD lies? 100 thousand? More? How much did it cost? One trillion $? two? Three?

How many have died here and how much has it cost the tax payers? Nada!

Oh we feel your outrage.

Posted by: timothy2me | July 21, 2010 3:02 PM | Report abuse

"jigga" by justajigga, never heard of that one before!

Posted by: houston123 | July 21, 2010 3:03 PM | Report abuse

Wow, a jew talking about cowards!

Posted by: guy18349 | July 21, 2010 9:44 AM | Report abuse

*********
Hey you rotten little coward, what's your real name?
No Guts Guy is more than likely. Were you raised by bums who failed to teach you to respect other nationalities and faiths? Were you allowed to discriminate against Jews because Mommy told your they killed Jesus? You are the reason we have so much trouble in our country. You are the reason each generation brings forth more racist criminals. You are the reason so many ignorant voices are allowed to smear innocent and decent human beings. You are the reason people actually believe the earth is only 2000 years old. Grow up you miserable coward. fritz

Posted by: papafritz571 | July 21, 2010 3:06 PM | Report abuse

Posted by: ouvan59

So let me get this straight. A woman admits that she perpetrated a racist act and you want to reward her for it? That's great that she saw the error of her ways and may have rectified the situation but her initial act is still a blight on her character that needs to be addressed.

________________________

Your claim is erroneous in the extreme. Please articulate clearly what you think Sherrod's racist act was, if you can?

Personally, I don't think you can show a racist act because there was none. She expressed what her thoughts were in her initial reaction to the farmer, but those thoughts never resulted in any "racist act" on her part. The result of those thoughts was a self-examination and a dedication to helping this farmer becuase he was poor without regard to his skin color. This process of self-examination resulted in Sherrod's saving the farm and livelihood of these poor white farmer who testified to this fact on CNN yesterday.

Not so Breitbart, who admitted that he was motivated to post the heinous video by a desire to get even with the NAACP and so took this doctored video, which, if the past is prologue, came from none other than his earlier source for such garbage, James O'Keefe, who because of his recent conviction, probably was forced to submit this video anonymously, in order to accomplish that revenge.

That so many people were willing to accept it as fact, including Breitbart, FoxNews, Obama administration officials, and even the NAACP at whose function the original full-length video was made, is without a doubt a pox on all their houses. But that the entire right wing universe would go completely nuts over this and at this present time still have no clue about what happened is evidence of just how idiotic watching FOX news makes them.

Even more incredible was FOXNEWS claim late in the day yesterday that Sherrod has been railroaded by the Obama administration. Next week they will no doubt be using her firing as evidence of their importance and power within the national dialogue, but for now they are claiming that she was railroaded by the administration.

Of course, their 24 hours of reporting and looping of the doctored video which they only stopped showing once other outlets demonstrated the FOXNEWS lies, certainly could not be seen as railroading, only other do that.

Forget about "balance" and reporting and letting the viewer decide. That any "news" outlet, given Breitbart's record of journalistic integrity, would show any video originating with him without first substantiating it, speaks volumes for the journalistic integrity of that news outlet--as in they don't have any!

Posted by: Prakosh | July 21, 2010 3:07 PM | Report abuse

Richard,
Any comment about the part of the same tape where she refers to a "white man lined up to by a black mans property?" Didnt think so. The real story here is the obama administrations complete shooting from the hit (like w/ the cambride police) and dont forget the NAACP members nodding their heads and clapping when they could only know/think that she was saying she ignored the white farmer. That is the real story. obama is incompetant and now they are lying saying the administration had nothing to do w/ it when it is clear a white house offical aske Sheerod to pull over a type her resignation.

Posted by: j751 | July 21, 2010 3:10 PM | Report abuse

Some people have the nerve to comment or say anything derogotory about Obama. You think that you can just pull anything out of the air and say anything you please. I guess the power to influence works well for
the same type of poisened minds that think alike.

Posted by: Rayden1234 | July 21, 2010 3:12 PM | Report abuse

Absolutely right. The way this was handled showed the spineless and gutlessness - and unthoughtfulness - of our elected leaders.

Posted by: bryan37 | July 21, 2010 3:18 PM | Report abuse

For all of you commenting on the audience shouting with glee when Ms. Sherrod was telling her story, how many of you or your relatives were cheering while a Black man was being strung up on a tree or when the dogs were unleashed on protestors or when the KKK burned the church in Alabama where 4 little girls lost their lives? For goodness sakes, this was more than 20 years ago! Who are the real cowards? Anyone who cheers at the death of another is a BIG COWARD!!! Those of you living in glass houses better watch for the bulldozer coming, you should be able to see it coming any minute now...

Posted by: rhaynes3 | July 21, 2010 3:19 PM | Report abuse

Posted by: surgres

To all the people blaming Fox news: I hope you are just are critical of the media that accuses the Tea Party of racism. All of the media needs to be accountable.

___________________________

Most comments from individuals that I have read here and elsewhere are not accusing the Tea Party of racism, I don't know anyone who even knows what the Tea Party is.

What they are doing is claiming that there are individuals within the Tea Party who demonstrate racist tendencies and are producing signs, images, and blog posts which are racist or at least racial in their origin and intention.

That someone would think that because a racial and probably racist rant by the founder of the Tea Party Express, that resulted in some other Tea Party Group--The Tea Party International Federation? (whatever that name means in the context of a group that doesn't recognize global realities)--ousting the provocateur and his group from this organization, needed to be avenged by going after a Black organization with the 100 year history of the NAACP, is astounding on its face.


That Mr Beitbart, would chose this format and form for that revenge is another demonstration of how low the right wing will go to fabricate, perpetrate, and disseminate lies, rumors and innuendo in the pursuit of their tawdry and illicit goals.

Shame on them all. And shame on an administration and news organization that would aid and abet this kind of garbage.

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

Shirley Sherrod was teabagged. Expect many Americans to be teabagged in the near future.

Posted by: miknugget | July 21, 2010 3:23 PM | Report abuse

Due diligence. What a concept. Why would it ever occur to anyone? There is enough blame to pass around, from the President to the NAACP who readily accepted the redacted video. This along with the racist components of the Tea Party movement and everyone tiptoeing around it, leave me incensed.

Posted by: hush2909 | July 21, 2010 3:24 PM | Report abuse

The SAD situation for America . . .
Lack of integrity of FOX News!!!!!!!!!

And the STUPIDITY of the so many people who actually tune them in and believe them!

Posted by: lufrank1 | July 21, 2010 3:24 PM | Report abuse

Of the lies spread by RWNJ media like Fox and Limbaugh, Abe Lincoln would have said;

"You can fool some of the people, ALL of the time"... ;^)

- Balkingpoints / www

Posted by: RField7 | July 21, 2010 3:25 PM | Report abuse

When an administration has no core beliefs and values, it is often led astray by demogauges. The Coalition4change recently sent President Obama a letter informing him that he had appointed three individuals to his administration (Carol Browner, James L. Taylor and Anne M. Wagner) who had been named in prior administrations as “Responsible Management Officials” in various employment discrimination complaints and lawsuits. At this juncture, the White House has been non-responsive to the C4C’s letter probably afraid of upsetting FOX News and that buffoonish Glen Beck. Nevertheless, the White House and the USDA responded promptly (before Glen Beck’s air-time) and unjustifiably so in dismissing Ms. Sherrod.

Fortunately, during the 1960s, Lyndon Johnson was president and not Barack Obama who probably would have been too timid to introduce and push for the passage of such Civil Rights legislation as equal accommodations, fair housing and voting rights.

To learn more about the C4C and employment discrimination in the Federal Government go to www.coalition4change.org

Posted by: PTaylor8336 | July 21, 2010 3:28 PM | Report abuse

Barack Hussein Obama is the coward who ordered this firing, and he is a bigger coward for denying that the order came directly from him.

What a sleazebag....who sells African-Americans down the river.


Posted by: Jerzy | July 21, 2010 3:37 PM | Report abuse

People have a choice - at least for now - about what they want to watch on TV.

If MSDNC or PBS or the networks were all they think of themselves no one would watch Fox.

Fox blows them away in ratings because people freely choose to watch Fox and freely choose not to watch MSDNC, etc.

Its not a conspiracy.

Most people just reject liberal lies.

Posted by: drjcarlucci | July 21, 2010 3:37 PM | Report abuse

Posts are so amusing as much as the comments and the opinions posted against it. One point is true both sides stretch the truth or omit all of it. Yet one other point is true and that is when the left defends itself it is done quickly and accusingly. Yet the when the left errs about the right, little is heard to rectify the error. Someday both sides will show the truth and nothing but the truth and then our country will once again be proud of itself. Remember it was this president who quickly accused the officer of being stupid (racist?)when in fact the officer was helping a citizen regardless of who he was. I believe this administration is now trying to show it is not racist after all their blunders; unfortunately it appears they have now erred. However, did Shirley really mean what she said, had she not helped a white farmer in the past and is now making up for it? Only she really knows.

Posted by: Justanothercitizen | July 21, 2010 3:42 PM | Report abuse

I have contemplated the video posted on Brietbart, viewed it, and came away with some questions and thoughts.
My first question was why NAACP released an edited version of the tape.
The answer to that simply was a trap. At first blush, it is a tape geared to make people feel angry and shocked. Shocked that a government employee would discriminate that way. Shocked that we are paying salaries and pensions for that type of behavior with our tax dollars.
However, the tape was edited, and didn't tell the complete story. The complete story is about a change of heart, and a realization that We the People are all Americans. Sometimes it takes what it takes to replace anger with understanding and bitterness with acceptance and love for your fellow American.
An edited tape was sent and it was a baited trap for Glenn Beck in my opinion. First of all Brietbart posted it without viewing the entire tape. That was a mistake on his part that will cause some to believe he cuts tape to incite, when in reality he posted something incomplete. That hurts us all because it too, is NOT being a watchdog on government.
Beck's staff verify stories before they air them, so they didn't show the NAACP tape. Something our MSM doesn't even bother to do. I suspect, as a Democrat, advisers to our POTUS plotted with the NAACP to catch Beck with his pants down, so to speak, so they could accuse him of fabricating stories without all of the facts. I say this is my belief simply because of the three phone calls calling for resignation, with the final "Pull over to the side of the rode and resign" from the White House. Their belief was this story would air on Beck that evening.
Well, once again, the only thing that was shown was the fact that this administration is one of the most corrupt in American History. One would think they might have better things to do...oh...the economy...making sure all of the oil is cleaned up...two wars...joblessness...home foreclosures on the rise...and of course, running all those businesses that they took over.
Once again, it proves We the People can clean out corruption this November, and we MUST.
Must means there is no one else to do it, only us.
We must not have a change of heart. We must change Congress, and then we must lay the foundation for our country to go back to the Constitution and remind those We elect serve at the pleasure of the People, NOT themselves.
Beck verifies his stories. MSM does not. We have a lot of cleaning up to do!
Update: Now Shirley Sherrod accuses FOX News of being racist. Unfortunately, for her to falsely accuse FOX of what she herself has done, leads me to believe she was not honest to her audience in the first place. Beck had her on, yes, but he said she shouldn’t have been fired. How is that racist? Or was that the game plan in the first place?

Posted by: Belle6 | July 21, 2010 3:43 PM | Report abuse

Shep Smith on Fox News' Studio B just now has said in no uncertain terms that the Breitbart video was misleading and edited to promote a distorted view of Sherrod's actual speech. Smith also referred to Breitbart.com as a "widely discredited" Web site. (I'm wondering if repeating that meme on other Fox News broadcasts will be the network's strategy to avoid answering for its culpability in Sherrod's firing.)

Smith just asked Juan Williams, "What in the world has happened to our industry and the White House?" Again, maybe this will be a wakeup call for Fox, but I doubt it.

I also just learned something from Smith's program that I hadn't heard before, namely, that Sherrod's own father was murdered by a white man who went unpunished for the crime. That makes the fact that she later went on to overcome her own racial resentments and help these white folks save their farm all the more poignant; hers is a story worthy of repetition, not condemnation. Breitbart deserves nothing but disgust for his attempts to destroy this woman's career.

Posted by: whatmeregister | July 21, 2010 3:44 PM | Report abuse

How come the media in general and this writer in particular, do not hold Andrew Breitbart responsible for putting up an edited tape to deliberately create racial disharmony? No comments about fox news who ran the story ad nauseum, through out the day, as an item about racism by government officials. They had most of their guests/guest commentators including Newt Gingrich comment on Ms Sherrod's racism etc. etc.
How about holding these so called journalists responsible for spreading falsehoods?

Posted by: ids12 | July 21, 2010 3:45 PM | Report abuse

Vilsack should resign, and Obama should apologize to Ms Sherrod, and Holder should look into some criminal charges against Breitbart.

Ms Sherrod made an important point in her talk before the NAACP: When it comes to politics, economic class is more important than skin color.

Posted by: parkerjere | July 21, 2010 3:45 PM | Report abuse

How come the media in general and this writer in particular, do not hold Andrew Breitbart responsible for putting up an edited tape to deliberately create racial disharmony? No comments about fox news who ran the story ad nauseum, through out the day, as an item about racism by government officials. They had most of their guests/guest commentators including Newt Gingrich comment on Ms Sherrod's racism etc. etc.
How about holding these so called journalists responsible for spreading falsehoods?

Posted by: ids12 | July 21, 2010 3:47 PM | Report abuse

I was fired on the job for something someone else did. Some firing are just wild. But who is supposed to protect the employee? This is our system nobody said you where supposed to like it. It could be changed but I would not hold my breath!

Posted by: artg | July 21, 2010 3:47 PM | Report abuse

no one wanted to see the whole tape of the clown who taped acorn until the ag of cali. looked at it and said that the tape showed over and over on fox was heavily edited and misrepresented the facts. the republicans finally got rid of acorn with this bogus tape. i wonder if they will vote for an andrew brietbart day.

Posted by: blinwilly | July 21, 2010 3:49 PM | Report abuse

Belle6, you have got it soooo backwards. Breitbart (or a friend) posted the doctored video (less than 4 min. long) and NAACP posted the REAL video, which was a 41-minute speech given at a local NAACP awards dinner in GA last March.

Go to CNN or NAACP.com and you see the entire video.

How could you have missed all this, if you claim to have been following the story, and you have developed a theory about it!?

Posted by: MadamDeb | July 21, 2010 3:50 PM | Report abuse

Richard:

As a white, conservative, evangelical, I was appalled at Mrs. Sherrod's firing. I was deeply moved when I watched the entire video and heard of the death of her father and religious commitment to help people.

OBTW As far as I know Fox did not report on this or show the video until after she had been fired.

HH

Posted by: hheater | July 21, 2010 3:50 PM | Report abuse

The Sherrod fiasco, unfortunately, is not unique to racial politics. As the old saying goes, "Make sure brain is engaged before placing mouth in gear." Incidents posted out of context in U-Tube by bloggers, or reported in Fox Cable New, are par for the course; and should not come as a surprise to anyone.

However, U-Tube bloggers, Fox Cable News, and the United States Department of Agriculture, are not symmetrical institutions. The least that should be expected from high government officials is to have done their homework, gotten their facts together, and followed established procedure. That takes time, effort, and foot work; laws of nature that have not been abolished, thus far. Absent that reaction, this whole incident would have been no more than a bleep. In failing to do their homework, the Department of Agriculture has reacted with the professionalism and forethought of a teenager. They have placed the whole government in an embarrassing position.

"To whom much is given, much is expected." The ball is in the Department of Agriculture's court now; someone had better come up with good answers. One hopes the nuclear button is being more competently managed.

And stop saying "post-racial America," America is not post-racial.

Posted by: armondavid | July 21, 2010 3:51 PM | Report abuse

Posted by: lufrank1

The SAD situation for America . . .
Lack of integrity of FOX News!!!!!!!!!

And the STUPIDITY of the so many people who actually tune them in and believe them!

_____________________________

FOXNEWS has no journalistic integrity--they don't even know what that means. Accept it and get over it.

They are not the real problem here, the problem as I see it is that anyone with even two working braincells gives any of their garbage anything less than the wide berth such stench requires. I don't ever listen to FOXNEWS or FOX anything, not even their Network shows--nothing. I won't give Rupert Murdoch or anything he owns a penny or a count on any web-site or rating.

I don't miss much, and all I hear everyday on other outlets is how FOX news lied about something else.

The real problem is that they have an audience at all and if I believed in god or something like god, I would feel about regular FOX viewers as U.S. Rep. Grayson feels about those who gutted the second job stimulus and held up the unemployment benefits of 2.5 million people--may God have mercy on their souls.

Posted by: Prakosh | July 21, 2010 3:51 PM | Report abuse

Valentinn wrote: "Waaaaiiit, didn't Briebart say he was highlighting how the NAACP AUDIENCE was clapping and laughing in APPROVAL during the point of Sherrod's story where she doesn't help the white couple?? Of course she did eventually assist them very ablely.

Typically the press is overlooking the real point of the video - which was how racist many of the NAACP members are ... or are we to believe only TP members are racists?

.

.

.

.
Conservative Andrew Breitbart says he was trying to highlight 'racist' behavior by the NAACP. He tried to do it by highlighting a small portion of a specch Sherrod gave. Breitbart never came out and said he was trying to show up NAACP racism. He simply put it on his blog as is, no explanation, nothing. Then, on Good Morning america, he came up with his excuse, saying he was really going after the NAACP. BS.

Also, Breitbart tried to deflect the whole thing by claiming over and over he has evidence...that no teabagger shouted racist epithets or spit on anyone. He will not and CANNot provide the video evidence he shouts about, because IT DOES NOY EXIST. But that will not stop Brietbert from continuing to post false, slanderous, and misleading commentary, so long as his paychecks keep coming in.

Posted by: swatkins1 | July 21, 2010 3:52 PM | Report abuse

Valentinn wrote: "Waaaaiiit, didn't Briebart say he was highlighting how the NAACP AUDIENCE was clapping and laughing in APPROVAL during the point of Sherrod's story where she doesn't help the white couple?? Of course she did eventually assist them very ablely.

Typically the press is overlooking the real point of the video - which was how racist many of the NAACP members are ... or are we to believe only TP members are racists?

.

.

.

.
Conservative Andrew Breitbart says he was trying to highlight 'racist' behavior by the NAACP. He tried to do it by highlighting a small portion of a specch Sherrod gave. Breitbart never came out and said he was trying to show up NAACP racism. He simply put it on his blog as is, no explanation, nothing. Then, on Good Morning america, he came up with his excuse, saying he was really going after the NAACP. BS.

Also, Breitbart tried to deflect the whole thing by claiming over and over he has evidence...that no teabagger shouted racist epithets or spit on anyone. He will not and CANNot provide the video evidence he shouts about, because IT DOES NOY EXIST. But that will not stop Brietbert from continuing to post false, slanderous, and misleading commentary, so long as his paychecks keep coming in.

Posted by: swatkins1 | July 21, 2010 3:53 PM | Report abuse

To be fair to Fox News I understand that they did not air the edited video until Vilsck fired Ms Sherrod, and then as soon as the entire video was available, which pretty clearly exonerated Ms Sherrod, they put it on the air almost immediately. That Sec Vilsack, with Obama's approval, would have an employee fired without the slightest review of the facts is shameful. That they had this poor woman pull over in traffic to fire her on a cell phone is dispicable! They didn't even ask her what happened! They owe her an apology, her job, and restitution for the damage they've done to her. This Administration can't seem to get anything right?

Posted by: valwayne | July 21, 2010 3:56 PM | Report abuse

I would argue Cohen's point the Vilsack is a coward. Seems more like he's just incompetent, if not downright stupid. Which is very disturbing when you realize the high position he has attained in this administration. Let's hope there aren't many more in it like him.

Posted by: xlrashn | July 21, 2010 3:56 PM | Report abuse

I agree that the Obama Administration seems to be running scared from even a whiff of the charge of "reverse racism". And I also agree that the right wing sees this B.S. charge as one of its most potent weapons.

The answer is that the Administration must begin to forcefully respond to these racially motivated charges, and Obama should begin by using this incident as the occasion for a prime time denunciation, from the Oval Office, of all of the closet racists hiding under the Republican/Tea Party mantle. He needs to finally show some balls, denounce this bunch of old John Birchers, militia freaks and partially reformed KKK nuts in no uncertain terms and expose their hypocrisy to the world. Let them respond and then deliver a crushing rebuttal. I've had enough of Beck, Hannity and these other right-wing S.O.B.s controlling the conversation.

Posted by: jhncrsp | July 21, 2010 3:57 PM | Report abuse

Posted by: armondavid

And stop saying "post-racial America," America is not post-racial.

___________________________

Thank you for that, one of the wisest observations made here today! The idea that we suddenly became "post racial" because we elected a Black man President was always at best a misguided fiction.

Posted by: Prakosh | July 21, 2010 3:58 PM | Report abuse

Why do so many people hate Fox News and differing view points? I am surprised by the venom in the comments towards an opposing viewpoint. It's quite ok to disagree, but at least be open-minded and tolerate diversity of thought.

Posted by: spott518 | July 21, 2010 3:59 PM | Report abuse

hheater wrote: OBTW As far as I know Fox did not report on this or show the video until after she had been fired.

With respect (and I sincerely mean that), Fox News ran the edited video on several of its "news" shows almost immediately after Breitbart posted it, and Bill O'Reilly was calling for Sherrod's resignation on his program before it happened. I was disappointed last night to see that O'Reilly was defending his stance rather than apologizing for it. I honestly hoped he would man up about his mistake. Perhaps he'll do so tonight.

Posted by: whatmeregister | July 21, 2010 4:01 PM | Report abuse

I would argue Cohen's point the Vilsack is a coward. Seems more like he's just incompetent, if not downright stupid. Which is very disturbing when you realize the high position he has attained in this administration. Let's hope there aren't many more in it like him.

__________________________________

Unfortunately, those traits run down from the top in this administration.

Posted by: spott518 | July 21, 2010 4:02 PM | Report abuse

valwayne: To be fair to Fox News I understand that they did not air the edited video until Vilsck fired Ms Sherrod, and then as soon as the entire video was available, which pretty clearly exonerated Ms Sherrod, they put it on the air almost immediately.

Sorry, but your understanding is wrong. Furthermore, even after the release of the full video yesterday that, as you sat, clearly exonerated Ms. Sherrod, Fox's Bill O'Reilly was calling the firing fully justified last night.

Posted by: whatmeregister | July 21, 2010 4:07 PM | Report abuse

The facts of the case as I understand it:

A current government employee gave a talk about how she changed from not doing her job to help a white farmer keep his farm and livelihood because she thought he was coming across, or in her view he was attempting to come across, as superior because of his race. She later does help him. Whatever the case, she abused her position due to a personal bias, even if she later changed her mind. She is not an angel. I agree with the general consensus that obama was cowardly for firing her without reviewing the situation. As for this, or other racism, being a republican weapon - it seems to be the NAACP that is throwing that club around the most.

Posted by: spott518 | July 21, 2010 4:08 PM | Report abuse

This incident isn't the first time that Obama reacted without the facts.
The last time, he held a "beer summit," but that is because his Harvard buddy was involved.
Mrs. Sherrod will not be treated so well. She is a southerner and not part of the elite.
The buck doesn't stop with Fox News and MSNBC.

Posted by: sbegat | July 21, 2010 4:08 PM | Report abuse

It's not often I'll agree with you Roger, but you're right, Tom Ballsack was spineless. And the WH was in full Keystone-Kops mode.

Posted by: Roofelstoon | July 21, 2010 4:09 PM | Report abuse

This incident isn't the first time that Obama reacted without the facts.
The last time, he held a "beer summit," but that is because his Harvard buddy was involved.
Mrs. Sherrod will not be treated so well. She is a southerner and not part of the elite.
The buck doesn't stop with Fox News and MSNBC.

Posted by: sbegat | July 21, 2010 4:09 PM | Report abuse

How Ridiculous. If she were white and her comments, however made, were about blacks, she would still be fired.

Posted by: AG1231 | July 21, 2010 4:12 PM | Report abuse

, I think that we all agree the white house and USDA acted rashly. Gibbs has apologized on the part of the administration.

But as Ethan and bullsmith rightly point out, this is only a story because Breibart (knowingly or not) posted a thoroughly distorted video without:
-checking with the NAACP, where the video was taken to ask for the entire video to see if the clip was taken out of context (Who would do such a thing?)
-checking with the speaker to see if the video accurately expressed her views
-checking with the subjects of the story to see if what the video showed was an accurate portrayal of Sherrod or their experience with her.

Fox news took the video and proceeded to NOT DO ANY DUE DILIGENCE ON THE ACCURACY OF THE VIDEO. THIS IS JOURNALISTIC MALFEASANCE OF THE FIRST ORDER. It is the journalistic equivalent of shouting fire (racism) in a crowded theater (cable tv).

THIS IS THE BIG STORY HERE!!!!

Poor or rushed white house reaction is not the big issue, although it is an issue. I think that the emphasis in all of these stories should be on the doctored video and the organizations that pushed it without doing even minimal confirmation of its truthfulness or context.

Every time you headline the white house response and not the distortions pushed by Breibart you contribute to misdirecting the emphasis from the dishonest and journalistically lazy posting to the media storm around it.

Which is the more important story? Don't you have an obligation to keep the focus on the what the actual wrongdoing was--posting a distorted video that purposely takes a part of a story out of context to transform a story of redemption into a story about a black person discriminating against a white couple.

Posted by: sherardg | July 21, 2010 4:18 PM | Report abuse

Unbelievable. If this had been a Caucasian official telling the same story about an African American farmer, he or she would have been terminated without due diligence, even as an afterthought.

Reverse racism is blatant in the White House, the Washington Post, and in so many other areas of this country. Grow a back bone and report UNBIASED news, which you seem to believe you do already. However, it seems to me the majority of your writers cower to political correctness; what a shame.

If you'd like to crucify FoxNews for showing an edited version of the story, ask yourselves how many news outlets showed the full video of a Caucasian cop striking an African American female? None. How many showed the brief moment when the cop hit the woman, out of context? Each and every one. However, anyone that watched the entire video (which was later leaked online) would agree that the cops actions were justified, to the extent that the woman hit apologized to the cop for her actions.

It's sensationalism, pure and simple. That's what makes money --something the Washington Post should know all about.

The more I read from Washington Post journalists, the less faith I have in their ability to remain objective.

Posted by: mdecampo | July 21, 2010 4:19 PM | Report abuse

IN THE SAME SPEECH she tells the crowd to get government jobs because you can't get fired.

She should be banned from any occupation with a salary funded by taxpayers FOR THAT STATEMENT ALONE.

Posted by: Frishoo | July 21, 2010 4:22 PM | Report abuse

Cohen wouldn't miss a chance to jump on Obama. Of course the Administration over-reacted and is guilty of buying the story spread by cable news. Serious journalists never ran with the story in newspapers. But, cable news have pundits and personalities...like Cohen.

Posted by: gary16 | July 21, 2010 4:22 PM | Report abuse

This woman has a belief that "white people could be taken care of by one of their own" and she is going to decide "how much help she is going to give" is grounds enough to strip her of her job. It matters not if she claims she saw the error of her ways, this is not a young woman. Her racist ways are ingrained and just imagine if this were a white person instead of a black woman. Don't change one word of anything and the white person would still be being crucified as a racist not fit for anything. Wake the hell up people.

Posted by: steelers01 | July 21, 2010 4:27 PM | Report abuse

So Obama and Vilsack are the only villains in this story? Breitbart and the conservative media machine don't get any of the blame? Wow, that makes about as much sense as your argument for freeing Polanski. You can officially join Fox News in the Crappy Journalism Hall of Fame.

Posted by: dubiouslygreat | July 21, 2010 4:27 PM | Report abuse

There are three stories here.

The first is the comments, context, and reaction of the audience. The second is the reaction by the Obama administration. The third is the lack of honesty in taking on the environment that has developed on race made worse since the election.

I do not believe that Ms. Sherrod should have been fired based on watching and hearing the entire video. I have spoken with relatives who know Ms. Sherrod and are themselves farmers and the only one who had contact with her had anything bad to say.

The Obama Administration (and it was not just Secretary Vilsack) did not do their research before firing (forcing a resignation) her. This was based from what we know solely on the video posted to YouTube and the knowledge it was going to be aired later on Fox News. She resigned before the news hit Fox but it was not confirmed by the Agriculture Department until after the news was broadcast. Other broadcasters also had the information about the video but no one bothered to research the story to find out if it was accurate or not. Why?

The last reason is that calling one racist has been used so often to defame someone that it is losing its impact with most citizens. It has been used by the left to the point that one questions the call. Even some of those on JournOlist (the left wing journalist blog that the Post will that talk about) recommended calling any one of a number of conservative commentators racist just to change the subject from Jerimah Wright during the election. It is now just one more political tool used to try and defame one's opponent. The reaction of the NAACP crowd to Ms. Sherrod's comments showed approval for her actions not to help the white farmer before they knew the context. Likewise look at the reaction of the NAACP audience during Jeremiah Wright's speech that was clearly racist in tone. They are worse than any reaction at any tea party event.

Obama should go on TV and state enough. Both sides need to grow up and stop using the racist term unless thoroughly proven. There are racist Republicans, racist Democrats, racist whites, racist blacks, racist hispanics, racist, asians, etc. However, the media will never follow the words nor will those who have a vested interest in playing the race game.

Posted by: georgiarat | July 21, 2010 4:29 PM | Report abuse

I guess the Obama administration are cowards when it comes to the discussion of race.

Posted by: Charley_XF | July 21, 2010 4:37 PM | Report abuse

I'm very confused... If this firing is not acceptable, then what about all the others in the past... Trent Lott and others... Should they have been protected as well? No matter how thankful the farmer is, if someone is assessing other with skin color at a position of power, then I think it's racism. Doesn't matter which direction. Too bad Fox was the network which reported this, but there are plenty of other network talking same trash racism charges on conservatives... If anything, liberals charging conservatives to be racists is much more common than the other way. If you don't see that, you are very blind (or simply too myopic to see the truth).

Posted by: shimscamp1 | July 21, 2010 4:37 PM | Report abuse

I guess the Obama administration are cowards when it comes to the discussion of race.

Posted by: Charley_XF | July 21, 2010 4:38 PM | Report abuse

Okay, the White House just apologized. Gibbs said:

"I would do so [apologize], certainly, on behalf of this administration," Gibbs said at the daily White House press conference. "A disservice was done. An apology was owed. That's what we've done. Decisions were made based on an incomplete set of facts."

Gibbs agreed with a questioner who asked if the affair had been "bungled."

They made a mistake. They manned up and apologized. They learned their lesson. What more can you ask of them? Everyone makes mistakes.

Cohen's comments were an over-reaction. He should have said: "if this stands, and if the White House and Ag. Dept do not apologize, then they are cowards." He should have given them a few days to make this right. We should not push people to react instantly, even to correct a mistake or apologize for making one. Let's give people time to think.

Posted by: jedrothwell1 | July 21, 2010 4:41 PM | Report abuse

How about some facts! FOX did not mention the story until well after the firing. She was told to resign before Glenn Beck came on the air. The first mention on FOX was during the Factor.

Last night O'Reilly did not say the firing was justified. He brought in Alan Combes to defend her and offered Sherrod a chance to come on the program and explain what really happened.

Posted by: banchl | July 21, 2010 4:42 PM | Report abuse

The real culprit in this is Andrew Breitbart and Fox news who distorted the facts by playing an edited video which helped promote their cause. The white House and Tom Vilsack also should not rush to judgement. Anything coming out of Fox news needs to be taken with a grain of salt. They have a political motive. The White has to stand up and fight against these right wing crazies whose only objective is to bring down Obama and the Democratic party. If the American people are negatively affected it does not matter to them. They only care about themselves and will stop at nothing to regain power. Even if it means selling out the American people....

Posted by: johnnyk1 | July 21, 2010 4:44 PM | Report abuse

How Sad

Of course you should take anything Fox news says with a grain of salt, the problem is that we are too quick to judge without the proper facts, and there is no common decency anymore. In watching the "full" video it’s interesting that you have those who still insist that she is in the wrong, I feel more sympathy for them due to the continued commitment to live in ignorance than to acknowledge facts. She should be re instated and Fox news should be sued for libel.

The word "coward" should be used for FOX...

Posted by: rdgrigsbyjr | July 21, 2010 4:44 PM | Report abuse

What...Cohen is outraged? At what...someone unfairly being accussed of being racist?

TEA Party must have put him up to it. Coward indeed.

Posted by: jkptak | July 21, 2010 4:45 PM | Report abuse

Tom Vilsack is not from Iowa, he's from Pittsburgh. All of the Pittsburghers I know support the underdog and believe in
fairness. Shame on Vilsack for forgetting
his roots and putting politics above the
search for the truth.

Ms. Sherrod should be offered her job back.

Posted by: kerrd | July 21, 2010 4:48 PM | Report abuse

What a shoddily written piece. Pretending to defend Ms. Sharrod when it's all about playing the racist card. First of all, Andrew Breitbart was only given a snippet of the tape with Ms. Sherrod addressing the NAACP, which he did release. Somehow Glenn Beck got the full video and did indeed play that for his millions of viewers. Tell obummer and his minions that we've been waiting for this type of shennanigan and just like the rest of the country who won't be voting for him in 2012, we're sick of these tactics. Cohen, stick your article where the sun doesn't shine you sack.

Posted by: candyzky | July 21, 2010 4:50 PM | Report abuse

"Sherrod should invite Vilsack and Obama to "beer summit" - and explain why the political chattering class and the media need to stop obsessing about race in all matters, and get on with the people's real business - dealing with the economy, deficits, debt, jobs, etc.

Posted by: XRayD | July 21, 2010 1:05 PM | "
XXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXX

I like the way you think; after reading all the tripe posted, this, at least, showed some wit and gave me a smile.

Posted by: mini2 | July 21, 2010 4:50 PM | Report abuse

"The term “rightly or wrongly” suggests that the truth does not matter -- only perception" We're talking politics here..right? Isn't that the MO of politics? Cohen gets a little idealistic with that statement. Look at the comments on any website covering this story. You will see an extreme range of perceptions regarding the same information. So Mr Cohen, Perception does matter I think. But it should not matter more than getting it right. Which it seems most are catching up with now. Trying to save the chickens after the henhouse has burned down. What kind of perception does that leave?

Posted by: MrT55 | July 21, 2010 4:50 PM | Report abuse

Fox "News" seems to be beating the racial stories to death, even though when one look at the facts, there's not much there.
I understand their agenda: try to bring down the President by saying anything, and saying it over and over again.

What's more disturbing are the number of people who apparently are willing to believe there's some kind of generalized underlying anti-white bias in the government. That's ignorance on stilts.

The poor whites, held back by all those powerful forces. This would be laughable, except for the potential for mischief the far right is whipping up, and the gullibility of some of our fellow citizens.

Posted by: tmginnova | July 21, 2010 4:51 PM | Report abuse

The secretary was the one who did the firing, but she said that before that happened, she got three calls from the White House asking her to resign. Is there more to this than a simple flap inside USDA?

Posted by: Kat33 | July 21, 2010 4:53 PM | Report abuse

Leave it to Cohen to find a way to stand reality on it head. Only in a world of his own making can Cohen suggest that the administration's cowardice is the real story. The war of political lies waged on Obama, the unending negative drum beat of news outlets, and the self-righteous posturing of columnists like Cohen makes every thing Obama does insufficient or just wrong. Perhaps that is why Vilsack felt it was necessary to act quickly before Cohen could write a piece about the racists in the Administration.

Posted by: richarddyoung | July 21, 2010 4:54 PM | Report abuse


If you didn't know before, you should know now. FOX news has proven again that they have a biased and racist agenda. How this company is allowed to call itself "news" is beyond me. Maybe it should be called, "news STYLE entertainment".

Posted by: wiz_fan | July 21, 2010 4:55 PM | Report abuse

Fox News did not even show the tape before these fools fired her. She did use racist language. Her language was offensive.

We should be as forgiving of her mispeaking as we are of republicans. Which is zero!

Posted by: Cornell1984 | July 21, 2010 4:59 PM | Report abuse

So now, NAACP, et al will be calling for Tom Vilsack’s resignation? Good god...

This whole thing is disgusting - from Sherrods cavalier attitude to the double standards being applied.

If a white official said the same thing within the same context (although I am not aware of a NAAWP), there would be ZERO tolerance despite any explaination. The usual black “civil rights” talking heads would be all over it on yet another platform to bolster sagging relevance...

Posted by: 4Jaxon | July 21, 2010 4:59 PM | Report abuse

By 2012 we will all see the Emperor in this White House has no clothes.

Posted by: wmaindependent | July 21, 2010 5:00 PM | Report abuse

No surprise Fox "News" and the right-wing media set this whole thing up. They're always on the lookout for discrimination against their (white) people. We on the Left shouldn't have been so eager to "prove" to the Right that we don't give discrimination a pass because it's against whites. The Right are masters of race-baiting and exacerbating race problems. I'd say shame on Andrew Breitbart, Fox News and the rest of the right-wing, but it's pointless. They have no shame.

Posted by: biograph19851 | July 21, 2010 5:00 PM | Report abuse

Please Mr. Cohen if Vilsack hadn't acted quickly to fire Sherrod this commentary would be titled: 'Obama's Racists Rule the Roast'. We get it. You always win the argument because you can ignore the reality. The real cowardice is in columnist like yourself who sees this bonfire being ignited by enemies of our democracy and all you can criticize is a Administrator trying to keep more fuel off the fire. It is as if you are completely oblivious to the fire.

Posted by: richarddyoung | July 21, 2010 5:07 PM | Report abuse

Personally I am tired of Knee Jerk Reactions by Pres. Obama Staffers making his administration appear down right STUPID! I am appalled that a person can be fired without a thorough investigation, a written warning or any due process, that all employee's are entitled too regardless of their level of employment. My goodness Vilsack you reacted on the words of FOX NEWS! Shame on the Tea Party, FOx NEWs and Vilsack! I expect lies from the first two, Tea Party and FOX News, but I expect the Presidents staff to check first all the facts and not take anything Fox News say's as true! Where is the Public Apology by Fox News and the Tea Party for Slandering and defaming this woman's character? Yellow liverd cowards is what they are!!

Posted by: MyTwoCents4 | July 21, 2010 5:16 PM | Report abuse

It is grossly over blown and sanctimonious language to call Tom Vilsack a coward. His staff was not thorough and made an egregious error. He is accountable for their actions, but the concept of relieving an employee when it is judged they are unable to carry out their duties is neither new nor unsound. In this case the erroneous rationale for this conclusion is significant - but cowardice? Please. Secretary Vilsack has promptly acted to rectify his mistake. He has shown courage to do so knowing he'll take the heat from media pundits and the Conservative bloggers and I am sure he has the backbone to weather their over blown ire - up to and including being called a coward.

Posted by: jahysell | July 21, 2010 5:17 PM | Report abuse

You know Sherrod ended up doing the right thing but does it bother no one that her FIRST instinct was not help a farmer just because he was White? I glad she changed her mind but why did she even think that in the first place??? To me she shouldn't have been fired but let's not turn her into a hero either.

Posted by: sovine08 | July 21, 2010 5:17 PM | Report abuse

Dead on right. Obama has long show himself to lack moral integrity. Vilsack shows himself to have none. Neither believe in decency or due process. This former Yellow Dog Democrat is waiting for 2012 to note for none of the above.

Posted by: MichaelLHays | July 21, 2010 5:19 PM | Report abuse

While her story had a nice ending, her terminology was offensive and not acceptable for a public official. Also, this woman has already gotten a share of a $13 million settlement intended for black farmers. She got $300,000 of it, although she is not a farmer, but a "community activist". Then she got a high level job two days later.

She gives an example of a white farmer having a hard time, but then claims black farmers only have a hard time.

She should have apologized.

Posted by: Cornell1984 | July 21, 2010 5:24 PM | Report abuse

"Why do so many people hate Fox News and differing view points? I am surprised by the venom in the comments towards an opposing viewpoint. It's quite ok to disagree, but at least be open-minded and tolerate diversity of thought."
----------------

There is no "point of view" or "disagreeing" here. There is TRUTH vs. NOT TRUTH. NOT TRUTH went viral and TRUTH came out, as it will.

This is not a debatable subject. We might comment on the issue, but there's no opinionating involved.

Posted by: MadamDeb | July 21, 2010 5:25 PM | Report abuse

The comments here from people who are continuing to ignore the truth is the best evidence to prove why Vilsack felt he had to act quickly. We already know the report was a lie, that the White farming couple are backing Sherrod, that Cohen is calling Vilsack a coward for firing her, and still you see comments as if none of these facts matter. That is what Obama and Vilsack had to deal with. Now that Vilsack has step forward to do the full Mea Colpa to Sherrod including offering her job back, I wonder if that mean anything to Cohen other than another opportunity to ignore the real problem here.

Posted by: richarddyoung | July 21, 2010 5:26 PM | Report abuse

remember the story about Brer Rabbit: "Roast me! Hang me! Do whatever you please," said Brer Rabbit. "Only please, Brer Fox, please don't throw me into the briar patch."

"If I'm going to hang you, I'll need some string," said Brer Fox. "And I don't have any string handy. But the stream's not far away, so maybe I'll drown you instead."

"Drown me! Roast me! Hang me! Do whatever you please," said Brer Rabbit. "Only please, Brer Fox, please don't throw me into the briar patch."

"The briar patch, eh?" said Brer Fox. "What a wonderful idea! You'll be torn into little pieces!"

Well it sounded a bit like Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack who over and over today said "It was my decision, It was only my decision." He said it so many times, I almost believed him

Posted by: tonyjm | July 21, 2010 5:26 PM | Report abuse


Hmm.....

Left, Right or in the Middle....Obama is still totally inept

Democrats need adult supervision.

Posted by: georgedixon1 | July 21, 2010 5:29 PM | Report abuse

sovine08:
Did you know that her father was murdered by a KKK member in 1965 when she was just 17? Most of us can understand why she might initially have a thought about a white farmer. But she had been raised right and almost immediately realized that he needed help -- and she gave it!

You can judge if you've never, ever in your life had a racist thought.

Posted by: MadamDeb | July 21, 2010 5:33 PM | Report abuse

Here's hoping Obama FINALLY learned an important lesson: Republicans are liars and should always be treated as such.

Posted by: blazertaco | July 21, 2010 5:41 PM | Report abuse

A recent comment from the separate 1,100+ comments by Washington Post readers on this Shirley Sherrod disaster:

daiconradmi wrote:

"She said that Cheryl Cook called her and asked her to pull over [while driving in her car] and submit her resignation on her Blackberry. Cheryl Cook is the USDA deputy undersecretary.

So it was a USDA official, not someone from the White House, who told her to pull over and resign. That is from the victim's own words.

It is still not clear exactly how, if at all, the White House was involved in her firing, but it doesn't matter. The buck stops at the President's desk, no matter what."

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

I agree with that comment. I just saw Agriculture Secretary Vilsack's press conference on MSNBC and it was pitiful.

This Cheryl Cook must be fired, due to her incompetence.

If I were President Obama I would fire Secretary Vilsack as well.

Then again, I have cojones and the President doesn't.

President Obama's administration, from Emanuel/Axelrod/Jarrett/Gibbs on down, are incompetent morons and need to be removed if there is going to be any hope for his re-election....not that there IS any hope for his re-election.

The British and offshore bookmakers are already taking bets on the percentage by which President Obama will lose in 2010. The current spread is 10%.

Posted by: Jennifer555 | July 21, 2010 5:43 PM | Report abuse

The buck stops with Obama. He needs to grow a spine and stand up to people whether they be right, left, or center. FoXnews and rightwing radio got away with it this time because they have been allow to. Sadly, which is not a surprise, race is an issue this country has to face even after electing an African American president. It is a shame that this administration got a knee jerk reaction and fired this woman whose reputation is ruined. It was great that the white couple she helped came to her defense. I hope she is vindicated. In the short term this helps Republicans and conservatives, but in the long run it hurts them.

Posted by: jharris3 | July 21, 2010 5:43 PM | Report abuse

I'm sorry - I'm all ready to agree that it was pretty cowardly to fire her without due dilligence but I've just re-read the article and I don't see any indication that Breitbart did anything wrong with his edit or that Fox News did anything shameful by airing it without showing due diligence. Cohen seems so eager to look the other way. So maybe he should feel a little shame.

Posted by: rickboy | July 21, 2010 5:50 PM | Report abuse

Any media outlet that did not check facts before blasting this woman is responsible as is Vilsack; for causing this woman to endure more crap from further idiots of this nation.

I did not watch MSNBC or CNN, etc. I did see the others I mentioned. Therefore I commented on their outright stupidity and manipulation of the Truth.

President Obama is no more responsible for her discharge than the owner of a company is when employee's are discharged by supervisors. Presidents of nations and Owners of Companies to not micromanage departments. Human Resources usually deals with such issues.

Posted by: MyTwoCents4 | July 21, 2010 5:50 PM | Report abuse

Many are claiming that FOX News and the right are waging war on Obama because he is black. I see that as likely true. But also important is this sense of white entitlement that is permeating much of the nation's consciousness.

Whites, through the voice of conservatives, are afraid. They're afraid of what it might mean to get less. The idea of becoming a minority and witnessing a fundamental change of the long-existing power structure, which they have benefitted from since the days of early colonialism, scares the $hit out of them.

This is what motivates people like Breitbar and Fox News. On the other hand, what is motivating people like Vilsack and the Obama administration, I have to agree, is cowardice.

Posted by: ghuntcustom | July 21, 2010 5:50 PM | Report abuse

If Obama is listening and wants his numbers to soar thirty points then he should immediately STOP LISTENING TO AND ACTING UPON THE WHIMS OF LYING REPUBLICANS

You have to give the Right credit, and by credit I mean you have to point out how utterly sleazy and lacking in morals they are, by lying and then making Obama look like the one with egg on his face.

Posted by: blazertaco | July 21, 2010 5:51 PM | Report abuse

Cohen is either funny dimwit or a snake? Vilsack is responsible for this fiasco? Give me a break! Another snake, Odumba is screwing up again.

Me? I'm an independant guy who used to support Messiah.

Republicans? Whew... Alaska's bimbo is the beacon of the Party? Another subpar whity comedy vs a slick black comedy.

Posted by: sukkee | July 21, 2010 5:51 PM | Report abuse

Any media outlet that did not check facts before blasting this woman is responsible as is Vilsack; for causing this woman to endure more crap from further idiots of this nation.

I did not watch MSNBC or CNN, etc. I did see the others I mentioned. Therefore I commented on their outright stupidity and manipulation of the Truth.

President Obama is no more responsible for her discharge than the owner of a company is when employee's are discharged by supervisors. Presidents of nations and Owners of Companies to not micromanage departments. Human Resources usually deals with such issues.

Posted by: MyTwoCents4 | July 21, 2010 5:52 PM | Report abuse

Any media outlet that did not check facts before blasting this woman is responsible as is Vilsack; for causing this woman to endure more crap from further idiots of this nation.

I did not watch MSNBC or CNN, etc. I did see the others I mentioned. Therefore I commented on their outright stupidity and manipulation of the Truth.

President Obama is no more responsible for her discharge than the owner of a company is when employee's are discharged by supervisors. Presidents of nations and Owners of Companies to not micromanage departments. Human Resources usually deals with such issues.

Posted by: MyTwoCents4 | July 21, 2010 5:54 PM | Report abuse

does anyone think that barack "the golfer" o'bama will hold another one of his press briefings and pat himself on the back over this one?

not on your life. just as barack "our saviour" o'bama ran and HID UNDER HIS BED during the oil slick, so that he wouldn't be tied to it.. barack "holier than thou" o'bama will once *again* go HIDE UNDER HIS BED until this sherrod incident blows over.

obama is mereley a little mouse in the white house.

go run and hide little mouse.. scoot!

Posted by: JoeReporter | July 21, 2010 5:54 PM | Report abuse

A couple of points:

Vilsack, like his boss did not use due diligence and exercised a "rush to judgement" (typical of liberals).

Second, if you bothered to watch the entire tape - and it's apparent that you did not - then you would have realized and reported on the fact that Sherrod said that it was through faith in the creator that she recognized that racism in any form was wrong.

Third, Breitbart claims that he did not have the full tape and that he broadcast what was given to him. There's no way to confirm/refute this.

Finally, like all libs, you fail to report on who the real victims were; Ms. Sherrod's life was turned upside down by an ongoing war of race-baiting which in large part is being fueled by the left (NAACP, Jesse Jackson, Al Sharpton, Obama, etc. and fringe right wing elements) and the American people who are being torn apart by the same factions.

Posted by: freepost | July 21, 2010 5:57 PM | Report abuse

Ugh, Obama your guy was done in because he didn't follow the oldest rule in the book: never listen to lying Right Wingers

My kid is three years old and he knows that rule already...

Posted by: blazertaco | July 21, 2010 5:59 PM | Report abuse

Vilsack is Vilsack.

The right wing is racist and this episode proves it beyond a shadow of a doubt.

What about firing some right wing "journalists" for airing this garbage?

Dan Rather was fired for the same kind of thing. Think that will happen at the racist Fox News. Heck no. They're probably burning a cross in Sean Hannity's honor, or whatever lying kook is over there doing this.

Slam dunk case here. If you are a member of the right wing today you lie and you are a racist. End of argument.

Posted by: colonelpanic | July 21, 2010 6:00 PM | Report abuse

Another example of someone not doing their due diligence before acting;
I am Scott Noren DDS
Oral & Maxillofacial Surgeon
US Senate candidate for 2012 in NY
Will be the Founder of the Democratic Tea Party, a group with a platform based on:
Real campaign finance reform
Stepping stone approaches that will result in real health care improvement personal and government-based
Leveling the playing field with corporations and corporate Democrats and Republicans vs "regular working Americans"
No pandering to groups that result in the public losing and fat cats winning
Not pandering to people sponging off the system at everyone else's expense
www.norenforsenate.com

Posted by: norenforsenate | July 21, 2010 6:03 PM | Report abuse

Another example of someone not doing their due diligence before acting;
I am Scott Noren DDS
Oral & Maxillofacial Surgeon
US Senate candidate for 2012 in NY
Will be the Founder of the Democratic Tea Party, a group with a platform based on:
Real campaign finance reform
Stepping stone approaches that will result in real health care improvement personal and government-based
Leveling the playing field with corporations and corporate Democrats and Republicans vs "regular working Americans"
No pandering to groups that result in the public losing and fat cats winning
Not pandering to people sponging off the system at everyone else's expense
www.norenforsenate.com

Posted by: norenforsenate | July 21, 2010 6:04 PM | Report abuse

First Cohen column I've read since he became an apologist for the ultra right wing many years ago.

Gee, Cohen, why don't you talk about the dishonesty of Breibart and FOX news and about how the msm media makes a big deal about whatever their lie of the day is and puts the DEMS out to dry on every lie put out as a story on FOX news

Of course, Vlisack should be the one to go for his deplorable management skills

Posted by: Barbi520 | July 21, 2010 6:05 PM | Report abuse

He was distracted by the painful infection on his genitals: "Breitbart's Disease" also known as "Rancid Nutsack".

Posted by: TOMHERE | July 21, 2010 6:06 PM | Report abuse

When you act on words that fly out of lying Right Wing mouths, you deserve any criticism you get. Let's just hope Obama is paying attention here. Never believe the Right. Ever.

Posted by: blazertaco | July 21, 2010 6:10 PM | Report abuse

"No one should believe anything they see on Fox..."
WHAT?
WHAT?
How about: "NO ONE SHOULD WATCH FOX".
or.... "NO ONE SHOULD BUY ANYTHING ADVERTISED ON FOX"...

AND YES! That includes medicine said to relieve the painful inflammation of the scrotum known as "Breitbart's Disease", or "Rancid Nutsack"..

Posted by: TOMHERE | July 21, 2010 6:12 PM | Report abuse

How come Breitbart's given a pass and allowed to say "the tape was given to me?" If he's a journalist, as he likes to be called, why didn't HE gather all the facts first?

Also, why isn't anyone forcing him to reveal his source? Was it James O'Keefe, the wannabe cameraman, again? Who was it?

Btw, I agree with you, MyTwoCents, about micromanagement. That would be a lot to put on the president of the U.S., who has to deal with economic issues, wars, foreign relations, and -- perhaps worst of all -- Congress(!)

Posted by: MadamDeb | July 21, 2010 6:24 PM | Report abuse

Someone needs to inform the entire Obama administration that Fox News is merely the mouth of the GOP, they are out to destroy the Obama presidency and they lie day after day after day.

Posted by: MNUSA | July 21, 2010 6:27 PM | Report abuse

Although the point has already been made-let me reiterate. Cohen, what about your own cowardice? You and the rest of the so-called MSM give Faux News a pass as they continue to shred any notion of journalistic integrity. You all may want to believe the way this organization conducts itself is no reflection on you. You are mistaken.

Posted by: gurudev16 | July 21, 2010 6:29 PM | Report abuse

sembtex - "While Vilsack certainly deserves to be chastised, it is not in the least surprising that you'd cut the (right-wing) media all that slack and concentrate on blaming the Obama administration. If you don't have the guts to take on Fox and Breitbart and point out their mendacity and excoriate them for it, how are you in any way different from Vilsack?"

Point 1 - Cohen is different from the NAACP which demanded her firing and the Obamites who did it.

Point 2 - Fox and Breitbart are different than the NAACP which had the full tape and still demanded her firing because they were too lazy to look at it. And the Obamites, who fired her without looking - taking the racists at NAACP on their word..

Point 3 - Obamites who knee-jerk on media reports without knowing the facts is not leading the country well. Obama in large part is a media creation, the Black Messiah that was to expunge white liberal and progressive Jews - who dominate the media. So it is not surprising that Obama feels an obligation to knee-jerk in part to please his most loyal backers.

Posted by: ChrisFord1 | July 21, 2010 6:37 PM | Report abuse

Where has the National Organization for Women been?

Why weren't they out in the media protesting the vilification of this woman?

Posted by: wlockhar | July 21, 2010 6:43 PM | Report abuse

As a 10yr Agriculture employee who has seen past administrations and now this administration turn it's head to all of the systemic racial violations that have been thoroughly investigated and proven to be valid go without punishment but result in promotions and silent praise...Vilsacks behavior only solidified that same double standard that the swift hand of justice only applies to particular groups of people! What happened to Sherrod is the same type of justice that occurs within the organization to date. Vilsack even had the audacity to send out an all points bulletin to all employee's about his commitment to do away with Agricultures racist culture...Nothing like a big dose of cultural confirmation...Ax without asking!

Posted by: dclawyeratlarge | July 21, 2010 6:45 PM | Report abuse

Fox News is complicit in this fiasco by editing the remarks out of context and looping them over and over again as a smoke screen against charges the teabaggers are racist.

It clearly demonstrates how "fair and balanced" they aren't and their contempt for their Huckabee's very own 9th Commandment.

Posted by: areyousaying | July 21, 2010 6:52 PM | Report abuse

I want to believe that some of these rabidly angry conservative posters are just those $1 a post out-of-work losers who post grammatically-challenged anti-Obama diatribe because they have nothing better to do with their time (like get a real job).

But is seems as if some of them may actually really be that stupid.

Posted by: CAC2 | July 21, 2010 6:54 PM | Report abuse

Ms. Sherrod is a racist. As a white person, her language offended me.

Posted by: Cornell1984 | July 21, 2010 6:54 PM | Report abuse

I want to believe that some of these rabidly angry conservative posters are just those $1 a post out-of-work losers who post grammatically-challenged anti-Obama diatribe because they have nothing better to do with their time (like get a real job).

But is seems as if some of them may actually really be that stupid.

Posted by: CAC2 | July 21, 2010 6:55 PM | Report abuse

Ms. Sherrod is on Media Matters now slamming republicans saying they want to go back to the old days where blacks looked at the ground. She is a racebaiter all right.

Posted by: Cornell1984 | July 21, 2010 6:58 PM | Report abuse

Wow, a jew talking about cowards!

Posted by: guy18349 | July 21, 2010 9:44 AM
--------------
Wow, a jerk trying failing to be intelligent! Get a life, Guy.

Posted by: scubanut | July 21, 2010 7:01 PM | Report abuse

There are two polar extremes in the current political spectrum. One extreme are the right wing nuts who were behind this political hit job on Ms. Sherrod, the other extreme is the far left "God" of political correctness, where words and thoughts are policed with ruthless condemnation...ie....an elderly white gent is criticized for say "colored" man even though the NAACP includes that very word.
That sort of thing.

Posted by: logcabin1836 | July 21, 2010 7:03 PM | Report abuse

Tom Vilsack needs to resign. I do not want a HIP-SHOOTER acting without the facts running the USDA.

Posted by: roguecowboy | July 21, 2010 7:08 PM | Report abuse

Tom Vilsack needs to resign. I do not want a HIP-SHOOTER acting without the facts running the USDA.

Posted by: roguecowboy | July 21, 2010 7:09 PM | Report abuse

This discussion would not be taking place if, the teapartiers had not tried to belittle the NACCP President and the NACCP organization.

This discussion should be about the dishonesty and the lies told by FOX NEWS AND FOX CABLE NEWS. Hanniety, Beck and Palin told straightout lies about this woman and the President's Administration. And I hope that Ms. Sherrod file a lawsuit against them for the deliberate act of deceit and falsehood. If I was Ms. Sherrod I would file suit for $1 trillion dollars.

Posted by: sun52shine | July 21, 2010 7:10 PM | Report abuse

Your articles on the Sherrod mess both imply AfricanAmericans are in a position to practice racism. Nothing could be further from the truth. Ath no time in the history of this country have we ever been in a position to, by law, put into practices designed to keep White Americans from achieving anything as group. Through prejudice we can as individuals do as much harm as possible to an individual but never against the group. This is the critical difference between racism and racial prejudice. this is what institutional racism does to the superior group; it gives the superior group a sense of entitlement such that they never think about their actions.

Posted by: teddy1 | July 21, 2010 7:11 PM | Report abuse

Can we just replace Barack Obama with Alan Grayson--RIGHT NOW!?

Posted by: blarsen1 | July 21, 2010 7:17 PM | Report abuse

MSNBC, CNN, FOX and Rush all called for her to be fired. Let's see who will apologizes first, once the full story gets out. Glenn Beck did NOT say she should be fired. He supported her, but did take a shot at the administration (suprisingly) calling them spineless.

Posted by: madstamina | July 21, 2010 7:17 PM | Report abuse

MSNBC, CNN, FOX and Rush all called for her to be fired. Let's see who will apologizes first
===========

CNN did not call for her resignation. They called HER to get her side of the story. That's how it all broke. And I watch MSNBC and didn't see/hear them call for her resignation. I know Fox did and I wouldn't listen to Rush on a bet, so whatever you say there.

Posted by: MadamDeb | July 21, 2010 7:33 PM | Report abuse

Nice rhetorical ju-jitsu by Cohen. Instead of pointing out the blatant and obvious dishonesty of Breitbart and Fox News. Breitbart posted a redacted video that was edited with intent of making Sherrod appear a racist. Fox News breathlessly repeated the story on the air. Did the Fox News producers validate the authenticity of the video before they reported it as truth? Of course not. What a bunch of horse-pucky disguised as real dialog by Mr. Cohen

Posted by: ChicagoSteve | July 21, 2010 7:59 PM | Report abuse

"Just a further comment. I took an earlier, and well deserved, swipe at Richard Cohen"

Yes to the first, no to the second.

Posted by: mattintx | July 21, 2010 8:19 PM | Report abuse

Vilsack's not the only one who should should have looked before he leaped. Had Cohen waited till he saw Vilsack's presser today to write his story, he'd have seen a classy, penitent guy offer a sincere apology, taking full and sole responsibility (and w/o the usual weasel words like "I'm in charge so naturally I'm accountable), and without making lame excuses. He basically said "I screwed up".

Refreshing in politics today......

Posted by: tjconnor | July 21, 2010 8:19 PM | Report abuse

I just watched Shirley Sherrod's entire 43 minute speech, and it was lovely. Ms. Sherrod put tremendous passion into her anti-racism statements. I also enjoyed hearing about her life in rural Georgia during the 50's and 60's.

Posted by: LeslieSL | July 21, 2010 8:25 PM | Report abuse

I stubbed my toe and it's all President Obama's fault!
Let's grow up people.

Posted by: mbinnc | July 21, 2010 8:36 PM | Report abuse

Why is it that USDA threw Shirley under the bus without seeking the facts? Fire her first, ask questions later. Who ever provided Vilsack with unfounded, unfactual information needs to be fired. Vilsack needs to look closely at the internal discrimination that occurs in the USDA on a daily basis while the department turns a blind eye. Look at all the awful racist history of the department against minorities and women. The racists employees do not get fired; they get promoted and protected. Vilsack needs to stop throwing taxpayer money at consultants to study and report back on their findings on the racist situations. Open your eyes Vilsack.

Posted by: wow14 | July 21, 2010 8:38 PM | Report abuse

No one put any of those words in Sherrod mouth. She said what she did to appease the dying NAACP. She did it to appease the racist. Nothing was taken out of context because of what she said afterward. She still said what she did plus a whole lot more to support her racist views. Vilsack was right to fire her and she never should be offered another job where it's up to her to determined who gets what. After Sherrod slipped on what she said she quickly said what everyone has said has been taken out of context. Sherrod knew she stuck her foot in her mouth and tried to recover by claiming we should all get along. The cat is out of the bag and she tried to put it back in. She's a racist and that cat won't go back in the bag.

Posted by: houstonian | July 21, 2010 8:40 PM | Report abuse

"Your articles on the Sherrod mess both imply AfricanAmericans are in a position to practice racism. Nothing could be further from the truth. At no time in the history of this country have we ever been in a position to, by law, put into practices designed to keep White Americans from achieving anything as group. Through prejudice we can as individuals do as much harm as possible to an individual but never against the group. This is the critical difference between racism and racial prejudice."

----------------------

An astute observation, and one Thomm Hartmann (I always forget how many "M's" and "N's" he has in his name) regularly makes. One can't be racist if one has no real power over the group one is prejudiced against.So the term "reverse-racism" is a misnomer whne used against the NAACP and Ms Sherrod.

I'd hope this latest incident would not go unnoticed among African-Americans who believe the Republican party is their future. The Dems may not be perfect (or brave or organized), but they're the best bet. The Tea Baggers are the future of the Republican party. And if you doubt their prejudices, check out this videe (gleaned from tea bagger events):

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=S38VioxnBaI&feature=player_embedded

Posted by: tjconnor | July 21, 2010 8:41 PM | Report abuse

Oh, and I'm a lily white dude.

Posted by: tjconnor | July 21, 2010 8:45 PM | Report abuse

Say whatever you want Mr. Cohen, if a white male was caught saying anything in comparison to Ms. Sherrod, that person would truly be crucified. At least America can now see that racism goes both ways. Secondly, they can now see how incompetent the Obama Administration truly is.

Posted by: Jsuf | July 21, 2010 8:45 PM | Report abuse

Fox News should appoligize for their actions. This was truly unexcusable and they are just as guilty as Mr. Vilsack. No credible news organization should show a lack of courage and not admit they have slandered, besmearched and ruin the reputation of a woman who was explaining how she over came racism. they only show that they endorse racism, what do you expect from a News Organization that doesn't have American owners. No Guts.

Posted by: johnturkal1 | July 21, 2010 8:53 PM | Report abuse

If Sherrod is so innocent, why all the exposition about the farmer trying to show that he was superior to her without a shred of evidence. Other than her assertion "I knew what he was doing", she didn't offer any demeaning or degrading statement he made. The audience responded to her demeaning statements about him with shout-outs in agreement.

By her own statements, she did less for him than what she would have done for a similarly situated black person. She brought this problem on herself

Most white people (liberals/progressives excepted) got past racism decades ago but it is alive and well in the black and hispanic communities and with Democrat activists.

It is not racist to oppose Obama because he is harming the nation. Most of those whom oppose Obama equally oppose Pelosi and Reid both of whom are lily white.

It is racist to call those who oppose him "racists" just because he happens to be 1/2 black (black father/white mother). Many of those who now oppose him voted for him in the primary and/or the general election in 2008. His race was generally known by everyone.

Many whites who voted for him were in favor of electing a black president and would have not voted for a young white man with Obama's inexperience.

If you want to stamp out the last vestiges of racism go where it is practiced - the DNC, the Rainbow Coalition, La Raza and the Civil Rights Division of the Dept. of Justice.

Posted by: Xdem | July 21, 2010 8:53 PM | Report abuse

I see that white victimhood is in full force on these postings. One of the most useful tools for racists and other forms of people starting to loose their grip on privilege is to cry victim.

Yup, us poor whites sure have it tough, and all those undeserving elements (read Blacks) just have it made with their cushy lives.

Posted by: gschultens | July 21, 2010 8:54 PM | Report abuse

Nobody comes out of this looking good with the exception of Shirley Sherrod. Breitbart is a lousy source, a political hatchet man who who has never shied away from the ffavored propaganda tool of selective video editing. The truth but never the whole truth. The question of race is very much before us these days and charges of racism are being thrown back and forth with way too much frequency and very little responsible thought. Vilsack's reaction to this provocation was knee-jerk, venal and stupid. It reflects poorly on his leadership ability. And, I'm sorry to say, on the President's also. Instead of staying above the fray, they entered it and fell flat on their faces. And all it would have taken was some of Obama's legendary cool. This wasn't cool in the least.

Posted by: curtb | July 21, 2010 8:58 PM | Report abuse

Q: What is a racist?
A: A racist is anyone winning an argument with a liberal.

Ergo: Fox, Tea Party, Sarah Palin, Rush Limbaugh, all conservatives, Catholics, Christians, hunters, oilmen. All racists, according to liberals.

But do liberals ever produce evidence that these groups or people are racists?

No.

They believe just saying it makes it true.

Andrew Breitbart offered $100,000 to anyone who could produce evidence of Tea Party members saying anything racist to John Lewis. Although the most of 10,000 people watching the event had cameras, videos, or cell phones and were taking pictures like crazy, not one video, picture, or sound bite could be produced. Because it did not happen. IT DID NOT HAPPEN! But liberals, including NAACP, just keep stating it as fact.

Here is a quote from Spencer Ackerman, Washington Independent, the ringleader of Obama's unofficial propaganda arm during the campaign, discussing the Reverand Wright situation, that the Wright scandal was hurting Obama too much:

'And I think this threads the needle. If the right forces us all to either defend Wright or tear him down, no matter what we choose, we lose the game they've put upon us. Instead, take one of them -- Fred Barnes, Karl Rove, who cares -- and call them racists. Ask: why do they have such a deep-seated problem with a black politician who unites the country? What lurks behind those problems? This makes *them* sputter with rage, which in turn leads to overreaction and self-destruction.'

This just about sums up the liberal game plan - they use the word "racist" to shut down debate and stop the flow of information to the public.

And it has to stop.

Posted by: 2xy4k9 | July 21, 2010 9:11 PM | Report abuse

Who cares? No matter what discourse occurs, the RWNJs will disagree with the LWNJs. To plagiarize, the definition of a two party political system is a pile of poop (ca~ca) looking in the mirror.

I DO NOT agree with any party that has the IQ of a gnat....Thank goodness that isolates me from the morass. Adios!
Senorita Bonita

Posted by: neec13 | July 21, 2010 9:12 PM | Report abuse

Who cares? No matter what discourse occurs, the RWNJs will disagree with the LWNJs. To plagiarize, the definition of a two party political system is a pile of poop (ca~ca) looking in the mirror.

I DO NOT agree with any party that has the IQ of a gnat....Thank goodness that isolates me from the morass. Adios!
Senorita Bonita

Posted by: neec13 | July 21, 2010 9:13 PM | Report abuse

"Bungle, Bungle, Bun-gle!"
"Hey!"
"Bungle, Bungle, Bungle!"
"Hey!"
"Bungle, Bungle, Bungle!"
"Hey!"

It's sort of the theme song for this administration....and you can even dance to it. Bonus!

Way to go once again, Obama crew! If you ever get something right, it'll be the first time.

Bunch of thin-skinned, amateur, immature children. And THAT buck definitely stops with the whiner in chief.

Posted by: etpietro | July 21, 2010 9:23 PM | Report abuse

Fox News doctors a tape to make somebody say something they didn't say. And they do it for cheap political points. To deflect the current charges of racism against the teabaggers.

And a person's career is ruined as a result.

And the right blames a person who saw the doctored tape for the problem. And of course, holds Fox News innocent.

Posted by: Miss_Fedelm | July 21, 2010 9:24 PM | Report abuse

Fox did not report on the story until after she was forced to resign.

Glenn Beck did not speak on the issue on the day the tape came out. When he did speak it was to until call on Obama to reinstate Ms. Sharrod.

As for the NAACP saying they were "snookered", the speech took place at the NAACP. It was taped by the NAACP. They should've known what was said by her before they attacked her.

As for Ms. Sharrod, she is the victim here. But watching the whole tape, you see her accusing republicans of opposing Obama because he is black. She throws the racial charges about with the skill of Sharpton. As Charles Krauthammer said tonight on Special Report, being a victim of racial injustice doesn't mean you can do the same to others.

Posted by: blue2golf | July 21, 2010 9:43 PM | Report abuse

It is not Fox's fault. In fact, they are the leaders in the lady perhaps getting her job back.

posted by: annnort |

--

False.

Both Hannity and O'Reilly claimed that Sharrod had admitted she used her position as an Obama appointee in the federal government to discriminate based on race. Even the doctored video distributed by Breitbart made it clear that her statement which was falsely claimed to be racist referred to things that happened over twenty years ago. She was not an employee of any government at the time. Hannity, O'Reilly and others who made the same claim on Fox apparently didn't even bother to look closely at the doctored tape, or deliberately lied about what was on it. O'Reilly (the most watched show on Fox) specifically called for her removal from office.

Liar? Ignoramus? Both?

Posted by: twm1 | July 21, 2010 9:44 PM | Report abuse

First of all there is an error even in this article. What ever happen to getting your facts straight before writing an article. You guys simply dont care about truth anymore than the next. This so called video clip of Ms. Sherrod was filmed over 20 years ago before she even worked for the government. Then the next thing is that where was the due process that are usally extended to most workers especially federal workers. This woman should sue and Fox news should be shut down because they have become a matter of national security. They are instigating a civil war and over throw of the government. I dont understand why they are being allowed to run a mock. Others have been shut down and jailed for less. That station should be more responsible for the news they provide to the public especially when its untrue and harms the integrity and career of a person. I thought we had loss protecting the public from this sort of thing. Well we do need a president with a back bone instead of imagery. He has allowed his administration to just dumb him down and shameful. Where is apology to this woman as he gave to the cop with the Gates situation? Fired up huh. What a joke.

Posted by: Fedup59 | July 21, 2010 9:51 PM | Report abuse

What happened to Shirley Sherrod was a definite case of being tea-bagged.

Posted by: gschultens | July 21, 2010 9:51 PM | Report abuse

Yeh, well, the Federal Government should protect its employees, especially in the present climate of "know-less-than-nothingism"; let's see if there is ANYONE on the taxpayers' payroll with the courage to wait twenty-four hours before vomiting up their ignorance to the media.

Good luck,US of A!

Posted by: mini2 | July 21, 2010 9:54 PM | Report abuse

"Q: What is a racist?
A: A racist is anyone winning an argument (funny assertion) with a liberal.
Ergo: Fox, Tea Party, Sarah Palin, Rush Limbaugh, all conservatives, Catholics, Christians, hunters, oilmen. All racists, according to liberals.
But do liberals ever produce evidence that these groups or people are racists?"

---------------------

The first 4, absolutely. The last 5, of course not, only an idiot would make such a sweeping generalization (hint). And there's a TON of proof; your ignoring it and thus claiming there's no proof is a specious argument. Start here (compiled from tea bagger gatherings):

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=S38VioxnBaI&feature=player_embedded

And if you're lost, use www.dictionary.com

Posted by: tjconnor | July 21, 2010 9:54 PM | Report abuse

I love all this righteous anger against Fox News. The original video was not aired until the WH and Vilsack fired Sherrod. Certainly a newsworthy item. The Left's usual whipping boy, Beck, even didn't mention it. He actually defended Sherrod. This White House and its surrogates (DNC, NAACP) have been playing the race card for over a year now, and they finally get burned by it. Gotta Love It!

Posted by: sguild2 | July 21, 2010 10:03 PM | Report abuse

How can someone this stupid be in charge of anything, much less a federal program? Oh yeah, she's a radical marxist supporter of Obama. That explains it. She's also a racist, as the full tape shows. By all means, reward this muttonhead with a promotion.

Posted by: doctorfixit | July 21, 2010 10:05 PM | Report abuse

This is great it proves how itchy the trigger finger is to FIRE anyone who is "racist". It also brings to light a good point that money not race is what matters in USA 2K! Heaven forbid we speak of real situations that happen EVERY DAY were we all just GET ALONG! Keep believing the dribble but black,white, asian, jew,latinos, sinners and saints, we all get a fair shake in this country . Face to Face we really don't hate and we work with one another to solve problems.

All the Race baitors of EVERY COLOR AND CREED all try to create reasons why no one likes us or we fail so we can sleep at night (aka racism) and the all nightly news/idiot channels keep feeding the hunger by splicing tapes!

I blame W! Stop the Nonsense and realize that for the most part we are all not that great and people don't normally hate you or hassle you for ALOT more than the color of your skin!

Posted by: jdb70 | July 21, 2010 10:12 PM | Report abuse

Oh good grief Cohen just gets dottier and dottier. So it's not about the disgraced Breitbart and his storied record of distortion and lies. It's not about FauxNews backing up Breitbart's typical conservative distortion job. It's all about Vilsack and - suprirse! - his boss jumping the gun. They are villains - even though they QUICKLY RIGHTED THEIR ERROR AND ADMITTED WRONG. But not a word of chastisement for our dishonest rightwing media.

Typical Cohen piece, with everything out of proportion and balance.

BAD OBAMA, JUMPING THE GUN. RIGHT WING LIARS, YOU GET A PASS FROM YOUR UNCLE RICHARD. It was ever thus.

Posted by: B2O2 | July 21, 2010 10:17 PM | Report abuse

One has to be fairly naive to believe the USDA secretary acted alone in this regard. He took all the responsibility and blame; however, communication on this decision, like Mrs. Sherrod has specifically indicated in recent interviews, was above Vilsack's paygrade.

Posted by: Jeader | July 21, 2010 10:26 PM | Report abuse

Obama is disappointing me, but true be told it does seems like anything from FOX will bled into the real news media, and it seems like they are to lazy to double and triple check their facts, what has happened to real Journalism?

Posted by: corintonic | July 21, 2010 10:33 PM | Report abuse

While Vilsack certainly deserves to be chastised, it is not in the least surprising that you'd cut the (right-wing) media all that slack and concentrate on blaming the Obama administration. If you don't have the guts to take on Fox and Breitbart and point out their mendacity and excoriate them for it, how are you in any way different from Vilsack?
Posted by: sembtex | July 21, 2010 9:36 AM
-------------------------------------------
This is amazing. An O'bama supporting leftie, who can spell m-e-n-d-a-c-i-t-y, that attributes such to Fox News. You need to remove the rose colored glasses, and google "You LIe, O'bama's name comes up. I think that O'bama, and his Chicago Thug Politicians, re-invented the word, after hearing it from Big Daddy, in the Movie, Cat On A Hot Tin Roof.
I love the way Fox News is slapping them around.
Dennis
--------------------
Wow, a jew talking about cowards!
Posted by: guy18349 | July 21, 2010 9:44 AM |
-----------------
I'll tell you what's much worse, a Jew voting for a dedicated Muslim, at heart, who'd cut his neck, if given the chance. That's what' worse.
Denis
----------------

Vilsack overreacted and he made the cardinal sin of assuming anything he saw and heard on the right wing FOX, web sites, etc., could possibly be true. That is the real less of this debackle. Always check out something on FOX, right wing sites, etc., if you don't want to make a fool of yourself. Wonder if Cohen learned that.

Posted by: withersb | July 21, 2010 9:48 AM |
------------------------------------------
I like it. I like the way Fox News is slapping them around. Look at the panic. Get'em Fox.
Dennis

Posted by: Shadowsmgc | July 21, 2010 10:36 PM | Report abuse

Great column. How ironic that Mrs. Sherrod was fired for something SHE never did, by a coward who not only DID royally screw up but whose reactionary knee jerk behavior also exposed Obama's own cowardice, but who will never be in danger of losing HIS job for it.

There is nothing and nobody Obama will not throw under the bus too appease the right wing. And for what?

Posted by: solsticebelle | July 21, 2010 10:36 PM | Report abuse

You freekin Marxist scum. How many lies and character assassinations have the Marxist Democrats done on anyone that they disagree with. How about Sara Palin and the never ending attacks on her and her family. Now you all whine about this one incident that still is not settled completely. Typical Marxist garbage.

Posted by: harley2002 | July 21, 2010 10:38 PM | Report abuse

The FOX news strategy is working. Nobody is talking about Mr Breitbart's reason for presenting a misleading video was to prove that the NAACP is full of racists. What a ignoble jerk.

Posted by: xdougwhite | July 21, 2010 10:40 PM | Report abuse

Sadly. this administration has an aura of fear of the DC establishment which is completely Republican and all of their think tanks and institutes and most of the media.

Pres. Obama and, his administration don't have to bow so low, immediately blame themselves and live in fear. Unfortunately there is no Democratic establishment (operatives, media hacks like CSPAN and FOX and rabid neocon Morning Joe and AEI to offer insights and useful tactics to counter the powerful GOP.
So this is what happens ... the Pres. will pop off and say the wrong thing at the wrong time instead of tackling these issues mano a mano.
Don't bow and scrape so low. Mr. President, you won the election by a healthy margin, remember? Don't cringe in fear of FOX and its many operatives poised to pounce from all over the nation.

Posted by: mimosa1 | July 21, 2010 10:55 PM | Report abuse

Obama is disappointing me, but true be told it does seems like anything from FOX will bled into the real news media, and it seems like they are to lazy to double and triple check their facts, what has happened to real Journalism?

Posted by: corintonic | July 21, 2010 10:56 PM | Report abuse

Mr. Cohen, Bravo!!

Posted by: yvette7825 | July 21, 2010 11:01 PM | Report abuse

I would sack Vilsack. As for his boss, I've already given up on him.

Posted by: seahawkdad | July 21, 2010 11:01 PM | Report abuse

Negroes have lower IQs than whites. They have to work harder and they do. So we should appreciate negroes more.

Posted by: Phil5 | July 21, 2010 11:04 PM | Report abuse

YOUR CALLING VISACK A COWARD WAS UNFAIR. HE OVER REACTED TO AN INCIDENT THAT OCCURRED 20 YEARS AGO WITHOUT VERIFYING THE INFORMATION. WITH THE COUNTRY BECOMING SO SO RACE-BASED LATELY, HE JUMPED THE GUN THINKING HIS DECISION WOULD NOT BE QUESTIONED. THE ATMOSPHERE IN POLITICS IS UNNECESSARILY RACIAL, DECISIONS ARE MADE OUT OF FEAR THAT WE WILL BE LABELED EITHER RACIST OR PRACTICING REVERSE RACISM.

Posted by: skinfreak | July 21, 2010 11:07 PM | Report abuse

Good grief. Now Dionne and Cohen are trying to crucify Obama for jumping the gun on this, even though they've already made it right AND apologized?

Need I remind you of the context here? This Administration, thanks to the right wing's RELENTLESS Southern Strategy onslaught - wherein they are daily working to convince every white person in America that African Americans are hellbent on subjugating them (talk about projected guilt there...) - has to be in CONSTANT Jackie Robinson mode (review your baseball history of 1947 if you're having trouble recalling that reference). Thanks the improved but still sad state of race relations, Obama has to be meticulously evenhanded in dealing with race. The slightest hiccup - while he's busy with all these other daily, historic fires he had plopped on his plate - is evidence of utter failure.

Horrible Uncle Barack didn't placate everyone's egos again today. Time to roast the man. Never mind that this "crisis" was started and stoked by dishonest and meanspirited conservative journalists. No, it's all Obama's fault. Not that he's got any other more important issues to be tending to right now (some trivial stuff about the economy, two wars and runaway climate change). Let's just crucify him again. Maybe it will sell a few papers.

Posted by: B2O2 | July 21, 2010 11:10 PM | Report abuse

Great column. How ironic that Mrs. Sherrod was fired for something SHE never did, by a coward who not only DID royally screw up but whose reactionary knee jerk behavior also exposed Obama's own cowardice, but who will never be in danger of losing HIS job for it.

There is nothing and nobody Obama will not throw under the bus too appease the right wing. And for what?

Posted by: solsticebelle | July 21, 2010 10:36 PM | Report abuse

-------------------------------------------
Can you say P-A-N-I-C?? just look at the way the Whitehouse, the Dems, and the Liberal Media is scurrying, and skittering around.
I'm watching them now, on Fox. It's hilarious.
Dennis

Posted by: Shadowsmgc | July 21, 2010 11:13 PM | Report abuse

Great column. How ironic that Mrs. Sherrod was fired for something SHE never did, by a coward who not only DID royally screw up but whose reactionary knee jerk behavior also exposed Obama's own cowardice, but who will never be in danger of losing HIS job for it.

There is nothing and nobody Obama will not throw under the bus too appease the right wing. And for what?

Posted by: solsticebelle | July 21, 2010 10:36 PM | Report abuse

-------------------------------------------
Can you say P-A-N-I-C?? just look at the way the Whitehouse, the Dems, and the Liberal Media is scurrying, and skittering around.
I'm watching them now, on Fox. It's hilarious.
Dennis

Posted by: Shadowsmgc | July 21, 2010 11:14 PM | Report abuse

Great column. How ironic that Mrs. Sherrod was fired for something SHE never did, by a coward who not only DID royally screw up but whose reactionary knee jerk behavior also exposed Obama's own cowardice, but who will never be in danger of losing HIS job for it.

There is nothing and nobody Obama will not throw under the bus too appease the right wing. And for what?

Posted by: solsticebelle | July 21, 2010 10:36 PM | Report abuse

-------------------------------------------
Can you say P-A-N-I-C?? just look at the way the Whitehouse, the Dems, and the Liberal Media is scurrying, and skittering around.
I'm watching them now, on Fox. It's hilarious.
Dennis

Posted by: Shadowsmgc | July 21, 2010 11:14 PM | Report abuse

Cohen: "A clip of that speech made the rounds of right wing blogs and media outlets -- Fox News, for instance -- and in no time Vilsack ordered the woman canned."
---------------
Not so fast, Mr Cohen. Both you and many rabid commenters here have the timeline wrong here. Ms. Sherrod was thrown under the bus by the Administration BEFORE Fox even touched this story!

The full tape having now surfaced, we are now seeing an effort to bribe Ms. Sherrod with a better job in atonement for the shabby treatment she received. But now, being swept under the rug is the very CONTENT OF THE FULL TAPE which shows a virulent political partisan violating the Hatch Act. So yes, she was wronged by the snippet out of contxt but instead of a 25 year old brush with racial bias, the tape shows a current political bias inappropriate for any civil servant.

Posted by: CincinnatiRIck | July 21, 2010 11:30 PM | Report abuse

Yes, by all means overlook your own newspaper's culpability in this character assassination.

Yesterday I counted two Washington Post news stories that were still repeating the lie after it had been exposed.

Shirley Sharrod is probably too classy, but if it were me, the WaPo would be one of the defendants in a libel suit. And since Sherrod (until now) could not be considered a public figure, ignorance is no defense.

Posted by: bluicebank | July 21, 2010 11:32 PM | Report abuse

Obama and his hand-puppet Vilsack along with the NAACP made fools of themselves, then try to blame Fox News for "snookering" them...give me a break!

Now can we get back to the real issues of the day...jobs, jobs, jobs...and the 100.000 jobs Obama has destroyed in Louisiana!

Posted by: JCM-51 | July 21, 2010 11:33 PM | Report abuse

What a difference a day makes. Yesterday, many of the people responding to the Sherrod story were condemning her for being a racist and saying her actions were just one more example of how Obama hates white people. Today, people are calling Sherrod a victim and saying what a coward Obama was for letting her be fired. The only conclusion I can draw from this is that Obama is to blame for everything. And I can’t tell you how relieved I am to know that. Now I have someone to blame besides myself for backing into a recycling bin yesterday and breaking my tail light. Mr. President, just so you know, the bill for my light will be on your desk by the end of the week.

Posted by: blc52 | July 21, 2010 11:47 PM | Report abuse

What happened to Shirley Sherrod was a definite case of being tea-bagged.

Posted by: gschultens | July 21, 2010 9:51 PM |
-------------------------------------------
Tea Bagged, is what Bwaney Fwank, does when he holds another male's testicles in his toothless mouth.
The NAACP spokesman said that they'd been "Snookered." I disagree. They've been backhanded, in the chops.
It's beautiful to watch.
This time the Tea Party, and their defenders strikes back.---------------------------------

Yeh, well, the Federal Government should protect its employees, especially in the present climate of "know-less-than-nothingism"; let's see if there is ANYONE on the taxpayers' payroll with the courage to wait twenty-four hours before vomiting up their ignorance to the media.

Good luck,US of A!

Posted by: mini2 | July 21, 2010 9:54 PM
-------------------------------------------
Sue'em again Ms Sherrod. Sue'em again.
Only those watching Fox News, are aware of the whole story. The "other media" won't tell you the truth.
Dennis

Posted by: Shadowsmgc | July 21, 2010 11:52 PM | Report abuse

Look,in order to fight the anti-American Republican globalists who want to bankrupt America, we need fighters in D. C.

Not "apologizers". I mean, do we need Dennis Kucinich in there in order to have a fighter? Or Bernie Sanders?

Where is there somebody on the side of the people with guts?

Posted by: santafe2 | July 22, 2010 12:02 AM | Report abuse

As someone once said, "I'm looking for some ass to kick!" (Barack Obama, June 8 2010).

I demand Tom Vilsack's head on a pike!

Grab your torches and pitchforks villagers -- it's crucifying time!

Posted by: pyellman | July 22, 2010 12:08 AM | Report abuse

Vilsack had a solemn obligation to treat his employee fairly. Obama, who reportedly was briefed on the matter and stood by his man, had a similar obligation. The two ought to be ashamed.

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

This isn't over, hopefully. This is not a non-event between a pompous professor and an idiot cop.

Breitbart, assisted by Fox News, set out to destroy this woman's integrity, and the NAACP and the Obama administration were accomplices.

I'm embarrassed for the NAACP; it was their tape, after all, but they never bothered to check if the story was real until it was too late.. pretty stupid.

But I am ashamed of the President's people. Did they not know the source of this garbage? And if they did not, WHY NOT? Ever heard of "consider the source"?

Breitbart lies, and Fox spreads lies. This is as much a part of who they are as the silly "Fair and Balanced" logo they sport to fool the rubes. I worry that the White House is now countable among the rubes.

Posted by: OldUncleTom | July 22, 2010 12:44 AM | Report abuse

Breitbart made his point effectively: The left disregards fact-checking and shoots from the hip whenever racism is suspected or is an opportune charge to level at an opponent.

Neither Breitbart nor Fox made the hasty decision to fire Sherrod. That decision was made by Obama and Vilsack.

And let's not forget how quickly Obama vilified that white cop even though he didn't know the facts.

Posted by: judithod | July 22, 2010 1:15 AM | Report abuse

Breitbart made his point effectively: The left shoots from the hip without fact-checking whenever racism is suspected or when it's an opportune charge to level against a political opponent.

Neither Breitbart nor Fox fired Sherrod. Vilsack and Obama fired her.

And recall that Obama condemned that white cop while admitting he didn't know the facts. He's supposed to be intelligent?

Posted by: judithod | July 22, 2010 1:21 AM | Report abuse

The despicable racist pig, Richard Cohen, who recently wrote in the Post that "all Persians lie like a rug," is morally unfit to write about racism.

Shut up, Dick.

Posted by: secretaryofspite | July 22, 2010 2:33 AM | Report abuse

It's amazing to me that the headline out of this story is Obama. Rather, it should serve as a wakeup call to those who watch and rely on right wing news sources.

Ms. Sherrod will have her job back, I have no doubt. I apologize to her, myself, for the way today's headline- driven society briefly affected her life.

I apologize to the President for how it has forced his administration to act so swiftly that it cannot consider all points before making a decision or a comment. The public requires the Obama Administration to act like computers with rapid-fire output. If a second or two is donated to "research," the response is rabid criticism. Too professorial! He never was anything but a community activist! Blah, blah, blah. The man cannot win!!!!

All of us have a chance, now, to stop and think about the lessons this news cycle has taught us.

Posted by: smartgirl312 | July 22, 2010 3:14 AM | Report abuse

Shame on those of you who post such vitriol. I glanced at the first three posts and the last two. It's appalling that citizens in a free democracy would resort to discourse devoid of a sense of history and equally lacking in compassion for our nation, comprised as it is of human beings of diversity. Just shameful!

Posted by: talitha1 | July 22, 2010 3:24 AM | Report abuse

smartgirl13, we were posting simultaneously, so I beg your pardon.

Posted by: talitha1 | July 22, 2010 3:28 AM | Report abuse

I'm confused. When you say, "vitriol," are you talking about Cohen defining an entire race of people as liars, or my pointing out that he said that?

Posted by: secretaryofspite | July 22, 2010 4:22 AM | Report abuse

Surprise, surprise....here are all of the left wing bloggers who lost their connection to JournoList, now posting under fake names to carry on their cause against Fox.

And just like the kids that they are...they are thumbing their noses...kinda like O likes to rake his middle finger over his face when he is talking about someone he doesn't like...such as Secretary of State, former candidate for President, Hillary Clinton.

Watch the payback.

November cannot come soon enough.

WAPO, you could not look more stupid. How far you have fallen.

Posted by: letscheck | July 22, 2010 4:58 AM | Report abuse

A surprisingly good column by Richard Cohen, who only seldomly managed to impress me. More of such reasonable opinions, pls!

Posted by: Gray62 | July 22, 2010 5:53 AM | Report abuse

Breitbart included the part where Sherrod has her 'revelation.' She STILL says "it's not so much about white... well it IS about white and black... but it's not you know... it opened my eyes." Her own words convict her. So; she admits that she didn't help someone as much as she could because he was white. She took him to "one of his kind."
Who's racist? This was just over a year ago! If a white person had been caught on tape saying anything like that in the past 10 years he/she would have excoriated, fired, raked over the coals... and worse. Don't you people get it? Anyone of any color can be racist.

Posted by: kjackson95 | July 22, 2010 6:29 AM | Report abuse

I stand corrected... the speech was March 2010 about events that took place in 1986.
But, in her own words, 4 months ago, she says that "it IS about white and black."

Posted by: kjackson95 | July 22, 2010 6:41 AM | Report abuse

Interesting that Cohen doesn't even mention Glenn Beck in his "Cowardice" column, for it was Glenn Beck who was first to say that this lady deserved her job back. It was Glenn Beck who said "Context Matters" and exposed the knee-jerk reaction this administration has when dealing with situations. The reason Cohen omitted any mention of Glenn Beck (remember the reference to this appearing on the Glenn Beck that knee-jerked the Administration into firing Sherrod) is because he refuses to admit Glenn Beck was right! And guess what? Glenn Beck is right on so many issues concerning our corrupt, self-serving government that they'd all have to quit if they had any semblance of dignity and honor. They certainly don't serve the citizen, as this sordid example so blatantly demonstrates.

Posted by: Rockyspoon | July 22, 2010 7:11 AM | Report abuse

I disagree with Cohen's take on this issue. Vilseck screwed up, yes...but at least he had the courage to express sincere remorse about his actions and behavior. I cannot remember a time when a politician has genuinely apologized for wrongdoing. They usually only give perfunctory apologies after they have been caught up in some scandal of some type. Vilseck should be commended for accepting responsibility for his position. Speaking of cowardice, how much courage does it take to sit behind a PC and constantly attack the President and this administration via incoherent drivel? I dont think Cohen or any of the other mass media hacks and pundits give on crap about Ms. Sherrod or Tom Vilseck, they care about pointing out problems with the administration and that is and I presume always will be the case. What happened to celebrating contrition? I would rather have someone apologize to me for doing me a disfavor than screwing over me and pretending that they did not. It's called "morality." Has anyone apologized for us attacking Iraq? Has anyone apologized for torture? Has anyone apologized for torching the economy? Has anyone apologized for denying millions of Americans unemployment, even though these same Americans paid unemployment insurance? Cohen, your problem is and will be that you have a history of positions on various issues that were wrong, and I have never read anything from you apologizing for your judgments. I suggest you "talk to the hand."

Posted by: ruthella10 | July 22, 2010 7:21 AM | Report abuse

The Washington Post editorial board’s commentary surrounding Ms. Shirley Sherrod would have more meaning if The Washington Post editorial board actually believed it and operated under its principle. Ms. Katharine Weymouth, publisher, Mr. Fred Hiatt, editorial page editor, and Jo-Ann Armao are not in a strong position to serve as media defenders of truth and justice. They are not in a serene intellectual place to be leading conversations on ethics and doing what is right.

This editorial board, through the literary bloodstream of Ms. Armao attacked me in a previous editorial, “School Daze”, for filing a request for investigation of DCPS Chancellor Michelle Rhee for possible conflict of interest violations to the D.C. Office of Campaign Finance (as well as the federal Hatch Act). The issue is not the editorial attack on me, which was wrong and misinformed, but rather the action of the editorial to print a reply I did not write or approve over my name.

The editorial board of The Washington Post further aggravated the issue by failing to print a retraction or correction. The failure of the editorial board of The Washington Post to print an apology for attributing to me in print and on-line something I did not write attacks the principle of decency in journalism.

The editorial board of The Washington Post has printed numerous opinions questioning the integrity, veracity, ethics, and actions many people. It often writes to politicians to just admit the mistake, tell the truth, and the cover-up is worse than the original sin. Today, the editorial board is critical of President Obama and US Department of Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack. Too bad The Washington Post will not follow its own admonition. Too bad “reputable” journalists at The Washington Post have been silent on its own egregious violation of journalism ethics.

Ms. Katharine Weymouth, Mr. Fred Hiatt, Mr. Andrew Alexander, and Mr. Howard Kurtz, fail or refuse to hold The Washington Post to the same standard of judgment it criticizes in others.
Elsewhere within the pages of The Washington Post columnists are weighing in with their views. This collective intellectual hypocrisy of journalism, offers great weight to why District residents and readers of this newspaper have low expectations The Washington Post is a credible newspaper.

The editorial board’s indifference to my repeated requests for a retraction and correction speak volumes about the corporate culture of The Washington Post and its values.

Robert Vinson Brannum
rbrannum@robertbrannum.com

Posted by: robert158 | July 22, 2010 7:57 AM | Report abuse

I agree with the comment below: "I see that Mr. Cohen lacks the gumption to finger the real culprit, that being Andrew Breitbart
and Fox News."

Mr. Cohen adds nothing to the discussion other than trying to put a "spin" on the Fox curve ball.

CB

Posted by: chrisbrown12 | July 22, 2010 8:18 AM | Report abuse

Mr. Cohen has the timeline wrong. The Obamas fired Ms. Sherrod before Fox started covering the story. But, of course, left wingers don't care about the facts and will do anything to dump on Fox News.

Posted by: jbb34 | July 22, 2010 8:34 AM | Report abuse

The cowardice of Vilsack?

How about the cowardice of Breitbart and Fox? They're the ones who deceptively edited video, played it in constant loop without ANY verification whatsoever. And then have the audacity to claim the administration didn't do their homework.

Fox and people like Breitbart have been using dog whistle race baiting since the start of this administration. ACORN, Van Jones, the NBPP, and Shirly Sherrod. See the common denominator in all of these manufactured stories? The scary black people are coming to take something away from you.

It's deliberate, it's blatant, and it's pathetic. That's where the scorn should be directed.

Posted by: notfooledbydistractions1 | July 22, 2010 8:55 AM | Report abuse

"A clip of that speech made the rounds of right wing blogs and media outlets -- Fox News, for instance -- and in no time Vilsack ordered the woman canned." --Cohen

Except as more intelligent commentators have noted, Sherrod was fired before Fox news ran the story. Try reading Howard Kurtz today!

Posted by: ChesDead | July 22, 2010 10:12 AM | Report abuse

Why is it that, like a game of rocks/paper/scissors, racism rules rationality? Ms. Sherrod actually tried to foment a rational discussion of racism, but once it hit the media, in accordance with the Second Law of Thermodynamics, entropy and irrationality prevailed.

In her inspirational talk, Ms. Sherrod told about overcoming her personal attitudes. Having once had a "racist" view, she overcame it and is now not a racist. How often are white people ever credited with overcoming racist attitudes? No less than Sean Hannity continues to denigrate the late Senator Robert Byrd for a racist past even after a lifetime of distinguished public service. Racism rules rationality.

And yet one could argue that even the NAACP is a racist organization. The name itself implies this. Ms. Sherrod said in her speech that it was too bad that there weren't also whites in the room to hear her speech. An organization with a name like NAACP isn't going to attract many white members... and this is the challenge to NAACP. When will it change its name to the National Association for the Equality of All People and reach out to whites, Hispanics, Asians, etc??

Posted by: herschel53 | July 22, 2010 10:32 AM | Report abuse

Vilsack needs to submit his resignation to the President as soon as possible. He claims the decision was his, and thus his going off half-cocked and shabbily firing Ms. Sherrod via the remote control of a noxious underling simply underlines Vilsack's incompetence and his lack of any honor. Did we not have enough incompetence and chicanery in the previous administration? We do not need dishonorable and cowardly people such as Vilsack in the administration.
It is most unfortunate as this story progresses that the White House functionaries are going round and round, like blinded oxen treading grain, and thus fueling the idea that perhaps Vilsack is a liar in addition to his other failings.
If only one could hope that all concerned have finally grasped the fact that anything originalting from the noxious pusbag Breitbart or his website or anyone connected with him is NOT to be believed without considerable vetting and independent third party confirmation.
As for the Fox propaganda machine, thinking people are already aware that the same limitations are needed.
Vilsack must go!

Posted by: MichaelStrafford | July 22, 2010 10:32 AM | Report abuse

I firmly believe she should not only be fired, but be asked to make a public apology! The bottom line is she was unwilling to help the farmer at her full capacity because he was white. She states this! She only decided to do the right thing when she found he was poor and the 'white' attorney she referred him to wouldn't help hem! SHE IS PREJUDICE! What if the farmer hadn't been poor and had been helped by the attorney? That scenario would have merely set the stage for her to continue on her prejudiced merry way! Fire her, make an example out of her! ALL prejudice needs stomped out, black white or blue! By allowing her back in, they allow prejudice to continue, and now have merely given her and others a platform!!! ONE HONKEY WHITE RANCH WIFE!!!

Posted by: PaintPoniez | July 22, 2010 11:45 AM | Report abuse

Very well put, Mr. Cohen. Couldn't agree more!

Posted by: wpreader2007 | July 22, 2010 5:51 PM | Report abuse

I hope she sue's the daylights out of Breitbart. The purpose of his site is to defame people he doesn't like. If the victims of the defamation machines at Drudge, Limbaugh, Fox, Breitbart, et. al. start suing them right and left they might well be out of business. They can preach all the hate they wish but their victims should sue them for every act of defamation.

Posted by: orange31 | July 22, 2010 6:18 PM | Report abuse

Yes, there is much blame to go around in this debacle.

Yet, despite the "rush to judgement" of the administration, Vilsack and the USDA, the NAACP, and most of the media...

- Those who deliberately edited and posted this video to send a message exactly OPPOSITE of the larger message of what Ms. Sherrod ACTUALLY was saying -

...Those are the TRUE villians of this episode.

Of course, the USDA and the NAACP were clearly (and embarrasingly) wrong to so quickly denounce her.

But upon realizing their error in being "snookered", they immediately did the right thing and apologized, and Tom Vilsack did make a heartfelt apology and offered her another position.

While that doesn't entirely undo the harm that was done, admitting wrong and making amends go a LONG way - and Ms. Sherrod very graciously accepted those apologies.

At the other extreme is Andrew Breitbart.

While he has made the highly dubious claim that he only saw the shorter version before airing it, that someone "sent it to him" - Yeah...WHO ??? and then said that he has nothing against Ms. Sherrod and intended it as a message against the NAACP.

So the tremendous wrong that he has done to this woman as a person, to her family and the attacks that she had to endure means absolutely nothing to him.

She was just a pawn that he could use to get back at the NAACP for its denunciation of racism within the Tea Party movement.

And anyone who claims there is no such racism, has to be deliberately blind to such messages - some of it very blatantly displayed - in cariacatures, pictures, words on signs, in mocking speeches, and definitely all over the internet - and much of it getting "thumbs up", and gets parroted throughout the media.

I even met an individual, wearing tea bags on his eyeglasses, who actually said that the reason he opposed Obama was because of his race. I was really taken aback that he so honestly & openly admitted to that!!!

I'm not claiming ALL tea partiers are racists, but to deny that element is omnipresent within that movement is disengenous at best.

And for FOX NEWS, acting all wide eyed saying: "How could Vilsack; the USDA; the Obama administration the NAACP..so quickly rush to judgement???" when less than 24 hours before, they were the ones leading the charge...What incredible gall !!!

It's really a page right out of the Karl Rove playbook...

I'm glad that it back-fired on them, and I truly hope this is a "teachable" moment about making snap judgements based upon incomplete (and even deliberately engineered) information.

... We should always consider the source of information, and not react based upon fear and smear tactics.

Ah...but then I think of that 'ol Who song:
"WE WON'T GET SNOOKERED (OR 'SWIFT BOATED') AGAIN"...

Posted by: dianeb181 | July 22, 2010 6:19 PM | Report abuse

Mr. Cohen is also guilty of bigotry - against FOX News.
His chronology is incorrect. Cohen assumes that Vilsack fired Sherrod partly (or more) due to clips shown on FOX.
Wrong. Sherrod was fired before FOX showed a single video clip on any of its show.
The FOX evening show hosts expressed doubts and barely discussed the issue. Bill O'Reilly apologized to Sherrod on Tuesday saying that even his limited comments had been based on incorrect information. Beck supported her. Megan Kelly explained why there had been no Hatch Act violation.
Sherrod has refused offers to appear on FOX, preferring to attack them senselessly instead. She's making lots of points with the left. Next she'll be drinking beer with Obama.

Mr. Cohen, you owe FOX an apology.

Posted by: parkbench | July 23, 2010 12:06 AM | Report abuse

Reading through all the comments on this site, I have come to realize one important facet about American politics namely;that Americans are like a flock led by their shepherd.That shepherd is the right wing.It sets the tone and all others follow.The Sherrod episode is a glaring example.The right wing played a tune and everybody started dancing-the government, all the news media, groups and organizations.When the same right wing exonerated Ms Sherrod of wrongdoing and asked to be reinstated, everybody starts appologising and asking for her reinstatement. My question is when will Americans and their governments stop this ridiculous right-wing tune-dancing?

Posted by: kabba | July 23, 2010 8:43 AM | Report abuse

Today FOX states they did not carry this news until AFTER the firing of Shirley Sherrod. Who's right? FOX or Cohen?

Posted by: FinFan1 | July 23, 2010 11:46 AM | Report abuse

Today FOX states they did not carry this news until AFTER the firing of Shirley Sherrod. Who's right? FOX or Cohen?

Posted by: FinFan1 | July 23, 2010 11:47 AM | Report abuse

All of these men are gutless wonders...

Posted by: janeyre | July 23, 2010 12:05 PM | Report abuse

seriously dont blame all republicans, i was actualy suprized obama didnt blame bush for it. both are to blame. heck the only one who actualy got the story right was(hold your breath) glenn beck. it wasent even on his program till he got the context of the story. which used to be the job of the press till they decided impartiality was just a bump in the road to be run over. hell everyone knows if its fox it is republican if its anything nbc its democrat. the sad thing is its a matter of us leading to this. proof is in the voting. back people overwhelmingly vote democrat. a party that historicly doesent have the best track record with minority. if you dont beleave me ask the japanese who where rounded up and put into concentration camps under fdr. or the democrats who wanted to split the country in half during the civil war and deeply opposed lincon. hell robert byrds major "acomplishment" was trying to filibuster civil rights legislation and he was a major recruiter for the kkk.republicans arent any better its why we need term limits. being a politician should never be a carrer. its people who do politics for to long that do this crazy stuff

Posted by: wech0201 | July 23, 2010 8:26 PM | Report abuse

You have GOT to be KIDDING me. I was working a home and had Fox on all day. Not a single report of Sherrod until 8PM (O'Reilly) 3-4 hours AFTER she resigned.
You can smear Fox all you want if living a lie makes all you proggies feel better.

And anyone who thinks this is all Vilsack is also delusional. Did you watch his speech/apology? This is not a man who reacts with his gut. He's a FALL GUY. Period.
Why?
Because Obama is gutless and afraid of Glenn Friggin' Beck. Too sad.
(BTW, Beck sided with Sherrod and thought she'd been railroaded, so stick that up your big liberal schnozzes!)

Posted by: yachttrak | July 24, 2010 4:24 PM | Report abuse

You have GOT to be KIDDING me. I was working a home and had Fox on all day. Not a single report of Sherrod until 8PM (O'Reilly) 3-4 hours AFTER she resigned.
You can smear Fox all you want if living a lie makes all you proggies feel better.

And anyone who thinks this is all Vilsack is also delusional. Did you watch his speech/apology? This is not a man who reacts with his gut. He's a FALL GUY. Period.
Why?
Because Obama is gutless and afraid of Glenn Friggin' Beck. Too sad.
(BTW, Beck sided with Sherrod and thought she'd been railroaded, so stick that up your big liberal schnozzes!)

Posted by: yachttrak | July 24, 2010 4:25 PM | Report abuse

The real question or lesson that should be learned here is why does race have to control so much in this country?

We need to ratchet this down. Both sides. Maybe start by calling for dissolution of the NAACP, a racist organization at its core.

Posted by: OlafGunderson | July 24, 2010 5:27 PM | Report abuse

"Andrew Brietbart posted an edited clip of Shirley Sherrod. Chaos ensued. Sherrod was fired and it’s the fault of Fox News. Or is it? Herewith a case study of Fox Haters and their noise machine."

"To set the stage, it is necessary to know the true timeline. On the morning of Monday July 19, Andrew Breitbart posted a video clip of Ms Sherrod. Long story short, it did not provide the complete context of her remarks. That afternoon, Ms Sherrod was called repeatedly by the administration and told she was to resign. At this point, this story had not been reported on FNC, CNN, or MSNBC. There was a reason why FNC had not been covering the matter:"
---
'Michael Clemente, senior vice president of news editorial, said the network’s news programs reported the story with caution. “When I heard about this Monday morning and saw it on Breitbart’s website, I said, ‘OK, could be a story, let’s check it out,’ ” Clemente said. “We did the normal fact-finding we would do on any story.” At an afternoon editorial meeting Monday, Clemente urged the staff to first get the facts and obtain comment from Sherrod before going on air, according to internal notes from the meeting that were provided to The Times. “Let’s make sure we do this right,” he said.'
---
"Sherrod resigned, and the news broke on Monday evening. The first mention of the matter on FNC was from Bill O’Reilly. His show was taped about two hours earlier; he played the edited clip, called on her to resign. But by the time it aired, Ms Sherrod had already resigned, and an on-screen graphic noted same. (O’Reilly would later admit his mistake and apologize.) That same night CNN also played the clip in reporting on the resignation, as did Hannity (who discussed it with Newt Gingrich and a bi-partisan panel). It was also mentioned briefly by Dana Perino (subbing for Greta). By Tuesday morning, the NAACP had gone on record approving of the firing. Their statement has been removed from the NAACP website, but it said in part:"
---
'Racism is about the abuse of power. Sherrod had it in her position at USDA. According to her remarks, she mistreated a white farmer in need of assistance because of his race.'
---
"Both MSNBC and Fox & Friends discussed these developments. As the LA Times noted:"
---
'The first reported piece on Fox News, by correspondent James Rosen, aired on Tuesday morning, and included a second video clip that added context to Sherrod’s comments.'
---
"Along with the LA Times, reports from Mediaite, the Washington Post, and others make one thing clear: nothing that aired on FNC could possibly have caused Ms Sherrod’s firing, because FNC aired nothing until after she was already gone. That’s not a matter of opinion; it’s fact. So now the fun begins, as the haters kick into high gear."
***
J$P: Fox Haters Week in Review!
http://johnnydollar.us/files/100725fhwir.php

Posted by: StewartIII | July 25, 2010 8:39 PM | Report abuse

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