Taken Out of Context and Fired

Friday, July 23, 2010


Brooke weighs in on the taking out of context, then firing, then attempted re-hiring of US Department of Agriculture employee Shirley Sherrod.

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Comments [17]

BrakTalk from Atlanta

TCMann - "Now, in this piece, Ms. Gladstone treats the claim that 'Tea Party protesters hurled racial slurs at black legislatures after passage of the health care bill' as fact. And she uses this 'fact' to ask us to consider the source (Mr. Breitbart), because he 'refused to believe it'."

No she didn't. She said Politico "reported" the story. She in no way presented this as fact.

Jul. 28 2010 10:22 AM
raul from san francisco

TCMann I think you really have the wrong end of the stick. The problem with Breitbart's credibility is the FACT that he knowingly doctored a tape. After all, he among all the players watched the entire tape and knew precisely what Sherrod said.

Breitbart is anger that the tea party has been called out for being a mostly all white organization with a strain of nut bag birthers in the mix. So he set out not to disprove the claims but, in that old GOP tradition to discredit instead.

Bottomline, once you doctor something with the intent to smear or to defame someone you have NO credibility and should be treated accordingly.

You're conflating two separate issue.

Then again, this is Fixed News and the Tea Party's stock and trade. Don't have facts? Make some up!

Jul. 27 2010 03:08 PM
Mark Richard from Columbus, Ohio

In 1992, years before Fox ever existed (this for pathological Fox obsessives), a local network in Los Angeles 'cut' a video taken of the police trying to subdue a man named Rodney King. The video was cut to be inflammatory. When a jury trying the policemen involved saw the whole tape, they acquitted the officers. Riots broke out. There was no soul-searching then among the broadcast networks, which ran and re-ran the misleading 'cut' version, about their own role in that destructive riot. The networks do this all the time. Breitbart is being pilloried because he is on the political Right, not because he did something that is out of line with what the MSM does - every - single - day.

Jul. 27 2010 12:11 PM

---Everyone is calling everyone else a racist. Maybe the time for all media - in the age of a black president - is to
take a step back whenever that word is used.---

Maybe it's not. If I'm Andrew Breitbart, do I want anything more in the world than a media corp which whines "We don't know" and "It's not our job" to say Person A is a racist, or Person B is not?

He wants everyone to think that all of these charges are equally valid.

I've had just about enough of a mainstream media which can't or won't assess anything: There are no facts. Nobody is lying. Nobody is telling the truth. Their job, as The Daily Show's Rob Corddry once said, is to not get in the way of the people talking to them and the people viewing them.

Oh, and after Fox News beat the ACORN scandal (sic) like another fake drum, there's a hint of difference without a distinction in parsing the particular words and hours and cause of Sherrod's first forced resignation. Are those folks gonna parse every fake headline and sentence from Fox during that first day or so?

Jul. 26 2010 07:35 PM
Grumpy Demo from Dallas, TX

Breitbart, the arsonists, sets fire to Ms. Sherrod's reputation, and all the media talks about is that the Obama's staff, the fire department, was late. No discussion of the criminal act at all, amazing cowardice.

It ALWAYS bad for Obama.

Jul. 26 2010 02:20 PM
Grumpy Demo from Dallas, TX

Well, well, well we have our quota of little FOXes here on this theard, each and everyone either a liar or ignorant. While I am impress with your ability to recite the FOX lie de jour, you grasp on the facts are as good a a FOX reporter.

The first "FOX approved" lie, they weren't involved in slandering Sherrod, Oops, must have forgotten about "the Tiveo" here's a time line and documentation of FOX's collaboration in smearing Sherrod:


The facts are clear, FOX was unambiguously active in promoting this slander and has yet to analogize ore issuer a correction (except for Bill O'Bigot's non-apology). Says a lot about FOX that it can tell its viewers a blatant lie about what the broadcast and they still they repeat it, (FOX the ADD Network?). Not the sharpest pencils in the box.

The Second lie, one Breitbart FOXes love repeating is that no Tea Birthers hurled racist insults at the Congressional Black cacuse.

Here's McCalthy report with witness and video:

"Tea party protesters scream 'nigger' at black congressman"
Read more: http://www.mcclatchydc.com/2010/03/20/90772/rep-john-lewis-charges-protesters.html#ixzz0uoTcpOLP

If you think Brietbart would make good on his $10,000 check, I have a email from a Nigerian Prince for you.

However, I do have to admire TCMann's attempt at changing the subject by using another Brietbart race baiting lie as defense. What is that?-a double FOX gambit?

However, it is still a FAIL. I'm just foolish enough to believe Rep. Lewis and dozens of witness, rather than Breibart, silly me. Says a lot about a person that they would take with word of Briebart, a serial smear artist, over Congressman Lewis, a man of proven integrity. Makes your typical Birther almost seem rational.

Sigh, I guess no one in the MSM ever call out FOX, Breitbrat, the their little rage zombies that post here for their classic race baiting? It's like Willie Horton never happened.

Jul. 26 2010 02:19 PM
TCMann from CT

Let me be perfectly clear at the outset, I am not defending Andrew Breitbart, what he did was wrong and he owes an apology to Shirley Sherrod.

However, I do want to point something out - Mr. Breitbart claims he posted this video because he was tired of the NAACP implying that the Tea Party is a racist organization.

As Jay Tea mentioned, Mr. Breitbart has offered money ($ 10,000, not $ 100,000) for video or audio proof that during a Tea Party rally, people in the crowd shouted the 'N-Word' as members of the Congressional Black Caucus were walking in to vote on health care legislation. So far, no one has tried to claim the money. Does this mean that the Congressmen are lying? I'd be hard pressed to believe that in this day and age, with the proliferation of video cameras and thousands of people witnessing an event, that there wouldn't be some kind of proof. So, what do you call a congressman that makes a claim and cannot prove it?

Now, in this piece, Ms. Gladstone treats the claim that 'Tea Party protesters hurled racial slurs at black legislatures after passage of the health care bill' as fact. And she uses this 'fact' to ask us to consider the source (Mr. Breitbart), because he 'refused to believe it'.

So because Mr. Breitbart has gone and pulled off this ridiculously stupid stunt, his credibility is shot. And, ironically, in order to prove that Mr. Breitbart had no credibility in the first place, Ms. Gladstone uses a 'fact' that simply isn't true.

Wow, this has become way to circular for me. I am going to stop now.

Jul. 25 2010 11:12 PM
raul from san francisco

In my view this is a media story and as usual the media absolves itself of any responsibility.

The Dept. of Ag. asked for the tape and they got the same clip that appears on you tube. Should the White House know more than the organization that had held the conference and taped the event?

The media IS more responsible. For instance, did anyone at NPR ask NAACP for the tape? Let's forget asking for the unedited tape. I bet they didn't.

Add to this, the fact that Fox News was beating the drum on a daily basis, which should have been the 1st clue. Then there is the insect who sliced and diced the tape & made it public.

The bottom line is that the media, primarily the TV media, is not doing it's job. We get sensation and not the facts.

The other problem is the respect afforded to Fox News. When the White House wanted to treat Fox as a media outlet & not a new agency, you all backed Fox News.

I understand the complications of the issue but Fox is a political op. for the GOP plain and simple. Day in and day out spreading lies about the Administration. Doctoring tape, organizing Tea Party rallies for god sakes

I love NPR & On the Media, Brooke especially, but your colleagues in the mainstream press are not doing their jobs. If the whole 4th estate thing is now meaningless think of your reputations.

We the people need the press and we are being failed.


Jul. 25 2010 04:04 PM
Jay Tea from http://wizbangblog.com

Sherrod was fired before Word One was spoken on Fox News. She said that she was told that she "would be on Glenn Beck tonight," and Beck's show airs at 5:00 p.m. EST. Therefore she was fired before 5:00 p.m. Fox News didn't air one story about her until after 8:00 p.m.

Sherrod was fired not because of what Fox News said, but because the Obama administration feared what they would say.

And Breitbart has put up an offer of $100,000 for videotape showing protesters calling the Black Congressional Caucus "the N-Word" at that protest rally. No one has tried to claim it. On the contrary -- not one of the videos shot at that incident and released so far has caught the elusive epithet.


Jul. 25 2010 10:45 AM

For the last time, the blame lies squarely with Vilsack and any other Administration official who acted (or should I say reacted) without first investigating. If last year's condemnation of Fox by Obama didn't happen, this would be a different story. But since Obama has already stated that he does not think Fox is credible or truthful, the reaction by any official to a story supposedly expected to air on that very network tells me everything I need to know. Why are you afraid of Fox, Obama administration, and why would you suddenly assume that they are 100% factual? Have you decided that your little war last year was a farce? Further, this story should have begun and ended with Breitbart. Now it's become about everyone BUT him.

Jul. 25 2010 01:06 AM
Tim Hellen from Memphis Tn

David I'm not so sure Fox News did not touch the story until after her forced resignation was made public. Midweek, they seemed to be claiming credit for getting her fired. In an article on FoxNews.com dated Tuesday July 20 they reported "The Agriculture Department announced Monday, shortly after FoxNews.com published it's initial report on the video, that Sherrod had resigned." Tim

Jul. 24 2010 10:24 PM
Erich Riesenberg from Des Moines, Iowa

Obama apologists are more disappointing than the Bush apologists.

I am ashamed for my state of Iowa which gave Obama his first win. Standing in a school gym for 3 hours on caucus night for this sort of cowardice?

Jul. 24 2010 01:49 PM

If you listen carefully, Bret Baier said his show "Special Report" did not cover it; he did not say that it was not covered elsewhere at Fox. And SJP, "cleverly deflecting the blame to the Obama Administration?" It's fine to be biased and have favorites, but implying that the White House got snookered is perhaps a worse thing to say about the Obama Administration than to say they simply made a mistake in rushing to judgment.

Jul. 24 2010 01:24 PM
David from Lawrenceville, NJ


What Fox apparently means is that - as Howard Kurtz reported - "for all the chatter -- some of it from Sherrod herself -- that she was done in by Fox News, the network didn't touch the story until her forced resignation was made public..."

See story here:

Jul. 24 2010 11:40 AM
Tim Hellen from Memphis Tn

What does Fox News mean when they say they "did not do the story" ? I heard Brit Hume and Bill O'Rielly bragging that Fox covered the "story" when it was ignored by the "main stream media". Tim

Jul. 24 2010 11:13 AM
David from Lawrenceville, NJ

Brooke, your commentary says "consider the source." And we certainly should. But not just with new media.

There are two aspects of this that I hope you explore further in upcoming broadcasts.

1) It does not just seem to be an individual blogger-site like Breitbart or - would we never mention it? - Daily Kos that delivers talking points, but the mainstream media has developed their own, and it's undercover (somone call Carl Malamud). As Howard Kurtz said this week with regard to the "Journolist" story (should this story not be right in the On the Media wheelhouse?) "But there is no getting around the fact that some of these messages, culled from the members-only discussion group Journolist, are embarrassing. They show liberal commentators appearing to cooperate in an effort to hammer out the shrewdest talking points against the Republicans -- including, in one case, a suggestion for accusing random conservatives of being racist." So this came out the same week. And you have Joe Klien and Jeff Toobin on that list? Caveat Emptor!

2) Everyone is calling everyone else a rascist. That seems to be the theme of these stories. Karl Rove is a rascist. Fred Barnes is a rascist, Glen Beck is a rascist, Shirley Sherrod is a rascist, Barack O'Bama is a rascist.

Maybe the time for all media - in the age of a black president - is to take a step back whenever that word is used.

Jul. 24 2010 09:53 AM
SJP from Bronx

It is telling that Ms. Gladstone reserves her criticism for the true victims of this hoax. Instead of condemning the original deception, she joins Glen Beck in cleverly deflecting the blame to the Obama Administration. It might have been more useful to remind listeners of the Acorn videos. Unfortunately, the source material for that hoax will not surface. It is not unreasonable to have wanted to avoid another protracted smearing.

Jul. 24 2010 08:00 AM

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