Howard Dean to Fox News: Your Coverage of Shirley Sherrod ‘Absolutely Racist’ (Video)

July 25, 2010

(ChattahBox)—The subject of race and the Shirley Sherrod story dominated the Sunday talk shows this morning, as pundits and media outlets attempted to conduct a postmortem on the fiasco. Conservatives have been quick to place the entire blame on the Obama administration and the NAACP, conveniently forgetting the role of the BigGoverment right-wing smear merchant Andrew Brietbart. And Fox News has been quickly whitewashing its early role in promoting Brietbart’s fraudulent edited video of Sherrod, labeling her a racist. Against this backdrop, former Vermont Gov. Howard Dean and Fox News’ Chris Wallace mixed it up this morning, as Newt Gingrich just finished blaming President Obama, for his attack on Shirley Sherrod as “viciously racist.” Said Dean to Wallace, “Fox News did something that was absolutely racist.” And the fireworks erupted from there, when Wallace falsely claimed that Fox News never mentioned Sherrod’s name before she was fired. This ugly episode has been quite the teachable moment, hasn’t it?

During his appearance on Fox News Sunday, after just listening to Gingrich say Obama made him do it, Dean got right to it:

DEAN: “Fox News did something that was absolutely racist,” Dean said. “They had an obligation to find out what was really in the clip. They had been pushing a theme of black racism with this phony Black Panther crap and this business and this Sotomayor and all this other stuff.”

Wallace responded that Fox News’ hands were clean:

WALLACE: “I know facts are inconvenient things but let’s try to deal with the facts.” Which are that the Obama administration preemptively and unfairly fired Shirley Sherrod and that Sherrod’s name was never mentioned on Fox before the USDA fired her. “Did you know that, sir?”

Dean pushed back, pointing out that Fox News aired Brietbart’s edited clip without bothering to determine its validity:

“The Tea Party called out their racist fringe and I think the Republican Party’s got to stop appealing to its racist fringe. And Fox News is what did that. You put that on. Continuing to cater to this theme of minority racism and stressing comments like this — some of which are taken out of context — does not help the country knit itself together.”

Yes, Mr. Wallace facts are indeed inconvenient. Let’s take a look at Fox News’ coverage of the Shirley Sherrod story.

Media Matters compiled a chronology of Fox News’ promotion of Brietbart’s character assassination of Shirley Sherrod just hours after the discredited story appeared on his BigGovernment website:

“On July 19, FoxNews.com reported: “Days after the NAACP clashed with Tea Party members over allegations of racism, a video has surfaced showing an Agriculture Department official regaling an NAACP audience with a story about how she withheld help to a white farmer facing bankruptcy.” The article further reported that “[t]he video clip was first posted by BigGovernment.com” and that “FoxNews.com is seeking a response from both the NAACP and the USDA.” The article is no longer available on FoxNews.com but was republished on another website”

After percolating all day on FoxNews.com and FoxNation.com, Bill O’Reilly showed Brietbart’s edited clip that evening and demanded that Sherrod resign.

“On his Fox News program, Bill O’Reilly stated that “Sherrod was caught on tape saying something very disturbing. Seems a white farmer in Georgia had requested government assistance from Ms. Sherrod.” After airing Breitbart’s video, O’Reilly stated: “That is simply unacceptable. He also said Sherrod “must resign immediately.”

“In the next hour, Sean Hannity led off with the Sherrod story, which he called “Just the latest in a series of racial incidents.” Fox contributor Newt Gingrich then said that she had displayed a “viciously racist attitude.”

“Later that evening, subbing for Greta Van Susteren on On the Record, Dana Perino said Sherrod had been “caught on tape making racially charged comments to an NAACP audience,” and said the video “adds fuel to a growing controversy after the NAACP approved a resolution condemning the tea party movement for not denouncing racist members.”

The next morning, Brietbart’s video was played on Fox & Friends, as the hosts portrayed Sherrod as a racist:

“On Fox News’ Fox & Friends, Steve Doocy said Sherrod had been caught “making a speech to the NAACP that sure sounded racist.” Co-host Alisyn Camerota then accused Sherrod of “touting this in this anecdote as though this is, you know, a feather in her cap, somehow, for her to be congratulated.” Then Camerota and Doocy agreed that the comments were “Exhibit A” as far as “what racism looks like.” On-screen text during the segment read, “Racism caught on camera” and “USDA official admits racism on tape; Forced to resign after dicey video leaks.”‘

“On Fox & Friends, Laura Ingraham praised Breitbart’s video and his coverage of the story, stating “Andrew Breitbart, by the way, did a great piece on this whole thing. Fantastic.” Ingraham went on to ask “where was the media on this” and claimed that it took “Breitbart to come forward with this story.”‘

Fox News has been promoting an ugly campaign of racial rage and race-baiting, for months leading up to its disgraceful attack on Shirley Sherrod. This is nothing new.

Watch:


Comments

6 Responses to “Howard Dean to Fox News: Your Coverage of Shirley Sherrod ‘Absolutely Racist’ (Video)”

  1. majii on July 25th, 2010 5:45 pm

    If they only knew. Most of us African Americans spend so much time dealing with our own issues, just as whites do, that we don’t have time to dedicate to plotting to hate anyone. I think those who are pushing the “African Americans are racist and want to harm you” card, would be quite surprised to discover that they have been fed a steady diet of daily BS meant to make them afraid of every AA they see, including President Obama. We also have jobs, families to care for, and financial/other problems to deal with. Furthermore, I often wonder what makes certain people so fearful of others.

  2. HowCanOneKnow on July 25th, 2010 10:11 pm

    Very informative and enlightening. I have one obvious question:

    As written the article above:
    “On July 19, FoxNews.com reported: “Days after the NAACP clashed with Tea Party members over allegations of racism, a video has surfaced showing an Agriculture Department official regaling an NAACP audience with a story about how she withheld help to a white farmer facing bankruptcy.” The article further reported that “[t]he video clip was first posted by BigGovernment.com” and that “FoxNews.com is seeking a response from both the NAACP and the USDA.” The article is no longer available on FoxNews.com but was republished on another website”

    Please publish the address of the website which re-published the FoxNews article. I am certainly interested in viewing the evidence more closely.

  3. JPRAustin on July 25th, 2010 10:59 pm

    What Dean has to say about anything is as relevant as what Jesse Jackson and Al Sharpton.have to say. Why any news outlet gives these three clowns air time is beyond me. Than again, I’m just a racist.

  4. HowCanOneKnow on July 26th, 2010 9:46 pm

    I didn’t see the answer to my previous question.

    You wrote: …”The article is no longer available on FoxNews.com but was republished on another website”…

    To which website has the Foxnews.com content been republished for everyone’s further review, please?

  5. Sue on July 26th, 2010 10:30 pm

    HowCanOneKnow:

    Thank for your comment and your interest. The original FoxNews.com article on Brietbart’s smear of Shirley Sherrod that appeared on Jul 19, can be found here and here.

    On July 20, the article was deleted and replaced with another article noting Shirley Sherrod’s resignation and the initial condemnation from the NAACP.

    The July 20 article can be found here.

    Sue

  6. HowCanOneKnow on July 29th, 2010 12:26 am

    Wow!

    If the linked posts are accurate, FoxNews should be ashamed. of themselves.

    However, the fact that they may have covered it, but- according to your links- they didn’t call for her resignation, may present a problem in proving Fox’s culpability for the USDA’s potentially unwarranted actions to dismiss her, though.

    I didn’t see the part that Glen Beck was going to show it at 5 o’clock.

    Regardless, it was very informative. THANKS!

    George

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