Breitbart Lies About Shirley Sherrod: do facts actually matter anymore?

By John

[This post has been edited to correct the spelling of Breitbart and Sherrod]

Update: here’s the full original video from the NAACP site, also via TPM:

Update II: go here to sign a petition to support Sherrod being reinstated.

While the NAACP is receiving death threats over their call for the ‘tea parties’ to repudiate racists elements in their midst, the rightwing republican blogs are getting the vapors over a very deceptively edited tape of an Ag Department official who is made to appear to admit to blatant racism against a white farmer. The conveniently redacted video is of a black woman, Shirley Sherrod, explaining how she encountered racial tension and her own mixed feelings, 24 years ago, before working through the difficulties, helping the white family keep their farm and becoming friends with them.

I first saw the video at redstate, although it was first put out by Brietbart’s Big Government site, the same site that put out the very deceptively edited ACORN videos, which created an equally untrue perception. It was clear that it was strategically cut, literally it stopped Sharrod in mid sentence when it appeared she was going to explain how her first reactions were mistaken.

TPM is working on getting the whole, unedited, tape, which a local production company is holding until it gets permission from the local NAACP chapter to release it.

Sharrod has spoken to the Atlanta Journal Constitution and CNN — Media Matters has the video, which I can’t embed. I’ll put it up here as soon as it’s available in a format wordpress supports.

So, do the actual facts matter here? Or are we just going to accept the false rightwing republican narrative that has counter factually smeared Shirley Sharrod, just as they did to ACORN, Van Jones, Dawn Johnson and countless others?

[From the AJC article] The wife of the white farmer allegedly discriminated against by the USDA’s rural development director for Georgia said Shirley Sherrod “kept us out of bankruptcy.”

Eloise Spooner, 82, awoke Tuesday to discover that Sherrod had lost her job after videotaped comments she made in March at a local NAACP banquet surfaced on the web.

But Spooner, who considers Sherrod a “friend for life,” said the federal official worked tirelessly to help the Iron City couple hold onto their land as they faced bankruptcy back in 1986.

“But Tuesday morning, Sherrod said what online viewers weren’t told in reports posted throughout the day Monday was that the tale she told at the banquet happened 24 years ago — before she got the USDA job — when she worked with the Georgia field office for the Federation of Southern Cooperative/Land Assistance Fund.

Sherrod said the short video clip excluded the breadth of the story about how she eventually worked with the man over a two-year period to help ward off foreclosure of his farm, and how she eventually became friends with the farmer and his wife.

“And I went on to work with many more white farmers,” she said. “The story helped me realize that race is not the issue, it’s about the people who have and the people who don’t. When I speak to groups, I try to speak about getting beyond the issue of race.”


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30 responses to “Breitbart Lies About Shirley Sherrod: do facts actually matter anymore?

  1. jeff

    That last line in the excerpt is what SHOULD make all this hooplah a non-story. 24 years ago Sherrod had some disgusting, innapropriate, racist thoughts. She worked hard to overcome them and has since learned from her mistakes. THIS was the story she was telling in the video at the NAACP rally in March.

    Instead, the crazies like Hannity, Beck, and redstate have taken this as their “shining moment” to scream from the rooftops “Look! Black people are racists! And it’s all Obama’s fault.”

    I’m sure there are a LOT of people in this country on both sides of the political aisle that have had racist thoughts, but this woman admits her shortcomings in an attempt to teach others to look “beyond the race issue” and she is condemned.

    • Rich

      Hi Jeff,

      You are correct in that I think she is trying to overcome her bias of white folks. A couple things I come away with is her references to only doing the minimum for a white farmer and his lawyer was “one of them, you know white, his own kind.”
      But to me I am more concerned over her comment “Republicans are doing things because we have a black president.” I believe this is calling republicans racists and acting on that racism just because of a black president. I can’t speak for others but I am against almost every piece of legislation he wants. Not because he is black but because I believe it is not the best path for our government to take. Healthcare is now projected to cost between 1 TRILLION and 1.5 TRILLION more than promised when passed. That is only for the first 10 years and we are collecting taxes for 9 years and paying benefits for only 7 years. This is unacceptable to me. Als she talks about giving 100% loans from the USDA basically to people who cannot get loans otherwise. Sounds familiar just like fannie and freddie where this whole thing started with arney Frank Maxine Waters and the other dems giving loans to people who can’t repay them. She wants MORE Government money for more loans etc etc. Government feeding on itself. I for one say stop the spending, cut the size and scope of Govt. Get our financial house in order before we become a second class country. Enough entitlements.

  2. rich

    On a local note the new president at the U of Illinois wants to hire his executive secretary at 195K per year. The last 2 made 107K and 165K. In this era of budget cuts and high unemployment I believe there are highly qualified people out there for a lot less $. He should be restraining increases in salaries not bloating them. Do you have the trustee email addresses as I would like to voice my opinion to them.

  3. blahgblog

    no one said all republicans were racist. they certainly appeal to racists, such as through the southern strategy, willie horton, calling obama a foreigner, hyping the new black panther party story and going after sherrod.

    but who said all republicans were racist?

  4. Rich

    Well it appears obama is the one after Sherrod!! Willie Horton? The New Black Panther Party? Such nice boys. Why won’t obama release his college information nor the Long birth certificate? Arizona passed legislation that the original long form must be recorded to be on the ballot in 2012. Lets see if that happens. It is rumored, and I admit rumored that he accepted citizenship from another country to receive their scholarship money. Also I am not sure if the U.S. accepts dual citizenship and allows that person to be elected president. All he has to do is release those records. This will hound him until he does.

  5. blahgblog

    oh, gawd. you’re a birther?

    you’re a loon if you believe that crap. the bc has been shown.

    do you also believe he’s a secret muslim?

    what about the moon landings? were they faked too?

    • Rich

      Funny, I just read your “What is blahgblog? And in there you ask for other opinions etc but no name calling or bomb dropping and in your 2nd response to me you call me a loon. intersting

      • blahgblog

        as i said, you’re entitled to your own opinions, not your own facts.

        if you have doubts about obama’s citizenship, rejecting all the voluminous evidence out there that clearly contradicts your view, then you are not fully in the real world. sorry, but it’s just loony.

  6. Rich

    No a birth certificate has not been shown. A notice of birth has been. I do not believe he is secretive about being a Muslim but I know he bowed to one, something no other president has done to any other head of state. I find this troubling.

  7. blahgblog

    you lie — the bc is all over the web. other presidents have bowed to other leaders before — another lie.

    you are clearly misinformed by rightwing sites and fox but you have only yourself to blame for your willing self delusion.

  8. Rich

    Oh, excuse me for disagreeing with you and your info. You are the most well informed with all the correct info from your elite leftist news sources. I try to have a discussion and you attack. When someone will not open their college records and wants to be my president it sets off warning signals in me. I am sorry you are so blind you can not see that.

  9. blahgblog

    look, man. the bc has been shown. yet you deny it.

    you’re entitled to your own opinion but not your own facts.

    and it’s not just ‘elite leftists news sources’ — whatever they are; care to give some examples? the uber rightwing site redstate thinks birhters are crazy and bans them for bringing it up.

    why are you so obsessed with seeing this president’s records? to me it looks like racism. you’re grasping at straws in your attempts to delegitimize him.

    you say i ‘attack[ed]’ you. but you mentioned some loopy — and easily disproven — falsehoods. you may think i’m attacking you for noting that you’re saying things that just aren’t true, but that’s not going to make me stop calling you out.

    you don’t get to lie and then somehow prevent me from saying you’re lying by saying that in doing so, i’m attacking you. it doesn’t work that way.

  10. Rich

    you called me a loon, that sounds like degrading name calling to me. I know the web is the best place to get information if it is on there it has to be true. The bc on the web is a notice of live birth not the actual bc. Like I said if it was produced why would Arizona pass the law that an actual Birth Certificate has to be on file for anyone wanting on the ballot for the office of president of the United States? Seems to me they were not satisfied with the copy on the web.

  11. blahgblog

    i’d say it’s an accurate label. there’s no point in debating you though. it’s like debating a creationist/id proponent about the reality of evolution via natural selection.

    you are clearly not interested in rational, fact based debate.

  12. Rich

    Could you post the actual birth certificate you speak of? Then I could become a believer. That aside please find out and inform me the unenlightened why he will not release his college information.

    HB 1388 PASSED

    You just spent $20,000,000 to move members/supporters of Hamas , a terrorist organization, to the United States ; housing, food, the whole enchilada.

    HB 1388 PASSED

    Whether you are an Obama fan, or not, EVERYONE IN THE U.S. needs to know….
    Something happened… H.R. 1388 was passed, behind our backs . You may want to read about it… It wasn ‘ t mentioned on the news… just went by on the ticker tape at the bottom of the CNN

    Obama funds $20M in tax payer dollars to immigrate Hamas Refugees to the USA . This is the news that didn’t make the headlines…

    By executive order, President Barack Obama has ordered the expenditure of $20.3 million in “migration assistance” to the Palestinian refugees and “conflict victims” in Gaza .

    The ” presidential determination , ” which allows hundreds of thousands of Palestinians with ties to Hamas to resettle in the United States , was signed and appears in the Federal Register .

    Few on Capitol Hill, or in the media, took note that the order provides a free ticket replete with housing and food allowances to individuals who have displayed their overwhelming support to the Islamic Resistance Movement (Hamas) in the parliamentary election of January 2006 .

    Now we learn that he is allowing thousands of Palestinian refuges to move to, and live in, the US at American taxpayer expense.

    These important, and insightful, issues are being “lost” in the blinding bail-outs and “stimulation” packages.

    Doubtful? To verify this for yourself: http://www.thefederalregis p/2009-02- 04-E9-2488

    • blahgblog

      it took about 13 seconds to debunk yet another example of your rightwing flasehoods:

      ‘This rumor stems from an article in the New Media Journal, a right-leaning site that describes itself as focused on “threats of aggressive Islamofascism and the American Fifth Column.” (For the record, this site has posted other articles comparing Obama to Hitler and calling Islam “a pathological doctrine and a vestige of long ago barbarism.”) The article in question claims that President Obama has signed an executive order allocating $20.3 million for refugees in Gaza, but that “few on Capitol Hill took note that the order provides a free ticket replete with housing and food allowances to individuals who have displayed their overwhelming support of the Islamic Resistance Movement (Hamas) in the parliamentary election of January 2006.”

      Obama did indeed sign a memorandum (functionally identical to an executive order) allocating $20.3 million from the Emergency Refugee and Migration Assistance Fund for refugees and conflict victims in Gaza. ERMA allows the president to appropriate any amount up to $100 million to meet “unexpected urgent refugee and migration needs.” The money drawn down from ERMA is put to use by the State Department’s Bureau of Population, Refugees, and Migration. But in this case, the money would provide humanitarian aid, not migration assistance.’

      and, since you asked for it, factcheck also did a nice job with the birth certificate lie:

  13. rich

    So what do you have to say about Journolist?

    A group of so called objective reporters and journalists emailing each other with ideas of how to discredit and attack Palin and become the unofficial DNC for electing obama. Pretty disgusting stuff huh? Journalists actively trying to shape elections even if they have to lie or stretch the truth. But leftist leaning media outlets would not do that, right?

    • rich

      Oh yeah what were you saying earlier about facts, we could use yours but not mine. LOL

    • blahgblog

      journolist was a bunch of progressive bloggers and writers working at progressive outlets. shocking that they would have progressive opinions, huh?

      another non story cooked up by the rightwing echo chamber.

      you can believe obama is not a citizen, that he is too nice to muslims, and that he is just like hitler. but that doesn’t make it so.

      also, i asked you to withdraw you obama-hitler comparison. please do so or i’m afraid i’ll have to ban you.

      that is not serious discourse.

  14. rich

    I thought you removed it already

  15. rich

    It was not opinions if you read their emails. It was planning an attack on Palin mainly to discredit her. They decided not to attack her on her lack of experience because obama has even less experience than her. But again you didnt read the emails and as always wont believe them if you do. Blind faith is dangerous.

    • blahgblog

      i think you’re hardly a person to lecture on blind faith.

      do you understand that they are opinion writers? what, opinion writers can only be conservative?

  16. rich

    So now that president hussein has apoligized to Ms. Sherrod all is forgiven. No bad knee jerk decisions by our commander in chief and even if there were it is forgiven. I can only imagine your OUTRAGE if Bush did this!!!!!! Your blog would be lit up like a christmas tree, not a holiday tree but a christmas tree. LOL

    • blahgblog

      ‘president hussein’? ‘christmas tree not holiday tree’?

      you have serious issues. why are you bothering to come here if you don’t want to have a real debate?

  17. Rich

    Lohan who? I cant believe the news coverage being given to a spoiled 20-something yr old.Here are a few 20 yr-olds worth knowing about: Justin Allen 23, BrettLinley 29, Matt Weikert 29, Justus Bartett 27, Dave Santos 21, ChaseStanley 21, Jesse Reed 26, Matthew King 23, Christopher Goeke 23, &……Sheldon Tate 27. These 20-somethings gave their lives for you this week.

    • blahgblog

      i assume you’re referring to war casualties. if they died in iraq, then unfortunately, they did not die ‘protecting us.’ they died because bush and cheney lied us into an unnecessary war of choice. if they died in afghanistan, it’s increasingly hard to justify their presence — just being there exacerbates the situation.

      these are just two more disasters that bush saddled obama with. is obama dealing with them exactly as i would like him to? no. but bush got us in there and screwed things up and mccain/palin would have both worse by orders of magnitude.

      now, seriously, i’ve repeatedly asked you to withdraw you rant equating obama with hitler. this is the last time i’ll ask.

      • Rich

        Well if memory serves me correctly we have not had another massacre on American soil since 9-11. I say keep our country safe from would be attackers. Do you not read where these extremist want to kill all of us. carry a big stick and use when you have to.

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