They distort, you decide. If you’ve been following the Shirley Sherrod story on rightwing media, it turns out that you’re following the wrong story. The Shirley Sherrod story you got from Andrew Breitbart and Fox News wasn’t exactly true. In fact, it came about as close as something can to being exactly false. The tape of Shirley Sherrod was more edited than a version of “War and Peace” cut down to appear on the back of a milk carton (FULL video below).
Breitbart and Fox News took a story that was heartwarming made it bone chilling. The whole point of Shirley Sherrod’s complete speech was racial harmony and getting along. In other words, her whole point was not to do exactly what the rightwing media then did to her. I guess Andrew Breitbart wasn’t listening to the speech when he selectively edited it. That’s hard to do. This is like taking Martin Luther King’s “I Have A Dream” speech and cutting it up into a call for race war. In reality, Shirley Sherrod’s story was a story of transformation. Well, the rightwing media turned it into a story of transformation of a whole different sort. Instead of the transformation of a person, this became the story of the transformation of a piece of videotape. And that’s not nearly as inspiring. The lesson here to the mainstream media? Never make a decision based on what you hear from Andrew Breitbart and Fox News—unless of course your decision is based on the assumption that everything they say is a lie. You’re probably pretty safe there.
The NAACP bravely backtracked on their initial reaction to the Shirley Sherrod story. Unfortunately, they were backing up the bus after they had already thrown Sherrod underneath it. The NAACP said it had been “snookered by Fox News and Tea Party Activist Andrew Breitbart.” Let’s add “snooker” to the list of things that Fox News does—right after lie, distort, smear, and mislead. Maybe Fox News should just run with the “snooker” thing. That could be their new tagline. Instead of Ashton Kucher saying “you’ve been Punked,” they could have Megyn Kelly telling people “you’ve been Snookered!”
By the way, Andrew Breitbart stood by his hack job. He said on CNN “This is showing racism at an NAACP event.” Well he’s partially right. It’s certainly showing racism—Andrew Breitbart’s racism.
Today's Homework Here's the complete video of Shirley Sherrod's speech (the relevant portion begins around the 16 minute mark