Wednesday, July 21, 2010

Destroying Shirley Sherrod or how conservatives shoot themselves in the foot

Andrew Breitbart has just confirmed all of the left wing critiques of conservative criticism of the Obama administration and the Democratic Congress. In the blog entry at he posted a couple short clips from a speech by Shirley Sherrod, an Agriculture Department employee to the NAACP. In these clips Ms Sherrod comes out as a black racist.

The internet and conservative media (e.g. Bill O'Reilly and Sean Hannity of Fox News) jumped on the story, demanding Ms. Sherrod's resignation, though she has already resigned by the time their shows aired. The NAACP was left accused of racism and trying to do damage control.

Since then a video of Ms Sherrod's full speech has been posted ( The full video shows not a black racist, but somebody who has learned the world isn't just about race. After coming out, Ms Sherrod has received apologies, a new job offer, and an apology from Bill O'Reilly (who should have done his homework, as he says in the apology).

By taking Ms Sherrod's comments out of context Mr. Breitbart has implied that since he couldn't find a real criticism of the current administration, he'd have to create one. It has lumped him in with MSNBC (when they showed a man holding a gun and implied the Tea Party movement is racist, cutting off the man's head since he was black) and others who distort the truth to fit their own political agenda.

Watching the full video, there are a lot of things conservatives can criticize. While Ms. Sherrod isn't racist, she does seem to have fairly left wing politics, dividing people into "haves" and "have nots". Mr. Breitbart could have written about this aspect of the speech, been perfectly accurate, but would not have stirred up near the controversy.

Even worse, while I don't agree with Ms. Sherrod's politics and she did push some government subsidized programs, the overall message of the speech was for people (blacks in this case as the audience was the NAACP) to be responsible and take responsibility for your life.

Mr. Breitbart might have done better praising Ms. Sherrod.,

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