Howard Dean Suggests Chris Wallace Deceived on Sherrod Video, Insists FNC ‘Pushed Hard’ Before Her Resignation

Appearing as a guest on Monday’s The Ed Show on MSNBC, former DNC chairman Howard Dean renewed his discredited claim that FNC had played clips of former USDA official Shirley Sherrod before her forced resignation, and suggested that Fox News Sunday anchor Chris Wallace had deceived him in denying that there was FNC coverage before her firing. Dean: "I happen to like Chris Wallace, but he was really not being exactly accurate when he talked about ‘we didn`t say one word about this before the Secretary of Agriculture fired her.’ The fact of the matter is they were pushing this story very, very hard all day. It may be true that they didn`t mention her name, but they sure did run the tape without mentioning her name."

Earlier in the show, host Ed Schultz had played the clip of Wallace correcting Dean’s assertions about FNC from the previous day’s Fox News Sunday. Wallace: "I know facts are inconvenient things, but let`s try to deal with the facts. The fact is that the Obama administration fired or forced Shirley Sherrod to quit before her name had ever been mentioned on Fox News Channel."

After Dean’s claims about FNC showing the Sherrod video, Schultz followed up by asking if Fox News is "racist in what they do," leading Dean to answer in the affirmative and to accuse Fox News of "inflaming racial hatred":

ED SCHULTZ: So is Fox News racist in what they do? You said that Chris Wallace is not-

HOWARD DEAN: Sure they are.

SCHULTZ: Okay.

DEAN: No, I don`t think Chris is. I like Chris. I wouldn`t go on his show if I didn`t think he was a decent guy. But the fact of the matter is, what Fox News is doing is inflaming racial hatred. They have this story line of black racism tolerated by the Obama administration. Their anchors do it, all kinds of people do it. In fact, Fox News is not news at all, it`s propaganda.

Dean repeatedly praised Wallace, saying he is a "straight shooter," but also asserted that "he does occasionally have to mouth the propaganda that Ailes tells him to. "

Below is a transcript of the relevant portion of the Monday, July 26, The Ed Show on MSNBC:

ED SCHULTZ: But this is the story that has me fired up to start our program tonight. Newt Gingrich and his allies at Fox News are on a seek and destroy character assassination mission against President Obama and the Democrats. Six days after recklessly throwing Shirley Sherrod under the bus without any facts, Newt was back at it. He was back at it again, and you guessed it, on Fox News Sunday. This time he has his sights set on President Obama.

NEWT GINGRICH, FROM FOX NEWS SUNDAY: A fair case can be made that this administration acted with destructive irresponsibility in the way that they fired her.

SCHULTZ: Take a look at how destructively irresponsible Newt was when he attacked Sherrod the night the story broke.

GINGRICH, FROM THE HANNITY SHOW ON FNC: Firing her after that kind of viciously racist attitude was exactly the right thing to do. And the fact that we have to be genuinely color blind, you can`t be a black racist any more than you can be a white racist.

SCHULTZ: Was that a 180? Chris Wallace asked Newt if he wanted to apologize for being irresponsible. Got a classic Newtster answer.

GINGRICH: Remember, I was operating in the context of the Secretary of Agriculture having summarily fired her, and therefore there was no reason to disbelieve the clip. And what you see was one more example of the Obama administration`s continuing incompetence.

SCHULTZ: So you accept Breitbart as a journalist. Gingrich has zero credibility on this issue, and he isn`t man enough to apologize to an innocent woman he smeared on national television.

The only continuing incompetence in this story belongs to Fox News and the rest of the conservative media for trying to convince you, the viewer, that Barack Obama has a deep-seated hatred for white people. Howard Dean went into their own foxhole and gave it right back to them.

HOWARD DEAN, FORMER DNC CHAIRMAN: Let`s just be blunt about this. I don`t think Newt Gingrich is a racist, and you`re certainly not a racist. But I think Fox News did something that was absolutely racist. They took a, 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 Sotomayor and all this other stuff. I think you got to be very, I think that, look, the Tea Party called out their racist fringe, and I think the Republican Party has got to stop appealing to its racist fringe. And Fox News is what did that.

SCHULTZ: Well, Chris Wallace broke out the Fox talking points to defend the right-wing network`s coverage.

CHRIS WALLACE, FOX NEWS SUNDAY: I know facts are inconvenient things, but let`s try to deal with the facts. The fact is that the Obama administration fired or forced Shirley Sherrod to quit before her name had ever been mentioned on Fox News Channel.

SCHULTZ: Fox wants you to believe when Ag Secretary Tom Vilsack jumped the gun, that it gave them just free rein to use an edited clip to paint the Obama administration as a bunch of closeted African-American radicals.

Newt and his buddies Beck and Hannity have pushed the fringe to believe that President Obama

has a hidden agenda to destroy white America. They desperately have tried to scare little old white ladies that the Black Panthers are just out to get them across the board.

Howard Dean nailed it. Fox News did exactly, what they did was absolutely racist during the Shirley Sherrod story. Until Newt Gingrich shows the guts to apologize, he`s no better than "Slant Head" or Andrew Breitbart. Sources don`t matter. It`s the mission that is so important. It`s the mission to destroy the progressive movement in this country. That`s their agenda over there. And that was the theme, one of the themes of my talks at the Nation Netroots national conference the other night in Las Vegas.

Democrats, we cannot be afraid to tell it like it is. Fighting fire with fire with 99 days to go to make sure Americans make the correct choice is really what it`s going to take, all hands on deck. And every time they state something that is false, or every time they try to position the Obama

administration as nothing but a bunch of radicals, if we sit here and just take that stuff, then we`re going to have an outcome that`s not good for America. They are out to destroy the progressive movement in this country at all costs. And if they have to play the race card to do it, any morsel of information, they`ll find somebody like a Breitbart that will twist up the tape and slant it out there, and that`s really what they do best. Get your cell phones out. I want to know what you think.

...

And the big thing about this is this: Fox is masterful at finding people like Newt to back up anything they throw out there. It`s like a machine. And in this information culture that we have, give it to me fast, make it easy for me to understand, don`t bore me with the details, it`s just unfortunate that so many Americans just suck it up carte blanche and say, "Ah, it`s easier just to listen and think it." We`ve got to be better than that as Americans. Joining me now is Governor Howard Dean, former chairman of the DNC. Governor Dean, good to have you with us tonight here on the Ed Show. ... You had a very aggressive nature yesterday, and I think a lot of people across this country who are liberals were saying it`s about time. Is this what the Democrats have to do to hold the majority in the midterm, in your opinion?

HOWARD DEAN, FORMER DNC CHAIRMAN: Yeah, we have nothing to be ashamed of. The truth is that the stimulus package has saved a ton of jobs, that the Bush economy, recession, would be much worse without the stimulus package. The truth is that the President has a very good, for example, environmental record. He signed the first executive order in the history of the country requiring the federal government, most of it, to comply with Kyoto. The truth is the Wall Street package didn`t go as far as a lot of people wanted, but it is much further than the Republicans wanted. And the truth is we got dug a deep hole by Bush and these very same people who want to go back to the Bush agenda. And we`ve got a lot to be proud of, and we ought to stand up and be proud of it.

SCHULTZ: No doubt. So do you think that the conservatives and the conservative broadcasters are going to play the race card any chance they get because of some of the successes you think that President Obama and his team has had? What do you think?

DEAN: Sure, they always do. And, by the way, you know, I happen to like Chris Wallace, but he was really not being exactly accurate when he talked about "we didn`t say one word about this before the Secretary of Agriculture fired her." The fact of the matter is they were pushing this story very, very hard all day. It may be true that they didn`t mention her name, but they sure did run the tape without mentioning her name. And they cranked up this story after getting this piece of junk from Breitbart, which any third grader could have told you was cut off.

SCHULTZ: So is Fox News racist in what they do? You said that Chris Wallace is not-

DEAN: Sure they are.

SCHULTZ: Okay.

DEAN: No, I don`t think Chris is. I like Chris. I wouldn`t go on his show if I didn`t think he was a decent guy. But the fact of the matter is, what Fox News is doing is inflaming racial hatred. They have this story line of black racism tolerated by the Obama administration. Their anchors do it, all kinds of people do it. In fact, Fox News is not news at all, it`s propaganda.

SCHULTZ: Looking forward, why do Democrats go on Fox News? What do they gain from it?

DEAN: Well, you know, there`s a debate about that which I think is legitimate. I go on because I like Chris and I think he`s a straight shooter, even though he does occasionally have to mouth the propaganda that Ailes tells him to. But I think he`s a good guy. I think other Democrats sometimes go on it because, you know, they do have an audience, and we need to talk to that audience. It`s really sort of like the 50-state strategy. If you never talk to people, then they get to believe all that nonsense they see on Fox every day. So I do think, even though I don`t do it myself except for the shows that-

SCHULTZ: So you think that Democrats have, wait a minute. You think that Democrats, liberals have to go on Fox to be successful?

DEAN: No, I don`t think so, and I think it`s sort of a matter of conscience. I don`t criticize people like myself who pretty much refuse except for Chris, nor do I criticize Democrats who decide to go on. I think everybody has to make that choice for themselves. There`s things to be said in favor of talking to the Fox audience, and there`s also things to be said staying off the programs run by bullies.

SCHULTZ: Governor Dean, good to have you with us tonight. Thanks for being aggressive on this issue. They play the race card every chance they possibly can. I appreciate your time tonight.