In the past six days, you couldn't swing a dead cat without hitting some liberal media member claiming that Fox News was responsible for Shirley Sherrod's dismissal from the Agriculture Department.
So obsessed with this idea were the folks on PBS's "Inside Washington" Friday that the lone conservative on the panel Charles Krauthammer had to defend FNC's honor like a knight in shining armor protecting a princess from a gang of marauding Huns.
Two days later, CNN's Howard Kurtz and Politics Daily's Matt Lewis did their darnedest to convince Salon's Joan Walsh of the facts - unfortunately to no avail.
Getting fed up with the stupidity from his colleagues on the left, Mediaite's Steve Krakauer Sunday evening tried to once and for all put this matter to rest:
The truth is, Shirley Sherrod wasn't mentioned on air until 8:49pmET (according to TV Eyes), during a pre-taped Bill O'Reilly show. It is the fact that it was recorded earlier that makes the timeline more complicated, but what we do know is by the time O'Reilly made it to the air she had already resigned. In fact, before the show was even taped, around 5pmET, she had already resigned (although it hadn't been made public yet).
But Krakauer wasn't done exposing the truth:
The rest of cable news is in largely the same boat as Fox News. The clip aired on CNN Monday night too - in a report on Anderson Cooper 360 by Joe Johns. In it, Johns described the clip as a "YouTube video" (and no mention of the source), and said it showed Sherrod talking about how she "withheld help to a white farmer." All three cable news networks covered the story on their morning shows without any mention of Sherrod disputing the context. On MSNBC's Morning Joe, guest Margaret Carlson of Bloomberg said, "How about if Shirley and Mark Williams, the tea party guy, are locked in a room together as their punishment" - a reference to the legitimately-ousted conservative.
Hmmm. Makes you wonder why there aren't any witch-hunts being organized to burn Carlson at the stake. But Krakauer still wasn't done:
And by 9amET Tuesday, all three cable news networks - CNN, Fox News and MSNBC - were reporting the story in full context. They were all showing the clip (many times), but also all pointing out that Sherrod was speaking out against it. CNN was helped by having Sherrod on-air during American Morning.
Imagine that. By Tuesday, Fox's coverage of this story wasn't any greater than anyone else's. But that hasn't stopped the shills in the media from pointing their hypocritical fingers:
The knocks on Fox, though, are misplaced. Have they driven the Black Panther story to potentially race-baiting extremes? You could make a case for that. But although it would be convenient to say Fox News' relentless coverage of this internet video led to Shirley Sherrod's unfair ouster, it's just not true.
No, it's not. But as Fox News's Chris Wallace pointed out Sunday, facts are a very inconvenient thing when they interfere with one's agenda.