How could the White House have screwed up so badly in the case of Shirley Sherrod, the Georgia USDA official who Wednesday received an apology from the Obama administration (through Robert Gibbs and Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack)?
Sherrod was the victim of a smear by the right-wing agent provocateur Andrew Breitbart and his fellow travelers at Fox News. (Yes, that side has adopted some Leninist tactics, as conservative antitax activist Grover Norquist has admitted over the years.) They took a two-and-a-half-minute clip from Sherrod's address to the NAACP and used it to depict her as a black racist who discriminated years ago against a white farmer. It turns out the farmer thought Sherrod had been a terrific help, and a full review of Sherrod's speech suggests that, far from being a racist, she had honestly (and successfully) worked through the complex racial preconceptions we all carry around in our heads.
Later in his post, Alter added more spin and half-truths by noting that:
On Thursday's CBS Early Show, fill-in co-host Erica Hill discussed the firing of Shirley Sherrod with left-wing Georgetown University professor Michael Eric Dyson, who used the opportunity to slam conservatives: "...there's unfair pressure on the Obama administration, Mr. Obama himself, from, I think, the far right wing, which perceives black gain at the expense of white security."
Dyson used the phrase "right wing" a total of eight times throughout the five-minute segment. He lamented how the White House "caved into duress and stress from the right wing" and later pushed the false claim that Fox News had pushed the Obama administration to fire Sherrod: "And it does show that Andrew Breitbart and other right-wing bloggers have an intense power, this is focused at Fox News, that then forces the mainstream media to pay attention and the White House itself got roped into this."
At one point, Dyson remarked: "...it's not just a matter of 'oh, those right wing guys over there are horrible,' there's liberal enlightened racism as well." Hill responded: "The NAACP initially jumped on this and said – and condemned – condemned Sherrod as well. So, I mean, this is coming from all sides. This is not just a right wing issue or a left wing issue." Dyson admitted that he thought the NAACP acted "dishonorably," but quickly moved back to conservatives: "...why do we take the word of a right-wing media on the issues and practices and behaviors of people in the broader mainstream? I think we have to be very careful here."
Memo to media members wishing to invite the Tea Party Founder on your show, or use him as a source for your biased reports: He isn't exactly who you think he is.
Since the NAACP voted to condemn extremist elements in the Tea Party, news networks, sites, and liberal blogs have rushed to include ‘Tea Party Founder', Dale Robertson, in their reports. Problem being, Dale Robertson as Tea Party anything has frequently and thoroughly been, um ... ‘refudiated'.
Despite this, the media has a history of holding Robertson up as a shining example of Tea Party racism. Why? Robertson once demonstrated a level of ignorance that boggles the mind by holding a sign reading "Congress = Slaveowner, Taxpayer = (N-Word)", at a Houston Tea Party Society (TPS) event.
The reality however, is that Robertson has predominantly self-described, if any, links to the Tea Party movement, while legitimate factions of the movement have had to repeatedly distance themselves from the man. Robertson was expelled from the event at which he was holding the aforementioned sign on the very same day. He was formally denounced in a statement released by the Houston TPS. He was called ‘no friend' of the Tea Party at Pajamas Media, and mocked at RedState. He was shown to be for his infamous sign, before he was against it.
So logically, the media has decided to help further the cause of the NAACP by bringing Robertson back out of the shadows. Since word of the the NAACP resolution got out, Robertson's name has appeared at...
Appearing on Wednesday's Dylan Ratigan Show on MSNBC to discuss the Shirley Sherrod controversy, Politico co-founder Jim VandeHei pointed out the NAACP's role in fueling racial accusations: "If you think about this, where this thing started, the NAACP comes out and makes this charge against the tea party movement."
VandeHei rejected the NAACP's claim of racism in the political movement: "It's a very, very diffuse group. You cannot say that they are racist anymore then you can say the Republican Party's racist or the Democratic Party is racist, so it creates this culture and it's a dangerous topic, it's a dangerous fire to light, and then when it happens this is the outcome."
Explaining how the NAACP charge led to the accusations against Sherrod, VandeHei observed: "I'm not defending Breitbart. But conservatives are outraged, they feel like 'listen, you're – because I'm part of the tea party movement you say, therefore, I'm racist.' And so what Breitbart's arguing is 'I want to push back.'"
On Wednesday’s Fox & Friends, co-host Steve Doocy took strong exception to the NAACP’s claim it was “snookered” by Fox News into denouncing former Agriculture Department official Shirley Sherrod based on excerpts of a speech she delivered at a dinner in March.
“There’s a timeline problem,” Doocy pointed out, noting that the NAACP had on Monday night denounced Sherrod as “shameful,” the same day that she was pressured to quit her job (she says by the White House). But Fox News never mentioned the story until after Sherrod had quit. “So for anybody to say that Fox News pressured her out, that is simply a lie,” Doocy asserted.
ABC and CBS last week jumped to advance the NAACP’s charge of racism within the Tea Party movement with friendly stories which provided corroboration for the allegation as neither identified the left-wing group’s ideology. On Tuesday night, however, the ABC and CBS evening newscasts had a sudden concern for the accuracy of the racism charge leveled against a USDA official via video posted by BigGovernment.com, a group the networks were quick to label “conservative” as they painted Shirley Sherrod as a victim of distorted editing of the video of her remarks – as if the news media never do that.
Meanwhile, the NBC Nightly News, which last week managed to refrain from promoting the NAACP’s anti-Tea Party agenda, ran a full story on Sherrod and BigGovernment.com’s “lie,” but also ran the very first broadcast network story on the Justice Department’s refusal to pursue the New Black Panther Party voter intimidation case.
“We turn now to a story about race, politics and what constitutes a rush to judgment,” ABC anchor Diane Sawyer intoned. (Last week: “The NAACP has just adopted a resolution this evening at its annual convention condemning quote, ‘racist behavior by Tea Party members.’”) Jake Tapper referred to “a conservative Web site posting a video clip of Department of Agriculture official Shirley Sherrod at an NAACP event talking about meeting with a white farmer...” He noted the NAACP, which had condemned Sherrod, later in the day “reversed course, saying they'd been snookered by conservative media.”
What's the key to pulling your political organization out of "irrelevancy"? Well if you're the NAACP, you can start by hammering on allegations of Tea Party "racism."
News coverage of the NAACP has exploded since the "nation's oldest and largest civil rights organization" passed a resolution last week attacking the Tea Party for including "racist" elements in its organization.
Not only has the story spawned hundreds of news articles, but the network news stations have also taken notice. In just six days - from July 13 to July 18 - the NAACP's feud with the Tea Party was discussed on eight network news shows on ABC, CBS and NBC.
"And what about the NAACP`s new charges of racism against elements of the Tea Party? We`ll bring in the head of the NAACP, Ben Jealous, and one of the leaders of the Tea Party, David Webb," Bob Schieffer said on "CBS Evening News" on July 18.
Managing Editor's Note: Earlier today, Media Research Center President Brent Bozell demanded that the media cover the explosive video footage of an NAACP banquet speaker admitting her racist views and abuse of power that led to her resignation as a Department of Agriculture official yesterday. The full text of that statement is found below:
The liberal media are deliberately spiking the shocking video that reveals an NAACP banquet speaker admitting her racist views and actions. We’ve waited a full 24 hours to see if any coverage of this exposé would surface. So far, nothing but crickets. The ABC, CBS and NBC evening and morning ‘news’ shows have all failed to even mention the damning video admission that is dripping with disdain for white people and that caused the official to tender her resignation.
Worse yet, it comes from the NAACP, the same organization that has feverishly accused the Tea Parties of racism. The thoroughly untrue accusation against the Tea Parties has been propped up and propelled by the incessant reporting of these same networks. Yet they decide to thwart this story about the NAACP.
The only thing more newsworthy than the charges of racism are the hypocritical charges of racism. The media must report this scandal.
The USDA employee that was forced to resign Monday as a result of racist comments she made at an NAACP gathering in March has blamed Fox News and the Tea Party for her inability to convince her employers of her innocence.
As NewsBusters reported Tuesday, Shirley Sherrod, the USDA's Rural Development director for the state of Georgia, delivered a racism-laden address at the NAACP's 20th Annual Freedom Fund Banquet back on March 27.
On CNN's "American Morning" Tuesday, after Sherrod said that the video published by Big Government didn't accurately depict what really happened, host John Roberts asked, "When the U.S. Department of Agriculture came to you and said you have to step down, why didn't you just say, wait a minute, you don't know the full story?"
Sherrod amazingly answered, "I did say that, but they, for some reason, the stuff that Fox and the Tea Party does is scaring the administration" (video follows with transcript and commentary):
On Monday, Andrew Breitbart, on his blog Big Government, revealed video of a Department of Agriculture official making racially charged comments at an NAACP meeting in March. While the media were quick to jump on the civil rights organization accusing the tea party of racism last week, they have failed to provide any coverage of this controversy.
The comments were made by the USDA's Georgia Director of Rural Development Shirley Sherrod at a NAACP Freedom Fund dinner in Georgia on March 27. As the video clearly shows, Sherrod's description of discriminating against white farmers was well received by the audience. The comments stirred so much controversy that Sherrod resigned Monday night and Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack was forced to issue a statement on the matter: "“There is zero tolerance for discrimination at USDA, and I strongly condemn any act of discrimination against any person.”
As NewsBusters' Noel Sheppard earlier reported, none of the network evening news broadcasts touched the story on Monday . On Tuesday, the CBS Early Show, NBC's Today, and ABC's Good Morning America were all silent on the controversy and resignation. However, all three morning shows did manage to focus on a recent verbal gaffe made by Sarah Palin.
The Associated Press on Monday published a news item that would more correctly be called a shameless press release on behalf of the NAACP.
Writer Allen G. Breed followed the liberal group to Raleigh for a recent show of kabuki theatre. The cause? Getting the Wake County school system to continue the antiquated method of forcibly busing students to far-flung neighborhoods in pursuit of racial integration.
Never mind that the minority-heavy county brought sweeping changes to the school board by giving Republicans control last year - on the very platform of ending integration. And never mind that the majority of African-Americans living there are either opposed or indifferent to school integration. The NAACP knows what is best for them.
"For ABC to be giving aid and comfort to these lies is absolutely disgraceful," Bozell argued on the July 16 "Media Mash" segment on FNC's "Hannity."
Also discussed on Friday's appearance was how the media persistently insisted that ObamaCare would not allow for federal funding of abortion and that conservative critics were misleading the public by claiming as much. Now, months after Democrats strong-armed generally pro-life Democrats into scuttling their objections and voting for the health care overhaul, MRC's CNSNews.com is reporting on how abortion will be covered on health insurance in at in at least two states under ObamaCare provisions.
"The reality is Doug Johnson and the National Right to Life Committee nailed this one right on the head.... It was true, it's perfectly true," Bozell noted of conservative warnings of taxpayer-subsidized abortion under ObamaCare.
CNN this weekend invited a "diversity consultant" on its "Saturday Morning" program that actually likened black Tea Party members to Jews that worked as guards in Nazi concentration camps.
For his part, host T.J. Holmes did a fairly good job of playing devil's advocate to his two race-baiting guests, Dr. Marc Lamont Hill of Columbia University and Luke Visconti, owner of Diversity Inc.
Despite Holmes's efforts to impart some balance to the discussion -- imagine that! -- the schedulers might have done a better job finding an opposing view to the disgustingly offensive anti-Tea Party rhetoric on display.
Unfortunately, after reading some of what Tea Party Express's Mark Williams wrote at his blog Wednesday, a sickening hatefest against the movement commenced (video follows with transcript and commentary, h/t NBer math4life):
George Will on Sunday challenged Vice President Joe Biden and the Chicago Tribune's Clarence Page about the as yet unproven allegation that a Tea Party member called a black Congressman the N-word earlier this year.
During the Roundtable segment of ABC's "This Week," host Jake Tapper asked Page about the recent resolution by the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People condemning alleged racism in the Tea Party.
Page replied, "We can debate over whether or not Congressmen really were called the N-word or not. It's a he said/he said dispute."
Will was having none of this, and marvelously addressed the flaw in Page's thinking (video follows with transcript and commentary):
A senior official of the NAACP appears to have further undermined the credibility of his organization when, in a Fox News debate with Project 21's Deneen Borelli Friday, he directly contradicted something he said on Fox News Tuesday.
The debates centered on the controversial, though still secret, NAACP resolution adopted this week at the NAACP annual convention, which alleges racism within Tea Party events. A number of Tea Party officials and attendees have hotly disputed the charge, including a series of black Tea Party speakers, organizers and attendees whose statements have been published at BigGovernment.com.
Shelton replied to Borelli, referring to a Tea Party rally held in March, "I was. As a matter of fact… I was on Capitol Hill at that tea party rally…"
It seems impossible that Shelton could have been telling the truth both times, raising the question: If a senior official of the NAACP is confortable telling a fib on national television, whatever else might the organization be fibbing about?
CBS News contributor Nancy Giles rudely told St. Louis Tea Party founder Dana Loesch to shut her mouth during a panel discussion on Wednesday's "Larry King Live."
In the midst of a heated debate about allegations of racism within the movement, Giles asked, "Where is the Tea Party's outrage when members of their own party spit on members of the United States [Congress]?"
Loesch accurately replied, "That was proved false. Let's not engage in defamation and libel."
"Excuse me," barked Giles. "I'm talking so shut your mouth."
When Loesch told Giles, "Be honest when you speak and I wouldn't have to interrupt you," Giles again barked, "You know, Larry, can you just turn off her mike?" (video follows with transcript and commentary):
On Thursday's Newsroom, CNN's Don Lemon conducted a confrontational interview of a black tea party member and disputed his assertion that the U.S. is "more divided now, racially, than any other time in modern history." Lemon bizarrely reached back to the Confederacy to challenge his guest's claim: "Some of the reasons for the Civil War....was racism....How can you say the country is more divided now?"
The CNN anchor brought on the Reverend C. L. Bryant during a segment eight minutes into the 10 am Eastern hour to discuss the NAACP's recent condemnation of the tea party's "racism." After playing a clip of Bryant from the 2009 9/12 tea party rally in Washington, DC, where the tea party leader accused the Obama administration of "building walls of racism... [and] class-ism," Lemon first asked, "What do you think about this new resolution from the NAACP?" Bryant replied, "Well, unfortunately, those types of statements...are echoes of the left at this point in time."
Think it's just a coincidence, or could this be a response to President Obama's plummeting poll numbers and the panic in the liberal media that November could be a realigning election that results in a massive Republican sweep of Congress?
Before you answer, consider the following written Wednesday by Gina Loudon, the founder of Buycott Arizona:
Keith Olbermann on Wednesday said the recently adopted resolution by the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People condemning alleged racism within the Tea Party "was kind of mild."
Speaking with NAACP President Ben Jealous on MSNBC's "Countdown," Olbermann asked, "Do you think that what you passed was actually kind of moderate?"
With a straight face, Olbermann continued, "Because it struck me that, that one of the points that you emphasized was that the Tea Party is, is not a racist movement, but is merely tolerating racism and bigotry by its, by its members."
Still with a straight face, "I thought that was kind of mild" (video follows with commentary):
A night after ABC's World News elevated the NAACP's allegation that the “Tea Party movement is a threat to the pursuit of human rights, justice and equality for all,” the CBS Evening News pitched in to advance the charge from the unlabeled liberal group. Over “BIGOTRY ALLEGATIONS” on screen beneath a Tea Party sign, from New Orleans Katie Couric teased at the top of her Wednesday newscast: “The NAACP accuses the Tea Party movement of tolerating bigotry.”
Anchoring from New York, Harry Smith announced “the Tea Party movement has come under fire from the NAACP. The accusation: the party tolerates racism in its ranks.” John Dickerson related the charge the “Tea Party tolerates racists, says the NAACP, and these signs allegedly made by Tea Party supporters, are proof.” The two signs shown, “Obama's Plan: White Slavery” and “Obama, What you talkin about Willis! Spend my money?”
Explaining how the NAACP's resolution calls “on Tea Party leaders to 'repudiate those in their ranks who use racist language in their signs and speeches,'” Dickerson featured expert comment from race-hustler Al Sharpton who insisted the Tea Party mission “is to reverse what civil rights did.”
Four months after ABC's World News spent a weekend defaming anti-ObamaCare Tea Party protesters as “very ugly” with “reports of racial and homophobic slurs,” citing “protesters roaming Washington, some of them increasingly emotional, yelling slurs and epithets,” Tuesday's newscast, unlike those on CBS and NBC, credentialed the NAACP's charge that the “Tea Party movement is a threat to the pursuit of human rights, justice and equality for all.”
Sans any ideological label, anchor Diane Sawyer set up the full July 13 story: “The nation's oldest civil rights organization, the NAACP, has just adopted a resolution this evening at its annual convention condemning quote, 'racist behavior by Tea Party members.'” Reporter Dan Harris relayed:
The NAACP points to the racial epithets allegedly hurled at black members of Congress by Tea Party members during the health care debate and to the racist signs that critics say they spotted at Tea Party events to support its conclusion that the “Tea Party movement is a threat to the pursuit of human rights, justice and equality for all.”
Going to a Tea Party leader who is black, Harris pressed: “We've all seen the signs. There have been signs that compare Barack Obama to a monkey, there have been signs that have had the 'n' word on them. When you see those signs, how do you feel?”
The Los Angeles chapter of the NAACP last week forced Hallmark to pull from its shelves a graduation card the civil rights group deemed racist.
"Printed on the card, is dialogue such as, 'Watch out, Saturn, this grad is gonna run rings around you!'" reported the Orange County Register on June 3.
"And on the audio chip that plays once the card is opened, [characters] Hoops and Yoyo continue their riffing on all the things new graduates are going to do once they get out there to take on the universe...'And you black holes -- you're so ominous! And you planets? Watch your back!'"
But as KABC-TV reported, folks at the NAACP hear the words "black whores" (video follows with additional quotes from the OC Register and commentary, h/t Hot Air headlines):
The Pentagon rescinded the invitation of evangelist Franklin Graham to speak at its May 6 National Day of Prayer event because of complaints about his previous comments about Islam.
The Military Religious Freedom Foundation expressed its concern over Graham's involvement with the event in an April 19 letter sent to Secretary of Defense Robert Gates. MRFF's complaint about Graham, the son of Rev. Billy Graham, focused on remarks he made after 9/11 in which he called Islam "wicked" and "evil" and his lack of apology for those words.
Col. Tom Collins, an Army spokesman, told ABC News on April 22, "This Army honors all faiths and tries to inculcate our soldiers and work force with an appreciation of all faiths and his past comments just were not appropriate for this venue."
A brief (and humorous) hypothetical: What would the reaction of the mainstream media be if Sean Hannity took the video of President Obama’s obeisant greeting of the Japanese Prime Minister, and turned it into a video loop to be played in the corner of the screen whenever Obama was the subject du jour?
MSNBC’s Rachel Maddow did a very similar thing with Republican National Chairman Michael Steele on Friday’s edition of ‘The Rachel Maddow Show.’
You may remember the mildly irritating pop-up starring Steele that inhabited the redesigned GOP.com at its first launch. It would launch in the upper corner, helpfully explaining the features of the site like the infamous Microsoft Word paper-clip assistant. Maddow revived this animation for use as a ‘bug’ in the corner.
MADDOW: Also, I‘m very proud that for the first time ever, we had a little dancing Michael Steele as the bug in the corner of our segment there.
On Monday’s The O’Reilly Factor, FNC’s Bill O’Reilly gave attention to the recent dustup between Democratic Senator Barbara Boxer and National Black Chamber of Commerce CEO Harry Alford, as O’Reilly hosted Alford to discuss Boxer’s recent attempt to use other black organizations to discredit Alford’s opposition to Cap and Trade during a Senate hearing. While Boxer declined to appear on the show, O’Reilly defended her in his discussion with Alford, arguing that her attacks on black political figures like Justice Clarence Thomas are rooted more in her opposition to their conservative views than by race, while Alford renewed his criticisms of Boxer. Alford:
It was pure race. It was like down there in Mississippi back in the bad old days when one black preacher would rise up against the big boss. He'd go find another black preacher to fight against that black preacher. You know, it was ugly. And she jumped, she opened up a mud pit that I wasn't going to jump into.
Marking the 100th anniversary of the NAACP on CBS’s Sunday Morning, correspondent Bill Whitaker wondered: "A black president who addresses black issues unflinchingly...Attorney General Eric Holder dedicated to equal justice...some say begs the question, is the NAACP needed anymore? Is it even relevant? Is it time for the venerable organization to say ‘mission accomplished’?"
Later in the segment, Whitaker answered that question: "[Current NAACP President Benjamin Todd] Jealous and [former NAACP President Julian] Bond say with one of fifteen black males behind bars, with black students in inferior schools, with almost half of black homeowners in subprime mortgages...there’s plenty of work to do."
On NBC’s Nightly News on Wednesday, correspondent Ron Allen similarly questioned the NAACP’s relevance: "With an African-American in the White House and many discrimination battles won, the question is whether the NAACP is still necessary." Allen, like Whitaker, cited the organization’s leadership: "Jealous says the battle now is to close the social and economic achievement gap between people of color and mainstream America...A fight for justice and equality he insists must be carried on."
Neither Whitaker nor Allen applied a liberal political to the NAACP or featured any critics of the organization’s left-wing causes.
On Friday’s CBS Early Show, correspondent Randall Pinkston described President Obama’s Thursday address to the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People: "The crowd responded to his soaring, almost sermon-like rhetoric."
Obama’s speech was part of the NAACP’s annual convention and marked the 100th anniversary of the organization’s founding. Fill-in co-host Jeff Glor introduced Pinkston’s report by declaring: "The NAACP has spent a century trying to break down racial barriers...last night's anniversary party in New York featured the man who broke the ultimate barrier."
In contrast to the two news briefs the Early Show dedicated to the President’s speech, both ABC’s Good Morning America and NBC’s Today offered only single-sentence reports. [audio available here]
Now that Sen. Jeff Sessions, R-Ala. has been named the ranking member of the Senate Judiciary Committee, some on the far-left are gunning for Alabama's junior senator. The battle is happening as President Barack Obama is on the verge of naming an appointee to the Supreme Court to fill void of Justice David Souter.Some of the left-wing points that suggest Sessions has racist tendencies were incorporated into a May 6 Politico story by John Bresnahan and Manu Raju.
"By elevating Alabama Sen. Jeff Sessions to their top spot on the Senate Judiciary Committee, Republicans have selected their chief inquisitor for President Barack Obama's first Supreme Court nominee: a Southern, white conservative man who has drawn fire for racially insensitive comments in the past," Bresnahan and Manu Raju wrote. "Democrats like how this is looking."
The story sets up Sessions to be on the defensive about race by spinning the senator's own history. According to the Politico story, Sessions had been accused of unfairly targeting black civil rights workers for election fraud charges as a federal prosecutor during a 1986 Senate hearing for a spot on the federal bench.
You too can save the planet from the effects of carbon emissions by participating in the symbolic gesture of turning off one light switch at a time for Earth Hour on March 28.
That's the message from actor Edward Norton, the official U.S. ambassador for Earth Hour 2009, who appeared on CNN's "Larry King Live" on March 25. As Norton explained, this is a symbolic event for which everyone turns out their lights from 8:30 p.m. to 9:30 p.m. local time on March 29. And this act will encourage world political leaders to cap or tax carbon emissions through the legislative process by demonstrating "global unity."
"You're right. The act of turning out the lights for an hour - is, it's not an act of conservation," Norton said. "It's not, um, meant to say that, ‘By doing this, we're going to solve the problem.' I think it's a symbolic act of global unity, of highlighting the number of people who do think this is one of the central issues of our time and motivating our leaders to take, um, purposeful and aggressive action on this issue."