We're fast approaching the two week anniversary of the Shirley Sherrod affair, and I have yet to hear anyone honestly answer the following question concerning the controversy:
How would the media have handled this matter if it happened when George W. Bush was President?
Would the press have acted the same, or would somebody else be taking the heat?
Before you answer, consider the following hypothetical scenario:
- On July 19, 2006, Markos Moulitsas publishes the same excerpted videos of Sherrod at Daily Kos
- She is scheduled to appear at 8PM EDT with Keith Olbermann on MSNBC's "Countdown"
- Hours after the video's release, the NAACP condemns her actions in a written statement
- Hours after the video's release, she is forced to resign from the USDA
- Olbermann plays the video on his July 19, 2006, program as do other MSNBC hosts after him
- On July 20, 2006, Sherrod appears on CNN's "American Morning," and tells the hosts the whole story while blaming MSNBC and the Netroots.
Under that scenario, what would happen next?
Would the NAACP reverse its condemnation and point accusatory fingers at MSNBC and Moulitsas?
Would the resulting media firestorm be days of allegations of racism hurled at MSNBC, Moulitsas and Olbermann?
Assume days later Sherrod announced that she was going to sue Moulitsas for starting the whole controversy. Would press outlets appear supportive of her case and discuss its merits?
OR, would all the blame be given to George W. Bush for his hapless handling of this matter?
After all, what has been mostly glossed over by the Obama-loving press is how easily a competent president could have resolved this controversy.
As soon as the Administration became aware of the Sherrod videos, Mrs. Sherrod should have immediately be summoned to the White House and told not to speak to any media members until after the meeting.
The full video of her address should have been obtained, and NAACP members in attendance at the March 27 event should have been contacted to get their take on what transpired. At the same time, the head of the NAACP should have been contacted and asked not to issue a statement until after the White House had time to investigate the matter.
If the Obama administration had done all this, Sherrod NEVER would have been fired, and the controversy likely would have been over by Wednesday.
Of course, none of this would have sheltered Andrew Breitbart from the usual media haranguing, but it would have been far less if Sherrod was never forced to resign.
As such, going back to our hypothetical scenario, if this all happened in 2006, would the media be going after MSNBC, Moulitsas and Olbermann, or would virtually all the blame be placed on George W. Bush's doorstep?
If the answer is Bush, then why are Fox News, Glenn Beck and Breitbart taking all the heat now instead of the current White House resident?
Yes, that's a rhetorical question.