All you need to know about how Fox News handled the Sherrod story

Posted by: ST on July 25, 2010 at 10:28 am

Thanks, Howard Kurtz:

But for all the chatter — some of it from Sherrod herself — that she was done in by Fox News, the network didn’t touch the story until her forced resignation was made public Monday evening, with the exception of brief comments by O’Reilly. After a news meeting Monday afternoon, an e-mail directive was sent to the news staff in which Fox Senior Vice President Michael Clemente said: “Let’s take our time and get the facts straight on this story. Can we get confirmation and comments from Sherrod before going on-air. Let’s make sure we do this right.”

Sherrod may be the only official ever dismissed because of the fear that Fox host Glenn Beck might go after her. As Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack tried to pressure her into resigning, Sherrod says Deputy Undersecretary Cheryl Cook called her Monday to say “do it, because you’re going to be on ‘Glenn Beck’ tonight.” And for all the focus on Fox, much of the mainstream media ran with a fragmentary story that painted an obscure 62-year-old Georgian as an unrepentant racist.

On Monday night, O’Reilly played the clip posted by conservative activist Andrew Breitbart on his site He led his Wednesday program by criticizing some of Sherrod’s language but acknowledging his own mistake: “I owe Ms. Sherrod an apology for not doing my homework . . . and for not putting her remarks into proper context.” While the excerpt showed Sherrod, an African American, telling the NAACP in a speech that she had discriminated against a white farmer as a nonprofit aid officer 24 years ago, the full speech made clear she was saying she had overcome that race-based bias and learned an important lesson.

In his Monday comments, O’Reilly credited Breitbart with posting the excerpt and concluded that her remarks were “simply unacceptable. And Ms. Sherrod must resign immediately.” O’Reilly taped the show at 5 p.m., and by the time it aired about 8:50, USDA had announced Sherrod’s resignation (as Fox noted on the screen). Fox executives say O’Reilly’s staff, which is not part of the news division, sought comment from USDA throughout the day.

But I’m sure the far left, led by the dishonest whiners at Media Matters, will continue to push the “it’s Fox’s fault!” meme, because – as we all know – they never allow facts to get away in the middle of a good old fashioned rant/race-baiting. So much easier and effective (for them) than dealing with the real issue here, and that is the racism that is rampant at the NAACP, an organization which Andrew Breitbart accurately described as being in no position to lecture the Tea Party on alleged “racism” within its ranks.

Saul Alinksy would be awfully proud of how certain folks on the left – including their allies in the MSM – have attempted to make this about “conservative media outlets” and “anonymous bloggers” rather than the NAACP’s racism, wouldn’t he?

PM Update – 8:41 PM: Mediaite has a great rundown not only of how Fox handled the Sherrod story, but how the rest of the MSM did as well. Good stuff.

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11 Responses to “All you need to know about how Fox News handled the Sherrod story”


  1. Pasadena Phil says:

    There is no point defending Fox News anymore. They officially caved to the left today on Fox News Sunday on this issue. Falsely accused of peddling this story on racist motivations, Fox accepted the leftist MSM narrative that irresponsible conservative bloggers were to blame. They didn’t even try to respond to the oft-repeated accusation that the Tea Party movement is racist.

    I urge everyone to visit Powerline, Reihl World View, Rush Limbaugh and BigGovernment for the correct position on this issue. The entire tape does NOT absolve Sherrod of her deep-seated racist bigotry. In fact it makes things worse. At the end, she lies about her shock at the racist Tea Party response to Obamacare. Breitbart’s point was dead on. The NAACP is a racist organization and that tape proves it in both the edited and unedited version.

    For the conservative media to cave on this and abandon Breitbart to the wolves is unacceptable. Sherrod is not Rosa Parks. She attained her government position under shady circumstances which is why the WH was so quick to fire her. Google Pigford case. They couldn’t risk having her in the news at all and so they fired her.

  2. Wayne says:

    The story is about the White House firing Sherrod without a hearing or even a discussion with here. They did not bother to get the facts. Its idiotic to blame fox or blogs.

  3. The left heaping criticism upon Fox News is not news at all. Fox has been under siege by the left since nearly the inception of the network. By focusing on Fox’s supposed wrongdoing in the Sherrod case, they press avoids the sticky issue of their own lack of ethics regarding the torpedoing of the Wright story and of Sarah Palin which is just the tip of the iceberg so far as I am concerned.

    I believe that Sherrod’s actions were racist, that she still harbors racism, and that the NAACP went right along with her. That having been said, her racist views are her own and if they did not surface at her position at USDA she should not have been terminated unless thought crime is now a reason for termination. Racism is not a white problem because it is a problem for humanity. There are racists with every skin color on planet Earth and Sherrod proves that point. What separates racists from non-racists is the moral high road. Do we judge a person by their skin color or do we judge them by the content of their character?

    It would seem to me that the perpetually whining left usually takes the low road. As an example, by tying Barrack Obama’s policies to his skin color they declare any opposition to those policies racist. That is and of itself racism. Obama is the President of the United States of America and therefore is the most powerful man on Earth. He didn’t get there by the black vote alone. In fact, he didn’t get there by the vote of all minorities alone. The simple fact is that Obama could not have won the White House without the white vote. America is still 70% white and that the white majority elected a black man to the highest public office in the land is the strongest argument against racism that can be made against the leftist assertion.

    By hammering Fox News with charges of incompetence, racism, and stupidity the left seeks to neutralize the only source of news that is not under their thumb. As such, Fox News becomes the last barrier to their socialist utopia. Thus it is no wonder the left and the mainstream media hate Fox News.

  4. NC Cop says:

    No, no, no, it’s because Fox News is RAAAAAAACIST!!!!

    So says left winger, and complete moron, Howard Dean:

    Dean: Fox News “racist”

    “I don’t think Newt Gingrich is a racist, and I don’t think you’re a racist,” Dean told Fox News host Chris Wallace, “but 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 this Sotomayor and all this other stuff.”

    What an idiot. I like the reference to the “phony Black Panther crap” as well as Sotomayor.

    As has already been previously noted, this is nothing more than a smoke screen for Obama. They are directing all of the attention on Fox News rather than the White House.

    It’s amazing how these incompetent democrats are tearing down this country piece by piece.

  5. PE says:

    I have deciphered the left’s comments, including those of the NAACP, and have identified their fundamental theme: it is Death. Death to Fox, Death to the Running Dog Imperialists, Death to the Great Satan.

  6. 42 minutes says:

    The entire speech that Sherrod gave is 42 minutes long. It’s NOT the slightly longer clip that is being aired as putting her story in context. I am girding up to listen to more than a half-hour of what I read is a rambling, poorly written speech that has more Sherrod racism in it. Perhaps I’ll spare myself. After she said that Breitbart wants to take us back to slavery days I knew this lady is not very bright.

  7. SamHenry says:

    Great post. Sherrod has been in government what – over 20 years? She knew the President was involved.

  8. JanSilver says:

    Scrolling through the news today and the blogs that I read, it occurred to me how much I was reading lately on how much the words racism and racist were being thrown around haphazardly.
    I wonder if anyone is becoming numb to this and just rolling their eyes when you hear the “R” word like I do? Do the ones who scream the “R” word really think the public are stupid enough to believe it too?
    I saw a clip of Morgan Freeman and 60 Minutes where he was asked how do we end racism? Morgan’s answer was stop talking about it and don’t call me a “Black” man. Quite simple and effective.

  9. Carlos says:

    Until someone proves differently, I will be convinced that it was the Georgia affiliate of the NAACP that doctored the tape and sent it to Breitbart, possibly as an unidentified person or persons out to get Sherrod. If that is so, then who is/are the racist(s) here?

    And so far, that’s the most logical thing I can make of this whole mess.

  10. Jo says:

    If they destroy Fox, where will we get the true stories out there? They would love to silence every Conservative blog, news outlet, talk radio, etc. and they will continue to whine RACISM over any little thing–and Sherrod is racist and the NAACP is the most racist organization in America but fear from the quiet right fuels them on.