The Media Tornado Around Shirley Sherrod
Matt | On 26, Jul 2010
Wow, what a week it was last week for the media, the President, the USDA, and the “star” of the show .. Miss Shirley Sherrod!
I swear if I hear this woman’s name one more time, I’m going to scream! I didn’t post about the topic because of some other standing commitments last week. However, we wouldn’t be Prune Juice Media without saying SOMETHING about this crazy controversy.
To recap, this hot mess started early last week when Andrew Breitbart, a conservative commentator, posted a video clip on BigGovernment.com of Shirley Sherrod, the Georgia State Director of Rural Development for the United States Department of Agriculture, speaking to an NAACP chapter. The severely edited video showed, what looked like, Sherrod being racist to white farmers.
Well, when the media got wind of this video, they went crazy. She talked about how she didn’t go above and beyond for a white farmer facing foreclosure in 1986. There was just one little problem. Shirley told the story as part of a larger dialogue showing how she overcame those ways and went on to develop a very strong relationship with the farmer and his family.
At this point, the media had gone ballistic and the Secretary of the USDA (Tom Vilsack) had called for her resignation. But, there were 40+ more minutes of video to prove Shirley’s point that she wasn’t a racist and had a come to Jesus moment 20+ years ago.
Long story short, Shirley was fired from her job then had it offered back to her. She made the rounds on (what seemed like) thousands of hours of interviews. The lady practically lived in front of a camera and hot mic for a week. President Obama even called her personally to apologize about the situation. [There had been whispers in the wind that the White House originally pushed for her resignation, but there’s little proof of that.]
I’ve heard this woman called everything from a racist to “the next Rosa Parks..” Are they really serious? Ok, so she was a director in the USDA. AND?! I feel like Shirley had her moment in the sun and now I energy better focused on REAL news. I’m sorry that Shirley had to be a national whipping girl for media attacks, but damn, I didn’t even see the 9/11 families on TV that much! ::smh:: She’s a “victim” of sorts, but does she have to play the same role every single day. And what victim is always instantly ready for camera time and satellite media tours?! C’mon Shirley..
While I do take minor issue with Shirley, the media is the real culprit here. Shame on Andrew Breitbart and FOX News for purporting the original clip (or failing to denounce its inaccuracy) and allowing it to grow into a frenzy! The real scoop is that Breitbart was trying to go after the NAACP who just two weeks ago formally denounced the Tea Party as racists. So, the Sherrod video was supposed to be their “gotcha moment” against the NAACP. Well, the sh&t backfired! That’s what they get.
The fallout is that Andrew Breitbart still looks like an asshole. FOX News is no more of a credible news source than before July 19 when the controversy began. The media is still making huge earth-moving stories out of ridiculous pieces of news. Viewers and readers could still give two sh*ts about any of this stuff.
Are we any better off now than we were before? Not hardly, in my opinion. Who’s going to be the next Shirley Sherrod or Andrew Breitbart to blow up with a week of non-stop fame? Uggh..