Wednesday, July 21, 2010

Deliberate Deception

(Photo-Charles and Shirley Sherrod with FLAG Executive Director, Susan Stokes.) This story is front page news, so I will be brief regarding what is everywhere. Tea bagger Andrew Breitbart deliberately pieced together an old video of a speech by an employee of a non-profit agency helping distressed farmers in 1986. He posted it at his web site Big Government, suggesting it was current. Fox News then slammed the airwaves, "Obama administration official in the USDA admits racial discrimination, denying assistance to white farmers."

Not wanting to appear sluggish or lacking in chutzpah, Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack quickly asked for her resignation.

Shirley Sherrod became a household word yesterday. At first, the NAACP bought the fabrication and denounced her remarks, but naturally it immediately launched an investigation to get the facts.

Fact: she didn't become part of the USDA until 2009.
Fact: the speech message was the exact opposite of what Breitbart manufactured.
Fact: she gave her all for the white farmers and succeeded in saving their farm.
Fact: those farmers came forward immediately, "She saved our farm. She was as nice to us as anyone could have been. Racism? That's ridiculous."

When the NAACP realized it had been completely scammed, it did what big people do. It admitted it had been duped, profusely retracted and apologized, called for the situation to be set right, and posted the FULL video at its website. Tom Vilsack should put her back in her position TODAY or at least initiate an inquiry that will reinstate her if the results vindicate her.

Sherrod got to have that rare experience where the worst day of your life and the best day of your life are the same day. Her entire life just altered.

Breitbart has really stepped in it, because that 43 minute speech is really quite good with some excellent lines, "It's really about those who have and those who don't, whether they are black or white or Hispanic." It is now going to be played and re-played over the next few days, and Shirley Sherrod is now front and center under the big lights as an African American woman doing the right thing who was deliberately slandered by a fat, white, male teabagger slime ball.

Breitbart is the same kook that forwarded the conspiracy that the new Missile Defense Agency logo was blending the Obama logo with Islamic symbols, revealing Obama's actions "fit an increasingly obvious and worrying pattern of official U.S. submission to Islam and the theo-political-legal program the latter’s authorities call Shariah."

Problem: The new logo was commissioned and created during the Bush Administration.

Breitbart's site suggested Supreme Court nominee Elena Kagan is secretly a Muslim, showing images of her wearing a turbin, "Ms. Kagan’s troubling tolerance of Shariah would, of course, have vastly more far-reaching implications should she reach the Supreme Court."

Problem: Kagan is Jewish.


Anonymous Anonymous said...

Vilsack wasted no time and has already called for a review of the situation. She will be exonerated quickly and reinstated.

One would hope that this would open eyes to the lying sham that is Fox News.

7/21/2010 7:17 AM  
Anonymous Observer said...

It is amazing that these assholes are not immediately recognized for the trash that they are.

Fox News is nothing a but a sheep herding organization for the feeble minded.

7/21/2010 8:49 AM  
Blogger The Navigator said...

I expect the right to just get more and more shrill and hysterical as their influence continues to slip. The rhetoric will just get more extreme and outlandish (Bachmann, Palin, etc.).

Also, I have to wonder how much of this is just greed. I think Limbaugh does what he does because it makes him a fortune. Odds are high that Palin is simply in it for the cash she can harvest fleecing the funny farm.

The missile logo thing and the obsession with "shariah" is quite telling.

7/21/2010 1:20 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

It is a sad fact about this country that the public does not explode with outrage towards the deliberate fabrication and shameless lying perpetrated by Fox News and the right wing nuts.

7/21/2010 6:15 PM  
Anonymous Thomas said...

What some don't realize is that, flaws duly noted, some of us learn, and this incident taught a lot.

That waste of air Fhead blogger may have scored a short term point, but he has exposed his ass to the world, and effective now every video, every soundbite, every massaged snippet of data is now going to be subject to scrutiny as never before.

I actually think this development is a net gain for America. The filth on the right exposed its nature to all but the lobotomized, and if the Republicans think this development improved their standing with the minority vote, they can just have another cup of the pink stuff.

7/21/2010 9:06 PM  
Blogger Liza said...

A truly amazing week for the wingnuts, wasn't it?

Adam Serwer of "The American Prospect" had two excellent blog posts on the Sherrod debacle:
Sherrod's Honesty is Sorely Lacking in our National Conversation on Race
Conservative Racial Victimhood.

I agree with Thomas that these people who attacked Sherrod exposed themselves for exactly what they are. But, I have to say, sometimes I am a little astonished by how low they can go.

Adam Serwer nails it.

7/23/2010 6:08 PM  
Anonymous Framer said...


Getting the choir back together again, I see.

Sherrod was fired before Fox even mentioned the story. Obama "acted stupidly." They were afraid that she was going to go onto Glenn Beck and speak, supposedly. Glenn Beck actually gave her the benefit of the doubt, something that Neither the administration nor the NAACP did.

But don't let that get in your way of your half of America is racist fantasy. That's the real thing that is amazing, the fact that you WANT those that you disagree with to be evil racists, even those you darn well know are not, because you are incapable of introspection and reasoned debate. There is definitely a lesson in Sharrod's story, but you completely miss it.

It was great that you were able to rail against the "cloth" when it effected you personally, but will swallow it whole when it drapes across the federal government and national press. You then flee to Academia which has more "cloth" per capita than any other institution in America (although admittedly less in your area of study.)

Don't worry, Conservatives and people that attend Tea Parties will continue to fight the battle locally that you ran away from. And as always, we will expect no help from your Nina Trasoff-voting choir of six.

Tick tock. . .

7/26/2010 10:48 PM  
Blogger Sirocco said...


"Sherrod was fired before Fox even mentioned the story."

This is factually incorrect. In fact, when discussing Sherrod's firing Fox touted their earlier coverage of the matter.

As far as the administration behaving stupidly, we are in complete agreement.

7/27/2010 6:38 AM  
Blogger Sirocco said...

To clarify my comment above - Fox unquestionably had the Sherrod story on their web site prior to her firing.

I do not know about the timing of the earliest mention of the affair on their television outlets.

It's also true O'Reilly taped his piece calling for her firing before she was actually fired. Since it was actually aired after she was fired the TV side may get to skate by ... but that's just a matter of fortuitous timing.

7/27/2010 7:30 AM  
Blogger x4mr said...

Sirocco is correct of course that Fox News was calling for her termination before it happened, and it did make the air on O'Reilly. Fox jumped on this like a drooling dog on a bitch in heat and heaved itself limp, and we all know it.

Framer, your remark that I want those who disagree to be racist has no support. I simply react to what I see. I was discussing the hatred on the right long before Obama's election or Tea in numerous posts such as the one with the T-shirts. You know this. I didn't produce the signs depicting Obama as a demon, or "white slavery" or "Hitler."

I despise Cloth at all levels and understand that, as you note, it exists at all levels, but I believe we pursue effective government by electing competent officials, not bat shit stupid lug nut morons like GW Bush, Sarah Palin, Sharron Angle, Tom Tancredo, JD Hayworth, and the rest of the incompetent buffoons an intelligent person like yourself somehow believes will improve our state of affairs.

We had an administration that pursued effective government, Bill Clinton. In a mostly untold story, that administration implemented vast and far reaching improvements in policies and practices, and it left us with a triple digit billion surplus.

Then YOU, Framer, and the GOP put shit in the WH, pure filth that served Big Rich, Big Oil, Big Pharma, Big Insurance, Big War Machine, Big Bank, BIG, BIGGER, and TOO BIG TO FAIL. Bush threw this country off a cliff, and it will take decades to pay the bill.

Regarding racism, social intolerance (homophobia, etc.), and the need for effective governance, my daughter captured it well, "Once the people born before 1950 are dead, we'll be able to address things."

7/27/2010 9:01 AM  
Anonymous Framer said...

Wow, X4mr.

You want to see a disgusting example of racism, and mysogyny all wrapped up in a neat package? How about the person who decided that posting this was a good idea.

Imagine someone showed up to a Tea Party carrying this same image except it was Michelle Obama. You would have went crazy. You give yourself a pass for doing the same thing.

Could you outline to me which of the following Obama does NOT bow down to?:

Big Rich, Big Oil, Big Pharma, Big Insurance, Big War Machine, Big Bank, BIG, BIGGER, and TOO BIG TO FAIL. The difference with Obama is that he is actually incorporating the biggest businesses into the government and punishing their smaller competition. You do realize that there is quite a difference to what the multi-thousand page bills do, and what he says they do, right?

Or how he has authorized the use of assassination of AMERICAN CITIZENS abroad. Or how Gitmo is still open, the war in Afghanistan is getting worse, and how we are running TRILION DOLLAR DEFICITS for the next 10 years at the minimum?

You want to give that a pass, that's your right. But you want to call people who disagree with you racists, I will respond that you are a coward.

Keep in mind that I don't do this to flame you, but because I have some respect for you. You can and have been better than that.

7/27/2010 9:55 AM  
Blogger x4mr said...

You are not flaming me, Framer, and the respect you mention is mutual. We go back a long way.

I stand by the Rice post discussing her horrible situation working for an inept, corrupt, and completely disastrous administration. The image is nothing compared to the demonic and hateful stuff done to Obama.

I agree with you that the legislation currently taking place has flaws, but it is attempting to address real problems that require real solutions. Working to address them, like the Civil Rights legislation of the 1960s, like financial reforms of the 1930s, is what moves the country forward. If the bill's issues continue to be problematic, fix them. It's called progress.

We can no longer pretend that lack of regulation works. Oil companies destroy. Pharmaceutical companies poison. Insurance companies deny coverage. Finance companies gut the entire economy. Corporations are soulless, and yes, in bed with government. I hate the corruption as much as you. That the Obama administration is tighter with corporate greed than GW Bush is a subject where we must disagree.

You can no longer assert that getting government out of the way leaves a functional system. I wish it did, but it doesn't. Lacking regulation, we get Enron, BP, AIG, Halliburton, Blackwater, and in education, the University of Phoenix. We get unbridled greed, the scorpions stinging the frog.

Frankly, as I have posted on several occasions, I don't know what Tea stands for, except hating Obama, hating government, and somehow thinking government spilled the oil, created the default swap fiasco, etc, etc, etc. It is interesting that they don't blame Bush for the obscene deficits we face.

Why is it that when a Republican is in office, deficits are just fine and dandy? Dick Cheney boasted on public television, “Reagan showed us that deficits don't matter.”

Unless, of course, a Democrat is in the WH.

7/27/2010 10:35 AM  
Blogger The Navigator said...

I would hardly describe x4mr's becoming an analyst at a university as "fleeing." I think his exit to a PhD program just as he published "Something Else" was brilliant. What could TREO do?

As is clear from reading his blog, he has been about training and developing people for 20 years. He was perfect for a director of a place like SAIAT, and Tucson lost a lot when TREO destroyed the place.

Sorry, Framer, but your lack of understanding the racism within the current national discourse is a red flag to the readers of this blog. X4mr's t-shirt post was in April of 2008. He was writing about the Republican stoking of racist flames over 2 1/4 years ago, sentiments that became the tea party after Obama got elected.

The work Liza cited here is excellent. She gets it completely.

The world is getting smaller. People are being compressed together tighter and tighter. The frontier paradigm of rugged, disconnected individuals who have no need for the infrastructure of effective governance is obsolete.

We need effective government, and I agree with x4mr 100% that we will not get this by electing idiots that think we don't need any.

7/27/2010 6:57 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

At the risk of offending some, I have to chime in for Framer.

I have to be Anonymous, but I have been reading this blog for a long time, and Framer is no idiot, and he is not a bad person either.

Framer is absolutely right that "cloth" is at the federal level as well (which x4mr knows and acknowledges), and the legislation passing with this administration is not perfect and will require amendment/ modification.

There are elements of the Tea Party movement that I in fact like and want to continue. I love what is happening in California, where insane salaries for pure cloth people are causing resignations. I love it when the tea movement finds waste and stupidity and expresses its outrage.

To the extent that the tea party identifies waste, corruption, cronyism, fraud, and abuse, I am glad to see it, and when Framer is discussing these items, I agree with him.

7/27/2010 7:23 PM  
Anonymous Another Anon said...

The Bell, California story does point to legitimate cause for outrage.

As people are "compressed closer together", it is good that they uncover the fraud and corruption.

It has been said here over and over. We need effective and competent government. The argument about "more vs less" is outdated and needs to be replaced with "smarter/effective" vs "incompetent/corrupt."

I love the "cloth" distinction. It amazingly captures what both Framer and x4mr despise, but from different angles.

7/27/2010 8:00 PM  
Anonymous Observer said...

To suggest that x4mr is choir blogging is ludicrous. I guess you haven't been reading what's been posted at the screaming squads.

To be honest, I haven't either.

This development exposed Breitbutch and Fox Fux for what they are, liars forwarding lies. Fox is a propaganda wing of the extreme right, pure and simple, fabricating and manipulating, cutting and pasting, inventing and distorting, without any concern or the slightest interest in what is true.

What is true has nothing to do with anything at the Fox Fux freak show.

7/27/2010 8:44 PM  
Blogger Liza said...

Getting back to what the original post here is about, the Sherrod debacle, Ta-Nehisi Coates of "The Atlantic" had a really good summary yesterday:
The Conversation on Race

7/28/2010 6:31 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Good link, Liza. This whole thing exposes a lot about this country.

7/28/2010 10:09 AM  

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