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GOP House leader criticizes decision to air partial video of Shirley Sherrod

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Jon Ward
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      Jon Ward

      Jon Ward covers the White House and national politics for The Daily Caller. He covered the last two years of George W. Bush's presidency and the first year of Barack Obama's presidency for The Washington Times. Prior to moving to national politics, Jon worked for the Times' city desk and bureaus in Virginia and Maryland, covering local news and politics, including the D.C. sniper shootings and subsequent trial, before moving to state politics in Maryland. He and his wife have two children and live on Capitol Hill. || <a href="mailto:jw@dailycaller.com">Email Jon</a>

House Minority Leader John Boehner on Wednesday criticized the decision by conservative media personality Andrew Breitbart to air only a small portion of the video showing USDA official Shirley Sherrod making racially charged remarks earlier this year, which led to her firing.

“It’s unfortunate that whoever laid this out there didn’t lay out the whole story, as opposed to a part of it,” said Boehner, an Ohio Republican, at a lunch with journalists in Washington.

“They only put a little piece of the story out there and people make judgments and they rush and they make bad decisions. They make rash decisions. I don’t want to say bad because I haven’t seen all of this,” he said.

Boehner did not mention Breitbart by name, and Breitbart did not immediately return a call to his cell phone. But the founder of BigGovernment.com has said in TV interviews with CNN and Fox News that he was sent only the two small portions of the video by someone in Georgia, where the remarks were made. He told CNN he did subsequently receive the full portion of the tape and would post it online “if I get the OK from the people who have the rights to the video.”

The White House, interestingly, focused its public comments on the response to the videos rather than on the purveyor.

“Members of this administration, members of the media, members of different political factions on both sides of this, have all made determinations and judgments without a full set of facts,” said White House press secretary Robert Gibbs.

“Without a doubt Ms. Sherrod is owed an apology. I will do so certainly on behalf of this administration,” said Gibbs, who added that Secretary of Agriculture Tom Vilsack was going to call Sherrod to apologize this afternoon.

Vilsack is reviewing the decision to fire Sherrod. He is reconsidering the decision after input from the White House.

But Boehner is just the latest conservative figure to deem that the video posted by Breitbart on Monday was misleading. Fox News personality Glenn Beck and syndicated columnist Charles Krauthammer both concluded Tuesday that Sherrod’s comments had been taken out of context, with Beck saying on his show that she should not have been fired.

Eric Erickson of RedState.com, who is himself viewed by many as a conservative firebrand, gave a mixed assessment of Breitbart’s actions in posting the partial version of the tape.

“Andrew Breitbart promised he would do to the left what the left has been doing to the right for years. He is gathering quite the collection of leftwing scalps and will forever warm the hearts of the right for the ACORN takedown alone. I’m glad he is on our side,” Erickson wrote.

“That said, I think Shirley Sherrod has been unfairly characterized as a racist.”

“It is not fair. But that’s how the left plays and the right must fight on offense or not fight at all. It disgusts me to have to say it, but that is so very sadly where we are. As long as the left gets a pass on this all too easy game, the right has to fight back,” Erickson wrote.

Notably absent from the debate has been President Obama, the nation’s first black president who has weighed in on the issue of race at a few moments during his time as a candidate for president and as president. He was lauded during the campaign for a speech on the issue, but was widely viewed as having bungled his response to an incident in Massachusetts involving a black university professor and local police officers.

  • Pingback: Oops! We Butchered Someone’s Reputation…Again: The Right Wing Echo Chamber, Mainstream Media, Shirley Sherrod, and ACORN « Back to the Root

  • http://www.facebook.com/people/Aaron-Davidson/1579728276 Aaron Davidson

    Breitbart is purposefully using Alinsky-style tactics against the Left, something the Right is new at. I’m not a fan of cheapshots like that, but hey…it certainly worked here. Breitbart gets a little extra publicity and the NAACP and Obama have egg on their face.

    • ImpressedByHonesty

      AaronDavidson: “Breitbart is purposefully using Alinsky-style tactics against the Left,”

      The only time I ever hear this Alinsky thing, is every two seconds on some right wing web site. The only time.

      Aaron Davidson: “…something the Right is new at. I’m not a fan of cheapshots like that, but hey…it certainly worked here.”

      Something the right is new at? Really?

      They are old hat at voter caging:
      http://michiganmessenger.com/4479/gop-has-a-history-of-voter-caging-according-to-democrats-lawsuit

      And so many other shenaningans too numerous to list here. Like Schwartenegger says: “Where there’s smoooke, the-uhhs fy-uhhhh”.

  • Broken Window

    There was a time when “macaca” wasn’t a recognizable word. It still means nothing, except that the Left once gave it a meaning in order to destroy a Republican candidacy.

    This is the world we live in. The Dems and their enablers in the media and the NAACP are a bunch of assassins. They’ve created such a hostile environment that conservative reps are afraid to say anything controversial — look at Boehner falling over himself trying to be “fair.”

    No more of that. If they want to pay “gotcha” it has to be a two way street. Let them have to think twice before going on the record. Let them think twice before scheming privately.

  • Vunderkint

    If the NAACP had not become the attack dog for Obama leveling erroneous charges of racism against the tea party movement I have no doubt this story would’ve never happened. The real teachable moment here is the rush to judgment syndrome especially from Obama remember “the Cambridge police acted stupidly?” Another example of mouth into gear before brain is engaged.

    I find it quite amusing how Obama thought that the issue was going to end up on Glenn Beck that evening when the truth was Beck never even talked about it until the next day and then he came to Shirley’s defense and then the next days show pointed out how the modus operandi of Obama operatives, government and the media constantly attack by taking people’s words out of context. It’s my understanding that Breitbart didn’t have all the video at his disposal but the NAACP did and would not release it until a day later after they had hastily called for her oust before ever talking to her or reviewing the entire video, they threw one of their own under the bus to safeguard the supposed integrity of what they consider to be their last big gun the race card, it just goes to show how overplayed that card has become.

    Who were the ones that really did Sherrod wrong Breitbart the convenient scapegoat or the people that Sherrod supported, defended and was a true believer of?

    Who are Sherrod’s real friends now? As far as I can tell Glenn Beck was the first one that said let’s not rush to judgment here before we hear what the lady says.

    That’s weird! ;)

  • rockhard

    The only person who deserves an apology is the white farmer who was accused by miss sherrod of being a racist an acting superior to her, he never got a change to defend himself, and CNN had him ON and never once ask the 82 year old farmer about the allegations sherrod made against him.
    without a shred of proof mind you. all they wanted was to use the old farmer to help sherrod and damn the white farmers right and reputation.

    They never asked her either to explain how the farmer was acting superior
    they just allowed the claim to stand as fact….seems the media learned
    nothing after all.

    • aCasual ReadR

      Umm… it seems you are confused. Ms. Sherrod began her story by saying that she initially thought that the farmer was superior and that she was not going to use the full force of her department to help the farmer. She then goes on to say that she realized that this was the WRONG approach, and that we needed to get past RACE and realize that the struggle is really to help the POOR. Get all the facts before you spout your “snippets” — you are the exact type of person the “snippets” are made for!

      Overall, I agree that Breitbart is merely doing what the LMM has done for so long. Should we really be fighting fire with fire??

  • rockhard

    The only person who deserves an apology is the white farmer who was accused by miss sherrod of being a racist an acting superior to her, he never got a change to defend himself, and CNN had him ON and never once ask the 82 year old farmer about the allegations sherrod made against him. without a shred of proof mind you. all they wanted was to use the old farmer to help sherrod, the white farmers right and reputation or the right to defend himself be damned..

    They went out of their to find the old farmer but never cared about his rights all they wanted from this old farmer was to help clear sherrod…

    they never asked her either to explain how the farmer was “acting superior”
    they just allowed the claim to stand as fact….seems the media learned
    nothing after all.

  • reasonsjester

    I keep looking for the rest of the story where on the tape Sharrod accuses all those who came out to oppose Obamacare are motivated by racism. Still waiting for that.

    • theprofessor

      it’s been posted on this site for two days