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July 21, 2010

Vilsack: Oops, We're Going to Review

The Obama Administration got punked and tossed Shirley Sherrod under the bus without even pausing to check her out. Even the White House jumped to the "she must be a racist" story even though the video demonstrates the complete opposite.

Now Secretary Vilsack is saying what he should have said from the start:

I am of course willing and will conduct a thorough review and consider additional facts to ensure to the American people we are providing services in a fair and equitable manner, Vilsack said in a written statement released around 5 a.m.

Suggesting, of course, that he didn't conduct a thorough review before demanding Sherrod's resignation yesterday. Similarly, White House officials spent the afternoon and early evening announcing that Vilsack had the President's full support, only to realize late that they had also assumed racism not in evidence. Finally, the NAACP, which comes off worst of the three, made a shamefaced U-turn and provided the longer video, which it had in its possession the whole time. The White House is getting slammed for rushing to judgment.

Here's the thing. The whole time, Sherrod was saying that the statements in the video were misunderstood. That it was a story about redemption and learning to overcome prejudice that had been chopped up. No one was listening (well, except The Anchoress). In fact, having now watched the video, I agree with National Review's Rich Lowry:

Full Sherrod video is not only unobjectionable, it's heartfelt and moving--a tale of overcoming hatred and rancor in the American south.

Sure, she's a Marxist and she doesn't like the Tea Party or Republicans. But that isn't a firing offense. She was done wrong. Secretary Vilsack says he's "reviewing" her case with the possibility that Sherrod will get her job back. She says she's not sure she wants it again.

BTW Andrew Breitbart says he only got the shortened, edited video and posted exactly what he got on Big Government. It was this short version that led him to condemn Sherrod's "racist tale" and the NAACP folks that heard it.


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posted by Gabriel Malor at 09:36 AM

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