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July 26, 2010

Our Phone-Callin', Fact-Checkin' Leftist Media At Work: FoxNews Caused Sherrod To Be Fired By Only Mentioning The Story After She'd Actually Been Fired

I know; now I'm double-posting myself.

But via Hot Air, we see the cleanest expression possible of the media's devotion to accurately reporting a story without regard to political advantage.

Now, a lot of lefty bloggers are quoted there; more than genuine Old Media workers. But there are Old Media hands like Richard Cohen making the absolutely false statement...

A clip of that speech made the rounds of right wing blogs and media outlets -- Fox News, for instance -- and in no time Vilsack ordered the woman canned.

McClatchy Newspapers:

Posted on the website of right-wing provocateur Andrew Breitbart, and then trumpeted on Fox News and other cable channels, the video made it sound like the African-American Sherrod had once refused to aid a farm couple because they were white. Conservatives went wild with indignation. In a hasty reaction, the NAACP called for Sherrod's head, too. Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack got it.

An NBC affiliate:

Conservative blogger Andrew Breitbart posted only that part of the speech, to boost his own claim that the NAACP is racist. FOX News commentators ran with the story and demanded Sherrod's resignation from her job as director of rural development in Georgia. That led to USDA administrators to ask for her resignation Monday.

Just today CBS News quoted Media Matters as authoritative on the Black Pathers story (they "debunked" stuff, CBS News claimed). So here's CBS News' vouched-for Eric Boehlert of Media Matters:

Look, the first mistake they made, or the Department of Agriculture, or whoever was making the calls, they believed something that Andrew Breitbart put on his Web site. That‘s mistake one. And then they believed a smear campaign, a character assassination attack that Fox News was peddling.

Charles Kaiser of the NYT and Newsweek:

A completely discredited right-wing blogger posts an edited video which seems to convict a black Agriculture department official of racism. Fox News runs the distorted clip continuously on all of its shows Monday. Before giving Shirley Sherrod a chance to tell her side of the story, the Agriculture department demands and receives the resignation of the head of its rural development office in Georgia.

Let me point something out: Within hours, the rightwing was walking away from the story and correcting the record.

Let me guess -- there will be no apologies nor corrections in this case, from the left media, will there?


Correction! In my post below on Bob Schieffer/Bot Schieffert, I stated that CNN aired this clip before FoxNews did.

Now I realize I've done what all these phone-call makin', fact-checking paragons of journalism did-- I conflated the coverage Tuesday morning/afternoon with the coverage on Monday.

The CNN piece I saw was from Tuesday, after she'd been fired already.

It is not true, I don't think, that CNN covered this first. Certainly the one piece of evidence I was relying on was false evidence -- my memory tricked me.

Now, I just corrected the record -- something you will not see from the Washington Post's Richard Cohen, the New York Times' Charles Kaiser, CBS News' Bob Shieffer, or McClatchy newspapers.


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posted by Ace at 02:06 PM

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