Wednesday, July 21, 2010

Boehlert: If Breitbart "had any decency, he'd apologize" to Sherrod for "smear campaign".

Breitbart continues to think that there is a similarity between the racism of some of the Tea Party protesters and the speech given by Sherrod.

The difference is that some in the Tea Party movement DO carry racist signs; Sherrod, however, was telling a story of going beyond those feelings and realising that poverty unites poor people regardless of their colour.

Those are two entirely different things. One is being racist and one is about realising that racism is wrong. I seriously don't know how he doesn't get that.

Confronted with the fact that the video is a bastardisation of Sherrod's views, he continues to claim that "this was never about Shirley Sherrod".

Perhaps this imbecile can explain to us why - if this "was never about Shirley Sherrod" - was she was the only person who got fired in this horrible little race baiting tale?

He keeps stating that "this was never about Shirley Sherrod" because he lacks the manners to apologise to her for taking what she was saying deliberately out of context. And, I know he claims that he only saw the edited video, but if the intention was not to deliberately take her out of context, then surely he would be wanting to apologise for putting out a video which so twisted her position?

If he won't apologise for that, then I can only assume that that was always his intention.


He feels sorry for her, but he won't say sorry to her.


Jonah Goldberg also calls for Breitbart to apologise:

I think she should get her job back. I think she's owed apologies from pretty much everyone, including my good friend Andrew Breitbart. I generally think Andrew is on the side of the angels and a great champion of the cause. He says he received the video in its edited form and I believe him. But the relevant question is, Would he have done the same thing over again if he had seen the full video from the outset? I'd like to think he wouldn't have. Because to knowingly turn this woman into a racist in order to fight fire with fire with the NAACP is unacceptable. When it seemed that Sherrod was a racist who abused her power, exposing her and the NAACP's hypocrisy was perfectly fair game. But now that we have the benefit of knowing the facts, the equation is completely different.
I don't think the man is even capable of apologising.


David Frum is bang on the money:
But you’ll never guess who emerged as the villains of the story in this second-day conservative react. Not Andrew Breitbart, the distributor of a falsified tape. No, the villains were President Obama and the NAACP for believing Breitbart's falsehood.

On the phone on the evening of July 20, a friend asked me: "Can Breitbart possibly survive?" I could only laugh incredulously. I answered: "Of course he'll survive, and undamaged. The incident won't matter at all."

There will be no apology or statement of regret for distributing a doctored tape to defame and destroy someone. There will be not even a flutter of interest among conservatives in discussing Breitbart’s role. By the morning of July 21, the Fox & Friends morning show could devote a segment to the Sherrod case without so much as a mention of Breitbart’s role. The central fact of the Sherrod story has been edited out of the conservative narrative, just as it was edited out of the tape itself.

When people talk of the "closing of the conservative mind" this is what they mean: not that conservatives are more narrow-minded than other people — everybody can be narrow minded — but that conservatives have a unique capacity to ignore unwelcome fact.

When Dan Rather succumbed to the forged Bush war record hoax in 2004, CBS forced him into retirement. Breitbart is the conservative Dan Rather, but there will be no discredit, no resignation for him.
Breitbart, as we have already seen, is taking no responsibility whatsoever for his shameful actions. Nor will any Republicans expect him to.

Despite the fact that this is the second time he has released a highly edited tape, claiming not to know the huge discrepancy between what he was releasing and the truth.

Which raises the question of what kind of journalist, having claimed to have been duped once before with an edited video, would seriously release a second highly edited video without insisting on seeing the full video to avoid falling for a similar scam a second time? It beggars belief that he could be so dumb as to have been "duped" twice.

His reputation should be in tatters, and would be if Fox News cared at all about the truth. But, the fact that they don't means that there is no financial punishment for him indulging in this kind of behaviour, no loss of TV appearances on that network, no loss of credibility even amongst conservative punditry.

And a woman who told a brave story about how she confronted her own demons is the only person in this whole tawdry tale to pay a price. That's a terrible indictment of the "all's fair in love and war" mindset currently running through the Republican/Tea Party ranks.

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