The “It Was About the Audience” Lie

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The new lie is that this film wasn’t about Sherrod, it was about the “racist NAACP audience reaction.” None other than Rich Lowry puts this to bed:

Jonah, the problem with the audience defense made by your e-mailers is that Sherrod told her listeners this before launching into the white-farmer story:

    When I made that commitment [to stay in the South], I was making that commitment to black people, and to black people only. But you know God will show you things, and he’ll put things in your path so that you realize that the struggle is really about poor people.

So, the audience knew what the up-shot of the story was going to be. In a disservice to everyone, Andrew’s source clipped the video to exclude this key introduction, which would have only added about 20 seconds more in length, but an entire world in additional context.

The audience knew from the beginning of the speech that this was a tale of redemption, and were in no way cheering racism. This bullshit about audience reaction is just shifting the smear from Sherrod to unknown black people.

Not that folks like Ed Morrisey won’t give it the old college try, anyway.

93 replies
  1. 1
    John Bird says:

    That’s a message to keep hammering: these right-wingers just can’t find a black person in any of this that they won’t blame for their own screw-up.

  2. 2
    mistersnrub says:

    Breitbart is a true sociopath and a condyloma (look it up) on the body politic. He should take a lesson from Atwater and repent before his tumorous soul departs this Earth.

  3. 3
    Midnight Marauder says:

    This bullshit about audience reaction is just shifting the smear from Sherrod to unknown black people.

    Let’s not get cute here. They could not give a fuck less if they are known or unknown black people.

  4. 4
    matoko_chan says:

    But why did Breitbart do this, Cole?
    Isn’t it counterproductive to attracting youth and minorities to the tea party?

  5. 5
    CJ says:

    @Midnight Marauder:

    I think blacks are “known unknowns” to them.

  6. 6
    cleek says:

    Andrew’s source

    wink wink

  7. 7
    Bullsmith says:

    You can’t really go wrong in America as a racist, it seems. There is no shame because there is no accountability.

  8. 8
    danimal says:

    The lies aren’t working.

    I expect Fox to focus on a missing teenager or a kid falling into a well anytime now.

  9. 9
    ET says:

    Breitbart can say it now to make himself feel better (and media hacks can help him) after the facts make him look awful, but isn’t true.

    But he can’t admit he was wrong. Not wrong with caveats, but wrong. So he does a little rewriting of history and is allowed to get away with it.

  10. 10
    Econwatcher says:

    I’ve been reading The Corner regularly lately. There’s a lot of insanity and bile as you would expect. But I have actually been pleasantly surprised by the number of times they correct each other on the nuttiest or least factual assertions.

    There’s a fairly wide spectrum over there. Andy McCarthy represents the barking, foaming extreme (the notion that this guy ever had prosecutorial authority is chilling). Lowry (despite his starbursts) and Ponnuru (despite his party of death) actually show a capacity to be irritated by stupidity. KLo and Jonah Goldberg just seem like lightweights; I think anyone who got a B- or better in their freshman composition class in college could do what they do.

    But overall, there are more standards over there than I expected. Which isn’t saying a lot. But it says a little.

  11. 11
    cleek says:

    MSNBC

    The woman ousted from the Agriculture Department over remarks about race that were misconstrued will receive an apology from Secretary Tom Vilsack, the White House said Wednesday.

    “A disservice was done and an apology” is owed, White House spokesman Robert Gibbs said at a press briefing. He said the administration acted before all the information was known about Shirley Sherrod’s comments to an NAACP event in March. He said Vilsack had been unable to reach Sherrod so far.

  12. 12
    4tehlulz says:

    Andrew’s source

    Am I the only one wondering if there is a source? Breitbart should be burning them to a crisp by now if there was one.

  13. 13
    John Bird says:

    @matoko_chan:

    “attracting youth and minorities to the tea party”, oh mercy, I had a good guffaw at that one.

  14. 14
    r€nato says:

    @matoko_chan:

    like the Vatican, they’ve given up reaching out. They’re circling the wagons instead.

  15. 15
    Zifnab says:

    @matoko_chan: Only when you get caught. The “black people are the real racists” smear resonates among sheltered young people who only encounter minorities who are as affluent as they or who they encounter right outside the gated community.

    Take a white kid from the suburbs – particularly in the South – and it’s almost natural to assume that the vast majority of whites are rich and only minorities are poor. That whites are all white collar and minorities are all criminals and day laborers.

    It’s really easy to sucker young people into stereotypes if you don’t bust this shit open quickly.

  16. 16
    MoeLarryAndJesus says:

    @cleek on “Andrew’s source”:

    Exactly. I don’t know why so many people are accepting Breitbart’s “source” defense. It smells like his usual line of bullshit to me. The ratfucker put a contract out on the NAACP and he got what he paid for.

  17. 17
    matoko_chan says:

    @Econwatcher: pfft.
    the Corner is just a convocation of mad shamans.
    when your shamans have gone mad, your tribe is doomed.

  18. 18
    DB says:

    It’s obvious to anybody with half a brain that the amusement in the audience is due to their appreciation of the fact that people will sometimes treat you like you are inferior while simultaneously asking you to bail their sorry asses out of some problem.

    It’s called irony.

  19. 19
    SpotWeld says:

    The right desperatly needs to create the idea that any action by the Obama adminstration (specifically stimulus programs) will give money to “the wrong sort of people” (i.e. minorities).

    They need it to justify thier continued stalling on unemployment extentions, continued tax cuts we can’t afford and other cuts to money that would actually benefit people who would normally vote GOP.

  20. 20
    NickM says:

    Danimal –

    I expect Fox to focus on a missing teenager or a kid falling into a well anytime now.

    Even if they have to push him in.

  21. 21
    LT says:

    And motherfucking Anderson Cooper was feeding that lie last night, asking Sherrod, “What about the crowd reaction? What do you say to Americans who see that?”

    What a dense child.

  22. 22
    Professor says:

    @mistersnrub: Condyloma sounds close to Condy-leeza and it’s good for me.

  23. 23
    GregB says:

    Had the blogoshphere’s digital David Duke, Andrew Breitbart, launched any more unfounded attacks on hard working American citizens today?

  24. 24
    Mike Goetz says:

    Gibbs actually using the word “apology” at the podium goes a long way. I’m glad they are not going go the “regrets, unfortunate” route.

  25. 25
    Kevin says:

    Breitbart seems so fucking desperate in his appearances since the truth came out. He knows he’s on the clock now, and he’s trying to hang on to that fifteen minutes. News flash, asshole: you’re done. Fuck off.

  26. 26
    SiubhanDuinne says:

    O/T, but there hasn’t been a viable open thread in a while.

    So, remember that nepotism post yesterday? It’s not just media:

    Gov. Sonny Perdue recently appointed a cousin to the board of the powerful Georgia Ports Authority.
    ___
    Perdue’s former chief operating officer also became the ports’ vice chairman. And the new GPA chairman, also a Perdue appointee, once served as the governor’s campaign chairman.
    ___
    Perdue, nearing the end of eight years in office, has appointed every GPA board member, most who will remain on the board after the governor leaves office in January. The GPA board sets policy and oversees management of the ports that generate $61.7 billion in revenue statewide, according to a recent study by the University of Georgia.
    ___
    State law doesn’t prohibit the governor from selecting family members, friends or supporters for state boards or authorities. But ethics watchdogs question the propriety of appointing the politically connected instead of the most qualified.

    (And sorry, I still haven’t the faintest clue how to link. People have said to highlight text and click on the link tab and a window will come up and I can paste the info in the window — except when I click on link, nothing happens except a weird little burping noise. So, sorry, FYWP, and here’s an ugly link to the story: http://www.ajc.com/business/wi.....75334.html)

  27. 27
    BTD says:

    You know some of the folks on the Right John.

    Do you think they will rally round Breitbart? More focus seems to be on him today. Lowry obviously won’t.

  28. 28
    R-Jud says:

    Is that Breitbart in the still up there? He has crazy Mel Gibson eyes.

  29. 29
    JCT says:

    This poor excuse for pond scum is digging pretty frantically, China will be in view any moment.

    This has been one of the most disheartening and discouraging episodes in recent memory.

    I really hope the Democrats can get their act together in Nov and prove that this crap just doesn’t work. These guys and their enablers need to be shoved in a dark corner and ignored.

  30. 30
    cleek says:

    @BTD:
    from my sampling of rank-n-file wingnut blog commenters, they are definitely rallying around Breitbart. the professional wingnut pundits might be expressing reservations and tut-tutting him for overshooting this one (though i disagree with the notion that he didn’t score big), but The Base is all fired up about NAACP’s racism and Obama’s complicity. it’s a gleeful victory celebration in Wingnut Junction today.

  31. 31
    Svensker says:

    Gibbs apologizes on behalf of the O Admin

  32. 32
    Stooleo says:

    So I got a question for any lawyers out there, does Sherrod have any sort of a case against Breitbart? Slander, libel?

  33. 33
    John Cole says:

    @BTD: Mostly they will just ignore him. They won’t repudiate him, they’ll just go mute and wait for the story to die down. A few of the dead-enders (Gateway Pundit and the rest of the really insane) will rally around him, but most of them will just slowly back away and switch the topic. They’ll wait until they can find the next topic of unified wingnut outrage and form the voltron around that- ZOMG GRAEME FROST WANTS FREE HEALTHCARE and a new flash mob of hate will be formed.

    Then in a few months or a year or so, some wingnut will find something on videotape that is completely unrelated, and claim that BREITBART WAS RIGHT ALL ALONG. Instapundit, HotAir, Malkin, and the wingnut wurlitzer will link it, and the rewrite of history and rehabilitation of this event will begin.

    Never apologize, always attack, never reflect, and if there is something you can’t spin your way or lie your way through, ignore it. And never ever publicly break ranks. That is how they roll.

  34. 34
    LT says:

    That apology actually makes the admin look human. Good for them.

  35. 35
    cmorenc says:

    @danimal:

    The lies aren’t working. I expect Fox to focus on a missing teenager or a kid falling into a well anytime now.

    That’s more or less the tack Fox and wingnut talkers like Beck et al are going to take very shortly. They’ll quickly conjure up a new outrage to focus on that’s very far away from the NAACP, Breitbart, Sherrod, etc, and sharply move the focus to that. The strategy will be to suffocate any further discussion of the matter from their end of it with inattention, safe in the assumption that their core audience will buy the notion that Obama’s Administration is most at fault, and the NAACP are a bunch of racists anyway even if they managed to beat the rap on a technicality in this case (their take on it, not mine). They also presume that without giving the noncaptive mainstream media a foil to tangle with, only core progressives will remain interested in the story or even remember it much within another week or two, and so the mainstream media will quickly lose interest and go on to the next shiny object. They’re also hoping that the main impression the huge only casually-attentive segment of the public takes away from this is that the Obama Administration was quick to do this lady wrong (after all, they’re the ones who fired the lady prematurely. Breitbart and Fox’s other immediate objective is to attempt to deflect the question of fault just barely long enough and plausibly enough to exhaust the public and MSM’s attention span with the final score a muddled standoff with much of the nonideological public.

  36. 36
    Violet says:

    @SiubhanDuinne:
    The weird burping noise indicates that link box might be getting blocked by your popup blocker. I’m not sure if all popup blockers work the same, but try holding down the Ctrl key when you click on it. It might allow it to open. Alternatively, look at the top of your browser (or elsewhere around the browser window) for the “popup was blocked; do you want to allow?” notice. You might have one and be able to allow popups, thus allowing the link window to open.

  37. 37
    gwangung says:

    from my sampling of rank-n-file wingnut blog commenters, they are definitely rallying around Breitbart. the professional wingnut pundits might be expressing reservations and tut-tutting him for overshooting this one (though i disagree with the notion that he didn’t score big), but The Base is all fired up about NAACP’s racism and Obama’s complicity.

    That’s typical. Breitbart is an inept boob. Hollywood didn’t shun him because he was conservative; they kicked him to the curb because he was incompetent.

    And the wingnuts value loyalty and fealty over competence.

  38. 38
    bobbo says:

    I am just not getting why some on the right are criticizing Breitbart, or why this particular hit job should be any more damaging to him than to any other. These nutjobs crossed the line long, long ago – what is the principle self-serving motivation that makes them draw a new one here?

  39. 39
    licensed to kill time says:

    @John Cole:

    Never apologize, always attack, never reflect, and if there is something you can’t spin your way or lie your way through, ignore it. And never ever publicly break ranks. That is how they roll.

    And there you have the RW schmear machine in 3 sentences. Pithy!

  40. 40
    BTD says:

    @John Cole:

    Heh. “BREITBART WAS RIGHT ALL ALONG!” That rings true.

    Cleek, I am not sure this was a big win for Breitbart though. At the least he will find it rougher sledding pushing crap into the Establishment Media.

    He is pretty radioactive today.

    Hope it can last through the election at least.

  41. 41
    Violet says:

    @bobbo:
    Because he got caught within 24 hours of completely manufacturing a controversy and the person he chose to attack is pretty much above reproach. He could hardly have chosen a worse target.

    Had this taken weeks to unwind and prove to be fabricated (like the ACORN pimp story) or had they picked on someone with a more checkered past, the wingnuts would still be offering their support. It’s just that this case is so obviously a botched hit job on an innocent bystander that even the rightwing punditocracy can’t risk being seen standing behind the hit man.

  42. 42
    Mark S. says:

    Have none of these god-fearin’ conservatives ever been to church? What Sherrod was doing was pretty common in sermons (using a little levity to talk about a moral shortcoming) and the audience reaction is common to people who know what the outcome is going to be.

  43. 43
    LikeableInMyOwnWay says:

    @LT:

    Two things. One, this is a great top post.

    Two, Anderson Cooper is a fucking idiot, and proves it every night. The man, as you say, is just a child, and can’t be bothered to get things right before he goes on “the most trusted name in news” and shoots his mouth off.

    Rick Sanchez is another version of the same crap.

  44. 44
    Frank says:

    This entire story just goes to show that we need a TV network on the Democratic side that can counteract FoxNews.

    As it is, it is the right-wing machine that feeds fake “scandals” like this to Foxnews. They, of course, show it without a care about it being truthful.

    And more often than not, the MSM will pick up the story as if it is a legitimate story. I will never forget when foxnews went nuts about Obama’s innocent speech to school children where he urged them to study harder. This apparently was so controversial that foxNews that carried that “scandal 24/7 for weeks. And eventually the MSM, like the Todayshow, questioned the White House about it. Talk about waste of time!

    Literally nothing will change until there is an opposing network. In this case, the opposing network could have reviewed the entire tape before it went as far as it did.

    KO, Rachel Maddow are doing very well. There is no reason why it couldn’t work. Why is this so difficult?

  45. 45
    flounder says:

    So Breitbart likes to make a big presentation about how he doesn’t know any racists in his movement.
    1. The video is edited in a racist fashion.
    2. Breitbart refuses to say who gave him the video with racist edits.
    Therefore Breitbart is covering for a racist who used him to promulgate racsim.
    Let’s get this meme going. You know this uncomfortable angle could drive him crazy?

  46. 46
    El Cid says:

    A look back to when Breitbart admitting he ran out of a restaurant giving the middle finger to and shouting at a group of marchers against 3rd world use of child soldiers because without checking or looking twice he assumed they were protesting against the Iraq war. Breitbart on himself, an apologia, but also a diagnosis.

    In this day of polarized politics, it’s incumbent on good citizens to be vigorously truthful. Even in the heat of battle, partisans should own up to their mistakes. Rectifying errors builds credibility. Honest self-criticism ensures a healthy debate and a healthier democracy…
    __
    …Soon after our drinks arrived, a group of mostly-college-age kids began walking by in large bunches, many in tandem holding large rope segments in groups of 20 or so. They clearly were marching for something they considered important.
    __
    As they passed, the protesters stared sourly at the second story where we sat. Fellow patrons wondered aloud what this now massive conga line was all about. About 300 people into the procession, I spotted a sign that had “war” written in it. One T-shirt read, “Stop forcing our children to be your soldiers.”
    __
    It’s a voluntary army, you stupid kids!
    __
    A thousand marchers into the protest, the sour looks aimed at the hotel’s clientele began to wear on us. The marchers’ defiant smugness started to make an enemy of me…
    __
    …Sneering at their fellow citizens is their chief skill. Projecting arrogance is their birthright…
    __
    …I began to seethe. These anti-warriors were trying to destroy the peaceful seaside vibe and our pleasant Jose Cuervo buzz…
    __
    when one dude raised his fist like runners Tommie Smith and John Carlos did at the 1968 Mexico City Olympics, I could not hold myself back. I jumped from my seat and bolted to the center of the balcony, where the American flag waved furiously in a now-harsh wind.
    __
    Positioned next to Old Glory, I countered the young punk and reached out my right arm directing my middle finger in his direction.
    __
    As soon as my finger was raised, a phalanx of photographers began snapping away at the white middle-aged man wearing a white LaCoste shirt next to the old red, white and blue.
    __
    Cognizant of the power of imagery, I owned the moment and refused to back down. The fist wielder immediately dropped his arm. I clearly had won and envisioned photos of the anti-antiwar protester making the front pages of the Los Angeles Times.
    __
    Satisfied by the small victory, I sat down to finish my cocktail… But instead of waking up Sunday or Monday morning to see my face in the paper, I instead received an e-mail from a journalism student at a local university who recognized me from a recent debate on campus…
    __
    …“On 4/25/09 an event hosted by the Invisible Children called ‘The Rescue’ took place in Santa Monica. I shot the event. 4,000 youth marched in solidarity for the children abducted and forced to fight for the LRA in Northern Uganda and more recently in the Congo. I had felt a sense of hope in my generation’s methods of activism at the event.”
    __
    Oh, no. It only got worse.
    __
    “I believe most people in America are in agreement that human slavery, genocide and child soldiers are a terrible thing“…

    “…After reviewing the photographs I was taking for the event and confirming the facts (you were in Santa Monica at the date and time) I realized you were flipping the protesters off. I am curious to why this is the case.”

    It’s always an attack on white right wingers. They’re all looking at you. They’re all laughing at you. They’re looking down their nose at you. They ruined your Hollywood career. They are the ones who undermined you, hated you, sneered at you. You’ve got to get them.

    I can’t imagine why such an honorable, stable, calmly reflective man would keep making fraudulent media attacks against liberals and Democrats and in particular against any African American or black organization.

  47. 47
    NonyNony says:

    @bobbo:

    I am just not getting why some on the right are criticizing Breitbart, or why this particular hit job should be any more damaging to him than to any other.

    Because he fucked up their narrative with his racism. It’s really hard to argue that black people are the real racists when you’ve got Breitbart throwing racism around. Some folks, like Frum I’d assume, aren’t conscious about why they’re more mad about this than about other things – guys like that view racism the way Stephen Colbert affects his “colorblind” attitude on his show except that where his is satire theirs is real. And so when someone like Breitbart plays them like this they get mad.

    Same reason that Williams got thrown under the bus earlier this week. He messed up their story that the NAACP were the real racist by letting his racist freak flag fly. So they smacked him for it. Some will rally around him, but mostly those will be the ones who are either openly racist anyway or are still so caught up in the Republican Tribalism Delusion that they are just compelled to leap to his defense no matter how stupid it is.

  48. 48
    JCT says:

    @bobbo: Because this one was so “in-your-face” made up. The *second* people questioned the tape, Breitbart the sociopath started in with “I never saw the whole thing” — without any truth whatsoever regarding the original evidence it all folded like a cheap suit.

    Besides, even though we fervently wish that it wasn’t true the wingnuts are not stupid — the faster they stop beating the dead horse the sooner people will forget their involvement.

    As JCole nicely pointed out above, it’s how they roll. Damn them all. I hope St. Peter’s trapdoor is well oiled.

  49. 49
    Davis X. Machina says:

    KO, Rachel Maddow are doing very well. There is no reason why it couldn’t work. Why is this so difficult?

    There are non-trivial barriers to entry.

  50. 50
    Sir Nose'D says:

    @Bullsmith:

    You can’t really go wrong in America as a racist, it seems. There is no shame because there is no accountability.

    No, you have it backwards. You can do no right in America as a racist. You see, white people are only racist if they donate most of their time and money to the KKK. Black people are pretty much all racist because they refuse to recognize we live in a post-racial society now.

    There is no shame because the good people on the Right are trying to have an accountability moment by holding the NAACP accountable for all of the racism in America. Also, too, can you refutiate that?

  51. 51
    Bulworth says:

    From Gibbs’ apology:

    “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,” he said.

    Members of different political factions on both sides

    Huh? Both sides? Trying to remember where the dirty hippy liberals “made determinations and judgments without a full set of facts..” on this.

  52. 52
    Sentient Puddle says:

    By way of how John described how the right will react to Breitbart in this case, I want to take all the people who are shitting on the White House here and punch them in the face.

    Breitbart is the dipshit here. He got caught trying to fabricate a story, and if the focus is on how the White House responded, then you morons let him get away scott free. And then we can do this whole damn thing over again when he tries to pin a made-up scandal on someone else higher up in the power chain.

  53. 53
    JGabriel says:

    John Cole @ Top:

    The new lie is that this film wasn’t about Sherrod, it was about the “racist NAACP audience reaction.” None other than Rich Lowry puts this to bed …

    Hell, BREITBART puts it to bed in the second sentence of his first article on the video:

    In this piece you will see video evidence of racism coming from a federal appointee and NAACP award recipient …

    I don’t see how it can be made any clearer that, from the get-go, Breitbart’s target was Sherrod, and not her NAACP audience.

    .

  54. 54
    Davis X. Machina says:

    @Bulworth: NAACP?

  55. 55
    Frank says:

    @Davis X. Machina:

    There are non-trivial barriers to entry.

    Fair point. I know money is one barrier. But as the 2008 election showed, we can raise a lot of money and should be able to handle that threshold.

    What are some other barriers that I’m missing?

  56. 56
    Bulworth says:

    @El Cid:

    I owned the moment.

    Classic.

  57. 57
    Joshua says:

    The whole “it was about the audience reaction” thing is such a dirty transparent lie. All you need to do is read Breitbart’s original post on the subject, where he makes clear it was about the speaker and her racism and the way the government employee (and the government) was racist against white people.

  58. 58
    TooManyJens says:

    @Bulworth:

    Trying to remember where the dirty hippy liberals “made determinations and judgments without a full set of facts..” on this.

    The NAACP does rather spring to mind.

  59. 59
    Bulworth says:

    @Davis X. Machina: Yeah. Although it wasn’t in terms of questioning the original Faux storyline, it was in accepting it unquestioningly and rapidly.

  60. 60
    NonyNony says:

    @Sentient Puddle:

    Breitbart is the dipshit here. He got caught trying to fabricate a story, and if the focus is on how the White House responded, then you morons let him get away scott free.

    You know, it is possible for there to be multiple bad actors in a situation. Breitbart can be a racist shithead who deserves to be shunned for the rest of his natural life AND Vilsack and the other folks in the USDA who bungled his can also be morons.

    Much like how BP can be a bunch of ruthless money-grubbing bastards who put profits ahead of basic safety AND MMS can be stocked full of corrupt shills who let BP get away with it.

    The world is not a binary place. There’s a whole lot of blame to be shoveled around, and while Breitbart is a lowly sack of shit who should take the brunt of it, Vilsack and any other cowards who decided to shoot first and not bother to investigate the messenger or the message were still wrong and should still be called out for it.

  61. 61
    freelancer says:

    @John Cole:

    I second “On to the next smear!” as a tag.

  62. 62
    4tehlulz says:

    @Davis X. Machina: That was my first thought, too.

  63. 63
    Sentient Puddle says:

    @NonyNony: And yet the cock-ups on the part of the White House here are NOWHERE NEAR AS FUCKING BAD AS WHAT BREITBART DID.

    Seriously, there are bigger fish to fry than Vilsack at the moment. Get some perspective.

  64. 64
    Davis X. Machina says:

    @Frank: If you’re not in the basic cable tier, you don’t exist. Ask the NHL. There’s not just a news monopoly, there’s a news monopsony out there.

  65. 65
    gypsy howell says:

    @Bulworth:

    Both sides do it. Both sides ALWAYS have to do it, otherwise, one side might be wrong and the other might be right. Can’t have that, now can we. See folks, we were ALL wrong, which hardly makes it wrong at all!

    (It’s the minor league version of “No one could have predicted…”)

    Now that we all know the facts, maybe we should run Tom Vilsack out on a rail for automatically assuming that the black lady was wrong. That seems kind of racist, doesn’t it?

    (I’d like to run him out on a rail for general all-around douchiness, but whatever works)

  66. 66
    QuaintIrene says:

    He said Vilsack had been unable to reach Sherrod so far.

    Voice mail, Shirley. Let him cool his heels a little bit.

  67. 67
    Will says:

    Can someone explain to me why it’s just straight up being accepted that Breitbart himself did not edit the tape? The only person who has confirmed that is…Breitbart. The man responsible for this whole travesty. Why should anyone in the media–conservative, liberal, or polka-dotted–actually believe that without more evidence? Isn’t the burden now on HIM to prove that he received an already-edited tape? It certainly isn’t on everyone else to just take him at face value. After all, that’s the only remotely acceptable defense he has left–that he was as gullible as the White House on this. Why is that not being greeted with more skepticism?

  68. 68
    David Brooks says:

    @Joshua: Who cares if it’s a lie? The noise machine will edit out the first comment and pivot to focus on the second. They’ll make it sound important enought that nobody will even remember what he said originally.

  69. 69
    QuaintIrene says:

    America. Also, too, can you refutiate that?

    Dear God, can’t imagine what Palin’s twitter musings will be on this. Or has she already tweeted?

  70. 70
    cleek says:

    @Will:
    i don’t believe he isn’t the source of it, or that he doesn’t employ the source. but i’m not sure how to prove it.

    perhaps some sneaky reporter will poke around and find out. probably not.

  71. 71
    R. Porrofatto says:

    Isn’t the burden now on HIM to prove that he received an already-edited tape?

    But didn’t he say that he would release the full video as soon as he could get permission from the production company who filmed it for the NAACP? So what, he was sent two versions, one edited and one complete? If that’s the case, then how can he disavow the editing being totally fraudulent if he had the full version?

  72. 72
    JCT says:

    @QuaintIrene: The snowbilly grifter- quitter and Bard channeler has been conspicuously quiet on this.

    Probably busy working on the “hit” on Levi.

  73. 73
    redoubt says:

    @QuaintIrene: I can’t wait to hear what a woman who left school in Hawaii because it was too diverse has to say about this.

  74. 74
    Gwangung says:

    Voice mail, Shirley. Let him cool his heels a little bit.

    Testify!

  75. 75
    Bella Q says:

    I am just not getting why some on the right are criticizing Breitbart, or why this particular hit job should be any more damaging to him than to any other.

    Because he got caught flat footed in an outright deception. Which misleading tape had been plastered all over the news with his deceptive spin. Which kinda f*cks up the propaganda machine in terms of its credibility.

    Petards, own, hoisting is a category under which this can be filed. It is apparently not a pleasurable experience.

  76. 76
    cmm says:

    Coupla thoughts:

    1) I’m so amused at the people sputtering about the video being about the audience. Besides Breitbart’s own intro to the video (and it’s priceless that he begins by pointing out that context is everything), there’s the simple fact that anyone who has ever had a passing acquaintance with black churches and black church style (which comes out in non-church gatherings when the right notes are being hit by the speaker) would know that the “approval and encouragement” in the audience is how an audience in any black church responds to the preacher when s/he is rolling on the topic. I’m sure Ms.Sherrod is no stranger to black preaching style and her rhythm of speech falls into that style pretty quickly, and the audience responds accordingly. Anyone who reads that as the audience cheering on a racist only shows their complete cluelessness.

    2) I’m underwhelmed by the “apology”. God I hate the passive voice “mistakes were made” mealymouth approach. How about this: “We were wrong. We over-reacted and didn’t learn all the facts, and Ms. Sherrod, we are deeply sorry.”

    3) I would love to see everyone who interviews any Republican politician, particularly the ones who lean more into teabaggy territory, ask them what they think about Breitbart and the racist Tea Party Express dude, the way they always want Obama to answer for everything any random person does.

    4) I think Ms. Sherrod is getting the support she is from the right wing pundits (and Breitbart is getting blowback from same) because she actually fits their preferred “good Negro” narrative when the full context is revealed. She WANTED to hate and retaliate against white people for the wrongs she and her family suffered but she learned it was WRONG and did the right thing. And when wronged she didn’t get all in your face and angry, she was calm and humble in explaining her point of view AND salt-of-the-earth white folks took up for her (ask yourself how the same commentators would be reacting to her if the white farm couple hadn’t been so fast to appear; even in the full context of the anecdote would they be accusing her of making it up? I bet they would).

    Think I’m wrong? Watch how fast they turn now that she made her statement about Fox News wanting to interview her and how she thinks they’d just as soon take away all the gains AFrican Americans have made. It’s gonna get ugly all over again, I predict.

    BTW I am not saying anything AT ALL against Ms.Sherrod in noting that she fits the more genteel racists’ preferred narrative in her victimization and her calm but firm reaction to it. It sounds as though she was and is everything someone could want in an advocate inside the government working on behalf of the people. Her lack of hate and bitterness after her family’s history AND her current mau-mauing is inspirational and if anything good has come out of this, it’s that we actually got to “meet” Ms. Sherrod and the family that she helped. For all the Tea Partiers’ blather about “real Americans”, it’s people like her that are the “real America” to me. The ones who help their neighbors and focus on what we have in common instead of differences.

    I have been so sickened and infuriated by this whole spectacle for the last two days it isn’t even funny. Especially when I think of how the last administration stonewalled calls for blatant crooks like Bybee and Yoo to be canned or resign AND how they all made soft comfy landings in sinecures. If Ms. Sherrod gets her job back or not, she’s not going to become one of the K street lobbyists or endowed chairs of something or other that the political punks out there get. And Breitbart and his buds don’t even grasp the idea that they destroyed a woman’s career and completely messed up her life over NOTHING. Sickening.

  77. 77
    BrianD says:

    So, he agrees that her story was about a transformation, but maintains it was wrong for NAACP members to applaud during the story of her transformation, which even he claims he doesn’t have a problem with?

  78. 78

    […] [Update: Even some on the Right are now having trouble defending Breitbart's attempted lie about his lie.] […]

  79. 79
    Will says:

    @BrianD:

    Exactly. His new defense makes no sense. If he agrees that her speech wasn’t racist, then the audience’s positive reaction to it can’t be racist, either. He’s an imbecile. And a racist.

  80. 80
    bobbo says:

    @cmm:

    I think Ms. Sherrod is getting the support she is from the right wing pundits (and Breitbart is getting blowback from same) because she actually fits their preferred “good Negro” narrative when the full context is revealed.

    I think that is exactly right.

  81. 81
    FlipYrWhig says:

    I dunno. Even if it wasn’t the primary explanation for why Breitbart wanted to make a big stink about the tape, I still think the audience reaction probably had a lot to do with the NAACP’s own panicky snap decision to rebuke Sherrod. It’s an NAACP gathering and the audience is sympathetic towards her statement that she wasn’t really in the mood to do all in her power. Of course that’s the whole point of the speech: Sherrod wants to have the audience reacting as she says she did in order to steer them all towards the conclusion that bonds of class are as politically salient as distinctions between skin colors.

    But, you know, that’s actually a hard conversation to win:

    Irate Fox Watcher: “She said she didn’t feel like helping the white farmer, and the audience laughed.”
    Cooler Head: “No, you see, her point was that that reaction was wrong. The whole story arc proves it.”
    Irate Fox Watcher: “The tape doesn’t lie. So a black audience laughing at white people’s pain is OK to you?”
    Cooler Head: “No, she’s subtly calling them out by calling herself out.”
    Irate Fox Watcher: “I know what I saw. If a white guy who used to be a cop told a story about how a black man came to see him and he didn’t really want to help him, would you laugh at that? Would you defend him?”

    IMHO, stalemate at best.

  82. 82
    Elie says:

    @Stooleo:

    That is what I want to know. I sure hope so. As I also said earlier, I would send her money to sue that MF and Fox along with him

  83. 83
    wobbly says:

    No Negro who fights for the rights of poor people and wins fits the “good Negro” narrative of right-wing pundits.

    They are supporting her to cover their sorry butts, now that the facts are known.

  84. 84
    Admiral_Komack says:

    @LikeableInMyOwnWay:

    Another reason I don’t watch CNN.

  85. 85
    cmorenc says:

    I just listened on the way home to CNN’s Wolf Blitzer and David Gergen going back and forth for several minutes focusing on Tom Vlasic, the Ag Dept, Obama, and his Administration’s handling of the Sherrod affair, without ONCE during that passage referring to the source of the fraudulently edited video that sparked the crisis, or the motives or reactions of the people behind it (i.e. Breitbart and Fox etc). It’s as if some disembodied clerical error in some unspecified bureaucracy was the cause of the whole affair, rather than the result of a deliberately manufactured political hack job that the individual perps and network who originally pushed the story thought they’d successfully promote without much risk of being discovered or (if so) being held culpable.

    Blitzer and Gergin are focusing attention on Obama, not Fox/Breitbart, and the slanderers have thereby accomplished a significant part of their mission even though they didn’t succeed in causing as much damage as they hoped. And Blitzer and Gergen are acting as enablers.

  86. 86
    Mnemosyne says:

    @cmorenc:

    It’s as if some disembodied clerical error in some unspecified bureaucracy was the cause of the whole affair, rather than the result of a deliberately manufactured political hack job that the individual perps and network who originally pushed the story thought they’d successfully promote without much risk of being discovered or (if so) being held culpable.

    “Buttle or Tuttle?”

    Blitzer and Gergin are focusing attention on Obama, not Fox/Breitbart, and the slanderers have thereby accomplished a significant part of their mission even though they didn’t succeed in causing as much damage as they hoped. And Blitzer and Gergen are acting as enablers.

    I’ve had people on this website telling me for two days that this was all Obama’s fault, so I’m not surprised at all that the media would go that route to cover up their mistake.

  87. 87
    Nick says:

    @Frank:

    Why is this so difficult?

    because anyone with enough money to finance such an operations is hostile to progressives.

  88. 88
    Midnight Marauder says:

    @wobbly:

    No Negro who fights for the rights of poor people and wins fits the “good Negro” narrative of right-wing pundits.

    I cannot even believe that people are spouting that nonsense in this thread. For crying out loud, the wingnuts don’t believe John Lewis was spit on and called a nigger because there are no pictures or videotape to prove it! He who was chairman of the Student Nonviolent Coordinating Committee and played a pivotal role in the fight to end segregation in this country, has no credibility on issues related to civil rights because…?

    They are only touting how benevolent this woman is because it continues to create a problematic situation for the Obama Administration.

  89. 89
    debbie says:

    My local news tonight (in central Ohio) only spoke of the administration’s “rush to judgment” of Sherrod. Not one single peep from about the lies and fraud of Breitbart and, on a larger scale, the Republicans.

  90. 90
    DavidTC says:

    Irate Fox Watcher: “I know what I saw. If a white guy who used to be a cop told a story about how a black man came to see him and he didn’t really want to help him, would you laugh at that? Would you defend him?”

    It depends on the context.

    If the white cop was, indeed, talking about the time that he needed to be color-blind to do his job, and that he was there to help victims, period.

    So told a story about a black person, who constantly hassled him while doing his duty, calling him ‘whitey’ and whatnot, showed up asking for help, and the cop said that his first impulse was, indeed, to brush the guy off, *insert laugh here*, but realized that, the point of being a cop isn’t to be a cop to those to respected you, but to be a cop…

    Well, yeah, I’d defend that laugh. Someone looking for help from someone they belittle and didn’t respect always gets a laugh. It’s called dramatic irony, and it’s inherently funny, as is the person pausing to consider if they will help.

    The situation would be different if she hadn’t mentioned the fact he was, at the same time he was asking for help, that he was being condescending.

  91. 91
    FlipYrWhig says:

    @DavidTC:

    It depends on the context.

    You and I both know that. I totally agree that Sherrod’s story is a classic case of dramatic irony and entirely defensible, and parallel cases could be entirely defensible too. But now your debate is entering the terrain of, in essence, rhetorical theory, which — in light of John’s later Chris Rock clip — also becomes the terrain of what’s laugh-worthy in the first place.

    Put yourself in the place of a white person who thinks that black people play the “race card.” This kind of episode gives you the ability to play the race card on behalf of white people, and say that discrimination should be no laughing matter, for white people or for black people. And both the NAACP and Vilsack immediately ran in that direction too: “tsk-tsk, harrumph harrumph, bias is bad no matter who wields it.” Or put yourself in a mindset where “taken out of context” is a hollow defense rather than an actual statement about actual context.

    I’m honestly (pleasantly) surprised that the idea that the context of her remarks is meaningful seems to be winning out since late yesterday. That’s not how other racial remarks have played out lately, from Obama’s “typical white person” to Hillary Clinton’s “hardworking white Americans” to Eric Holder’s “cowards.”

  92. 92

    […] As even conservative Rich Lowry admits, the crucial context removed by Breitbart demonstrates that Sherrod prefaced her tale as one of a […]

  93. 93
    DavidTC says:

    You and I both know that. I totally agree that Sherrod’s story is a classic case of dramatic irony and entirely defensible, and parallel cases could be entirely defensible too.

    ‘Power flip’ humor is some of the oldest in the book, where someone belittles someone else and discovers, to their horror, that the person they’re belittling is actually in charge. As is this variant, where they know they’re in charge but have such preconceived biases they can’t stop.

    But now your debate is entering the terrain of, in essence, rhetorical theory, which—in light of John’s later Chris Rock clip—also becomes the terrain of what’s laugh-worthy in the first place.

    I would actually argue, and I speak as a white person, who lives in Georgia, that laughter would even be defensible even if the farmers in the story were not condescending.

    We’re talking Georgia, 1986, at an NAACP meeting. It’s entirely likely that some people did, for somewhat justifiable reasons, see white people as a ‘enemy’ in general, which would make the situation that a black person could end up deciding ‘one of their’ charge dramatic irony. (Which makes this speech, where she points out that POV is not correct, all the more important.)

    That isn’t a good thing, but it’s an understandable thing, and I’d be a lot more accepting of ‘reverse racism’ twenty-four years ago than today. I mean, they were closer to the civil rights era than modern day! It’s entirely possible some of the people there had actually had dogs set on them and whatnot. And, to top it off, we were in the middle of the Southern Strategy, where Republicans were deliberately race baiting in the south, where this was.

    So, yeah. Does the right really want people drudging up how their audiences were reacting to racist things 24 years ago, even pretending this was one?

    And, hell, they, for all we know, were just being polite and laughing at deliberate ‘joke’ pauses in the story without really paying attention, or maybe there was just a drunk racist table next to the recording and no one else was laughing. You can’t actually judge anything by ‘audience’ reactions in 90% of circumstances.

    This isn’t about the audience, this is about a liar who posted edited video.

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  1. […] As even conservative Rich Lowry admits, the crucial context removed by Breitbart demonstrates that Sherrod prefaced her tale as one of a […]

  2. […] [Update: Even some on the Right are now having trouble defending Breitbart's attempted lie about his lie.] […]

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