Thursday, July 29, 2010

Shirley Sues, Chris Matthews Takes Temporary Leave of His Senses … Recovers In ‘Hardball, The Director’s Cut’

Ha. If I were sitting in one of those “dinner table conversations” that Chris advertises as helping us know where the American people stand, he’d be right about one thing: “It’s not a calm” event. In fact Chris practically guarantees that a food fight ensues. Despite Chris’s inchoate rant that Andrew Breitbart had the entire tape on his website (NO, HE DIDN’T CHRIS!) the Big Story is Shirley Sherrod striking back for every person maligned by the right wing, defiantly refusing an apology from Fox and Breitbart.

She’s determined to sue. YES!

After Andrew Breitbart blogged a misleading excerpt of a 43-minute speech by Ms. Sherrod, Fox News intoned it’s “what racism looks like.” Really. Frank Rich of the New York Times said, “her talk was an uplifting parable about how she had risen above her own trials in the Jim Crow South to aid poor people of every race during her long career in rural development.” Fox would have known that had they had the journalistic integrity to check. But they are not journalists.

As for Breitbart, his history as right wing slime merchant and destroyer of honest people’s careers will be revealed in all of its disgusting cravenness, including, in addition to the sliming of Ms. Sherrod, the smear of ACORN, and the accusation that civil rights giant John Lewis lied about being called “nigger” at a Tea Party rally in Washington D.C. Breitbart produced a video purporting to catch Lewis in a lie that was “so bogus” even Fox wouldn’t touch it.

If Shirley Sherrod goes forward with her lawsuit she has a good chance of prevailing, in my non-lawyer’s opinion. Ms. Sherrod was terribly wronged and damaged by Andrew Breitbart and Fox News, which collaborated with Breitbart in disseminating his sliming of her as well as of ACORN, with trumped-up video clips. No wonder a Fox executive admitted there was “a breakdown in the system” when his “advice” was not followed: “Let's take our time and get the facts straight on this story. Can we get confirmation and comments from Sherrod before going on-air. Let's make sure we do this right.”

Hmm … has anyone of you Fox hounds out there ever heard of Michael Clemente, Senior Vice President of News? No; well, right now he’s the only mitigating factor standing in the way of Fox getting slammed along with Breitbart for sliming Ms. Sherrod. It seems the big egos over there didn’t pay much attention to Clemente’s word of caution. Or maybe he said it with a ‘wink and a nod’ after hitting the audio record button. Making sure “we do this right” would be more believable if this was an isolated case rather than business-as-usual at Rupert Murdoch’s ‘Ministry of Truth.’

We sincerely wish Ms. Sherrod well in forcing Andrew Breitbart to pay steeply for wronging her and his despicable sliming of ordinary, hard-working people who lack the means or intestinal fortitude to take on such a scum-sucking bottom-feeder. This time it might be different: The moment Ms. Sherrod produces all the poor white farm families she helped stay in their homes throughout her honorable career, culminating with the family she mentioned in her speech, it will be all over for Breitbart and Fox. As Frank Rich said, “The smear might well have stuck if the white octogenarian farmer saved by Sherrod 24 years ago was no longer alive and if he didn’t look like a Norman Rockwell archetype.”

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