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Repeat after me again and again: “The Shirley Sherrod tape was not misleading”

Repeat after me again and again: “The Shirley Sherrod tape was not misleading”

I just saw a movie review in The Washington Post from last fall regarding Hating Breitbart.

I haven’t seen the film (but Anne did, her review is here), so I can’t comment on the review itself, although it does bear an unmistakably snide tone to it, as expected.

But one part  jumped out at me:

A Breitbart-posted video of Agriculture Department employee Shirley Sherrod seemed to contain an admission of anti-white bigotry, so she was forced out of her job.   With added context, however, Sherrod’s reputation was restored.

I’ve dealt with this many times, Repeat after me: “The Shirley Sherrod tape was not misleading”:

With Andrew Breitbart’s death this week, one of the most persistent falsehoods has resurfaced, the claim that the original tape released of Shirley Sherrod’s speech to an NAACP Chapter was misleading or defamatory in that it did not reveal that Sherrod’s discrimination against a white farmer was long ago, that she ended up helping him, and that she had since changed her view….

Whether innocent or malicious, the narrative is wrong.

I originally analyzed the alleged falsehoods when the controversy first broke in July 2010, The Original Sherrod Clip Was Not “False”.

Read those posts where I completely and thoroughly take apart the claim that the clip was false or misleading, frame by frame.

Getting rid of this malicious myth about Andrew Breitbart is like trying to get all the soap out of a sponge.

Update: I saw that Tommy Chrisopher of Mediaite is haranging people for posting an allegedly misleading clip of Joe Biden, so I went back to see what Christpher said about the Sherrod tape, and it looks like he need a correction. We’ll see.


Oh well:

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Comments

RefudiateGOPe | March 14, 2013 at 10:03 am

“Getting rid of this malicious myth about Andrew Breitbart is like trying to get all the soap out of a sponge.”

That’s kind of like dealing with the idiots who still think that Palin said, “I can see Russia from my front porch”.

casualobserver | March 14, 2013 at 10:10 am

With the most recent James O’Keefe settlement, the left is even more energized to push the ‘dishonest and evil’ meme with cries of ‘altered’ recordings and ‘illegal’ deceit as the bedrock. Attacking the motives and the methods successfully obscures the information for many. My expectation is that the media has not problem participating in that effort under the guise of ‘reporting’.

MaggotAtBroadAndWall | March 14, 2013 at 10:11 am

I have been wondering if Sherrod dropped her lawsuit against Andrew after his death, or is she pressing on against the estate. Any idea?

“…like trying to get all the soap out of a sponge.”

Respectfully, Prof., it’s more like getting all the poison out of your well…when evil people keep poisoning it anew every chance they get.

Sherrod IS a bigot. She WAS (by admission) a bigot. She will, in all likelihood, be a bigot tomorrow.

So, too, will be her audience.

If they don’t discredit the tape they have to deal with the issue of her audience. The section Breitbart first received included not only her statement of her own personal ‘redemption,’ but the crowd’s willingness to agree with her pre-redemption position. Furthermore, there is the structure of her speech, wherein she anticipated the audience reaction and was setting up a teaching moment from it. If the tape is allowed to stand the takeaway message is that Ms. Sherrod learned to be a better person than she had been, but that on the whole her party doesn’t want to grow with her.

“It’s not about 2014,” Obama told Organizing for Action this evening, per the pool report. “I actually wanna govern, at least for a couple of years.”

A number of points need to be made:
1. Sherrod was offered her job back and declined.
2. The video is much more about the audience’s response than Sherrod’s comments anyway.
3. Sherrod’s role in the Pigford 2 settlement (and Pigford 2 in general) never made it to the MSM.
4. What about the context of Romney’s 47% comment. The whole tape of that conversation has never been released.

Bill O’Reilly keeps saying he was hoodwinked by the Sherrod tape. I’ve written to him over and over but he keeps saying it. Maybe the Professor should make an appearance on his show and set him straight?

    casualobserver in reply to JoAnne. | March 14, 2013 at 2:50 pm

    I’ve always viewed Breitbart’s intent on posting the clip (followed up by the full recording, as I recall) was different than O’Reilly’s intent in using it on his program. Breitbart focused on her words and the immediate reaction of agreement (excitement?) by the audience. O’Reilly used it to demonstrate Sherrod’s reverse prejudice, perhaps without ever looking for the full context. In that sense, he was perhaps hoodwinked, but clearly not by Breitbart. His staff? Himself?

William A. Jacobson: Repeat after me: “The Shirley Sherrod tape was not misleading”

Of course it was misleading, purposefully so, and the mislead was propagated throughout the right wing echochamber. Breitbart called it a “racist tale”, when it was anything but, saying “her federal duties are managed through the prism of race and class distinctions.”

    casualobserver in reply to Zachriel. | March 14, 2013 at 2:54 pm

    You can disagree with Breitbart’s conclusion about her duties, but disputing that it was a ‘racist tale’ is at best spin, and at worst a deliberate deceit. If the point of a story hinges on the color of skin, and the actions as a result, it can only be a ‘racist tale.’ That you can also conclude she redeemed herself with her final words/actions changes nothing about the point of her story.

    No doubt you only see racism as it relates to political affiliation or ideology, I suspect.

      casualobserver: If the point of a story hinges on the color of skin, and the actions as a result, it can only be a ‘racist tale.’

      No. It’s not a racist tale, though it is a tale about race. It was a story of redemption, and was completely distorted by Breitbart.

        Crawford in reply to Zachriel. | March 14, 2013 at 10:24 pm

        “It was a story of redemption, and was completely distorted by Breitbart.”

        You lie. The “redemption” was pointed out in the original post.

          Um, no it doesn’t.

          “Sherrod’s racist tale is received by the NAACP audience with nodding approval and murmurs of recognition and agreement. Hardly the behavior of the group now holding itself up as the supreme judge of another groups’ racial tolerance.”

          http://web.archive.org/web/20100808111202/http://biggovernment.com/abreitbart/2010/07/19/video-proof-the-naacp-awards-racism2010

          Aggie95 in reply to Crawford. | March 15, 2013 at 8:42 am

          * SIGH * …. the point was never what Sherrod said …. it was the reaction of the crowd to her racist statements …. focus

          Aggie95: the point was never what Sherrod said …. it was the reaction of the crowd to her racist statements

          Sherrod’s talk was in the form of a story of redemption. Her audience well understood where Sherrod was coming from. Her father had been fatally shot in the back by a white man with impunity. Of course she felt a certain bitterness, as do many blacks of her generation. The story is one of rising above that bitterness. By editing that out, including the audience’s reaction to the Sherrod’s redemption, Breitbart distorted the meaning of the story.

          Crawford in reply to Crawford. | March 16, 2013 at 7:24 pm

          You still lie, Zachriel. I read the original story. Your one-line quote avoided that part.

          Because you’re a liar.

          Crawford: I read the original story.

          We provided the link to the original story because it is obvious that Breitbart was trying to create a false impression of Sherrod’s story.

          Crawford: Because you’re a …

          See you have discovered that you no longer have a valid argument.

As I read the tweets posted here, I once again ask “Why?” Why is this new social media gimmick so loved? How can anyone adequately communicate with only 140 characters to work with?

Christopher certainly demonstrated how easy it is to blow away any inquiry on twitter – just deny! And the Professor’s blog post is suddenly sour grapes . . .

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