We have written many times about the Shirley Sherrod case against Andrew Breitbart (now his wife is substituted as defendant) and Larry O’Connor over an “edited” video which Sherrod alleges unfairly depicted her as racist leading to her firing by the U.S. Department of Agriculture.

Sherrod’s claim, repeated mindlessly by the media, is that the full video showed that Sherrod was not racist, but merely relating a story about how her initial ill-will towards a white farmer decades ago was overcome by the realization that race should not be a factor.

I have analyzed the video frame by frame, and in fact Sherrod’s alleged revelation that she overcame those racial feelings was in the “edited” video, as this screen capture shows:


Sherrod was fired precipitously by the USDA, despite her telling USDA that she felt the “edited” video was misleading.

In emails produced in the case, USDA pretty much took the position that it didn’t care, the political blowback was too strong not to fire her.  (These emails were obtained from the public court docket via PACER.)

Shirley Sherrod Email July 15 2010 1143 am re full video

Sherrod Case - Email Chris Mather July 19 2010 re video at Hot Air

Sherrod Case - Talking Points email Chris Mather July 20 2010

Sherrod Case - Email Charles Fromstein July 20 re White House

But there is a treasure trove of emails that have not been produced so far, including emails involving the White House.

USDA has been stalling, to the extent that the Judge recently lambasted the government in open court about its failure to cooperate.  Both Sherrod and the defendants agree that the goverment should produce all the emails — as it is essential to an understanding of the politicial involvement in the firing.

From the defendants point of view, presumably, if Sherrod was fired for political expediency and not because she was unfairly portrayed as racist, then Sherrod cannot make the connection between the “edited” video and the firing.  The emails already released strongly suggest political motivation and a lack of concern for the full context (which was of course in the “edited” video anyway).

Sherrod has filed a motion for a discovery order requiring the feds to produce all the emails, and O’Connor has filed a similar motion to enforce a subpoena for emails.

Will the White House claim executive privilege or in some other way try to bury its involvement in Sherrod’s firing?

We’ll find out soon enough, when the government responds to the pending motions.