The Real Shirley Sherrod Story
By Ben Shapiro
Last week, Andrew Breitbart’s Big Government website released a heavily edited video of U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) Georgia State Director of Rural Development Shirley Sherrod speaking to the NAACP. That video appeared to show Sherrod talking about how she had, in the past, discriminated against a white farmer seeking help to save his land. The clip ignored Sherrod’s further statement that working with the white farmer “made me see that it’s really about those who have versus those who don’t, you know. And they could be black, and they could be white; they could be Hispanic.”
Based on the edited clip, the Obama administration quickly fired Sherrod from her position. When the rest of the tape was released by the NAACP, however, the administration blamed Breitbart and Department of Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack for the screw-up, and then offered her a new job.
The media’s narrative immediately crystallized: right-wing blogger releases out-of-context quotes as a purposeful smear; Shirley Sherrod is a martyred saint; President Obama is not black enough because he fired Sherrod.
There’s only one problem with that narrative: It’s wrong on every single count.