Thursday, July 22, 2010


In The Washington Post, Howard Kurtz distorts the truth about the involvement of Fox News in the Shirley Sherrod story:

... But for all the chatter -- some of it from Sherrod herself -- that she was done in by Fox News, the network didn't touch the story until her forced resignation was made public Monday evening, with the exception of brief comments by [Bill] O'Reilly. After a news meeting Monday afternoon, an e-mail directive was sent to the news staff in which Fox Senior Vice President Michael Clemente said: "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."

... Clemente, the Fox executive, said in an interview that Sherrod "certainly could be forgiven for being confused." As for other critics, he said that blaming Fox is "a comfortable reflex for some people." ...

Yeah -- especially when, as in this case, it's accurate.

As Media Matters has noted, the Fox News Channel may have (mostly) waited until after the resignation became public, but the online arms of the Fox News empire weren't so fastidious:

... reported on the story well before this occurred. A July 19 article reported on the video, noting that it was "first posted by" and reported that: is seeking a response from both the NAACP and the USDA. The clip adds to the firestorm of debate over the NAACP's decision to approve a resolution at its convention last week accusing some Tea Party activists of racism -- a charge Tea Party leaders deny. "The Agriculture Department announced" the resignation "shortly after published its initial report." A July 20 article stated: "The Agriculture Department announced Monday, shortly after published its initial report on the video, that Sherrod had resigned." That initial report was replaced by the July 20 article, but it was copied on a discussion thread here....



...1:40 p.m. (approximately): Fox Nation accuses Sherrod of "discrimination caught on tape" before she resigned.
Fox Nation linked to Breitbart's Big Government piece and posted the deceptively cropped clips of Sherrod's speech at the NAACP in a post titled, "Caught on Tape: Obama Official Discriminates Against White Farmer" ...

The first reader to comment on the post is from July 19 at 1:41 p.m....

After news broke that Sherrod resigned, the post's headline was changed to read "Obama Official Resigns After Discrimination Caught on Tape" ...

The Fox Nation tweet from that period of what Kurtz tells us was caution and restraint on the part of Fox News is still up, dated Monday, July 19, at 2:36 P.M. (click to enlarge):

And there's a similarly timed item on Fox Nation's Facebook page.

There's also this disingenuous crap from Kurtz:

Breitbart has worked closely with Fox opinion hosts in the past, most notably when he posted videos of two young activists ostensibly posing as a pimp and prostitute and seeking help from ACORN offices. Breitbart promoted those tapes on Sean Hannity's Fox program and the network gave them heavy play.

Yes, we certainly have a vague sense that there appear to be at least tenuous connections between Fox and Breitbart, although the extent of those connections blah blah blah ... Oh give me a freaking break, Howie. Breitbart and Fox are thick as thieves. They're joined at the hip. This was a coordinated pile-on, and only an idiot would pretend otherwise.

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