In an imaginary world, an irresponsible ideological bomb thrower such as Andrew Breitbart would now have lost every shred of credibility he might have possessed in the public eye. He posted an out-of-context video clip of a black federal official seemingly spouting racist views against whites. The Obama administration quickly fired Shirley Sherrod, only later to learn that Breitbart’s chopped video clip distorted the woman’s remarks by 180 degrees. The full video clearly shows she was relating, confessing, a past incident she regretted that had taught her to overcome feelings of racial tension and to treat whites fairly.
Obama is scrambling to apologize to Sherrod and offer her a new job, and even FOX show host Bill O’Reilly is apologizing for initially being taken in by Breitbart’s hit job. Even Glenn Beck condemned it, and did not run the clip.
But I’m cynical enough to realize that in our poisoned partisan environment, Breitbart won’t be kicked to the curb and he’ll be back with more sleaze that will get at least some attention from those who have an ax to grind against the NAACP, blacks, Obama, liberals and anyone on the left. The right’s noise machine, as some call it, is an industry looking for every scrap of dirt it might use to attack the left’s power centers.
One of those power centers is the NAACP, which has become target No. 1 of late. The group has had the gall to denounce racist elements in the Tea Party movement, the lesson being, attack the Tea Party at your peril.
Shirley Sherrod got bushwhacked by a deceitful hack with political scalps to harvest. He got slavish attention until his repulsive trick was exposed. Obama and his team bungled the whole matter and looks incompetent and fearful of the rabid right and its race-baiting attack hounds.
Business as usual.