Los Angeles Times reports on Fox News' handling of the smear of Shirley Sherrod:
Michael Clemente, [Fox News] senior vice president of news editorial, said the network's news programs reported the story with caution. "When I heard about this Monday morning and saw it on Breitbart's website, I said, 'OK, could be a story, let's check it out,' " Clemente said. "We did the normal fact-finding we would do on any story."
At an afternoon editorial meeting Monday, Clemente urged the staff to first get the facts and obtain comment from Sherrod before going on air, according to internal notes from the meeting that were provided to The Times. "Let's make sure we do this right," he said.
Sherrod ended up resigning Monday afternoon, hours before O'Reilly broke the story on his show.
As our timeline of the Sherrod smear shows, on Monday afternoon, prior to her resignation, FoxNews.com reported on the story without the comment from Sherrod that Clemente indicated was crucial. In fact, while the story indicates that "FoxNews.com is seeking a response from both the NAACP and the USDA," it gives no indication that they tried to contact Sherrod herself. In a follow-up report published some time before 5 p.m., FoxNews.com reported that USDA had announced Sherrod's resignation "shortly after FoxNews.com published its initial report on the video."
And as the LA Times story indicates, Fox's commentators certainly didn't wait for context from Sherrod or the full video before they started smearing her.