Matt Lewis, who has written for Big Government, took to CNN's Reliable Sources today to assist in the effort to warp the truth about Andrew Breitbart's role in pushing -- and spurring others to push -- unfounded accusations of racism against Department of Agriculture official Shirley Sherrod.
It's been well established by now that the video Breitbart posted of Sherrod was a horribly out-of-context smear, and that her story was one of racial reconciliation rather than discrimination. So how does Lewis try to spin Breitbart's actions to relieve him of his culpability?
By suggesting -- falsely -- that Breitbart described things accurately all along. Discussing whether Breitbart should apologize, Reliable Sources host Howard Kurtz said that Breitbart "could write something on his site and say, 'You know what, in this instance, I screwed up. I should've checked it out more thoroughly.' But he absolutely has not." Lewis responded:
If you actually go back and read -- as I did, I interviewed him on Friday -- if you go back and read his original post, it actually says that Shirley Sherrod had the - that the larger context was about her having this revelation.
Breitbart's original post does not, in fact, put Sherrod's statements in the "larger context" of her "revelation." What it does say is this:
In the first video, Sherrod describes how she racially discriminates against a white farmer. She describes how she is torn over how much she will choose to help him. And, she admits that she doesn't do everything she can for him, because he is white. Eventually, her basic humanity informs that this white man is poor and needs help. But she decides that he should get help from "one of his own kind". She refers him to a white lawyer.
A one-sentence reference to Sherrod's "basic humanity" does not constitute placing the video in a larger context, especially when framed by misleading snippets of information that underline Sherrod's purported racism. And from this point, Breitbart's post just continues on to malign Sherrod, the Democrats, the NAACP and the mainstream media for a "willingness to exploit race for political ends."
Given that Breitbart and those who write for him have a lengthy history of speculation, gross distortions, and outright falsehoods, it should be no surprise that Lewis's defense of Breitbart turns out to be founded on thin air.