As Andrew Breitbart's Shirley Sherrod smear dissolved, rather than blame Breitbart for posting the deceptive clip of her speech, Glenn Beck, Michael Savage, and Rush Limbaugh ludicrously began speculating that he and the conservative media could have been the victim of a "set-up" that had been "orchestrated" by the White House.
Conservative media: Sherrod controversy a "set-up" to "smear Breitbart," Fox News
Beck: Did White House "plot" Sherrod story to "destroy the credibility of Fox News"? On the July 21 edition of his radio show, Beck linked the Sherrod story to "the President wanting to disgrace Fox News and separate everybody from Fox News." Beck asked, "is there a possibility that anybody involved is either going to use this emergency, or plotted this as a way to destroy the credibility of Fox News?" Beck went on to claim that in the future, when Fox runs a story the administration doesn't like, the White House can say that "they take things out of context all the time." Beck asked, "Is that a possibility? That's the only one so far that seems to make real sense to me." On his radio show the next day, Beck further suggested that if the Sherrod incident "wasn't a set up -- I have to tell you -- it is certainly Rahm Emanuel's don't let a good crisis go to waste."
Beck: "Maybe I'm being too conspiratorial" but "was this a diversion?" Also on the July 21 edition of his radio show, Beck questioned whether the Sherrod story was a "diversion" created by the Obama administration. Beck asked, "Did they do something else with the other hand yesterday that we're not paying attention to?" From the broadcast:
BECK: Now maybe I'm being, in this case, maybe I'm being too conspiratorial. Maybe we're just dealing with keystone cops at the White House. Maybe it was that somebody just didn't have the context. But it doesn't make sense.
PAT GRAY (CO-HOST): Isn't it fascinating too how -- how long it took Van Jones? I mean, he's a communist. He's a revolutionary. He's--
BECK: That's why something's wrong.
GRAY: He's a radical.
BECK: Are we supposed -- Were they -- did they do something else with the other hand yesterday that we're not paying attention to? Was this a diversion?
BECK: Was - this doesn't make any sense. Was this just -- was this sloppy?
Savage: "I'm beginning to believe that this entire affair was orchestrated by the government itself to smear Breitbart." On the July 21 edition of his radio show, Michael Savage suggested that he was "beginning to believe that this entire affair was orchestrated by the government itself to smear Breitbart and the Tea Party movement." He continued by stating that the scandal "is part of the dirty tricks campaign that the Democrats are famous for" and suggested that the Democrats had "released these tapes -- these edited tapes -- of the black bureaucrat through a third party or a fourth party, whispering 'oh, do we have something for you Mr. Breitbart.' "
Limbaugh: "For all I know, the White House orchestrated this whole thing." On the July 22 edition of his radio show, Rush Limbaugh derided the narrative of the Sherrod story in the media. He suggested that "[n]ow the template is, do you deserve a phone call from the President? The White House wanted you fired. The White House didn't listen. The White House took it out of con -- The White House is afraid of Fox News." Limbaugh continued by claiming, "For all I know, the White House orchestrated this whole thing."