Circling the wagons: Right-wing media figures rush to defend Breitbart
Research ››› ››› JUSTIN BERRIER
Following the revelation that Andrew Breitbart's smear of Shirley Sherrod was based on heavily edited video footage that took her out of context, certain right-wing media figures have rushed to his defense. Some have asserted that Breitbart does not need to apologize for smearing an innocent woman, and some have absurdly continued to accuse Sherrod of racism or extremism.
Right-wing media continue to attack Sherrod, defend Breitbart even after full video is released
Huddy: Sherrod's "incriminating" "present tense" statements still "raise questions" about whether Sherrod should be federally employed. On the July 22 edition of Fox News' Fox & Friends, guest co-host Juliet Huddy called the Sherrod incident a "very strange story" and claimed:
HUDDY: If you go on to listen to the tape, there are things that I think are incriminating for her that I do think raise a lot of questions about whether or not she should be in the position that she held in the first place. She refers to, you know, his people, I think, that was [inaudible] -- his own kind. If a white public service -- as Bill O'Reilly said yesterday -- servant said, you know, we sent him to his kind, meaning we sent -- we sent a white farmer to a white lawyer -- that's what she said she did, his kind. If it was flipped around -- would be raising hell, trust me.
After co-host Brian Kilmeade explained that she was speaking about overcoming racial division, Huddy responded, "She still was talking in the present tense when she was saying his own kind."
Erickson: "No, I do not think Andrew Breitbart needs to apologize." In a July 22 tweet, RedState editor-in-chief and CNN contributor Erick Erickson wrote:
Erickson said this despite previously stating that "I think Shirley Sherrod has been unfairly characterized as a racist."
Hoft: Sherrod is a "[f]ar left anti-white radical." In a July 22 Gateway Pundit post, Jim Hoft called Sherrod a "[f]ar left anti-white radical ... who is linked to terrorist Bill Ayers." Hoft claimed that Sherrod has ties to Ayers because both he and her husband were once "involved" in the Student Non-Violent Coordinating Committee (SNCC). Hoft provided no evidence that the two actually knew each other.
Hoft: "Obama called radical Shirley Sherrod today to ... apologize for firing her for her racist remarks." In a July 22 Gateway Pundit post, Hoft wrote, "Barack Obama called radical Shirley Sherrod today to ... apologize for firing her for her racist remarks at an NAACP event in March." Hoft posted part of a Wall Street Journal article about the phone call and again claimed, "Far left anti-white radical Shirley Sherrod is linked to terrorist Bill Ayers like Barack Obama."
Limbaugh: "Andrew Breitbart was exactly right. ... If you listen to the whole speech ... she's racist." On the July 22 edition of his radio show, Rush Limbaugh claimed that "Andrew Breitbart was exactly right. This woman did not have an epiphany when she was at the USDA. When she was speaking to the NAACP, she did not have an epiphany. ... If you listen to the whole speech, as people have, 43 minutes, she's racist. The NAACP is racist."
Limbaugh says he has to cover the story because "even Fox caved on this" by saying "Breitbart is wrong." On the July 22 edition of his radio show, Limbaugh said that despite the fact that he "hate[s] this story," he had to cover it because "even Fox caved on this. Even Shep Smith -- even poor old Shep Smith went down there and said that everybody's wrong on this, that Breitbart is wrong, and so forth. There's only a handful of us that have the guts to put this story straight." Limbaugh called the conservative media "cowards" because they wouldn't deal "with this up front and honest."
Andy McCarthy: "Ms. Sherrod's Speech Was Most Certainly Not About Transcending Racism." In a July 22 National Review Online post, Andy McCarthy wrote: "I don't understand the sudden pendulum swing in the other direction. Now, in Take Two, we are to understand that Ms. Sherrod was not exhibiting racism. Instead, 'taken in context,' we're told, she is actually a heroic figure who has transcended the racist views that, given the terrible things she saw growing up in the South, were understandable." McCarthy posted parts of her speech and wrote: "Pardon me, but I think I'll stay off the Canonize Shirley bandwagon. To me, it seems like she's still got plenty of racial baggage. What we're seeing is not transcendence but transference. That's why the NAACP crowd reacted so enthusiastically throughout her speech."
WND columnist: Sherrod is a "black woman who has graduated from hard-core to soft bigotry." In a July 23 WorldNetDaily column titled, "Meet Saint Shirley Sherrod," columnist Ilana Mercer wrote: "And Sherrod is no [Capt. Alfred] Dreyfus. She was fired by an administration that mistook her for a worse racist than she actually was. The Obama posse overestimated the extent of Sherrod's animus for whites. She turned out to be merely a mezzanine-level racist. Neither is Sherrod's story one of 'redemption and cross-racial friendship,' as Newsweek put it slightly less hyperbolically than did MSNBC's frontman. Shirley Sherrod's is a tale of the triumph of low expectations and black racial exculpation in contemporary America." Mercer also baselessly claimed that "[h]ad the white farmer been a brother forced to beg before a sister in a position of power, Sherrod might have characterized him as a proud man in humiliating circumstances [emphasis in original]. Given the desperate farmer's hue, Sherrod alleged he had a superior attitude, before going on to describe her dilemma: having to help a white man save his property, when so many black people had lost theirs" and concluded that she is "a black woman who has graduated from hard-core to soft bigotry."
Levin reportedly called Sherrod "somebody who's stuck in the race-baiting game." Radio host Mark Levin reportedly said in an interview with Yahoo's The Upshot: "What the hell do I have to apologize for? I didn't hire her. I didn't fire her." Levin reportedly called Sherrod "somebody who's stuck in the race-baiting game."
Bozell accused Sherrod of "inserting racism into the debate." Appearing on ABC Radio Networks' The Mark Levin Show, Media Research Center president Brent Bozell claimed that "the world is upside-down on this one" and said that after watching the whole speech, "It gets worse, it doesn't get better," and that Sherrod is guilty of "inserting racism into the debate." Bozell also posted a blog on his NewsBusters website in which he claimed about one of Sherrod's appearances on CNN: "Sherrod was clearly furious that her racist remarks were exposed. ... Sherrod screamed right back at [CNN analyst Roland Martin] that he was 'clearly from a different world' than the deeply racist world she lived in."
Big Government bloggers defend Breitbart
Guy Benson: "Breitbart Didn't Hide Sherrod's Redemption and Other Things the Media's Gotten Wrong So Far." In a July 22 post, Big Government blogger Guy Benson wrote, "As the mainstream media trips over itself to analyze and re-analyze the Shirley Sherrod controversy, Andrew Breitbart is under fire for ostensibly unethical behavior." Benson listed points he claimed "the media's gotten wrong" about Breitbart: that the Obama administration "responded with warp-speed to toss Sherrod overboard"; that this indicated "a hair-trigger climate of paranoia about all issues racial within the West Wing"; and that the original video "included Sherrod's change-of-heart conclusion." Benson further claimed that there's "also a largely unspoken racial double standard at play here" by asking, "Would a white federal employee ever get off the hook for making similar comments to an all-white audience?"
Mike Flynn attacks Politico article on the story, claiming, "At Politico, context and facts are negotiable." In a July 22 post, Big Government editor-in-chief Mike Flynn falsely claimed: "We did not edit, much less misleadingly edit, any of Ms. Sherrod's remarks. We posted two excerpts from her speech, representing the sum total of the video we had. We didn't cut anything out of her speech." Flynn attempted to bolster Breitbart's claim that the story was "always about the NAACP" by saying: "We all now know that Ms. Sherrod's anecdote was part of a larger point about the need to move beyond racial prejudices. But, the NAACP audience did not know that as they heard the speech. ...This was always the story and it is clearly an uncomfortable one for the NAACP."
Publius posts Limbaugh transcript saying, "Breitbart was exactly right." On July 23, "Publius" -- Big Government's editorial panel -- wrote: "In case you missed it yesterday, America's Anchorman weighed in extensively on the NAACP/Obama Admin./Sherrod scandal." Publius posted transcript of Limbaugh claiming that "it turns out that Andrew Breitbart was exactly right."