The video of now-former USDA official Shirley Sherrod released by Andrew Breitbart's Big Government discussing work she did with the Federation of Southern Cooperative/Land Assistance Fund was an excerpt from a longer speech. According to Sherrod, the video doesn't show the full context of her remarks and leaves a false impression.
But Tuesday morning, Sherrod said what online viewers weren't told in reports posted throughout the day Monday was that the tale she told at the banquet happened 24 years ago -- before she got the USDA job -- when she worked with the Georgia field office for the Federation of Southern Cooperative/Land Assistance Fund.
Sherrod said the short video clip excluded the breadth of the story about how she eventually worked with the man over a two-year period to help ward off foreclosure of his farm, and how she eventually became friends with him and his wife.
"And I went on to work with many more white farmers," she said. "The story helped me realize that race is not the issue, it's about the people who have and the people who don't. When I speak to groups, I try to speak about getting beyond the issue of race."
Conservative bloggers have raised questions about the abrupt end of Breitbart's tape, and wondered what the rest of the tape shows. The Atlanta Journal-Constitution's Jay Bookman also raises questions about the full tape:
So let's see the rest of the tape, Big Government. Was Sherrod giggling among black folk about the time she put it to the white man, as the leaked excerpt suggests, or was the tape a deceptively edited excerpt of a longer story about getting beyond the issue of race, as she claims?
Let's see the tape. The evidence apparently exists to settle the question. Cough it up.
We've seen this before. When the Attorney General of California finally got ahold of the unedited version of the Breitbart-promoted Giles/O'Keefe videos attacking ACORN, he called them a "highly selective editing of reality."
Based on Breitbart's terrible track record with the truth, until he releases the full, unedited video, the version of the story that he's promoting lacks credibility.