Shirley Sherrod's longtime attorney criticized ABC News for allowing Andrew Breitbart to appear as a commentator on its Election Night web coverage, comparing the planned appearance to rewarding a Klan member for burning a cross.
Rose Sanders, who has known Sherrod for decades, said Breitbart's appearance on ABC's Tuesday night online coverage following his distortion last summer of a video clip of Sherrod is tantamount to rewarding a racist.
In an interview with Media Matters on Sunday, Sanders said: "Having him on that show is like rewarding a Klansman -- giving a Klansman an award for burning a cross on Shirley Sherrod's house."
Sanders referred to Breitbart's controversial July 19 posting of an excerpt of a speech that Sherrod gave in front of an NAACP group. Breitbart claimed that the clip showed her engaging in racial discrimination as a federal official.
The tape resulted in Sherrod being fired July 19, but she was later offered a new USDA job -- which she declined -- after it became clear that the video Breitbart posted had been deceptively edited.
Sherrod could not be reached for comment Sunday.
But upon hearing that Breitbart would be part of a group of commentators whose views would be offered online through ABC News Tuesday, Sanders objected to the decision.
"To me, it just shows that the mainstream media is giving more to the right," she said. "I don't think he should have the opportunity, but the media is attached to the right-wing."
Sanders added, "He never apologized for what he did and he tried to take Shirley down and the NAACP down. He is [going to be on ABC News] because of his horrible reputation. It is popular to be horrible."
Sanders said Breitbart should have no part in their coverage: "From a credibility standpoint, they are making him credible and validating him for what he did to Shirley Sherrod. They should have me on to balance it."