Numerous Sunday television and print commentators criticized Andrew Breitbart for posting the deceptively edited video of Shirley Sherrod, as well as Fox News for running with Breitbart's bogus smear.
Sunday commentators slam Breitbart, Fox for smearing Sherrod
Joan Walsh: Fox ran with Sherrod smear pushed by "discredited" Breitbart. On the July 25 edition of CNN's Reliable Sources, Salon.com's Joan Walsh criticized Fox News for running with Breitbart's deceptively edited video of Sherrod, stating that Breitbart "should have already been discredited" for pushing heavily edited ACORN videos last year. Walsh further stated that "Fox played a much bigger role [in the Sherrod story] than people want to admit," noting that the "Breitbart version of the story ran on FoxNews.com all day Monday" and that Bill O'Reilly and Sean Hannity discussed the story on their July 19 Fox News programs.
Jane Hall: Fox ran with Sherrod story "because it fit their narrative of a very anti-Obama situation." On the July 25 edition of Reliable Sources, former Fox News contributor Jane Hall said the Sherrod video was "almost a virtual world McCarthyism" and that Fox News ran with the video "because it fit their narrative of a very anti-Obama situation."
Bob Schieffer: "A partisan blogger with an agenda ... put the heavily edited" video of Sherrod on the Internet. On the July 25 edition of CBS' Face the Nation, host Bob Schieffer stated: "A partisan blogger with an agenda -- not a journalist -- put the heavily edited, totally out of context, now-infamous sound bite of Shirley Sherrod on the Internet." Schieffer further stated: "Some of the cable folk picked up this story and demanded the woman's ouster -- no calls to those involved; no checking of any kind. Just throw it out there and leave it to the woman to defend herself."
Mara Liasson: Fox among those "guilty" in Sherrod controversy. On the July 25 edition of Fox Broadcasting Co.'s Fox News Sunday, Fox News contributor and NPR correspondent Mara Liasson stated that "every entity here who did not do their homework and practice good journalism and report the entire videotape is guilty -- including Fox, who played it, but not in its entirety even after she'd been fired."
Howard Dean: Fox acted "absolutely racist." On the July 25 Fox News Sunday, Howard Dean stated of the Sherrod controversy: "Fox News did something that was absolutely racist. ... They had an obligation to find out what was really in the clip. They have been pushing a theme of black racism with this phony Black Panther crap and this [Sherrod] business and Sotomayor and all this other stuff." Dean further stated that "the tea party called out their racist fringe, and I think the Republican Party's got to stop appealing to its racist fringe, and Fox News is what did that."
Frank Rich: Breitbart is a "dirty trickster notorious for hustling skewed partisan videos on Fox News." In his July 24 New York Times column, Frank Rich wrote that "[e]ven though the egregiously misleading excerpt from Shirley Sherrod's 43-minute speech came from Andrew Breitbart, the dirty trickster notorious for hustling skewed partisan videos on Fox News, few questioned its validity." Rich further noted that Fox News touted Breitbart's edited video clip of Sherrod's comments as "what racism looks like."
Van Jones: Breitbart "promoted a misleadingly edited video of [Sherrod's] speech." In a July 24 New York Times op-ed, former Obama administration official Van Jones criticized how "[p]artisan Web sites and pundits pounced" on the Sherrod controversy, writing that "news organizations, and partisans posing as news organizations" have "cross[ed] the line from responsible reporting to dangerous rumor-mongering." Jones also wrote: "Andrew Breitbart, a prominent Internet conservative, promoted a misleadingly edited video of her speech; within hours, news outlets of all stripes were promoting it as truth."