Media Uproar Over Firing Or Usda Official
Fox News, the NAACP, and the Obama administration were all seeking to put out a political firestorm that threatened to burn them all, after conservative commentator Andrew Breitbart posted a video on his website that appeared to show Shirley Sherrod, an official in the U.S. Department of Agriculture, delivering racist comments before a meeting of the NAACP. Sherrod was promptly fired and the NAACP denounced her remarks. However, a later examination of the complete video revealed that her remarks were taken out of context. On Wednesday, Fox newscaster Sheppard Smith attempted to distance himself from hos own network's commentators who had repeatedly played Breitbart's video. "We here at Studio B did not run the video and did not reference the story in any way," Smith told his audience, "We didn't know who shot it, we didn't know when it was shot, we didn't know the context of the statement, and because of the history of the videos on the site where it was posted, in short we do not and did not trust the source." On Wednesday night, Bill O'Reilly, who had run the video, offered a reluctant apology "for not doing my homework, for not putting her remarks into proper context." The White House also apologized and offered her a new job within the USDA. The NAACP also apologized but blamed Fox News for hyping the story to begin with.