The terminally choleric Andrew Breitbart is up to his old tricks in a new and bizarre tale of dishonesty and ethical collapse. It is startling that anyone even pays attention to this bombastic deceiver after all the examples of his low moral and professional character. This is, after all, the emotionally stunted jackass who posts videos of rivals picking their nose. Is this someone who should be taken seriously?
The latest trumped-up scandal from the Breitbart lie factory involves his posting a video that purportedly shows an African-American employee of the Department of Agriculture admitting to racially prejudiced behavior toward a white farmer. The problem with this (and every other) Breitbart video is that it has been deceptively edited to deliver a message that is patently false. Breitbart knows that the impression given in his cut does not represent the truth, yet he still says this about it:
“We are in possession of a video from in which Shirley Sherrod, USDA Georgia Director of Rural Development, speaks at the NAACP Freedom Fund dinner in Georgia. In her meandering speech to what appears to be an all-black audience, this federally appointed executive bureaucrat lays out in stark detail, that her federal duties are managed through the prism of race and class distinctions. […] In the first video, Sherrod describes how she racially discriminates against a white farmer.”
Breitbart flatly states the Sherrod discriminated against someone she was supposed to be helping in her role as a USDA representative. However, the truth is that Sherrod was relating an experience she had over twenty years ago when she was not working for the government at all. And furthermore, it was an experience wherein she shared her revelation that race had nothing to do with carrying out her duties in public service. It was, in fact, an inspiring story of tolerance and equality.
Despite these facts, Breitbart’s lie was quickly disseminated to the right-wing press who cooperated by regurgitating the lie and further slandering Sherrod and the Obama administration for whom she worked. But the most troubling part of this story is that the administration, and even the NAACP, accepted the phony video as factual and acted on that basis. The NAACP condemned Sherrod’s behavior and the Department of Agriculture fired her. All of this before attempting to ascertain the facts.
What is going to to take to get people to realize that Breitbart operates a thoroughly dishonest enterprise and ought not to be regarded as credible? His attacks on Van Jones were lies. His attacks on ACORN were lies. He demonstrated his support for child molesters when he sent ambushers out to harass Cong. Alan Grayson over a bill that would protect children. If the administration, or anyone else, continues to act on the garbage that emanates from Breitbart they will continue to be embarrassed and to hurt good people, as they have done to Sherrod in this sorry episode.
As if this weren’t enough, after Breitbart’s video was revealed to be a fraud, did he apologize or express regret? Of course not. He criticized the NAACP and the Obama administration for believing him. Seriously! After conceding that his own video took Sherrod’s remarks out of context, Breitbart didn’t try to correct the record or apologize for the damage he caused. Instead, he pointed accusatory fingers at the people who were naive enough to assume that he could be honest. He actually took pride in the fact that his bogus reporting shook up the administration and resulted in an unfair termination. This followup on Breitbart’s web site is like a perverse episode of Punk’d.
“…it shows the extent that Breitbart, Fox, and the Tea Party have gotten under the skin of the White House. Rather then to think it through they overreacted and forced Sherrod to pull over on the side of the road and resign without telling her side of the story.”
In effect Breitbart is boasting that rather than recognize that he is a scumbag liar, they believed him. And now Breitbart is mocking them for thinking he was honest. It would be understandable for me to criticize the administration for believing Breitbart, but for him to offer that criticism is downright schizophrenic. Breitbart is taunting them with something like this:
“Ha ha. You thought I was telling the truth when I’m really just a sleazeball who lies for sport. Boy are you dumb.”
In the end, the administration deserves to be mocked. They should have learned long ago that Breitbart, and Beck, and Limbaugh, and Fox News in general, are not to be taken seriously. They should certainly never be the impetus for any official action without first obtaining independent verification.
The NAACP has already retracted their statement condemning Sherrod and apologized to her. The White House should see to it that she is reinstated. And everyone should take to heart the lesson that is obvious to those of us who have been paying attention: The disreputable fakers in the rightist media should be spurned, condemned, or at the very least, ignored. And for God’s sake, stop thinking that they will ever be honest.