Breitbart's Bum Story
In the end, the only people who came out of the Shirley Sherrod pseudo-scandal without egg on their faces was Shirley Sherrod -- and her falsely alleged "victims."
Things didn't start out that way. There was that troubling, selectively edited Internet video of the black
Her comments in the clip sounded racist, so faster than you could say "due process" she was out of a job. She also was denounced by many, including national
When it was released, the world learned ironically that blogger
Oops! A stampede of backpedaling, apologies, recrimination and vindication followed. President
Only blogger Breitbart chose to play the defiant dope. Without a hint of irony or shame in various interviews, he washed his hands of culpability. He was after the
"I could care less about Shirley Sherrod, to be honest with you," he said, stating the obvious to Fox's
Yet, his video also plainly fails to support his claim of "showing racism at an
Breitbart's not worried about getting the other side's view of stories like this. He's convinced himself that his willfully conservative websites provide a useful alternative to what he sees as a left-biased mainstream media. Bring it on. There's plenty of room on the Web. Let the consumers decide whose version of journalism is worth their time.
But consider this, dear consumer: Just as you want the media to be fair and balanced, be fair to yourself, too. Don't cheat yourself by exposing yourself only to views and ideas that agree with your preconceived notions. The Web offers a range of views and sources. Enjoy. But keep a healthy skepticism. Remember the old
And, for those who wish to engage in citizen journalism, remember the old-school lesson that Breitbart appears to have learned the hard way: Getting the story right is better than getting it first.
Bad journalism eventually produces its own punishment. Justice for Breitbart -- or against him -- will be determined by his audience.
He'll keep many of his fans, no doubt, and maybe win some new ones now that he is touting himself as a heroic martyr for the tea party cause. Others can now view his work with the healthy skepticism that it deserves.
Regardless of whatever spin he puts on it, he will be long remembered as the guy who cost an innocent woman her job, all because he cared more about attacking liberals than checking his facts.
And the folks in the
Only Sherrod and the Spooners came out of this drama with their grace and dignity intact. Reunited after many years by this bogus scandal, they offer an inspiring model of a better America, a place where ordinary everyday folks manage to get along despite racial lines -- even when our leaders fail.
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Shirley Sherrod - Breitbart's Bum Story | Politics
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