Thursday, July 29, 2010

Beck denies being "responsible" for planned massacre at office of group he demonized

From Media Matters

Glenn Beck has denied being "responsible" for a planned attack on the leaders of the Tides Foundation, a nonprofit organization Beck has repeatedly demonized. Beck has said that he "stand[s] by each one" of his attacks on the group and lauded his coverage of the organization.

CA shooter targeted Tides, wanted "to start a revolution"

CA gunman wanted to "start a revolution" by "killing people of importance at the Tides Foundation." On July 18, Byron Williams, a convicted felon, engaged in a shootout with police after being pulled over on I-580 in California. Williams was heavily armed, wearing body armor and wielding "a high-powered hunting rifle, a pistol and a shotgun." After being taken into custody, Williams reportedly told investigators that "his intention was to start a revolution by traveling to San Francisco and killing people of importance at the Tides Foundation and the ACLU."

Gunman's mother: Williams watched TV news, was upset with "the way Congress was railroading through all these left-wing agenda items." Following her son's arrest, Williams' mother told the San Francisco Chronicle that her son was angry about "what's happening to our country." The Chronicle reported that Williams "watched the news on television" and that his mother stated that he was upset with "the way Congress was railroading through all these left-wing agenda items."

Beck tipped the scale of Tides coverage before Williams' attempted attack

In virtually the only cable or network TV coverage of Tides, Beck mentioned the group 29 times on his Fox News show. As Media Matters has detailed, a LexisNexis search reveals that the Tides Foundation has been mentioned 29 times on Fox News' Glenn Beck in the time between the show's premiere and Williams' attempted rampage. In contrast, the Tides Foundation has not been mentioned once on ABC, NBC, CBS, CNN, MSNBC, or PBS in the same timeframe.

Beck called Tides a "shady organization" and accused it of "indoctrination," "warp[ing] your children's brains." In his coverage of Tides, Beck has repeatedly implicated the organization in his conspiracy theories, linking it to George Soros, the Apollo Alliance, the Joyce Foundation, and the Weather Underground. Beck has referred to the group as a "shady organization" [May 11] and claimed it is "a major source of revenue for some of the most extreme groups on the left" [May 21, 2009]. Beck frequently airs a video produced by Tides, which he refers to as an "indoctrination video...shown in schools all across America to warp you children's brains and make sure they know how evil capitalism is" [June 21].

Beck denies being "responsible" for planned attack, lauds his coverage of Tides

Beck mocks idea that "I am now responsible for terrorist attacks." On the July 29 edition of The Glenn Beck Program, Beck discussed the thwarted rampage in California and decried criticism of his coverage the Tides Foundation, claiming that his critics "are now imaging me as a terrorist and a racist." Co-host Pat Gray called the charges "unbelievable" while Beck stated in disbelief: "So I expose the Tides Foundation and show you what it is, and I am now responsible for terrorist attacks."

Beck: "I stand by each one" of my attacks on Tides Foundation. Beck continued on to defend his attacks against Tides, saying of his accusations of the group "being anti-capitalist, far-left radicals and indoctrinating children" that "I stand by each one of those." Beck also said it was "obscene" that "[t]here are no records of any other talk show mentioning the Tides Foundation" and that "I am the only one that has mentioned the Tides Foundation."

Beck producer Stu Burguiere calls accusations "liberal spin." On the fourth hour of Beck's July 27 radio show, available only to "Insider Extreme" subscribers, Beck's executive producer Stu Burguiere defended Beck against claims appearing on "liberal blogs" suggesting he inspired the actions of Williams, Burguiere called such the accusations "really pathetic" and stated that "just because some idiot goes and does something, you can't blame -- you cannot blame the host of a program who's talked about that organization."

Beck: Putting Tides Foundation on blackboard was "the first time that I really realized its success." On July 28, in a special podcast titled "Fundamental Transformation" for paying subscribers to his website, Beck called his chalkboard "the real star of the show." Beck then stated that "the first time I really realized its success: Tides Foundation and ACORN."

Beck brags about "turning the light of day" on Tides Foundation. On the July 26 edition of his radio show, Beck bragged that "everyone told us that we couldn't" explain what Tides was but that "the reason why the blackboard really became what the blackboard is" was because of his coverage of the group. Beck aired criticism of his coverage of the Tides Foundation from Color of Change's James Rucker and claimed Rucker was saying that Beck is "a danger because no one knew what Tides was until the blackboard. Meaning, that they need the cover of darkness. They must silence people that turn the light of day on to these organizations."

Beck continues to include Tides in his conspiracy theories since thwarted attack

Beck: "Why wouldn't you want us talking about Tides?" On the July 25 edition of his Fox News show, Beck responded to Rucker's criticism of his Tides coverage by asking, "why wouldn't you want us talking about Tides?" Beck went on to ask, "Why would you hide it" if Tides were simply "helping people" and "working for social justice."

Beck links Tides to Weather Underground in plot to redistribute wealth. On the July 28 edition of Fox News' Glenn Beck, Beck attempted to tie the Tides Foundation to the Weather Underground. Beck read a portion of the Weather Underground's "manifesto." He then commented, "Now, when I first read this, I thought, boy, where have I seen this before? And then, it dawned on me. George Soros funded the Tides Foundation, which funded the "Story of Stuff," which is now shown, most likely, in your child's school." From Glenn Beck:

BECK: We stopped at -- there's no property rights, because the ignorant masses -- you know, the bigots or the stupid -- they like the free market. They have some stuff.

And what the ignorant masses don't understand -- by the way, that's you, you're clinging to your silly traditions and your God and your guns -- the truth is: your wealth really isn't your wealth. In the truly progressive society, in this society that they wanted, wealth belongs to the world.

Quote, "The relative affluence existing in the United States is directly dependent upon the labor and the natural resources of the Vietnamese -- remember this is written in the 1960s -- the Angolans, and the Bolivians and the rest of the peoples of the third world. All the of the United Airlines, Astrojets, all of the Holiday Inns, all of the Hertz's automobiles, your television set, your you're your wardrobe already belong, to a large degree, to the people of the rest of the world."

Now, when I first read this, I thought, boy, where have I seen this before? And then, it dawned on me. George Soros funded the Tides Foundation, which funded the "Story of Stuff," which is now shown, most likely, in your child's school. Watch.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE [video clip]: Then, along came the corporation. Now, the reason the corporation looks bigger than the government is that the corporation is bigger than the government. Of the 100 largest economies on earth now, 51 are corporations. And as the corporation has grown in size and power, we've seen a little change in the government where they're a little more concerned in making sure everything's working out for those guys than for us.

BECK: If you're familiar with this, we've played this before. It shows how we have gone and raped the rest of the world, so our stuff isn't ours.

Yes, it is all of this capitalist greed that is causing all of the problems on the entire planet. It is our system and it is set up to make sure that it stays that way -- and the Weather Underground talk about, it's going to stay that way by force.

Beck has a history of promoting violent rhetoric

Beck pours gasoline on "average American," asks, "President Obama, why don't you just set us on fire?" On his television show, Beck claimed to be imitating Obama while pouring liquid from a gasoline can -- which he later stated was water -- on an actor portraying the "average American." Beck said during his demonstration: "President Obama, why don't you just set us on fire? ... We didn't vote to lose the republic."[Fox News' Glenn Beck, 4/9/09]

Beck portrays Obama, Democrats as vampires, suggests "driv[ing] a stake through the heart of the bloodsuckers." On his March 30, 2009, Fox News show, Beck aired a graphic portraying Obama and Democrats as vampires and said: "The government is full of vampires, and they are trying to suck the lifeblood out of the economy." Beck then suggested "driv[ing] a stake through the heart of the bloodsuckers." Beck returned to that imagery on his January 19 radio show, warning listeners that progressives are "vampires" who now have a "taste of blood" and are "gonna start getting more and more violent."

Beck talks about "put[ting] poison" in Pelosi's wine. In 2009, Beck's Fox News show featured a segment in which Beck said the following to a woman wearing a mask of House Speaker Nancy Pelosi:

BECK: So, Speaker Pelosi, I just wanted to -- you gonna drink your wine? Are you blind? Do those eyes not work? There you -- I want you to drink it now. Drink it. Drink it. Drink it.

I really just wanted to thank you for having me over here to wine country. You know, to be invited, I thought I had to be a major Democratic donor or a longtime friend of yours, which I'm not.

By the way, I put poison in your -- no, I -- I look forward to all the policy discussions that we're supposed to have -- you know, on health care, energy reform, and the economy. [Glenn Beck, 8/6/09]

Beck: "To the day I die, I am going to be a progressive hunter." Telling his listeners that they "are going to learn so much on Friday," Beck compared himself to "Israeli Nazi hunters" and commented: "I'm going to find these big progressives and, to the day I die, I'm going to be a progressive hunter." He added:

BECK: I'm going to find these people that have done this to our -- you know, to our country, and expose them. I don't care where -- I don't care if they're in nursing homes. I'm going to expose what they have done and make sure that the people understand, because our Constitution, our republic -- if it survives -- it will only survive because the people are waking up and through the grace of God, because we are that close to losing our republic. [The Glenn Beck Program, 1/20/10]

Beck: "Grab a torch." Asserting that politicians are addicted to spending, Beck stated: "When do we ever run those who are bankrupting our country and literally stealing our children's future out of town? Grab a torch." [Glenn Beck, 1/6/10]

Beck suggests Obama is "trying to destroy the country" and is pushing America toward civil war. While discussing the ongoing controversy over Arizona's immigration law, Beck told his listeners that "we are being pushed" toward civil war and that Obama is "trying to destroy the country." [The Glenn Beck Program, 5/19/10]

Beck's advice to Liberty grads: "Shoot to kill." During his May 15 commencement speech at Liberty University, Beck told graduates that they "have a responsibility" to speak out, or "blood ... will be on our hands." His advice for graduates (as well as his daughter) included "shoot to kill."

Quoting Jefferson, Beck warns about "rivers of blood." On his Fox News show, Beck quoted a letter by Thomas Jefferson warning " 'if they lose freedom' -- he's speaking of us, future generations -- 'if they lose freedom, there will be rivers of blood.' " Beck continued in his own words, "Boy, I hope that's not true, but I can tell you there will be rivers of blood if we don't have values and principles." [Glenn Beck, 5/14/10]

Beck: "I fear a Reichstag moment, a -- God forbid -- another 9-11, something that will turn this machine on." During an interview with in which he discussed opposition to Obama's Federal Communications Commission policies, Beck said: "I fear an event. I fear a Reichstag moment, a -- God forbid -- another 9-11, something that will turn this machine on, and power will be seized and voices will be silenced. God help us all.'' [, 10/7/09]

Beck speaks for one-third of the nation: "[Y]ou will have to shoot me in the forehead before you take away my gun" and "before I acquiesce and be silent." Beck has warned "ACORN, GE, Obama, SEIU" that "you are awakening a sleeping giant, and I have nothing to do with it" and that "America is waking up. You know the American Revolution took place with 12 percent of the population? Twelve. Are you telling me there is not 30 percent of this population that you will have to shoot me in the forehead before I let somebody into my house to tell me how to raise my children; you will have to shoot me in the forehead before you take away my gun; you will have to shoot me in the forehead before I acquiesce and be silent." Beck further stated:

BECK: They cannot move on these things, because they are building a machine that will crush the entrepreneurial sprit and the freedom that our Founding Fathers designed. This machine, whatever it is they are building, will crush it. Do not let them build another piece.

So while I turn away, I want to make sure that I have at least 10 million eyes watching -- watching every single move they are making.


We know why they're doing what they're doing. You need to do what you need to do, and as long as that is peaceful, we will save our country. [The Glenn Beck Program, 7/30/09]

Beck: "This game is for keeps"; "[Y]ou can shoot me in the head ... but there will be 10 others that line up." Asking his audience to "pray for protection," Beck claimed that "the most powerful people on the planet on the left" were "not going to go away easy" because "[t]his game is for keeps. This is who controls the United States of America and its destiny." He went on to state, "Just pray for protection, please." [The Glenn Beck Program, 9/8/09]

Later in the same program, Beck said:

BECK: You can try to put the lid on this group of people, but you will never silence us. You will never -- you can shoot me in the head, you can shoot the next guy in the head, but there will be 10 others that line up. And it may not happen today, it may not happen next week, but freedom will be restored in this land. Period. And no matter what you want to call it, it is a totalitarian state that you're headed towards. [The Glenn Beck Program, 9/8/09]

Beck: "There is a coup going on. There is a stealing of America." Beck has claimed that "there is a revolution, and they think they can get away with it quietly," adding: "At this point, gang, I'm not sure, they may be able to because they are so far ahead of us. They know what they're dealing against; most of America does not yet. Most of America doesn't have a clue as to what's going on. There is a coup going on. There is a stealing of America, and the way it is done, it has been done through the -- the guise of an election, but they lied to us the entire time." He also said, "And they're gonna say, 'we did it democratically,' and they are going to grab power every way they can. And God help us in an emergency." [The Glenn Beck Program, 8/31/09]

Beck suggests that progressives support "armed insurrection." After President Obama signed health care reform legislation into law, Beck suggested that progressives support "armed insurrection" and asked, "Why would the president take up immigration right away, after he's just punched you in the face with health care?" [Glenn Beck, 3/23/10]

Beck suggests Pelosi and Obama support "pick[ing] up a gun" to advance "revolution." During the same edition of his Fox News show, Beck said that "violence is the wrong way to go," but asked his viewers: "You'd pick up a gun? Have you ever thought of that?" He then pointed to several pictures, including images of Obama and Pelosi, and stated: "These people have. Because possibly, maybe the question should be asked, maybe they're tired of evolution, and maybe they are waiting for revolution." Beck also said: "Haven't we just been spanked? Hasn't most of the country -- doesn't most of the country feel like they've been spanked over health care? You bet. I do, you do. A lot of people do." [Glenn Beck, 3/23/10]

Beck suggests Obama administration may kill him. Also on that same edition of his Fox News program, Beck said: "For those of you in the administration, who are coming after me ... remember, you've broken three [of the 10 Commandments], let's not make it four; thou shalt not kill." [Glenn Beck, 3/23/10]

Ranting that gov't under Nixon "wasn't as corrupt as it is now," Beck suggests Obama admin might kill "10 percent" of population. On his Fox News show, Beck warned that "anarchists, Marxists, communists, revolutionaries, Maoists" have to "eliminate 10 percent of the U.S. population" in order to "gain control." They couldn't achieve such a goal when Richard Nixon was president, Beck stated, but the government under Nixon "wasn't as corrupt as it is now." [Glenn Beck, 6/10/10]

Beck: "The army ... of the extreme left is gathering" and they are saying "cops are bad, kill the cops." On his radio show, Beck discussed riots in Oakland, stating: "The army, if you will, of the extreme left is gathering, and they are coming to the conclusion of cops are bad, kill the cops, they're the oppressors. It's all the 1960s, you know, pig stuff." [The Glenn Beck Program, 7/12/10]

Ousted USDA employee Sherrod plans to sue Breitbart

By The Associated Press

Ousted USDA employee Shirley Sherrod says she will sue conservative blogger over edited video

Ousted Agriculture Department employee Shirley Sherrod said Thursday she will sue a conservative blogger who posted an edited video of her making racially tinged remarks last week.

Sherrod made the announcement in San Diego at the National Association of Black Journalists annual convention.

The edited video posted by Andrew Breitbart led Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack to ask her to resign, a decision he reconsidered after seeing the entire video of her March speech to a local NAACP group. In the full speech, Sherrod spoke of racial reconciliation and lessons she learned after initially hesitating to help a white farmer save his home.

Vilsack and President Barack Obama later called Sherrod to apologize for her hasty ouster. Vilsack has offered her a new job at the department, which she is still considering.

Obama said Thursday morning on ABC's daytime talk show "The View" that the incident shows racial tensions still exist in America.

"There are still inequalities out there. There's still discrimination out there," Obama said. "But we've made progress."

Obama pinned much of the blame for the incident on a media culture that he said seeks out conflict and doesn't always get the facts right. But he added, "A lot of people overreacted, including people in my administration."

Lindsey Graham considering overturning the 14th amendment to end ‘birthright citizenship.’

By Andrea Nill Politico reports that Sen. Lindsey Graham (R-SC), who many previously thought would co-sponsor comprehensive immigration reform this year, is considering radically changing the 14th amendment. Graham may introduce a constitutional amendment that would overturn the portion of the Constitution which states “[a]ll persons born or naturalized in the United States and subject to the jurisdiction thereof, are citizens of the United States and of the State wherein they reside.” In other words, Graham wants to end the practice of granting citizenship to the children of undocumented immigrants born on U.S. soil. Politico reports:

“I may introduce a constitutional amendment that changes the rules if you have a child here,” Graham said during an interview with Fox News’ Greta Van Susteren. “Birthright citizenship I think is a mistake, that we should change our Constitution and say if you come here illegally and you have a child, that child’s automatically not a citizen.” [...]

“I’m a practical guy, but when you go forward, I don’t want 20 million more 20 years from now,” he said. “I want to be fair. I want to be humane. We need immigration policy, but it should be on our terms, not someone else’s. I don’t know how to fix it all. But I do know what makes people mad, that 12 million people came here and there seems to be no system to deal with stopping 20 million 20 years from now.”

Graham wouldn’t be the first lawmaker to introduce legislation that would dramatically alter the 14th amendment. However, similar efforts have been led by Congress’ right-wing demagogues. Graham is now also following in the footsteps of the rabidly right-wing Arizona state Sen. Russell Pearce — the sponsor of SB-1070 who plans to “target the mother” by going after the “anchor baby racket.” A few months ago, Graham introduced a framework for immigration reform with Sen. Chuck Schumer (D-NY) that included a path to legalization for undocumented workers. In March, Graham walked away from the table, calling immigration reform “dead” after health care reform passed. Since then, Graham has joined his fellow Republicans in defending Arizona, blocking immigration reform, and calling for an enforcement-only approach.

Perry Claims Texas Has The ‘Best Health Care In The Country’ While It Has The Worst Uninsured Rate

By Alex Seitz-Wald Texas Gov. Rick Perry (R) appeared on Bill Bennett’s radio show yesterday to discuss his “inarguable” accomplishments, as Bennett put it. Specifically, Perry touted his states

health care system, saying that it is indeed the “best” in the country:

BENNETT: Thirty seconds on the doctors. You’ve got the best health care in the country, now I think, don’t you? Because of your tort law?

PERRY: We do, yes. I spoke with the doctors yesterday in San Antonio. We’ve got, you know, three of the great health care — well not — three of the great health care regions. When you think about the medical center in Houston, there are more doctors, nurses, researchers go to work there than any other place in the world, every day. You got UT Southwestern up in University of Texas Health Sciences Center, San Antonio, Scott & White. I mean these fabulous health care facilities.

Listen here:

While Texas’ health care system might work well for those who can afford to use its “fabulous” facilities, the state also has the highest rate of uninsured residents of any state in the country. Nearly 26 percent of Texans lack coverage — the national average is just 15.4 percent — meaning there are more uninsured residents in Texas “than there are people in 33 states,” the New York Times noted. Four of Texas’ congressional districts are among the bottom 10 in terms of insurance rates, while thirteen of the state’s districts are in the bottom 30. Houston, which Perry touted as a “great health care region,” has particularly low insurance rates. Harris County, in which Houston sits, has more uninsured residents than any other Texas county, while one in five of its children lack coverage.

One of the chief reasons Texas has such bad insurance rates is that the state has “among the country’s most restrictive Medicaid eligibility thresholds.” Impoverished adults without children are ineligible, for example, while the state has created “burdensome application requirements,” with outmoded computers and inadequate staffing.

Moreover, despite Perry’s strutting, Texas is actually a prime example of why tort reform has no significant impact on health care costs. As Atul Gawande documented in the New Yorker, Texas’ tort reform law hasn’t stopped towns like McAllen from having some of most expensive health care markets in the country.

Perry also likes to distort Texas’ education record to say it’s the best in the country. “We have more kids take the SAT than any other state in the nation. I mean a high percentage of our kids take the SAT,” Perry said in a typical boast earlier this month on CNBC. However, Texas actually has only the 22nd highest SAT participation rate in the country, with 51 percent of the class of 2009 taking the test. And among students who do take the test, “Texas ranks near the bottom in combined SAT scores — 45th out of 50 states.” “To stick with the school metaphor, 51 percent is a failing grade,” PolitiFact noted.

Of course, if Perry followed through on his secession plan, Texas would indeed have the best health care and education in his newly-minted nation.

Monday, July 26, 2010

Rinse, repeat: Right-wing media just can't stop pushing fake stories

from media matters

After their smear of Shirley Sherrod dissolved, the right-wing media moved on to two new fake stories: that Mexican gangs had "invade[d]" Texas and taken over two ranches, and that President Obama "backed the release" of the Lockerbie bomber. Indeed, the right-wing media regularly embarrass themselves by running with entirely fabricated stories.

Days after fake Sherrod story dissolves, RW blogs run with fake "invasion" story

Bloggers Amato, Dvorak invent story that Mexican gangs have "taken over" two ranches near Laredo, TX. In a July 24 post on his "Diggers Realm" blog, Dan Amato wrote that "word is coming in that Los Zetas, the highly trained killers formerly with the Gulf Cartel, have crossed into the United States and taken over at least two ranches in the Laredo, Texas area." He reported that San Diego Minutemen founder Jeff Schwilk had "tipped me off to this story." Similarly, in a July 24 post, Kimberly Dvorak reported that "In what could be deemed an act of war against the sovereign borders of the United States, Mexican drug cartels have seized control of at least two American ranches inside the U.S. territory near Laredo, Texas." She added that "Two sources inside the Laredo Police Department confirmed the incident is unfolding." Amato subsequently updated his post, linking to Dvorak's post and writing that the story "is now 100% confirmed by second source within the Laredo Police Department."

Right-wing media run with "invasion" story. Right wing blogs, including Andrew Breitbart's Big Peace blog, Michelle Malkin, Weasel Zippers, and Jawa Report quickly picked up the story. Acknowledging that they had "not been able to independently confirm" the story, Big Peace's "Sun Tzu" quoted from Amato's story under the headline "BREAKING NEWS: Multiple Ranches in Laredo, Texas Taken Over by Los Zetas." Malkin reported, "rumors are swirling of a Zetas-led invasion into Texas ranches," while Jawa Report wrote that the rumor "should be the headline story put out by the American media."

Laredo Morning Times: "Officials know nothing of rumored Zeta standoff." On July 24, the Laredo Morning Times reported that law enforcement officials had been "bombarded" with calls about the rumor but that "officials with the Laredo Police Department, Webb County Sheriff's Department and Border Patrol said they knew nothing about such an incident, while Erik Vasys, an FBI spokesman in San Antonio, said the agency does not comment on rumors."

Conservative blogger Owens debunks story. In a July 24 post on Breitbart's Big Government blog headlined "No, Texas Hasn't Been Invaded," blogger Bob Owens wrote that he contacted the acting watch commander at the Laredo Police Department, who told him that they would not be involved with such an incident because its alleged location was outside their jurisdiction, but they would "know if such an event is occurring." Owens also wrote that he contacted the county sheriff's department who "told me that there was no invasion and no law enforcement siege, and that deputies were continuing normal operations."

Caught pushing fake story, right wing bloggers acknowledge that it is false. Big Peace updated their post, writing, "Never happened reports Laredo paper" and linking to the Times article. Malkin updated her post to note that the Laredo Police Department denied the rumors, and she linked to Owens' entry debunking the rumor. Rather than correct its post, Weasel Zippers simply removed it without any notation that it had done so.

Amato, Dvorak stand by their reporting. In a later post, Amato defended his original report, writing that he trusted Dvorak's confirmation of his story and indicating that that "there may indeed by a bona-fide news blackout" by the Laredo Police Department. In a July 26 post, Owens reported that he had emailed Dvorak and Amato pointing out that their stories contain "literally no evidence of anything, except for unsupported claims by anonymous sources" and asking when they would issue a retraction. According to Owens, Dvorak replied by writing "I have yet to get anyone at Sheriff's, BP or DHS to say this is false and here is my name and title. I stand by my story, as for others I cannot verify." Owens wrote that in a follow-up email, Dvorak stated, "So to me there is no proof one way or the other."

Even Glenn Beck acknowledges story "is not true." On his June 26 radio show, Beck said that "there's another story that some of the ranches have been taken over down on the border this weekend, and apparently that is not true." He added that he had asked Fox News' "brain room" to "look into that this weekend, and they wrote back and said that is not true."

After fake "invasion" story implodes, conservative media move on to fake Lockerbie story

Sunday Times: "[T]he United States wanted Megrahi to remain imprisoned." On July 25, The United Kingdom's Sunday Times reported on a letter Richard LeBaron, deputy head of the London US embassy, sent to British officials stating that the Obama administration supported keeping Lockerbie bomber Abdel Baset al-Megrahi imprisoned, but that in the event he was released, they preferred to release him in Scotland rather than send him to Libya. From the Sunday Times (accessed via Factiva):

In the letter, sent on August 12 last year to Alex Salmond, the first minister, and justice officials, [deputy head of the London US embassy Richard] LeBaron wrote that the United States wanted Megrahi to remain imprisoned in view of the nature of the crime.

The note added: "Nevertheless, if Scottish authorities come to the conclusion that Megrahi must be released from Scottish custody, the US position is that conditional release on compassionate grounds would be a far preferable alternative to prisoner transfer, which we strongly oppose." LeBaron added that freeing the bomber and making him live in Scotland "would mitigate a number of the strong concerns we have expressed with regard to Megrahi's release".

Right-wing media nonetheless distort article to falsely claim Obama "backed [the] release" of Megrahi. Numerous right-wing media subsequently claimed that Obama "backed [the] release" of Megrahi, misrepresenting either the Sunday Times article or an Australian article on the Times piece that Matt Drudge posted with the false headline, "White House Backed Release of Lockerbie Bomber." In pushing this falsehood, conservative blogger Pamela Geller called on readers to "Demand [a] special investigation, file charge of treason," while Rush Limbaugh claimed that Obama "wanted to make nice with the Muslim world."

Right-wing media regularly promote absurd, entirely fabricated stories

Right-wing media eagerly spread absurd claim that Obama plans to "ban sport fishing." On March 9,Robert Montgomery reported for that President Obama's Interagency Ocean Policy Task Force "could prohibit U.S. citizens from fishing the nation's oceans, coastal areas, Great Lakes, and even inland waters." Montgomery cited no evidence for his claim, and the task force in question issued a report seeking to "better manage," not ban, recreational fishing. Right-wing media, including Glenn Beck, Fox Business's Eric Bolling, Limbaugh, Malkin, RedState, Fox Nation, and Jim Hoft quickly forwarded his report. executive editor Steve Bowman subsequently acknowledged "several errors in the editing and presentation" of the article, and noted that the column "was not properly balanced and failed to represent contrary points of view." In a March 17 post calling Limbaugh's claims about fishing "Pants on Fire" false, Politifact noted that "the draft framework says nothing about banning fishing."

Fox, right-wing blogs snared by satire post about a global warming activist freezing to death. Fox Nation, Hoft, Ace of Spades, and JammieWearingFool all hyped a March 29 report that "Famed global warming activist James Schneider and a journalist friend were both found frozen to death on Saturday, about 90 miles from South Pole Station." is a satire site, which at the time featured "Breaking News" about the successful 2027 Bali global warming conference. Other stories include "U.S.-Canada Border Conflict Continues" and "EPA to Mandate Reductions in Emissions from Volcanoes."

Right-wing smear machine falls for fake Obama quote labeled as "satire." An August 25, 2009, post to the blog Jumping In Pools reported that in Obama's college thesis -- which the post's author claimed had been obtained by Time's Joe Klein -- Obama attacked the Founders and the Constitution. The post included no evidence and was tagged as "satire." Nonetheless, right-wing media including Pajamas Media blogger Michael Ledeen, Fox Nation, American Thinker's Denis Keohane, Pamela Geller, Lou Dobbs, and Rush Limbaugh all trumpeted the story as if it were true. After Klein stated that the report was "completely false" and that he had "never seen Obama's thesis," Limbaugh acknowledged that the Obama quotes may be "made up," and Ledeen apologized for falling for "a hoax, or a satire."

Right-wing media adopt "insane conspiracy theory" that Obama lied about attending daughter's soccer game. On April 13, American Thinker's Cat Corbern reported that Obama "may have been lying about attending his daughter's soccer game last weekend," claiming that the game "didn't exist" because "there were no scheduled soccer games for Sidwell Friends April 10." Limbaugh, Ed Morrissey at Hot Air, Confederate Yankee, and Don Surber all ran with the story. CBS' Mark Knoller subsequently reported that "a CBS colleague happened to be at the soccer game on his own & saw the Obamas there," while ABC's Jake Tapper reported that "many ppl saw POTUS at daughter's soccer game at ft reno park soccer field" and criticized the "insane conspiracy theory." Even after the story had been debunked, Breitbart's Big Journalism reported that "The inquiring minds in the media suddenly don't care much that the president 'dissed' them and that there was no soccer game scheduled and it certainly would not have been at the address given by the presidential staff."

Right-wing media apply quote about Obama inauguration crowd size to tea party rally. Following the September 12 tea party rally, several conservative blogs quoted National Park Service spokesman "Dan Bana" as saying the protest was "the largest event held in Washington, D.C., ever." In fact, the spokesman, whose actual name is David Barna, used that quote to describe President Obama's inauguration.

Following Free Republic, Drudge's lead, media run with Obama photo that doesn't show what they claim. After a Free Republic member posted a Reuters photo of President Obama and French President Nicolas Sarkozy at the 2009 G8 Conference, Matt Drudge promoted the same photo by suggesting Obama was inappropriately leering a young girl. Subsequently, Fox News and the New York Post followed their lead, highlighting the photo online and on screen, in some cases with provocative, needling, or scolding commentary, suggesting that Obama had ogled the girl. But a review of the video, which the media promoting the photo either did not watch or did not allow to give pause, makes clear that Obama was attempting to navigate high steps while reaching back to help someone behind him do so as well. As Fox News host Greta Van Susteren said after airing video of the event, "Yes, a still picture can lie. And this one does."

Breitbart burns right-wing media with false claim of Community Organizers Pray[ing] TO" Obama. On September 29, 2009, Andrew Breitbart's embedded a video with the headline "Shock Discovery: Community Organizers Pray TO President-Elect Obama." The video included captions such as "Deliver Us Obama" and "Hear Our Cry Obama," suggesting that the crowd was "pray[ing]" to Obama. Beck, Dobbs, and numerous right-wing blogs including Malkin, Morrisey, Hoft, and Geller subsequently ran with Breitbart's story. later "updated" the post with "the longer version of the original event" -- a video that did not include the captions -- and added an editor's note acknowledging that "there is a debate over what is actually being said" and that the crowd may, in fact, be saying, "Oh God," rather than "Obama."

Fox Nation, Drudge Report, CNS distortion: White House requested "Jesus" be hidden during speech. The Fox Nation and the Drudge Report advanced an April 15, 2009, article claiming the White House requested that Georgetown University "hide 'Jesus' " during a speech there by President Obama. However, as the CNS article noted, the White House requested "all signs and symbols" on the stage -- not solely the name of Jesus -- be covered.

Claim that alleged bomber is a registered Democrat collapsed -- after Limbaugh boosted it. In a May 4 post, reported that alleged Times Square bomber Faisal Shahzad was a registered Democrat, citing no evidence. Hoft and Limbaugh quickly forwarded the claim. On May 5, Media Matters contacted the offices of the registrar in Shahzad's hometowns and confirmed that he is, in fact, not a registered voter in those towns.

Fox & Friends forwards Hoft's debunked suggestion that NAACP president was in attendance at Sherrod speech. On July 21, Jim Hoft claimed that NAACP president "may have been at" the speech by Sherrod in which she made statements that were taken out of context to smear her as a racist, based on Sherrod's reference during the speech to "The President who is with us tonight." Media Matters Senior Fellow Eric Boehlert contacted the NAACP and received confirmation from two national NAACP officials that Jealous "wasn't there." That evening, Hal Pressley, the president of the local Georgia NAACP chapter confirmed to CNN that he was in attendance during Sherrod's speech. The next day, Fox & Friends guest host Juliet Huddy nonetheless falsely suggested that Jealous "was supposedly there" at the speech.

Momentum For Senate Filibuster Reform Builds

Momentum is building to reform Senate rules that allow silent filibusters and force a 60-vote requirement for virtually any action, interviews with Democratic candidates and sitting senators indicate.

Democratic candidates said that they hear regularly from voters about abuse of the parliamentary tactic, which is likely to come up as the first vote new senators face in 2011. The supermajority requirement in the Senate has become such an obstacle to reform that it infiltrates policy discussions at every step. Last week at the Netroots Nation political conference, Sen. Ben Cardin (D-Md.) gathered environmental writers to discuss energy legislation; the first few questions were related to energy, the rest of the conversation was dominated by the filibuster.

"The use of the filibuster and the way it's led to backroom deals has created the impression in the heartland that the Senate is dysfunctional," said Jack Conway, a Democratic candidate facing Republican Rand Paul in Kentucky. "They don't understand why Washington can't address the issues people care about. People in Kentucky wanted people focused on jobs -- 14 months [of the health care debate] laid bare how broken the system was."

Conway was joined in his backing of filibuster reform by the three other Senate candidates who HuffPost interviewed for this story: Paul Hodes of New Hampshire, Elaine Marshall of North Carolina and Roxanne Conlin of Iowa. Sitting Senators Al Franken (D-Minn.), Ben Cardin (D-Md.) and Jeff Merkley (D-Ore.) also said they supported reform.

"It's not constitutional. It's not statutory. It's a rule," said Hodes, adding that he wasn't certain what the new rule should look like exactly, but the current ones needed to be reformed. "Everywhere I go, they say, 'Make 'em bring out the cots and the telephone books.' People are eager for real backbone and some toughness from Democrats."

Sen. Tom Udall (D-N.M.), a leader in the effort to reform the filibuster, said that support is strongest among new members and those running now. "They're all tuned into it," said Udall, elected in 2008, of the freshman and sophomore senators. "The core of support will by those: 2006, 2008, and whoever comes in in 2010." Merkley, Cardin and Franken have all been elected since 2006.

Merkley said that he's been canvassing his colleagues to determine how strong support is for reform. "I think we will be able to pull a couple dozen senators into the debate," he said. "Now is the time to heat up this conversation. Going into this election cycle with people running for is important for people to remember that there was no supermajority requirement till 1917."

Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-Nev.), during an address to the Netroots Nation conference, expressed his support for filibuster reform, comparing the situation to baseball's decision to ban the spitball and basketball's move to implement a shot clock. Neither rule had been needed before pitchers and basketball coaches abused the process, he said.

Reid has let the filibuster opponents know he's on their side. "Senator Reid has now said that he thinks that at the beginning of the next Congress there needs to be some kind of reform," said Udall. "There's a sense that we need to do something. Exactly what it is nobody quite knows yet."

Sen. Chuck Schumer (D-N.Y.) has been holding Rules Committee hearings to study the issue of reforming the filibuster. What was recently considered impossible is now looking inevitable.

"There is a lot of talk around the country and senators are hearing it. I think there is more interest in it in the caucus. I don't know if it is an issue we will deal with this cycle, but...I think its time is coming," said J.B. Poersch, executive director of the Democratic Senatorial Campaign Committee. "Some of it is because, around the country, several of our candidates have adopted similar platforms and you have an opportunity to elect new Senators who have that on their agenda, too."

Udall said that the discussion has radically changed in the Senate. "The tone has changed. It used to be, when I first got here, people would say, 'Why are we doing this this way? This doesn't make any sense. And they would be referring to the procedure and the rules. And the saying always was, 'Oh, we're stuck with these rules. You can't change them. You need 67 votes. It's part of the filibuster. You just can't change it.' And people don't say that anymore," said Udall.

They don't say that anymore because it's not true and Udall, along with Sen. Tom Harkin (D-Iowa), has effectively made the case to his colleagues that it is entirely constitutional to change the rules.

The Constitution gives the vice president the power to break ties - not break 60-40 splits. Why would such a vote matter if the institution was not designed to be run by a majority?

Opponents of reform argue that the Senate is a continuing legislative body and that its rules can only be changed with 67 votes. But three vice presidents have previously ruled otherwise in the past - two Republicans and one Democrat.

If Vice President Joe Biden -- who has spoken out against abuse of the filibuster and has been studying ways to reform it -- were to rule on the first day of the next session that the Senate has the authority to write its own rules, Republicans would immediately move to object. Democrats would then move to table the objection, setting up the key vote. If 50 Democrats voted to table the objection, the Senate would then move to a vote on a new set of rules, which would be approved by a simple majority.

The simple act of holding the vote would have a therapeutic effect on the Senate even if it fails, said Udall, as it would inspire fear that abuse of the rules could lead to their destruction.

"People would then realize on both sides that if we abuse the rules, then they might change, because you do have an option of changing them. So I think there's a very healthy effect that flows from having the ability to adopt rules by a majority vote," he said.

Republicans in the Senate have performed more filibusters during the current congressional session than any minority in Senate history.

Rubio’s Spending Cuts Plan: End Tax Benefits For The Middle Class While Extending Them For The Rich

By Ben Armbruster Earlier this month, Florida GOP U.S. Senate candidate Marco Rubio unveiled his economic plan which is basically just a double-down on the Bush tax cuts with, as the Wonk Room’s Pat Garofalo noted, “an unspecified

corporate tax cut thrown on top for good measure.” How does Rubio plan to pay for all these tax cuts? His campaign “couldn’t give an answer.”

Today, Rubio laid out a new plan to cut spending — “12 Simple Ways To Cut Spending,” his campaign calls it. The plan contains many ideas that would do very little in terms of paying down the debt and reducing the deficit — including eliminating earmarks, reducing the size of the federal bureaucracy, and cutting Congressional and White House budgets. Others are outright gimmicks, such as allowing taxpayers to allocate taxes to the debt and calling for a balanced budget amendment.

But also, Rubio — like some of his colleagues on the right — wants to end the stimulus program:

• IDEA #4: End The Stimulus Program And Use The Savings To Cut The Debt. We must end the wasteful stimulus program that has failed to create jobs. Stimulus money that has not been spent should be used for something that will actually help the economy and create jobs, or to pay down the debt. Canceling unspent stimulus funds could save over $300 billion.

Of course, it’s simply not true that the Recovery Act has “failed to create jobs” as Rubio’s outline says. In fact, the nonpartisan Congressional Budget Office recently found that hte stimulus has created up to 2.8 million jobs and projects that nearly 4 million could be attributed to the Recovery Act by September.

Moreover, ending the stimulus would eliminate the remaining funds that are set aside for middle class tax cuts. The stimulus provides a tax cut to 95 percent of Americans and according to, $55 billion remains to be spent on tax benefits. So, on the one hand, Rubio wants to extend the Bush tax cuts for the wealthy at a cost of $700 billion and has no idea how to pay for it (thus increasing the debt and deficit), while on the other, he wants to repeal middle class tax to pay down the debt.

So how much money will Rubio’s new spending cuts plan actually save? The outline does not provide any figures and his campaign has not responded to an inquiry from ThinkProgress.

Franken: Republicans ‘Don’t Want People To Get Jobs Before The Election’

By Amanda Terkel Sen. Al Franken (D-MN) fired up progressive activists as the closing speaker at the fifth annual Netroots Nation conference on Saturday evening. He jokingly called the gathering “the most exciting political gathering of the year without guns” and told the gathering to keep fighting and pushing elected officials. A few hours before the event, ThinkProgress sat down with Franken and asked him about the public’s frustration with the Senate’s gridlock. Franken told us that the new Senate will likely take up filibuster reform next year, an effort that he supports. He also discussed the need for other procedural reforms: TP: Is there any other ideas that aren’t being talked about as much that you think would help the Senate be more productive? FRANKEN: Well, I think there are, you know, a lot of this is procedural reform on how you offer amendments, and again, obviously, on cloture, and filibusters, and how many hours you have to have of debate even after cloture. One easy idea is, you have to wait 30 hours after a cloture vote to vote, because there’s supposedly 30 hours of debate. Well, sometimes they’ve had cloture votes where it’s — we’ve had to vote cloture on something that isn’t controversial at all, like a nominee who ends up passing 98-nothing. There’s no debate over the next 30 hours. So, you could say, I mean, one easy reform would be, say, either side or both sides can give up 15 hours. So, instead of it being 30 hours, it’s 15 hours. I mean, a lot of all of this was just to slow-foot, to slow things down. In a clear example of Republicans trying to “slow things down,” the Washington Post notes today that the Senate GOP — along with a few conservative Democrats — “have blocked measures that would offer summer jobs to teenagers, give aid to states to prevent layoffs of teachers and other state employees, and expand funding of Pell grants — arguing that all would raise the budget deficit.” Franken attributed their obstruction to crass partisan motives: And Republicans sort of take this stance that the best thing we can do is slow everything down so as little can happen as possible, so that we can both blame Democrats for not having stuff happen, like jobs bills and stuff like that. And so that, you know, I mean sometimes it’d be a legitimate difference of opinion on something, but sometimes it’s been ridiculous. But I do think that this whole approach of slowing everything down, in many ways I think it’s so that, they don’t want a jobs bill because they don’t want people to get jobs before the election. It’s a harsh thing to say, and I don’t want to impugn the motives of my colleagues, but I don’t get what they’re doing otherwise. Watch it: Franken has had experience with the filibuster dating back to before he was even seated as a U.S. senator. As Republicans attempted to drag out the recount process in Minnesota (even though it became clear that Franken was the winner of the election), the GOP promised to filibuster any attempt to seat Franken early. Transcript: TP: There’s a lot of frustration, especially at Netroots, that the Senate is gridlocked and can’t get anything done. You know, I think obviously some people think that if one party were in power more would get done, but do you think that the Senate – FRANKEN: If what? TP: Sorry — if one party had more of a majority, things would get done. FRANKEN: Yeah, if we had more than 60, yeah. TP: Right. But, do you think that there is some fundamental institutional change that needs to be done, such as filibuster reform? FRANKEN: I think we’re going to be looking very closely at filibuster reform. I think there will be, it’s just, I’m not sure exactly what form it’ll take. But I think there will be reform, and it’ll have to happen, I think, at that point when the new Senate comes in. TP: Is that something that you would back? FRANKEN: Yeah. I just have to see what the different proposals are, but sure. TP: Is there any other ideas that aren’t being talked about as much that you think would help the Senate be more productive? FRANKEN: Well, I think there are, you know, a lot of this is procedural reform on how you offer amendments, and again, obviously, on cloture, and filibusters, and how many hours you have to have of debate even after cloture. One easy idea is, you have to wait 30 hours after a cloture vote to vote, because there’s supposedly 30 hours of debate. Well, sometimes they’ve had cloture votes where it’s — we’ve had to vote cloture on something that isn’t controversial at all, like a nominee who ends up passing 98-nothing. There’s no debate over the next 30 hours. So, you could say, I mean, one easy reform would be, say, either side or both sides can give up 15 hours. So, instead of it being 30 hours, it’s 15 hours. I mean, a lot of all of this was just to slow-foot, to slow things down. And Republicans sort of take this stance that the best thing we can do is slow everything down so as little can happen as possible, so that we can both blame Democrats for not having stuff happen, like jobs bills and stuff like that. And so that, you know, I mean sometimes it’d be a legitimate difference of opinion on something, but sometimes it’s been ridiculous. But I do think that this whole approach of slowing everything down, in many ways I think it’s so that, they don’t want a jobs bill because they don’t want people to get jobs before the election. It’s a harsh thing to say, and I don’t want to impugn the motives of my colleagues, but I don’t get what they’re doing otherwise.

Friday, July 23, 2010

Funny Friday:Prince vs Charlie Murphy

Timeline of Breitbart's Sherrod smear

From Media Matters

Media Matters has documented a timeline of Andrew Breitbart's smear of Shirley Sherrod, from Breitbart's initial posting of his deceptively edited clip of Sherrod -- which was amplified by Fox News and other right-wing media -- through the release of the full video of Sherrod's comments, which made clear the context of her remarks.


11:18 a.m.*: Breitbart posts Sherrod video, calls her "racist," claims "Context is everything." Breitbart posted the heavily edited video of Sherrod and falsely suggested that Sherrod discriminated against a white farmer in her capacity as the Agriculture Department's Georgia Director of Rural Development:

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. She describes how she is torn over how much she will choose to help him. And, she admits that she doesn't do everything she can for him, because he is white. Eventually, her basic humanity informs that this white man is poor and needs help. But she decides that he should get help from "one of his own kind". She refers him to a white lawyer.

Sherrod's racist tale is received by the NAACP audience with nodding approval and murmurs of recognition and agreement. Hardly the behavior of the group now holding itself up as the supreme judge of another groups' racial tolerance.

Fox News amplifies Breitbart's deceptively edited video. On July 19, reported: "Days after the NAACP clashed with Tea Party members over allegations of racism, a video has surfaced showing an Agriculture Department official regaling an NAACP audience with a story about how she withheld help to a white farmer facing bankruptcy." The article further reported that "[t]he video clip was first posted by" and that " is seeking a response from both the NAACP and the USDA." The article is no longer available on but was republished on another website:


12:13 p.m.: Hoft runs with Breitbart video. In a Gateway Pundit post titled, "More Racism at NAACP: Radical Obama Official Admits That She Openly Discriminates Against Whites," Jim Hoft posted Breitbart's video clip and wrote: "The former civil rights group known as the NAACP does not just invite anti-Semite Louis Farrakhan and radical America-hating Marxist Jeremiah Wright to speak at their events ...They also invite government officials who hate whitey, too." Hoft further wrote that "Sherrod admits in a speech at the NAACP that she discriminated against farmers because they were white."

12:55 p.m.: HotAir's Morrissey: "Breitbart hits NAACP with promised video of racism." HotAir's Ed Morrissey wrote in a post titled, "Breitbart hits NAACP with promised video of racism," that the video "show[s] USDA official Shirley Sherrod explain to an appreciative NAACP audience in July 2009 how she deliberately withheld information from a white farmer in Georgia trying to save his land and his business." Morrissey later noted: "Actually, if Sherrod had a different ending for this story, it could have been a good tale of redemption. She almost grasps this by initially noting that poverty is the real issue, which should be the moral of the anecdote. Instead of having acted on this realization -- and perhaps mindful of the audience -- Sherrod then backtracks and says that it's really an issue of race after all."

1:40 p.m. (approximately): Fox Nation accuses Sherrod of "discrimination caught on tape" before she resigned. Fox Nation linked to Breitbart's Big Government piece and posted the deceptively cropped clips of Sherrod's speech at the NAACP in a post titled, "Caught on Tape: Obama Official Discriminates Against White Farmer":


The first reader to comment on the post is from July 19 at 1:41 p.m.:


After news broke that Sherrod resigned, the post's headline was changed to read "Obama Official Resigns After Discrimination Caught on Tape":


1:49 p.m.: Ace of Spades picks up Sherrod story, calls it an example of "your government, working for you." In an Ace of Spades post, blogger "Ace" posted Breitbart's video and wrote that "[f]aced with a white farmer whose farm was in Chapter 12," Sherrod "decided she wouldn't do 'the full force' of what she could do to help him, because she was concerned about black folks losing their farms."

3:31 p.m.: Elizabeth Scalia of the blog The Anchoress raises questions about the editing of Breitbart's video. In her post, Scalia wrote, "I am uncomfortable with this 'get' by Breitbart." Scalia further questioned Breitbart's selectively edited video of Sherrod's comments (emphasis in the original):

Nevertheless I am uncomfortable with this "get" by Breitbart.


But the video ends so abruptly!

Sherrod, who is not an impressive public speaker, says she did not do all she could for the "poor white farmer" who she perceived to be somehow both asking for her help and simultaneously "trying to show me he was superior to me; I knew what he was doing ..." She admits that she did just "enough" for the farmer so as to cover her own sense of accountability and then: "I took him to a white lawyer ... I figured if I took him to one of them, then his own kind would take care of him."

Yes, there is a bit of paranoid projection, there, and some shocking language -- language that has been rightly rejected by society -- that seems to play well to the audience. But then Sherrod apparently has a revelation. She begins to understand that "it's about poor versus those who have, and not so much about white -- it is about white and black -- but you know it opened my eyes, because I took him to one of his own."

Yes? AND?


Doesn't it seem like, after all of that sort of winking, "you and I know how they really are" racist crap wherein Sherrod -- intentionally or not -- indicts her own narrow focus, she was heading to a more edifying message? What did it open her eyes about? Was she about to say "I took him to one of his own, but it shouldn't have mattered about that; my job was to serve all the farmers who needed help."

Was she about to say, "I learned about myself and about how far we still have to go?"

Was she about to say "it's not poor vs those who have, because we are not at war, we are just in the same human reality that ever was?"

Was she about to say, "poor is poor, hungry is hungry and the past is the past when a family can't eat?"

I want to know. Because it seemed like Sherrod was heading somewhere with that story, and the edit does not let us get there. I want the rest of the story before I start passing judgment on it.


I want to see the rest of the tape. I cannot believe Sherrod ended on "I took him to one of his own." Either she said something much worse after that (which we would have seen) or she said something much better.

If it was something "better" then we should have seen that, too.

4:01 p.m. Ace of Spades reports that CBS' NYC affiliate picked up Sherrod story, declares, "Breitbart gets results." "Ace" wrote that a "CBS Affiliate Picks Up Breitbart's Vid of Sherrod's Racist Attitude" and that "Breitbart gets results."

4:28 p.m. (approximately): Sherrod story hits Drudge. The Drudge Report linked to CBS' New York City affiliate's story on Sherrod with the headline, SHOCK: Video Suggests Racism At NAACP Event." From the Drudge Report:


4:50 p.m.: Breitbart tweets to Media Matters: "Tomorrow's gonna be a long day." In a Twitter post to Media Matters for America, Breitbart wrote: "Get some rest. Tomorrow's gonna be long day & first of many in a row."


7:51 p.m.*: Big Government links to a article reporting that Sherrod had resigned and USDA repudiated her remarks. Big Government stated: "This morning, we broke video of a USDA official, Shirley Sherrod, recounting for attendees at an NAACP awards dinner how she withheld help from a white farmer seeking the agency's help in saving his farm. Fox News is reporting that Ms. Sherrod has resigned." The article reported that "[t]he Agriculture Department announced Monday, shortly after published its initial report on the video, that Sherrod had resigned."

8:21 p.m.: Allahpundit questions the video's editing, but says he will "assume Breitbart's edit is fair to the spirit of her remarks." In a HotAir post, blogger Allahpundit echoed Scalia's concerns about the video's editing of Sherrod's statement, despite his "assum[ption]" that "Breitbart's edit is fair to the spirit of her remarks":

Here's Ed's post on the vid in case you missed it this morning. It's a great write-up, but The Anchoress adds an important wrinkle: Doesn't it sound like Sherrod was building to a "but" before the clip cut out?

8:50 p.m.: O'Reilly airs Breitbart's Sherrod video. On his Fox News program, Bill O'Reilly stated that "Sherrod was caught on tape saying something very disturbing. Seems a white farmer in Georgia had requested government assistance from Ms. Sherrod." After airing Breitbart's video, O'Reilly stated: "That is simply unacceptable. And Ms. Sherrod must resign immediately." (accessed via Nexis)

9:04 p.m.: "Fox News Alert": Hannity reports that Sherrod has resigned and discusses the incident with Gingrich. On his Fox News program, Sean Hannity reported that Sherrod "resigned just a short time ago after she was caught on tape appearing to tell an audience that she had used her position to racially discriminate against white farmers." Hannity then aired Breitbart's "shocking video." In a later segment, Fox News contributor Newt Gingrich stated: "Secretary Vilsack did exactly the right thing. I mean I often disagree with this administration. But firing her after that kind of viciously racist attitude was exactly the right thing to do." Hannity later stated: "My only thing is they weren't the ones that caught it. It was on and it happened some time ago. So it's interesting that it took the new media to expose this." (accessed via Nexis)

9:10 p.m.: NAACP's Jealous tweets that "NAACP is appalled" by Sherrod's comments. In a Twitter post that has since been deleted, NAACP president Ben Jealous wrote: "Racism is about abuse of power. Sherrod had it at USDA. She abused a white farmer because of his race. NAACP is appalled. Go to" The NAACP's initial statement regarding Sherrod's comments has been removed from its website, but as Talking Points Memo reported, Jealous said in the statement: "Racism is about the abuse of power. Sherrod had it in her position at USDA. According to her remarks, she mistreated a white farmer in need of assistance because of his race. We are appalled by her actions, just as we are with abuses of power against farmers of color and female farmers."

9:33 p.m.: On CNN, Tea Party organizer Loesch references Sherrod story. During a segment on CNN's Larry King Live about racism in the tea party, Dana Loesch, a conservative radio host and an organizer with the Nationwide Tea Party Coalition, mentioned "Shirley Sherrod speaking at an NCAAP banquet, going off about a member of the government, by the way, state director of the USDA of rural development for Georgia -- saying that she actually was basing whether or not she was going to help somebody on the color of their skin."

9:44 p.m.: Hannity's Great American Panel discusses Sherrod video. During the "Great American Panel" segment of Fox News' Hannity, Republican strategist Kate Obenshain stated, "It's just a shame that it takes an expose, it takes Breitbart having to put it on his website, for her resignation to be forced." The Wall Street Journal's John Fund stated: "Obviously no one complained at the Georgia NAACP. No one complained. It would have passed unless they had this video which came out now." Hannity further stated that Sherrod's comments were "racist." (accessed via Nexis)

9:49 p.m.: Doug Powers: "USDA Official Resigns After 'White Farmer' Video." In a post on Michelle Malkin's website, Doug Powers wrote, "We interrupt this 'Tea Partiers are so incredibly racially biased' broadcast for the following update" and linked to's article on Sherrod's resignation. Powers further linked to Breitbart's video, writing, "The video posted at BigGovernment that started it all is here if you haven't seen/heard it yet."

10:20 p.m.: Perino discusses Sherrod on Fox's On the Record. On Fox News' On the Record, guest host Dana Perino reported on Sherrod's resignation and aire Breitbart's video. Perino stated that "the video adds fuel to a growing controversy after the NAACP approved a resolution condemning the tea party movement for not denouncing racist members." (accessed via Nexis)

10:39 p.m.: On CNN, Johns reports on Sherrod's resignation. In the network's first report on the matter, Joe Johns said that Sherrod "has resigned after a YouTube video surfaced showing her describing to an NAACP audience how she withheld help to a white farmer," then aired a portion of her comments from the Breitbart clip.


12:03 a.m.: Sweetness & Light picks up the Sherrod story. The conservative blog Sweetness & Light picked up the Sherrod story in a post titled, "USDA Official Out Over Racist Comments." The post also linked to Breitbart's video.

1:12 a.m.: NewsBusters criticizes broadcast networks for ignoring "racist comments" at NAACP meeting. NewsBusters' Noel Sheppard wrote that "the three broadcast evening news programs completely ignored the story," which he said started "[a]t 8:18 AM Monday" when Big Government first posted the Sherrod video.

4:09 a.m.*: Big Government republishes NAACP statement denouncing Sherrod. A Big Government post republished a statement by the NAACP's Jealous in which Jealous said, "We concur with US Agriculture Secretary Vilsack in accepting the resignation of Shirley Sherrod for her remarks at a local NAACP Freedom Fund banquet." Jealous further stated that "[w]e are appalled by [Sherrod's] actions."

6:08 a.m. Sherrod story hits Fox & Friends: "Exhibit A" in "what racism looks like." On Fox News' Fox & Friends, Steve Doocy said Sherrod had been caught "making a speech to the NAACP that sure sounded racist." Co-host Alisyn Camerota then accused Sherrod of "touting this in this anecdote as though this is, you know, a feather in her cap, somehow, for her to be congratulated." Then Camerota and Doocy agreed that the comments were "Exhibit A" as far as "what racism looks like." On-screen text during the segment read, "Racism caught on camera" and "USDA official admits racism on tape; Forced to resign after dicey video leaks."

6:43 a.m.: Morning Joe airs Sherrod clip. MSNBC's Morning Joe aired the edited Sherrod clip and reported that Vilsack accepted Sherrod's resignation. Co-host Joe Scarborough then said that "a narrative is going to emerge ... certainly on the right with this tape that's just come out -- and you'll be hearing this the next couple of days. I think its relevance relates back to the New Black Panthers tapes that have been out there."

6:53 a.m.: In CNN interview, Sherrod claims that she told the administration that her comments were taken out of context, but that they're afraid of "Fox and the Tea Party." In an interview on CNN's American Morning, Sherrod stated that the story she was recounting in the edited video clip took place in 1986 and that she was not working for the Department of Agriculture at the time. Co-host John Roberts later stated: "Miss Sherrod, let's make it clear though, that this happened 24 years ago. You eventually worked with this white farmer. You eventually became friends, you say, with the farmer and his wife." Sherrod replied, "Yes." Roberts then asked, "So, the question I have is, when the U.S. Department of Agriculture came to you and said you have to step down, why didn't you just say, wait a minute, you don't know the full story. Here's the full story, why should I step down?" Sherrod replied, "I did say that, but they, for some reason, the stuff that Fox and the Tea Party does is scaring the administration. I told them get the whole tape and look at the whole tape and look at how I tell people we have to get beyond race and start working together."

Sherrod to AJC: Encounter happened 24 years ago and was "completely misconstrued" by Breitbart because she was discussing "getting beyond the issue of race." The Atlanta Journal-Constitution reported on July 20 morning that Sherrod said her comments were "misconstrued" and that the event she was discussing took place 24 years ago. In a phone interview with the Journal-Constitution, Sherrod said the video was "completely misconstrued" and "excluded the breadth of the story about how she eventually worked with the man over a two-year period to help ward off foreclosure of his farm, and how she eventually became friends with him and his wife." From the AJC:

But in a phone interview from her home in Albany early Tuesday morning, Shirley Sherrod told the Atlanta-Journal Constitution that the video posted online Monday by and reported on by and the AJC completely misconstrued the message she was trying to convey.


But Tuesday morning, Sherrod said what online viewers weren't told in reports posted throughout the day Monday was that the tale she told at the banquet happened 24 years ago -- before she got the USDA job -- when she worked with the Georgia field office for the Federation of Southern Cooperative/Land Assistance Fund.


Sherrod said the short video clip excluded the breadth of the story about how she eventually worked with the man over a two-year period to help ward off foreclosure of his farm, and how she eventually became friends with him and his wife.

"And I went on to work with many more white farmers," she said. "The story helped me realize that race is not the issue, it's about the people who have and the people who don't. When I speak to groups, I try to speak about getting beyond the issue of race."

8:05 a.m.: Ingraham: "Andrew Breitbart ... did a great piece on this whole thing." On Fox & Friends, Laura Ingraham praised Breitbart's video and his coverage of the story, stating "Andrew Breitbart, by the way, did a great piece on this whole thing. Fantastic." Ingraham went on to ask "where was the media on this" and claimed that it took "Breitbart to come forward with this story."

9:22 a.m.: Fox News reports on Sherrod's AJC comments. On America's Newsroom, after airing the edited video of Sherrod's comments, co-host Martha MacCallum stated: "Sherrod says that that story is about something that happened 24 years ago ... and that she uses the story when speaking to groups to point out how racism can and needs to be overcome." MacCallum then cited Sherrod's quote in The Atlanta Journal-Constitution article. MacCallum's guest, Byron York of The Washington Examiner, said: "I think in fairness to her, we need to see the whole story. We need to see the whole tape, and how she delivered the story."

9:52 a.m.: Beck asks, "Have we transformed into 1956?" On his radio show, Glenn Beck discussed the Sherrod story and asked, "Excuse me, have we transformed into 1956, only the other way around?" Beck also aired Breitbart's edited Sherrod clip.

11:06 a.m.: On CNN Newsroom, Sherrod claims she was told to resign because she would "be on Glenn Beck tonight." In an interview on CNN Newsroom, Sherrod recounted that Cheryl Cook, the deputy undersecretary of the Department of Agriculture, asked her to resign. Sherrod said that Cook told her, "Well, Shirley, they want you to pull over to the side of the road and do it because you're going to be on Glenn Beck tonight."

SHERROD: Oh, I can tell you, that was Cheryl Cook, the deputy undersecretary. She called me and said -- because she called me, and I said, "Cheryl, I've got a three and a half hour ride to get into Athens." She called me a second time, "Where are you now?" I said, "I'm just going through Atlanta."

She called me again and I said, "I'm at least 45 minutes to an hour from Athens." She said, "Well, Shirley, they want you to pull over to the side of the road and do it because you're going to be on Glenn Beck tonight."

TONY HARRIS (host): Wow. So the administration pressured you out?


HARRIS: How do you feel about that?

SHERROD: I don't feel good about it, because I know I didn't do anything wrong. And I know during my time at USDA, I gave it all I had.

I worked when I didn't feel like it. I pushed the staff to get out there in places they had not been into before.

11:20 a.m.: On CNN Newsroom, farmer's wife calls Sherrod a "friend" who "helped us save our farm." On CNN Newsroom, during his interview with Sherrod, host Tony Harris also interviewed Eloise Spooner -- the wife of the farmer who Sherrod helped -- who came to the defense of Sherrod, calling her a "friend" who "helped us save our farm." The Atlanta-Constitution Journal similarly reported that Spooner considered Sherrod a "friend for life" and said that Sherrod "worked tirelessly to help the Iron City couple hold onto their land as they faced bankruptcy back in 1986." From the Atlanta-Constitution Journal:

But Spooner, who considers Sherrod a "friend for life," said the federal official worked tirelessly to help the Iron City couple hold onto their land as they faced bankruptcy back in 1986.

"Her husband told her, 'You're spending more time with the Spooners than you are with me,' " Spooner told the AJC."She took probably two or three trips with us to Albany just to help us out."

12:05 p.m.: NewsBusters' Sheppard reports that Sherrod "blamed Fox News and the Tea Party" for her dismissal. Despite noting that Sherrod said on American Morning that Breitbart's edited video "didn't accurately depict what really happened," Noel Sheppard wrote in a NewsBusters post that Sherrod "was forced to resign Monday as a result of racist comments she made at an NAACP gathering in March has blamed Fox News and the Tea Party for her inability to convince her employers of her innocence."

12:10 p.m.: Limbaugh calls Breitbart's heavily edited video of Sherrod "great work." On his nationally syndicated radio show, Rush Limbaugh called Breitbart's heavily edited video of Sherrod "great work," saying that it depicted Sherrod's "supposed racism." He later stated that "[t]he NAACP is as racist an organization as there has been and is in this country."

1:03 p.m.: Video producer confirmed that "the full speech is exactly as Sherrod described ... she goes on to explain learning the error of her initial impression." Talking Points Memo reported that "[t]he Douglas, Ga., company which filmed the banquet for the local NAACP has refused to release" the video until the national NAACP gives him "permission" to post it. However, Johnny Wilkerson, the owner of the video company, told TPM "that the full speech is exactly as Sherrod described, and that she goes on to explain learning the error of her initial impression and helping the farmer keep his farm."

1:36 p.m.: HotAir's Morrissey reports that edited video was "the entirety of the speech [Breitbart] had in his possession." Morrissey reported that Breitbart posted his heavily edited video without having seen the entirety of Sherrod's speech. Morrissey stated: "Sherrod and others can complain about Fox News and the editing of the tape, but two points should be remembered. First, Andrew Breitbart made it clear to me last night that this was the entirety of the speech he had in his possession. He also wants to find the whole speech and is trying to get it."

2:08 p.m.: TPM reports that NAACP is conducting an investigation into Sherrod's case, after initially condemning her remarks. Talking Points Memo reported that the NAACP, after initially condemning Sherrod's remarks, "is now saying it is conducting an investigation of her story and will issue a new statement."

2:15 p.m. (approximately): Erickson tweets that "it seems like the right just got the scalp of a penitent lady." In a Twitter post, editor-in-chief Erick Erickson wrote: "I'm hoping there is more to the video of Shirley Sherrod, because otherwise it seems like the right just got the scalp of a penitent lady."

2:34 p.m.: After promoting her interview with Sherrod throughout the 1 p.m. hour, Kelly announces that Sherrod "changed her mind" about appearing on Fox. On America Live, host Megyn Kelly announced that her interview with Sherrod -- which Kelly had touted throughout the show -- was off. Kelly said that Sherrod had "changed her mind," even after Fox had "offered her a considerable amount of time" to "clear the air" and "tell her story."

3:01 p.m.: Brent Bozell slams media for not covering Sherrod's "racist remarks." Despite CNN's interviews with Sherrod and Eloise Spooner, Media Research Council president Brent Bozell said in a statement posted on NewsBusters that "[t]he liberal media are deliberately spiking the shocking video that reveals an NAACP banquet speaker admitting her racist views and actions. We've waited a full 24 hours to see if any coverage of this exposé would surface. So far, nothing but crickets."

3:58 p.m.: Breitbart confirms in a TPMMuckracker interview that he never had the full video of Sherrod's remarks. In an interview with Talking Points Memo, Breitbart confirmed that he never had the full video of Sherrod's remarks. From Talking Points Memo:

The crux of the Shirley Sherrod controversy is what she said outside of the two-minute video clip posted by Big Government -- whether she was, as she claims, telling a story about how she overcame racial prejudice while helping poor farmers in Georgia, or whether the clip is a good encapsulation of her views. So we asked Andrew Breitbart, the founder of Big Government, why he hasn't posted the full video.

"I don't have it," Breitbart told TPMmuckraker in an interview. Breitbart said his source sent him just the edited clips at first, but is in the process of sending the full video.

4 p.m. (approximately): Jake Tapper tweets: "WH says it was 100% Secy Vilsack's call" to ask for Sherrod's resignation. In a Twitter post, ABC News White House correspondent Jake Tapper wrote: "WH says it was 100% Secy Vilsack's call" to ask for Sherrod's resignation.

4 p.m.: Rick Sanchez devotes an entire hour of his show to the accusations against Sherrod. On CNN's Rick's List, host Rick Sanchez devoted an entire hour to Sherrod, and noted that his show did not run the story when it broke because he did not have "complete perspective for the sake of context":

SANCHEZ: We, by the way, chose not to do the story yesterday, even though we had the story, reason being we thought it was important to try and contact her first, double-down on sources, and try and get a complete perspective for the sake of context.

4:01 p.m.: Hoft continues to assert Sherrod is "racist." In a Gateway Pundit post titled, "Vilsack Stands Behind His Decision to Fire Racist NAACP Speaker Shirley Sherrod," Hoft linked to Sherrod's CNN interview and wrote: "Today, Sherrod told reporters that 'she' was the real victim ... Not the white farmer she neglected to assist." He continued, "Sherrod claims she was harassed by the Obama Administration and forced to resign." Hoft further wrote: "Vilsack stood by his decision to fire Shirley Sherrod for her racists comments caught on tape."

4:03 p.m.*: Big Government highlights Sherrod's statement that Obama admin "made [her] quit because [she] was going to be on Glenn Beck." In a Big Government post, Jeff Dunetz wrote that "Sherrod was forced to resign almost immediately after the video was posted. Incredibly, it seems however that her firing was less about what she said in the speech, and more about the story being broadcast on Fox News."

4:25 p.m.: "White farmer" Spooner appears on Rick's List, says of those smearing Sherrod as racist: They "don't know what they're talking about." On CNN's Rick's List, Roger and Eloise Spooner -- the "white farmer" and his wife whom Sherrod was discussing in the video -- defended Sherrod, saying that those who were smearing her as racist "don't know what they're talking about," and that Sherrod did "her level best" to help them save their farm, which she was ultimately successful in helping them do.

5 p.m.: Beck devotes first 20 minutes of show to Sherrod story. On his Fox News program, Beck aired a clip of Sherrod's CNN interview and asked if this "was a political assassination from the White House or from the NAACP." Beck then said: "Context matters, but we don't have the full video. Andrew Breitbart is trying to get the full video."

5:13 p.m. (approximately): Fox Nation reposts Big Government's Sherrod article about WH pressure to resign. In a post titled, "Sherrod: White House Made Me Quit 'Because I Was Going to Be on Glenn Beck," Fox Nation linked to Big Government's post of the same title. The link has since been updated and redirects to a different Fox Nation post titled "USDA Reconsidering Sherrod's Ouster Over Racial Comments." The first comments on this post are time-stamped 5:13 p.m., suggesting that Fox Nation originally posted the link to Big Government around that same time:


5:29 p.m.: Brazile: I "listen[ed] to the entire tape," Sherrod was "taken out of context." On CNN's Situation Room, Donna Brazile said, "I listened to the tape. I took time-out today to listen to the entire tape, unedited, in context. And I can tell you that her statement was taken out of context." She explained that Sherrod "went on to say that her life was about -- not about black and the white but the haves and the havenots" and that "when you listen to her speech and listen to the Spooners, she went out of her way to help this man save his farm just like she helped many black farmer save their land as well."

6:10 p.m.: NAACP releases statement on its investigation into Sherrod case, claims it was "snookered by Fox News and Tea Party Activist Andrew Breitbart." The NAACP released a statement on its investigation into the Sherrod case and concluded that it was "snookered by Fox News and Tea Party Activist Andrew Breitbart":

With regard to the initial media coverage of the resignation of USDA Official Shirley Sherrod, we have come to the conclusion we were snookered by Fox News and Tea Party Activist Andrew Breitbart into believing she had harmed white farmers because of racial bias.

6:41 p.m.: Bret Baier falsely claims, "Fox News didn't even do the story" on Sherrod. On Fox News' Special Report, host Bret Baier absurdly claimed that Fox News "didn't even do" the Sherrod story.

7:01 p.m.: America's Nightly Scoreboard: "The triumph of Andrew Breitbart over the establishment." On Fox Business' America's Nightly Scoreboard, host David Asman began the show declaring the "triumph of Andrew Breitbart over the establishment." The on-screen text repeated this claim. Asman also referred to Breitbart as "our friend Andrew Breitbart" and stated that the video "shows how inept government bureaucrats can be."

7:15 p.m.: Breitbart refuses to accept Sherrod's "word that the farmer's wife is the farmer's wife." On CNN's John King USA, Breitbart said to host John King: "If the other video is so important to you in order to push this story, why aren't you doing your reporting?" Breitbart then said: "You're going off of [Sherrod's] word that the farmer's wife is the farmer's wife. What type of extra reporting have you done on this?"

7:45 p.m. (approximately): NAACP releases full video of Sherrod's remarks. The NAACP released the full video of Sherrod's remarks at the NAACP banquet, noting that Breitbart's deceptively edited video "didn't tell the full story" and was "selectively edited to cast her in a negative light."