Lest anyone think that the race baiting I mentioned earlier is some kind of isolated incident, there is also the case of Shirley Sherrod, demonised by our old friends at Fox News Channel (fair and balanced my arse) and subsequently forced to resign her position at the US Department of Agriculture (USDA).
A video relating events from over 20 years ago – well before Ms Sherrod took up her job at the USDA – has been selectively edited to suggest that she had discriminated on the basis of race. The editor will also be known to readers of this blog: step forward the face of the BigGovernment website, Andrew Breitbart, who was also a player in the heavily edited ACORN “sting” tapes.
However, the whole video reveals that Ms Sherrod did not discriminate on the basis of race, and the white farmer she talked of has confirmed this. Moreover, he is certain that without her help, he would have lost his farm. But for Ms Sherrod this has counted for nothing: the “story” has been incessantly flogged by Fox, with “stars” Sean Hannity and Bill O’Reilly weighing in against her.
As the video has been shown in its proper context, Andrew Breitbart has been attracting forthright criticism, notably from Eric Boehlert at MMFA, and apparently the decision to ask for Ms Sherrod’s resignation is being reconsidered. But at Fox the troops are unrepentant: Glenn Beck has theorised that Ms Sherrod “obviously has some Marxist or redistributionist qualities to her”.
And Andrew Breitbart, poster of the edited video, now says he “feels sorry for Sherrod” and that it was “the media” who went after her. No, Andrew, it was your selectively edited video and your pals at Fox who went after Sherrod.
Another day, another episode of race baiting involving Fox News, the organisation headed by one Roger Ailes, past master of attack politics and adverts, including ... yes, the Willie Horton one that did for Michael Dukakis.
Expect more of the same as the mid term elections approach.