Even in Error, Breitbart Attacks

The LA Times’s Jim Rainey has pretty much the same take on the Shirley Sherrod affair as I do — there’s a villain in this little play, and his name is Andrew Breitbart.

Certain media outlets have played the story and the political ramifications for the Obama administration (and there are questions to be answered) as if they sprang out of the ether. There’s a continuing rush to talk about effect, and very little desire to talk about cause — the steaming pile of misinformation delivered on a platter by one individual with a giant ax to grind.

Andrew Breitbart, the conservative agitator behind websites like breitbart.com and biggovernment.com, likes it this way. Stirring the pot, gobbling up chunks of cable television time, doing whatever it takes to further his political beliefs, even if it means putting one woman’s reputation through a meat grinder.

The severely edited video posted on Breitbart’s biggovernment.com shows Sherrod, who is black, telling an NAACP gathering in March that she had once scrimped on assistance to a white man in danger of losing his farm. Not included in the video posting was the bulk of Sherrod’s talk, in which she recognized the error of her ways a quarter of a century ago and helped the white man, saving his farm. As a result, the farm advocate and the white family formed a lasting friendship.

Breitbart headlined the video as “proof” that “the NAACP awards racism,” when in fact it showed one woman trying to teach a lesson about the shortcomings of racial discrimination. …

Indeed, anyone who has watched television in recent days has seen an unrepentant Breitbart insisting he did nothing wrong. His previous encounters with controversy reveal a similar pattern — make no concessions, savage critics, change the subject and keep attacking. Don’t bet he’s finished with Shirley Sherrod.

Read the whole thing. The only good thing to come out of this debacle is that Andrew Breitbart’s credibility has completely evaporated, and it’s unlikely that he’ll be able to destroy another innocent person’s life — because nobody is going to take a Breitbart “scoop” at face value again.

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