Shirley Sherrod and Breitbart Estate Reach Settlement
Shirley Sherrod’s lawsuit against Andrew Breitbart (and later his estate following his death) has been settled.
Sherrod has settled her lawsuit over the deeply flawed 2010 Breitbart story that cost Sherrod her job at the USDA over ultimately false allegations that she discriminated against a white farmer, The National Law Journal reported. The suit had been brought against Andrew Breitbart — who died in 2012 and was represented by his estate — and Larry O’Connor, head of breitbart.tv at the time.
Sherrod, O’Connor and Breitbart’s estate released a joint statement Thursday announcing the settlement: “In a gesture they hope will inspire others to engage in the difficult but critically important process of bridging racial divides, the parties have agreed to resolve this lawsuit on confidential terms.”
The conservative website had posted a cut from a video of a speech Sherrod had given to a local Georgia chapter of the NAACP, in which she recounted struggling to help a white farmer because of the way black farmers had been treated. “So I didn’t give him the full force of what I could do. I did enough,” she said in the clip.
Breitbart ran the story with the headline, “Video Proof: The NAACP Awards Racism-2010,” and wrongly suggested that Sherrod had been talking about her behavior as a federal official.
The anecdote, however had been taken out of context, as TPM and other outlets reported at the time, and Sherrod had been talking about her own journey to overcome prejudices. Later on in the speech, past the part where the Breitbart story had cut, she described helping the farmer find a lawyer when he was blocked from filing bankruptcy and his farm was foreclosed.
This was one of Breitbart’s lowest points, but what made it monumentally appalling was the way the Obama Adminstration in the name of Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack (along with the NAACP), at first threw Sherrod under the bus, in part because they were afraid of what Glenn Beck would say about it.
They were afraid of what Glenn Beck - already a demonstrated nutcase - would say about something Andrew Breitbart - already a demonstrated slicer and dicer of video, and a promoter of such work (in the form of James O’Keefe) - had posted on his website.
Easily one of the lowest point in the Obama Administration.