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« How Barack Obama stole the 2008 election | Main | Tea Party grizzlies vs JournoList wolf pack »

July 21, 2010

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When one's goal is to be praised for hating and destroying the wonderful country which the United States has become what is wrong with telling lies about those who love her and made her great?

Your second link about Andrew Breitbart is instructive: his focus is on getting the attacks on the Tea Party stopped. Shirley Sherrod is the unfortunate focus of the moment. And she doesn't seem to me to have fully formed her current ideology, though she insists that our divisions today are "all about money".

Her "epiphany" that all issues are economic and class issues, and therefore secondarily about created divisions between races, makes her a more sympathetic figure to many, however. Breitbart is being portrayed as unfair for presenting an audited video. This is, I think, unfair to HER, but not unfair to the NAACP and their allies who care nothing for the reputations of individuals in other ideological camps.

Breitbart has been consistent in making clear his intentions to use the Left's tactics and strategies against them, especially since he started Big Government.

And he did get a reaction, didn't he?

"Cry havoc...and let slip the dogs of war!"

How did Shirley Sherrod become the focal point of this issue? Did Andrew edit in scenes of the audience voicing its approval of Sherrod's dislike of white people? I haven't heard the NAACP defend the behaviour of their people in attendence, only Ms. Sherrod.

Regarding the title, sadly I must disagree. I suspect we are seeing the first throes, not the last, of the fear-and-smear machine.

How did Shirley Sherrod become the focal point of this issue?

Because Breitbart miscalculated by failing to provide or account context for Shirley's anecdote, thereby accusing her by implication of a particular malfeasance that, as it turned out in the full video, Shirley herself recognizes as wrong.

Whether he had the whole video and selectively edited it, or had only the fragment and decided to run with it, he goofed this one.

The Left now has the opening they need to come charging up off the mat with barrages of "For shame!" and accusations of character assassination launched against Breitbart, from the platform of Shirley Sherrod as a sympathetic individual and victim of character assassination. All that noise will be enough to bury the real issue, which is the racist nature of the National Association for the Advancement of Certain People (Defined by Race), and of the Left in general.

Their immediate priority, of course, is to damage or knock out Breitbart as a credible threat in the future, and it looks like they'll manage it this time.

That's too bad, as he was really building up some momentum as a weapon against the Establishment Left.

Dear Ms. Willis: I can't agree with the premise of this post. You don't say so explicitly, but it comes across strongly, that Breitbart and Riehl are soldiers (e.g. "Special Forces Commander Dan Riehl" or Breitbart "leading the charge" or "War Correspondent The Anchoress."

No. None of these people, nor you, are at war. War is what's going on in Afghanistan or Iraq. It involves the daily risking of life, shooting bullets, watching bombs explode. In all too many cases, it means death, of the enemy, or of your buddies on the line, even yourself. Nothing any of the people you mention are doing is even close to the level of peril soldiers are in. I agree that the exposing of the press as liars and cheats is worth doing. But it isn't the same as actual soldiering. That it is being thought of in this way is a serious loss of judgment. It's understandable; when you consider the casual malice and meanspiritedness that went into the production of, say, the Bush Texas Air National Guard memos, it's no wonder that Breitbart's striking back raises the spirits.

But he didn't tell the whole truth. He did what he claims to despise in the press, release an edited version of Sherrod's speech. He does say that the edited version was what he received. But such a "too good to be true" clip should have aroused his suspicions. It didn't, and he fell into the same brackish waters the Journolisters wallow in.

Look at the full speech It does give a distinctly different flavor than the clip does. This, of course, doesn't acquit Sherrod of dam foolishness, or a witlessness that beggars belief. But it does explain the shock I felt when I stumbled across commenters at NATIONAL REVIEW's Corner blog who said, well, Sherrod should get her job back, she never should have been canned in the first place. I relied on the "warrior" Breitbart for my impression of Sherrod. In this case, it was a mistake.

Sincerely yours,
Gregory Koster

Hey, Gregory Koster, ever heard of metaphorical prose?

The last two commenters don't realize that they are advocating the passive response typical of the GOP since Watergate. Mark Twain was right when he said "The lie is half way around the world before the truth gets its boots on. Andrew did not post anything that was untrue, unlike the fake video produced by Think Progress.

I submit that the left deliberately threw Ms. Sherrod over the side just to make the narrative about her instead of about the NAA(L)CP.

Having thrown her into the shark-infested waters they can now talk about that mean ol' Breitbart instead of the seeming joy with which the NAA(L)CP greeted the original talk of "sending him to his own kind".

Should Sherrod get her job back? Well, I suspect we'd be better off if about 82% of nonmilitary Federal employees lost their jobs, but sherrod, specifically? I dunno. I don't care. It ain't about Sherrod. It ain't about Breitbart. It's about a monolithic left wing smear machine.

Gregory Koster, as I understand your point that kinetic war is not the same as political war. For the past thousand years we have suffered the loss of political war that led directly to kinetic war. What the present resident of the White House and the TEA Party have presented us with is an actual critical choice; do we stay with that good 'ol stodgy constitution or go with a new green, progressive and race neutral interpretation or better yet just make it up as you go along?

Dear Ms. Willis: I sure have, though why you use the fancy Latinate word "metaphorical" when the good old Anglo-Saxon, "fake, but accurate" is available, puzzles me. Or do you think that the Texas Air National Guard memos, forgeries all, were warranted because they metaphorically proved that Geo. W. did not run toward the sound of the guns when his country needed him?

The difficulty in using metaphors is that they can be mistaken for the thing itself. Mr. Michael Kennedy has already fallen into that trap, talking about a "passive response" ftom the GOP. But Breitbart has no official connection with the GOP (and if Trent Lott is any indication, they wouldn't want him) and he was not "responding" to anything. Breitbart was instigating. As Mr. Kennedy points out, nothing Breitbart posted wasn't true, just as I can show you a photograph of the TITANIC under way at Queenstown, and ask, "What's all the fuss about the TITANIC?" The picture is certainly true, isn't it?

The justification brought forward in such cases is an old one: "It's an emergency! If we don't act now, everything will be lost." There's a great deal of truth to that. The One is a public menace, and this nation will be a long time paying off the financial and other debts he has run up. You and Mr. Kennedy could rightly point to the press as liars and suppressors for the Democrats, who had a great deal in The One's election. Therefore, the press needs to be given the works. An attractive proposition; I think every citizen should be able to walk up to Anderson Cooper and call him a liar to his face. But that's the easy part. The hard part is digging for the truth. Denunciations of the press are only half---the easy half---of the task ahead. Spoiling your own reputation "because the press is much worse" is a mug's game.

Meanwhile, someone toss Mr. Kennedy a rope. He thinks he's flying toward heaven, but he's just playing in a quicksandbox.

Sincerely yours,
Gregory Koster

Let's try this: the next time anyone calls you a racist, call them a pedophile....

Name calling is the response of feeble minds. The riposte, if you will, of people lacking imagination as well as vocabulary. As to Ms. Sherrod, perhaps what she has illuminated in a way no Independent, Libertarian or Republican could do, is the inherent and deeply-rooted racism of the Democratic Party which is, after all, the party that gave us and supported the Klan and other such abominations.

The Left consistently accuses the middle of the road and right wing people of good will in this nation of that sin of which they themselves are guilty.

They cannot PROVE their charges of racism against the Tea Party movement, thus they use Shirley Sherrod's speech and the subsequent attention given it AFTER Ms. Sherrod's firing, to distract from the very real racism being displayed by the White House. And President Obama cannot lay this one at anyone else's door. He's the one who said the Cambridge police acted stupidly and it was HIS administration that rushed to judgment on Ms. Sherrod.

He who consistently throws people loyal to him under the bus, shall himself eventually join them there!

@ Gayle Miller

Thank you for making my point. Disproving both the insults of "racist!" and "pedophile!" requires proving a negative, which, both in the rules of debate and as a practical matter, is impossible.

My point was simply that we need to put the left on the defensive about this. The best defense is a good offense sometimes....

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