Shirley Sherrod Dust-Up Raises Media Bias Issues

What is so amazing is the bloggers and columnists who are making out that FOX News is the “bad guy” in the Shirley Sherrod issue. What planet are they on? It seems to me that Sherrod has done more than share a story about her own prejudice to make a point.

Rochelle Riley of Freep.com states: But what would lead the NAACP to weigh in negatively based on something on Fox? Why would the NAACP believe anything it saw on Fox?

Francis Martel of MEDIAite.com states: So now the list of people that have defended Shirley Sherrod or apologized had they initially attacked her include NAACP President Ben Jealous, Glenn Beck, Rachel Maddow, (the links carry you to other MEDIAite.com opinions) Bill O’Reilly, and the entire White House, among others– on the one hand, honorable of them to admit their mistakes, on the other, everyone is doing it. And O’Reilly’s apology could well be described as back-handed, as he defended her in one area only to open up several new battle fronts that have little to do with the tape. Still, he counts.

Glynnis MacNichol of MEDIAite.com states: The NAACP and the administration apparently agreed: Sherrod’s words were denounced by the former shortly after the video became public and the USDA accepted her resignation last night.

Which is just a smattering of misdirecting and twisting of facts, albeit the fact that these are columnists who are paid for their opinions. It remains that in today's journilistic arena sensationalism ranks higher than truth. This is why we see reports of celebrities’ deaths and other things which are not true just to generate traffic to a site which is for the purpose of stats for advertisers. It boils down to greed.

If a person is going to report on some comments made by anyone, then they should at least watch the show rather than carry their bias on what someone else says what they said. That leads to a he said she said they said scenario which holds little or no resemblance to Truth.

Where has America gone? The place I grew up where journalists had integrity and cared deeply about reporting the truth is no longer. It’s gone. The place where I grew up had columnists like Dave Barry who may have been a little sarcastic, but cut out slices of American life that had meat as well as humor.

Today, we have rantings and ravings and careless actions of leaders without regard to the speed bumps of facts. What corporate executive would still have his/her job if they committed the knee-jerk action of firing someone without all the facts… especially firing on a racially charged issue like Sherrod? The fact is, not one. The reason: Lack of Judgment.

In my own opinion, Shirley Sherrod is dangerous. She stated yesterday that she wanted to get even and might even bring a law suit against USDA. She’s done that already and won $300,000. She may have accepted the apologies, but she does carry a grudge. That is dangerous. Those are her words and her sentiments stated flatly on various shows. Did she jump on a bandwagon? Within hours of being fired (for that is exactly what a forced resignation is), she was on talk shows and news shows venting her options for what had been done to her. She seemingly never thought through the consequences of what her actions would be.

This is a result of our 30-second, microwave society. We rush around with attention divided leaving train wrecks in our wake. It is the result of man’s love for man growing cold. It is the result of being allergic to God and in lust with self. It is the result of the “If it feels good, do it” generation. Wake up, America. We are sliding down into the muck and mire that Paul warned Timothy against in 2 Timothy 3:1 But know this, that in the last days grievous times will be upon us. 2 For men will be lovers of themselves, money-lovers, braggarts, arrogant, blasphemers, disobedient to parents, unthankful, unholy, 3 without natural feeling, unyielding, slanderers, without self-control, savage, haters of good, 4 betrayers, reckless, puffed up, lovers of pleasure rather than lovers of God, 5 having a form of godliness, but denying the power of it; even turn away from these.

We Christians have a responsibility as Paul points out to the Colossians in his letter to them. Col 3:12  Therefore, as elect ones of God, holy and beloved, put on a heart of compassions, kindness, humility, meekness, long-suffering, 13 bearing with one another and forgiving yourselves, if anyone has a complaint against any; even as Christ forgave you, so also you should forgive. 14 And above all these, love, which is the bond of perfectness. 15 And let the peace of God rule in your hearts, to which you also were called in one body, and be thankful.

Living in Truth is where the peace abides. Seek out the truth and do not be deceived by everything you hear or everything you read. Do not act blindly or rashly for that will end badly. Get the facts before taking action. It is an axiom the President would do well to follow.

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  1. paristango said:

    Thank you for your thoughtful comments. I wonder what you would have advised Ms. Sherrod to do in her situation? Is it really bad to be strong? Is it wrong to stand up for yourself, especially when standing up for yourself acts to stand up for others who have been mistreated? I don’t think Blessed are the Meek necessarily means, Be Meek. At least not in the sense of not fighting for what is right. Was Jesus meek in that sense? I think he was strong. A show of strength can be intimidating. But as to strong people who will stand up and say so when something is wrong, can we not see them as saviors? I, for one, feel safer with people like that. They don’t allow the bullies of this world to get away with their bad acts. If this hadn’t become news, she would have been out there all alone with no one but herself to defend herself. So I’m also grateful for our albeit flawed courts that are there to give We the People a chance (at least) of some measure of justice. If this is a society based on Christian values, is there room for people who are strong and active in believing that people should treat each other fairly? I agree, a show of strength can be scary, especially in a world where the strong are more often cruel than kind. But she is kind. She may not be perfect, but she believes in goodness. I agree, she’s dangerous. But not to good people. She’s dangerous to people who believe that they can continue to wrong others and get away with it. If that includes me sometimes, then I need to get humble and learn from it. But sometimes I need people like her to point it out. (I don’t like it, but who does?) Today, Professor Cornell West, called on her to come to the platform as a hero and a new leader of the civil rights movement (i.e., the movement for treating others as you would be treated). I hope she accepts. My take on her is that she has striven to have her career mean something. She’s grown in her understanding of what that means. And due to an ordeal not of her making she is in a position to bring a message of being strong in the pursuit of rightness (for oneself and for others) to a country that just might take a good message from her. She can’t take credit for the lessons this snafu has taught the press and the government, but she has stood in the spotlight with grace and strength. Her ordeal has already brought much-needed change, and the things she might teach us going forward-on purpose- may be inspiring to us all. I say we keep our hearts open to her and keep her in our prayers. If it’s only for selfish reasons, for now, perhaps, as she did in her speech, we’ll grow from here.

    July 25, 2010
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  2. said:

    Dear Paris Tango, I surely appreciate what you are saying. I agree there is a deep need in our society to stand up and be strong. But… being strong for the right, not strong in vengeance for that is God’s privilege, not ours. I do not believe that bringing lawsuits will solve anything that the mud on the faces of those who are responsible hasn’t done already. There is mud on the president’s face for that is who called for her resignation in the first place. I do not for a moment believe that Tom Vilsack made the knee-jerk reaction without a strong suggestion from the White House urging him to do so. He was governor of Iowa for two terms, he graduated from Albany Law School, he was on the board of directors of Carnegie Learning, every one of those taught him that a Smart Person does not leap before looking and never jump to conclusions, and never ever take any action without all the facts. (Something the President has not learned.) How could a man savvy enough to have done everything he has not realize the political quagmire of this incident especially since the USDA has been on the alert for racism? It makes no sense otherwise. However, from a Christian perspective, litigation is not the answer here. She received an apology directly from the President and from Vilsack, both private and public with an offer of a job which is a better job. To accept an apology and then threaten a lawsuit means she never accepted the apology. The Press hasn’t learned anything. The Journolist has proven that. The Press has become so bloated with its power of persuasion that it will keep going down this path of reporting unvetted stories until the sunset of the age. This story just proves what God foretold would happen. The love of man for man is growing icy.

    July 26, 2010
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  3. altfreq11 said:

    Gina Burgess said: “What is so amazing is the bloggers and columnists who are making out that FOX News is the “bad guy” in the Shirley Sherrod issue. What planet are they on?” Fox has admitted they screwed up: http://www.politico.com/news/stories/0710/40374.html But FoxNews.com did run a story about the existence of the video, titled “Video Shows USDA Official Saying She Didn’t Give ‘Full Force’ of Help to White Farmer” at 5:58 p.m. on Monday, an hour before the Agriculture Department announced Sherrod’s resignation. And Wednesday, Clemente told POLITICO that was a mistake. “There was a breakdown in the system, and it is being addressed,” he said. “But it must say something about the power of Fox, that a week after she resigned, we’re still talking about this.” The breakdown occurred following Fox’s afternoon news meeting that day, when Clemente, according to The Washington Post’s Howard Kurtz offered the following advice: “Let’s take our time and get the facts straight on this story. Can we get confirmation and comments from Sherrod before going on-air. Let’s make sure we do this right.” Clemente said he gave the advice in the meeting, not in a memo to staff, and his guidance clearly did not make it down to the reporter and producers who put the story on FoxNews.com.

    July 29, 2010
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  4. altfreq11 said:

    Gina Burgess said: “In my own opinion, Shirley Sherrod is dangerous. She stated yesterday that she wanted to get even and might even bring a law suit against USDA. She’s done that already and won $300,000. ” Do you have any proof of this? Why do you consider a lawsuit ‘dangerous’?

    July 29, 2010
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  5. said:

    Alt, Thank you for proving my point. Since FOX corrected the mistake or breakdown in communication on Tuesday, July 20, it proves that at least this News Media has some integrity, unlike a great deal of others. As to your other comment… “In my own opinion, Shirley Sherrod is dangerous. She stated yesterday that she wanted to get even and might even bring a law suit against USDA. She’s done that already and won $300,000. She may have accepted the apologies, but she does carry a grudge. That is dangerous.” It merely proves that she lied. She said she accepted the apology, but if she files a lawsuit it means she really didn’t. She lied. Liars are dangerous.

    July 29, 2010
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  6. said:

    The sad thing, Alt, is that you are doing the exact thing that I am lamenting the media does. They go by what someone else says instead of to the original source. That’s what you are doing with that link. It isn’t about holding the media accountable, so much as putting a liberal spin to what is said. Of course, that is my opinion of what I read. So what if FOX covered the story? It is news, and it was true that Briebart had put the thing up on his BLOG. The discussion is about the correctness of the story and that is the point. They got the story straight BUT the NAACP, who owned the tape, blamed FOX for “snookering” them. It was purely a knee-jerk reaction.

    July 31, 2010
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  7. altfreq11 said:

    Gina Burgess said: “BUT the NAACP, who owned the tape, blamed FOX for “snookering” them.” Do you have any proof of this?

    August 2, 2010
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  8. altfreq11 said:

    Gina Burgess said: “In my own opinion, Shirley Sherrod is dangerous. She stated yesterday that she wanted to get even and might even bring a law suit against USDA. She’s done that already and won $300,000. She may have accepted the apologies, but she does carry a grudge. That is dangerous.” Do you have any proof that Sherrod “might even bring a law suit against USDA. She’s done that already and won $300,000”? Gina Burgess said: “Liars are dangerous.” So you believe brietbart is dangerous?

    August 2, 2010
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  9. altfreq11 said:

    Gina Burgess said: “The sad thing, Alt, is that you are doing the exact thing that I am lamenting the media does. They go by what someone else says instead of to the original source. That’s what you are doing with that link.” Do you have any proof that the linked information is untrue or inaccurate in anyway?

    August 2, 2010
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  10. paristango said:

    It’s sad to see that resorting to the courts is seen as revenge rather than one citizen seeking objective justice when they have been wronged. I understand it though. Sometimes the courts are weighed down by rules of evidence that maybe shouldn’t apply anymore. But Joan Rivers said once that the courts are where you go to make ppl be nice when they refuse to be nice. That’s what they should be. So sad that some people abuse this. So I truly do understand your feelings here.

    August 10, 2010
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  11. said:

    (How do you know she is kind? Are you personally acquainted with her?) You said: “If this hadn’t become news, she would have been out there all alone with no one but herself to defend herself.” If it weren’t for the administration running scared from Glenn Beck, and if it weren’t for the knee-jerk reactions of the Secretary of Agriculture, then it never would have happened. The problem I have with Shirley Sherrod is that she stated several times that she accepted the apology from her boss, and from the President. Then she turned around and said she was considering a lawsuit. Don’t get me wrong. I think she has a hugely viable case and I think she should pursue it. The court system was a wonderful thing until judges started making law instead of interpreting it. Where I strongly believe she is wrong is accepting the apologies and then pursuing a lawsuit. Don’t graciously speak one thing and then do another. That is taking a lesson directly from some Washington politicians. Not all of them are like that. Maybe she is strong, maybe she just recognized a great opportunity when it was laid in her lap. I don’t know her, haven’t talked to her and can only go by what I see her saying. BTW, Blessed are the Meek means blessed are those who were once wild and are now tame, with self-control. I agree, those are the strongest people I know.

    August 11, 2010
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  12. altfreq11 said:

    Gina Burgess said: “In my own opinion, Shirley Sherrod is dangerous. She stated yesterday that she wanted to get even and might even bring a law suit against USDA. She’s done that already and won $300,000.” Do you have any proof of this? Gina Burgess said: “She may have accepted the apologies, but she does carry a grudge. That is dangerous It merely proves that she lied. She said she accepted the apology, but if she files a lawsuit it means she really didn’t. She lied.” What, specifically, did she lie about?

    August 25, 2010
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  13. altfreq11 said:

    Gina Burgess said: “She may have accepted the apologies, but she does carry a grudge. That is dangerous It merely proves that she lied. She said she accepted the apology, but if she files a lawsuit it means she really didn’t. She lied.” Sherrod only talked about suing Brietbart…did Brietbart apologize to her?

    August 25, 2010
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