Can Sherrod Sue Over Edited NAACP Tape?

The controversy continues over a video of Georgia director of Rural Development Shirley Sherrod at the NAACP. Sherrod, and many supporters, have objected that the tape from the NAACP event was clearly edited to cut off her comments to mislead the viewers. Andrew Breitbart released the video but insists that he did not edit it. The question is whether Sherrod can sue over the video. Most criticism is focusing on Andrew Breitbart who released the video on his media sites. Raw Story released the full video without the editing. In response, Breitbart told Fox News “this is not about Shirley and Andrew.” He appears half right given the growing condemnations directed at him.

The video itself is certainly misleading as edited.

Sherrod immediately objected that the remarks were “misconstrued.” Nevertheless, she resigned after the video was made public and was denounced by both the NAACP and Secretary of Agriculture Tom Vilsack. She claims that she was forced to resign by the White House. The White House later issued an apology to Sherrod.

UPDATE: Vilsack has apologized to Sherrod and offered her a “unique position.”

The NAACP has now retracted the original statement below.

This video shows Sherrod recounted “the first time I was faced with having to help a white farmer save his farm” and how she viewed the farmer as trying to be “superior” to her while she controlled the money for such farmers.

“He had to come to me for help. What he didn’t know while he was taking all that time trying to show me he was superior to me was I was trying to decide just how much help I was going to give him . . . I was struggling with the fact that so many black people have lost their farmland and here I was faced with having to help a white person save their land — so I didn’t give him the full force of what I could do. I did enough.”

She notes that, to avoid any later complaints, she said she took him to see “one of his own” — a white lawyer” “I figured that if I take him to one of them, that his own kind would take care of him.”

Media Matters has responded to the story and accused Breitbart of misleading people on the story. They note that Sherrod was telling a story she had described took place decades ago when she worked for the Federation of Southern Cooperative/Land Assistance Fund. The video reportedly excluded the fact that Sherrod spoke of how she went on to work with and befriend the man. She is quoted as saying at the end of the story: “And I went on to work with many more white farmers,” she said. “The story helped me realize that race is not the issue, it’s about the people who have and the people who don’t. When I speak to groups, I try to speak about getting beyond the issue of race.”

This account is supported by the farmer’s wife who credited Sherrod with saving their land. For the video interview, click here.

There is no question that the edited material left a false impression as to the point of the speech. Before getting to the possible legal consequences of such editing, it is important to note that the added material is redeeming but still leaves some disturbing racial elements in the speech. First, the video appears to show a few members of the audience responding positively to the racially-loaded portions of the speech, though that is subject to interpretation. Moreover, these audience comments are not made by Sherrod. However, it is disturbing to hear positive reactions to that portion of the speech. One possible interpretation is that the audience understood where she was going with the speech or was simply encouraging her in a build up to the crescendo of the speech. Second, Sherrod clearly states that roughly 20-25 years ago, she was viewing individuals in strikingly racial terms. That would put this story around the late 1980s and 1990s. It is pretty shocking to hear that Sherrod was still thinking of that white should work with their “own kind” and viewed the case in largely racial terms. The ultimate result of Sherrod overcoming race is commendable, but I have to say that I do not agree that it fully answers the concerns about this story. I would be very disturbed to hear that a white politician was in 1986 uncomfortable with fully assisting black people and actively sought to have “one of their kind” help them. It may be a sign of my age, but 1986 doesn’t feel that long ago and I would have been appalled to hear such views at that time. Moreover, the racial elements of the speech seemed to in part explain the earlier view in light of how black farmers were being treated. In defense of Sherrod, it has been noted that she was working for the Federation of Southern Cooperative/Land Assistance Fund, which specifically aids black farmers.

Putting aside this issue, the editing was clearly intended to make the story worse than it was. She uses the racially loaded story to explain that “That’s when it was revealed to me that it’s about poor versus those who have.” That is a very different story where she was trying to explain how she learned to overcome racial sentiments. Other leaders like the late Henry Byrd Jr., made similar redemptive speeches. While I am still bothered by the fact that this was a revelation in the 1980s or 1990s (as opposed to the 1950s or 1960s), it is still a very different story than shown on the video released by Breitbart.

The question is whether there is legal recourse for such editing. There is but it is not easy. An employment action based on being pressured to resign is doubtful. Company and government lawyers often prefer employees to resign because it effectively waives a host of statutory and common law protections. Sherrod herself has stated that she is not sure she even wants her job back. It would have been a far stronger case if she had forced termination proceedings. However, at least one expert thinks she might have a case under employment law.

John Dean wrote a terrific piece on this issue.

The most obvious claims would be false light and defamation.

The Restatement Second defines the tort of false light:

652E. Publicity Placing Person in False Light

One who gives publicity to a matter concerning another that places the other before the public in a false light is subject to liability to the other for invasion of his privacy, if

(a) the false light in which the other was placed would be highly offensive to a reasonable person, and
(b) the actor had knowledge of or acted in reckless disregard as to the falsity of the publicized matter and the false light in which the other would be placed.

This would certainly seem to be a case of intentional or reckless act. It could also be claimed to be highly offensive to a reasonable person. However, the editor can claim that the tape was meant to show not just the racially loaded comments of a speaker but the reaction of the audience to that portion of the speech. Moreover, Sherrod is still admitting to pretty disturbing racial views in her earlier view of white farmers from the 1980s or 1990s. That is not an entirely complete defense, however, because it still does not explain why the editor would cut out the point of the story.

False light cases have resulted in high damages against news organizations as in this case. However, this verdict was later overturned, which rejected the very use of false light as a tort action.

Some states have curtailed or abandoned false light because such cases can be properly heard in defamation cases. In this case, Sherrod would be considered a public figure or limited public figure. As such, she would need to prove that the editor or people like Breitbart acted with knowledge of the falsity or reckless disregard of the falsity. The question is whether it was false in terms of what was intended to be shown. The editor could claim that he or she was seeking to show the racial elements at the NAACP in response to that organization’s criticism of the Tea Party. That is the position taken by Breitbart in interviews in response to outrage over his role in the controversy,here

Of course, if Sherrod were to sue, she would likely make it past initial motions to dismiss and could secure embarrassing discovery in the case, including possible internal emails and communications on the purpose of the editing and release of the video.

842 thoughts on “Can Sherrod Sue Over Edited NAACP Tape?

  1. While it may seem like the audience is “cheering”, when you really look at the tape in full, they are not. If you have ever been to a AA meeting, or a church where testimonials are given, you have heard these kind of “rock-bottom” stories- how you knew you were a “sinner” and then saw the error of your ways. This is speech making 101 and the audience saw her story in context. They were not “cheering” her for being a ‘racist’, they were acknowledging that they understood what she has been thinking. You see this a lot in redemption speeches across the board, they are simply providing feedback-“Yes, we understand exactly what you are saying, because we have been there.”
    It’s also important to note that this was the first white family that she had ever dealt with since the non-profit she worked at primarily helped black farmers. It took her only one instance of actually working with a white family to understand that her thinking was wrong.

  2. Breitbart actually posted two edited videos.

    http://biggovernment.com/abreitbart/2010/07/19/video-proof-the-naacp-awards-racism2010/

    **********

    “Moreover, Sherrod is still admitting to pretty disturbing racial views in her earlier view of white farmers from the 1980s or 1990s.”

    I believe the situation Sherrod was talking about happened in 1986. That’s a long time ago. In her speech, she was trying to explain how and why her viewpoint had changed.

    **********

    From an article at The Nation
    http://www.thenation.com/blog/37762/shirley-sherrod-case-media-and-white-house-fall-another-false-right-wing-scandal?page=0,0,0,1

    “CNN also revealed that Sherrod’s father was killed by a ‘white farmer’ who was never prosecuted.”

    Maybe Sherrod held her “disturbing racial views” years ago because of that and other life experiences she had had.

  3. I find your statements about Sherrod’s thinking in racial terms in the 1980’s to be naïve. I lived in Iowa in the 1980’s and had no experience with racism/prejudice/racist thinking prior to that. What I saw and experienced from whites during that decade has colored my view of whites ever since.
    We wouldn’t be talking about Sherrod now if thinking in racial terms wasn’t an issue still today.

  4. The full Shirley Sherrod speech is 43 minutes and 15 seconds long. One of the themes is need for all poor people black and white to unite against discrimination against the poor.

    The Breitbart extract is a mere 2 minutes and 36 seconds, a fair comment sample which does not give significantly distorted picture of Shirley Sherrod would be 4 minutes and forty seconds starting 16 minutes in to the full record of her speech. The missing 2 minutes and 4 seconds turns an anecdote about overcoming racial prejudice into one about a black woman gloating at having power over an uppity white man. This distortion of meaning is grotesque.

    I think white Americans, even those who think they are non-racist have a hard time realizing how white anti-black racism damages the lives of blacks. It is not surprising that a Negro woman in 1986 would have strong prejudices against white people, after Sherrod’s father was murdered by one and the grand jury declined to indict.

  5. “Andrew Breitbart released the video but insists that he did not edit it”

    Breitbart’s stating that he didn’t edit the video is like saying bears don’t sh*t in the woods. He has a history of distortion, lying and smearing. Sorry but, his reputation precedes him. IMO, he’s just trying to cover his butt by “preemptively striking out” in case Ms. Sherrod does sue. Which I hope she does. And, not only Breitbart, but FAUX News for pushing the lie.

    And, I respectfully disagree with the good Professor. I agree the posts by Peg and Elaine M.:

    1. I don’t take the audiences cheering as approving of racism. I see it as a simple acknowledgement of her thought process, how she felt then and how she feels now. Remember, this is Georgia where racism, as in many areas in the South, is alive and well; and

    2. Growing up in the Deep South, her environment was just so toxic with racism; her father’s white killers were never prosecuted. If I were in her shoes, I would have felt the same exact way, and I don’t think I’m alone in that thinking.

    It’s high time that people start being held accountable for their actions that result in such slander. While it is prevalent on both sides of the political aisle, the GOBP far surpass the Democrats in slime, as evidenced with ACORN, Van Jones, hell, even John McCain in SC back in 2000.

  6. I don’t think it makes a difference what Breitbart’s INTENT was in posting the video, the RESULT was clearly a video that made Sherrod look like a racist when she is not. The proof is in the Fox News reaction, which was all about racism. Breitbart should be sued, and I hope somebody is helping Sherrod to do it.

    If intent mattered, robbers could claim they weren’t robbing, they were just playing a joke. Murderers could claim they didn’t know their gun was loaded and it went off accidentally, they had no intent of killing anyone. What Breitbart claims is immaterial, the outcome produced damages and any reasonable jury looking at the two videos would conclude Breitbart is directly responsible for those damages.

  7. The audience reaction is called “call and response.” It’s a cultural thing. The audience was responding to a sermon, they understood what her speech was leading to. Perhaps you should quit buying Breitbart’s spin.

  8. Maybe Breitbart is telling the truth when he says hat he did not edit the video, but someone did so and that someone has to know that leaving out the following 2 minutes and 4 seconds completely changed the impression given.

    I recommend that everyone view the full 43 minutes as the impression that Sherrod is a racist is softened the more context one has from the rest of the speech. Incidentally I think that overall it was a very good speech much better than one would expect from a bureaucrat.a

  9. One wonders just who Ms. Sherrod could/should sue. There seems to be a plethora of subjects.

    The Obama administration, if they actually did the insisting she resign on the side of the road.

    The Secretary of Agriculture and Mr. Vilsack.

    Any news agency that published the video.

    The NAACP.

    Mr. Breitbart.

    And last, but not least, the slug that gave Breitbart the video.

    My main question is why did Ms. Sherrod agree to resign while stopped on the side of the road? I’d have turned the phone off after the first call.

  10. I am not a black woman whose father was murdered forty-five years ago by a white farmer who was never prosecuted for his crime–even though there were witnesses. I can only begin to imagine what Sherrod’s life must have been like while she was growing up…the prejudice she and her family must have experienced.

    I think we’re seeing the racism that has been simmering under the surface beginning to boil over in the US since Obama was elected president. We’ve seen it at some of the Tea Party protests, at some of the town hall meetings held by elected officials, on certain programs on the FOX “news” network. Breitbart and his ilk are culprits fanning the flames.

  11. This has to be the best example ever of the dangers of assuming that a quote has not had its meaning distorted by being removed from its necessary context.

  12. Second, Sherrod clearly states that roughly 20-25 years ago, she was viewing individuals in strikingly racial terms. That would put this story around the late 1980s and 1990s. It is pretty shocking to hear that Sherrod was still thinking of that white should work with their “own kind” and viewed the case in largely racial terms.

    I believe you’re leaving out an essential bit of context. Ms. Sherrod worked for the Federation of Southern Cooperative/Land Assistance Fund, which specifically aids black farmers.

    Your analogy, which compared her statement with a hypothetical white politician, elected to serve his entire constituency, doesn’t seem appropriate.

  13. I agree with everyone above, surprisingly to include buckeye! An injustice has been done here, evidently by multiple parties.

    Elaine,

    May I please ask you to consider something? The point of this speech was people coming together across race to address multiple grave injustices. I don’t think it is just conservatives who fan the flames of racism, I think liberals are doing this as well. The coverage concerning white racists is really inflammatory and needs to be looked at from a more realistic perspective. Cries of a race war played incessantly during the campaign but statistics clearly and consistently showed it was about 15% of the population who refused to vote for Obama based solely on his race. Exit polls showed that race was not much of a factor in why people voted or didn’t vote for Obama. (Check CNN for that info.) I am not denying racism or it’s horrifying effects on people’s lives. 15% is still a lot of people and this can’t be swept under a rug. But consider that liberals constantly fanning the racist fires may be counterproductive in helping all people turning towards each other, working together to ameliorate everyone’s hardship. Here’s an actual overview of the Tea Party that may surprise you. There’s also a good write up on in it the NY Review of Books. “Myth-busting polls: Tea Party members are average Americans, 41% are Democrats, independents…” FOX is hyping and we need to look out for that, IMO.

    http://latimesblogs.latimes.com/washington/2010/04/tea-party-obama.html

  14. Dan,

    Here in the South today (Louisiana)?

    People are still learning, and worse, not learning that same lesson in 2010 that Sherrod learned some time in the 80’s. To underestimate the entrenchment of racism that still exists is a common mistake. Since racism is a form of stupidity, I leave you with the words of Albert Einstein. “Only two things are infinite, the universe and human stupidity, and I’m not sure about the former.”

  15. Glen Greenwald has an excellent article on Shirley Sherrod emphasizing among other things how brave she is to expose her prior prejudices and the experiences that helped her overcome them.

    Here is the link.

  16. Jill Why are you constantly defending the tea party and their antics? The tea party caucus was just started in congress by Michele Bachman. No democrats have joined. The tea party is only backing one democratic candidate for congress and he is running from it.

  17. CM,

    I’m with you and GG on this one. It says a lot about a person’s character that they will not only admit they were wrong, but are willing to share the lesson with others.

  18. Jill–

    I don’t listen to propaganda. I call them the way I see them. Polls is polls. I prefer to use my common sense, experience, and knowledge to make judgments about such things.

    You don’t consider 15% of US voters who refused to vote for Obama solely because he’s a black man a large number of racists? I guess we may look at things differently.

    You said:
    “The point of this speech was people coming together across race to address multiple grave injustices.” That’s exactly right! But look how some right wingers and FOX news turned the story around to serve their purpose.

    Answer this for me: Why go after ACORN with such intensity? Why go after someone like Shirley Sherrod?

  19. Swarthmore mom,

    I am not defending them I am trying to get people like you to understand that you are being manipulated by hyped up coverage (see my statistics above). You have a one dimensional view of the Tea Party that simply isn’t factually accurate. It’s doesn’t mean you should “like” the Tea Party or approve of any of its principles or tolerate racism when it rears its ugly head. I’m trying to point out that liberals such as yourself are also fanning the flames of racism. This is counterproductive. In fact, it is contributing to a climate of hate and distrust between the people of our nation. We desperately need to work together. The constant focus on hyped up “news” coverage which doesn’t match reality will keep us from working together.

  20. Jill I don’t think the tea party members want to work with people that support national health care. I have already told the story about what a tea party member did to me at a health care forum.

  21. Buddah.

    And this case illustrates how dangerous it can be to be honest about some things.

    This time the response to Breibart’s distortions is much better than in the ACORN pimp hooker video case and just maybe he and Fox News are losing some of their power to destroy.

    The Brad Blog, The Turley Blog, Glen Greenwald, Dredd and Raw Story have all been prompt in correcting the misinformation.

  22. Elaine,

    Here is what I actually said: “15% is still a lot of people and this can’t be swept under a rug.” so I hope you will reevaluate that you think I don’t believe this is a problem. Now consider your other question. Why do after Ms. Sherrod? She said multiple parties, not just white racists went after her. She said the White House asked her to resign. She said the NAACP asked her to resign. Why is that? Acorn is unabashed racism and what happened to it should be condemned.

    I am again, not denying racism and that it is a huge problem which cannot be ignored or denied. I also wonder why many white liberals have such a difficult time acknowledging the racism perpetrated by this govt. If something is wrong, it is wrong. We should look at racism and condemn it whenever it occurs, no matter who engages in it. But just as importantly, we should do everything in our power to reach out to others. We are in a political, legal, social, economic and environmental emergency. Liberals should not be fanning flames. We should be reaching out.

  23. Jill–

    “I am not defending them I am trying to get people like you to understand that you are being manipulated by hyped up coverage (see my statistics above).”

    I think you mean people like Swarthmore mom AND me. I’m sorry. I’m too old and have seen too much in my lifetime to have to be made to “understand” how I’m being manipulated by hyped coverage. You take away from news coverage and polls what you will–and I’ll take away from them what I will. I am perfectly capable of drawing my own conclusions.

    BTW, who are the “people like you” you referred to?

  24. Jill–

    The NAACP, Vilsack, and the Obama administration didn’t edit the tape of Sherrod’s speech to try to prove reverse racism and splash it all over the Internet and Fox News. You’re mixing apples in with oranges.

    If there are examples where white liberals have done such things as James Okeefe and Breitbart did to Acorn and Sherrod, I would condemn them. Can you provide me with some examples?

  25. I have to get back to my vacation. I became so infuriated by this Breitbart episode and the initial reponse to it on this blog that I got back on. I just hope Sherrod has her job back if she wants it by the time I am back on the internet tonight.

  26. Elaine,

    I am talking about white liberals who seem very unable to look at the truth concerning what the govt. is doing, who Tea Party members are, and consequently, will not take a chance to reach out to others who may be allies on some things while not being allies on others things.

    Swarthmore mom,

    I haven’t met any Tea Party members who were pro national health insurance either. I didn’t read your earlier story but if someone at a meeting was cruel to you, I am sorry that you had to experience such a thing. I have met members who were against the war and on that issue, I will work with any non-racist member of the Tea Party. And of course I’m anti-Obama. I was anti-Bush for the same reasons I’m anti-Obama. I didn’t change my ethics based on which party is in power. As to exit polls, they are considered quite accurate and they are anonymous. They were also consistent with pre-election statistics. But as Elaine said, you both will draw your conclusions and I will draw mine.

  27. Jill–

    “We should look at racism and condemn it whenever it occurs…”

    That’s what some of us “white liberals” have been doing. Yet, you call it fanning the fires when we do. I’m confused.

  28. Elaine,

    I don’t agree that asking someone to resign isn’t a bad thing to do. You are costing them their job. That’s pretty extreme. As to your other query, if I think of a similar situation I’ll write it down but it’s not my point. My point is again, that liberals must stop fanning the flames of racism and reach out to others whenever possible. In general this is a good strategy but it’s a necessity right now.

  29. The truth is scratch a human and you will find a racist. Those who claim not to be racist are either lying or lack self awareness. The mechanisms to support racial and other prejudices have been built into the human brain by millions of years of evolution. The tendency to classify members of species homo sapiens sapiens according to on which side of an us them divide they are located is extremely powerful. The default position for humans is to consider difference-from-us-ness to be grounds for at least suspicion and at worst a justification for genocide.

    No one should be surprised to find that Negroes are prejudiced against whites as much as whites are prejudiced against blacks. The main difference is that blacks have many fewer opportunities to damage whites by discriminating against them than have whites opportunities to damage blacks. Also blacks have more experience of being harmed by white anti-Negro discrimination to justify their prejudice.

    I really think that undergoing Jane Elliott’s techniques for sensitizing people to the power relationships that constitute racism need to be made compulsory for all 300 million US citizens. The level of racism among Americans seems to me an Australian to much worse than that in either the UK or Australia.

  30. Jill I am confused by fact that you can accept and work with the tea party although they are far from pure but cannot extend the same courtesy to Obama or the democrats.

  31. Elaine,

    I think it’s great when white liberals call out racism in the Tea Party and other conservative movements. What I don’t see happening is an equal condemnation when the govt. is conducting its own racism. On that, too many white liberals remain in denial/or silence. And again, even if white liberals will start condemning racism when done by Republicans and Democrats alike, this isn’t enough. We have to actively reach out to others, even people we don’t agree with on every issue, because that is ultimately how we can begin to move away from class and racial hatred and make this nation come back to life again.

  32. Jill–

    “I am talking about white liberals who seem very unable to look at the truth concerning what the govt. is doing, who Tea Party members are, and consequently, will not take a chance to reach out to others who may be allies on some things while not being allies on others things.”

    Are you including me as one of “white liberals” you speak of?

    You see lots wrong with some of us liberals–but you’re often defending Tea Party members. You can judge us–but we’re not supposed to judge them by their actions and words? Why is that?

  33. Swarthmore Mom,

    I am happy to work with members of the Democratic party who share goals that I believe will help our nation. I don’t think it’s honest of you to accuse me of saying otherwise because I have said many times to do just that. As to Obama, when he does something I think is a good thing, even when I believe it is only being done on a very cynical basis, I am happy to support that action. Obama has violated our Constitution and takes actions that undermine our entire society, therefore, as a candidate, I will not support him.

  34. Honestly Elaine, because I hold liberals to a very high standard of ethics. I have been appalled that so many of my fellow liberals have remained silent as Obama has instituted one after the other of Bush’s policies and has even exceeded them. I expect more from people who say they are dedicated to justice. Many conservatives never make that claim about themselves, but many liberals do. We haven’t been true to our own philosophy and that pisses me off. I didn’t expect so many liberals to fold on what I believed were genuine beliefs concerning right and wrong just because a Democrat was committing the injustice now.

  35. Jill–

    It seems you only want to focus on “your points” and not address some of my cogent points. O’Keefe and Breitbart were instigators in the two different cases I was commenting about. You don’t address that. You adress what the Obama administration did to Sherrod–which, I think, was wrong.

    I don’t feel as if I have to reach out to the likes of the Breitbarts and the O’Keefes of the world…or to the birthers…or to people who listen to hatemongers like Rush Limbaugh…or to folks who think of me as un-American because I’m a liberal and am a proponent of social programs that benefit the elderly and the poor. Such people need to be called to account for trying to turn certain groups of Americans against each other.

  36. CM,

    “The truth is scratch a human and you will find a racist. Those who claim not to be racist are either lying or lack self awareness. The mechanisms to support racial and other prejudices have been built into the human brain by millions of years of evolution.”

    I disagree.

    I think it’s more basic than that.

    Scratch a human and you find one of two classes of perception: dividers or unifiers. Dividers think in terms of others being bad and competition the most effective mode of accomplishing something. Unifiers tend to think inclusively of others and that cooperation is the most effective mode of accomplishing something.

    I say this because there are many examples of intra-race discrimination as there are extra-racial examples. The two that leap to mind are the tribal wars of Africa where dehumanizing the “other” is the norm (example: Rwanda) or the Japanese underclasses of the Burakumin and the Ainu (genetically nominally Japanese but treated as poorly as most underclasses). Skin color can indeed be a component (and often is) of these kinds of thinking, but its the modes of thought that truly mark the difference.

  37. Elaine,

    I believe I did say what happened to Acorn was racist and should be condemned and I am happy to say O’Keefe and Breitbart are sleezy bastards whom no one should give credence to. I also agree entirely with your statement: “I don’t feel as if I have to reach out to the likes of the Breitbarts and the O’Keefes of the world…or to the birthers…or to people who listen to hatemongers like Rush Limbaugh…or to folks who think of me as un-American because I’m a liberal and am a proponent of social programs that benefit the elderly and the poor. Such people need to be called to account for trying to turn certain groups of Americans against each other.” I also said this earlier but am happy to reagree with it. What I am trying to say is that not everyone in the Tea Party movement or who is a Republican fits the description you just gave, except most of the people in these groups are against social programs that benefit the elderly and the poor. I do not like any of the economic programs of conservatives, but I do know for a fact, that not every conservative is a hate monger or would think of you as un-American. That just isn’t true. These people exist but they are not the sum total of conservatives in the US. On the issue of helping the poor and elderly you may, as a liberal, find yourself at odds with the administration who wishes to cut social security (for example). So there isn’t this easy break down of this party will hold the following values, or this party will hold the other following values. It just doesn’t work out that way now. For my own part I will work with non racist conservatives on anti war issues. I will not work with Democrats or Republicans who wish to dismantle social security.

  38. From the article:
    “…Of course, if Sherrod were to sue, she would likely make it past initial motions to dismiss and could secure embarrassing discovery in the case, including possible internal emails and communications on the purpose of the editing and release of the video. …”

    ================================================================

    That could prove to be very interesting ….

  39. Anonymously Yours

    Hmmm,

    I suppose a Yellow school bus filled with white kids is not a ‘Twinkie”….
    =================================================================

    bad boy … bad, bad boy …

  40. Project, if you will, into the future. Breitbart is called into court. By then, there are no emails, including the one that was sent to him with the file in question, as he certainly didn’t edit it himself and doesn’t know how anyway. He doesn’t remember who did it or the circumstances and took it on good faith that it was legit and published it in all innocence as a public service.
    Insert quotes where you like.

  41. Jill–

    “What I am trying to say is that not everyone in the Tea Party movement or who is a Republican fits the description you just gave, except most of the people in these groups are against social programs that benefit the elderly and the poor.”

    You’re extrapolating from the comments I’ve made. Where–in any of my comments–have I used the word “Republican?” Where did I suggest–in any of my comments–that all conservatives are hatemongers? Please don’t put words in my mouth. Please don’t tell me what I think.

    Why do you believe I support everything the Obama administration and the Democrats have done? I have been extremely critical of many things Obama’s administration has done–and of a number of the people he has appointed to work in his administration.

  42. Doesn’t appear anything about her views are very disturbing considering her father was killed by the Klan and that she said before and after her story that rich/poor not black/white is the issue.

    From an edited tape you can’t tell the reaction of the audience and anyone that thinks call/response is unusual knows nothing about Black folks.

  43. From the article:

    “… She (Shirley Sherrod) claims that she was forced to resign by the White House. …”

    ==============================================================

    Obviously no “beer fest” for Ms. Sherrod.

  44. Then Elaine,

    I will apologize and say I misunderstood what you said about Tea Party members, Republicans and other conservatives. I did see that you earlier and on several occasions criticized Obama on some issues to include for example, having Tim Geithner still on board. So I did not and do not believe you support everything the Obama administration and Democrats have done.

    I do think there remains a double standard of criticism by liberals now that Democrats and particularly, Obama is/are in power. Criticism should be as strong and on the same subjects as criticism liberals made of Bush and the Republicans when they were in power. And again, I urge anyone, conservative or liberal to reach out towards other people (unless you are absolutely certain in advance that there’s no hope) because that is the only way we have a chance to make things right again.

  45. Jill–

    “I do think there remains a double standard of criticism by liberals now that Democrats and particularly, Obama is/are in power.”

    I think that’s true of some–not all liberals. Just as the things I’ve said are true of some–not all–conservatives, Republicans, and members of the Tea Party. Don’t include all liberals in that “double standard of criticism.” I’ve heard liberals on MSNBC call Obama and his administration out on a number of issues–including torture, giving contracts to Blackwater/Xe, single payer, etc. Glenn Greenwald, writers for The Nation, and other liberals have done so too.

  46. patriotboy

    The audience reaction is called “call and response.” It’s a cultural thing. The audience was responding to a sermon, they understood what her speech was leading to. Perhaps you should quit buying Breitbart’s spin.

    ===============================================================

    Right on target. I have sung for many audiences wherein “call and response” is part of the cultural response to both the spoken and the sung word. In this culture (and it is not just a “black” cultural trait) it is almost an insult if the gathering is silent. The audience listening to Ms. Sherrod were reacting in a most appropriate and polite manner. To attempt to equate their response to the hate-filled, angry, shouting coming from the town halls and similar rantings of recent memory is ignorance at work. It is spin, not truth.

    If our Justice system is incapable of providing Ms. Sherrod the avenue she deserves then there is something very, very wrong with that system.

  47. … the murder of her father was never addressed … the destruction of her reputation should not be a repeat performance

  48. Jill–

    In addition to Timmy G.– Larry Summers is someone else who ought to be “disappeared” from this administration. Ken Salazar should also be in line for a pink slip.

  49. Elaine,

    I absolutely agree with you about liberals and I should have put that down earlier. I have great respect for many of the writers you mentioned and the everyday people whom I know that act just as you say. Few groups are a monolith, that’s the truth.

  50. Jill

    “I agree with everyone above, surprisingly to include buckeye!”

    Even Moi? I don’t think there’s as much difference between you and me as you think. I’m simply one of the “reasonable person(s)” that Professor Turley references above, while it seems you are close to being a nihilist.(smile) (If someone would give me directions on how to include the “smiley” signs you all use, I’d appreciate it. Thanks)

    My only quarrel with you is the lack of reputable links when you start throwing assertions out. To me, that is like Mr. Breitbart throwing this videos out with no context with which to judge them.

    Please explain why you would want to be a member of a party where “most of the people in these groups are against social programs that benefit the elderly and the poor”. Also, what evidence do you have that Tea Party members are anti-war?

    It seems to me, at a distance, for sure, that the only thing you agree with the Tea Party about is being anti-Obama, and anti-Liberals. You can find other more reputable groups (that don’t like “divider” signs at their rallies). The TP certainly doesn’t seem to be about uniting – at least from what I’ve seen. Granted, my experience is limited ’cause I’m not in general a joiner.

  51. “The audience reaction is called “call and response.” It’s a cultural thing. The audience was responding to a sermon…”

    Do you think we could get Mr. Breitbart to attend a few black church sessions? I know “Poppy” Bush seemed to be impressed at Mrs. King’s funeral.

    The divide is wide and deep and the only way to the middle is one step at a time, even though there are land mines along the way.

  52. Elaine,

    Those pink slips would be great! Also, let me explain why I feel so strongly about groups so maybe it will make more sense why I write what I do. I know people who were in some rather, no, extremely, bad groups who actually changed. It’s why even during the Bush administration, some of the most evil people who ever walked this earth, I waited. I told my husband, there is going to be one person, even there, who will have a conscience and finally speak out. Then came Scott McClellan. People can change. That’s not to say I put much hope of that in the people at FOX for example or GS for another, but there may be someone. I wouldn’t recommend putting my energy there, but I always try to keep open to that one or several people who do the unexpected.

  53. Wow- and you teach the law at GW?
    You spout off all sorts of skewed interpretations of the “facts” and then make a banal citation to the Restatement. I hope Sherrod hires someone better than you. As for you statements regarding forced “resignations,” they are absolutely false. Indeed, some employment actions (e.g.harrassment) ascribe evidential greater weight to a resignation!

  54. Professor Turley,

    As Elaine pointed out above, this woman had her father murdered by white racists (when she was 17, I believe) and had the legal system fail to punish the murder, an event which would have profoundly shaped anyone’s world view. Now she has had her story about how she overcame her own racism (which I found nothing but commendable) edited and used as a political attack against the president (she was merely collateral damage). Her words and actions (both recently and 24 years ago) have made it clear to me that the only person who has nothing to be ashamed about in this whole mess is Ms. Sherrod (and the white farmers she was accused of not helping). I was very disappointed to read your words above which, in my opinion, showed either ignorance or a lack of understanding of the context of Ms. Sherrod’s speech. In my opinion, the mettle of those who have reacted poorly to this shameful episode will be shown in their response to it. The NAACP has strongly reversed their original statements, Secretary Vilsack is reviewing the situation (I think President Obama should be personally asking her to take her job back, but that’s just me), and we’ll see which members of the media that fell for FOX’s promotion of Breitbart’s lies have the character to admit they were played. So I would like to ask you, do you really think that Ms. Sherrod’s words (and the reactions of her audience) are disquieting or was that a hasty impression you had without understanding the full context?

  55. JT needs to give it up here. This is America. I do not know anybody in this country who does not think in racial terms. We lve in a racialized society. Anybody who says they don’t think in racial terms is lying.

  56. Buddah.

    Scratch a human and you find one of two classes of perception: dividers or unifiers. Dividers think in terms of others being bad and competition the most effective mode of accomplishing something. Unifiers tend to think inclusively of others and that cooperation is the most effective mode of accomplishing something.

    I think what makes humans different from other animals is the scale on which they cooperate with others of their species. However whenever you find a group of humans cooperating you will also find nearby another group of humans against whom the first group is competing quite viciously.

    One may imagine a desirable utopian state which I call the kingdom of heaven on earth where all humans are cooperating with all other humans and not competing at all. I predict that if such a state were to exist, it would last for about 1 femtosecond. Consider two humans named A and B. For A there exist two mathematical functions AdvantageCoop(A,B) and AdvantageCompete(A,B). For B there exist similar functions AdvantageCoop(B,A) and AdvtageCompete(B,A). Based on the values of these functions each will make the choice whether to cooperate or compete, only if both see advantage in cooperating will cooperation occur. The problem is that there are many situations where one human or group of humans can benefit more by vicious competition with another human or group of humans than by cooperation. When one group of humans has power over another group of humans the former may exploit that power to its advantage and the latter’s disadvantage. Cooperation may still occur but it will be with very unequal shares. The terms of trade will be very much in the favour of the more powerful group. For example slavery involves cooperation between the masters and the slaves but the fruits of that cooperation are unequally divided.

    If the Kingdom of God on Earth were to come about and one could freeze it and examine the AdvanageCoop(X,Y) and AdvantageCompete(X,Y) functions for every ordered pair (X,Y) of humans one would find that there are lines of weakness along which the universal cooperation could easily fracture and across which cooperation would very likely be replaced by war.

    The unpleasant truth is that situations exist where the well being to which certain humans know they are entitled can only be achieved at the expense of the well being of another group of humans. We can think for example European colonists versus indigines in the Americas and in Australia or Jews versus Palestinians in Israel/Palestine. I call these situations an irreconcilable opposition of interests.

  57. As Rachel Maddow noted, the reference to Chapter 12 bankruptcy just being enacted places the events somewhere in the late 1980s.

    Someone noted the work she was doing was geared to helping black farmers. Another bit of context ignored is that her own father was murdered by a white person and the murderer was never brought to justice (grand jury did not indict).

    How “shocking” is it for someone who worked to help black farmers in the rural South, whose father was murdered, who grew up in a family of poor farmers, thought in racial terms in the mid-1980s? In fact, just how “racial” was she thinking when she actually DID help the couple in question? Sounds she was emphasizing that aspect for effect.

    People are still racist today, even without her background. But, Turly repeats like three times how “shocking” it is that someone might have a little devil on their shoulder and still in effect “see race” twenty five years ago. I find that a bit shocking.

  58. Look at the NAACP “un-edited” tape at 20min 59sec it was clearly and not very professionally edited…….why is an edited tape being used to refute and edited tape…….

  59. CM,

    I have no issue with that. I was just pointing to the thing, not saying it had a viable solution. While a form of cooperative heaven on Earth is theoretically possible, I’m far to much a realist about human nature on the whole to think it’s possible in any kind of pan-species manner. We are a primitive species not much further removed from our common plains ape ancestors than dogs are from wolves.

  60. Carlyle Moulton,

    You’re essentially comparing society to an iterated prisoner’s dilemma (which I approve of ;-)) but I don’t agree with your conclusions. I think that you can see the evolution of societies (in a very simplified way) as the struggle between the people that want to cooperate for the betterment of the society as a whole and the people that want to compete for their personal betterment. As I think this is an evolutionary process, I don’t think that there is an ideal being worked towards as much as a generally improving society.

    Buddha,

    I think that societies are a big part of the difference between us and our ape relatives – we’ve started evolving outside of our genetic code.

  61. Professor,

    Are you forgetting that we just buried Senator Robert Byrd, who could not definitely answer whether or not he had taken part in a lynching? Yet we all considered him redeemed.

    A redemption story needs something to be redeemed from. Those audience members who made positive noises at what might have been interpreted as a confession of a racist line of thought were about to be corrected.

  62. Slarti,

    Evolution is an ongoing process, I will stipulate, but I fear other things are evolving faster than we are. Namely our technology. If socialization is the next proper step in evolution as you suggest, then the problem is will we collectively reach that next stage before a technology evolves that kills us all and thus rendering the point moot?

    I have my doubts.

    Not that that would be a reason to quit “fighting the good fight”.

    But I do wonder most days.

  63. Buddah.

    I agree that humans can be classified into uniters and dividers, however these characteristics are tendencies more than absolutes.

    The truth is that in the real word humans of the uniter tendency find themselves on one side of a weakness on which a fracture can occur causing vicious competition across the fracture have no choice but to join the dividers on their side of the fracture.

    Take a look at the break up of Yugoslavia, before the break up Serbs, Croats and Muslims got on quite well together, they inter married and were good neighbours, but the lines of weakness separating them were there latent and fractures occurred along these lines when opportunistic dividers saw advantage in sticking wedges in the line of weakness.

    The fact is that many Serbs, Croats and Muslims were unifiers but they had no choice but to huddle on their side of no man’ land with their divider kin when the lines of weakness fractured.

  64. Buddha,

    I think society has been how the human race has been evolving for the last 10,000 years or so. Technology got started a lot later but has been making up for lost time (and then some). As far as destroying ourselves with our own technology goes, I think that the only hope we have is for technology to save us from its own side-effects (I’m trying to do my part). We’re already riding the tiger – our only choice is to try and hang on…

  65. Slarti.

    The great power that humans have obtained over the world results from cooperation in extremely large networks. However one can apply the concept of terms of trade to every case of cooperation and often one group is getting the rough end of the pineapple. Nevertheless, with the exception of complete psychopaths most humans are cooperating most of the time.

  66. CM,

    “Nevertheless, with the exception of complete psychopaths most humans are cooperating most of the time.” I would amend that to “many” and “much” because to do otherwise would underestimate the damage done to by and the percentage of the populace which are not true psychopaths, but rather their kin in mental illness (and I feel more insidiously damaging), the sociopaths.

    Slarti,

    I’m glad someone like you is doing their part to keep the technological demon in his box. Remember, the secret is to keep banging those rocks together!

  67. “The truth is scratch a human and you will find a racist. Those who claim not to be racist are either lying or lack self awareness. The mechanisms to support racial and other prejudices have been built into the human brain by millions of years of evolution.”

    If that were true blondes would hate brunettes and there would be as much prejudice against Asians as there is against black people. But there is essentially no prejudice against Asians while black people live in ghettos. A marriage between a black person and a white person is extremely rare and leads to a remarkable amount of disapproval on both sides of the racial divide, but a marriage between an Asian and a white person is hardly noticed.

    But in the nineteenth century Asians *were* the object of almost universal prejudice in America and so were the Irish. Each was an economic underclass against whom respectable people had to protect themselves. Black people were the ultimate underclass and particuarly hated by the Irish as economic competitors.

    Patterns of immigration and economic competition is what turns groups into “races” who need to be hated and feared. The once despised Irish, Italians, and Jews are now just “white people” in America.

    Good rant, huh?

  68. UPDATE: Tom Vilsack: Shirley Sherrod Has ‘Been Put Through Hell,’ Deserves New Job

    “WASHINGTON — Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack said Wednesday he has apologized to ousted employee Shirley Sherrod and offered her a unique new position at the agency.

    Sherrod, in an interview with The Associated Press, said she was considering it.

    ‘They did make an offer,’ she said in a telephone interview. ‘I just told him I need to think about it.’

    Vilsack told reporters that Sherrod accepted his apology. He said, ‘She was extraordinarily gracious.'”

    from http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2010/07/21/tom-vilsack-shirley-sherr_n_654845.html

  69. Yissil,

    Not bad except it ignores that there is quite a bit of racial tension in some parts of the country in re Asians. In particular, I’m thinking of the tensions between blacks and Koreans in L.A.

  70. CM,

    I agree. I think that the more we realize that cooperation is in our best interests as a society, the further our society evolves.

    Buddha,

    I’m trying to cure cancer right now (after I post this, anyway ;-)), but I’ll get back to banging rocks together ASAP.

    Yissil,

    Very good rant. Buddha, if the blacks and the Koreans are ‘economic competitors’ in LA, then that only supports Yissil’s theory.

  71. I wish to add my own apology to Ms. Sherrod for jumping to conclusions. Although in my post yesterday I noted that in her speech, Ms. Sherrod acknowledged that her intial reaction had been wrong, I nevertheless concluded that her resignation “was appropriate.” It was not and she ought to be reinstated. Her speech was, as Peg correctly pointed out, a redemption narrative. And frankly, she is more forgiving than I. Had I lost my father to the brutality of a mob when I was young, I am certain that hatred and bitterness would remain simmering just below the surface of my personality. Her address was an honest and commendable examination of the evil of assumptions.

    I also believe, however, that a lawsuit against Mr. Breitbart would be distracting, expensive and not worth the effort. Although he is undeniably a poster child for the “reckless disregard” branch of journalism (we need another word for this stuff), he was ultimately expressing a political opinion on the threat to white exceptionalism (a subset of American exceptionalism) caused by the election of a black President and the resulting boost to black pride and confidence. There is no phenomenon more threatening to racist ideology than a black population reinvigorated and determined.

  72. Buddha posted:

    “UPDATE: Tom Vilsack: Shirley Sherrod Has ‘Been Put Through Hell,’ Deserves New Job”

    This seems like it’s headed towards a reasonable resolution – Ms. Sherrod offered a different (presumably better) job. It will be interesting to see if she takes it. Now all that’s left is to see if there is any blowback for Breitbart or FOX… All in all, a very interesting national debut for Ms. Sherrod – she must have set some kind of record for going from unknown to goat to hero faster than anyone in the history of our media!

  73. From CBS News: (emphasis added)

    Sherrod said yesterday (Tues.) that the USDA pressed her to resign without listening to her side of the story or taking the time to review the remarks she gave to the NAACP. She said the USDA official who contacted her said she was acting at the behest of the White House.

    “Earlier Wednesday, White House press secretary Robert Gibbs apologized to Sherrod, stating that “a disservice was done” in her firing. Sherrod accepted the apology.

    Calling the situation an “injustice,” Gibbs said that “a lot of people involved in this situation, from the government’s perspective on through, acted without all the facts.”

    Gibbs denied that the administration acted so quickly to fire Sherrod because it is “afraid” of conservative commentators or hypersensitive on issues of race. But Sherrod, speaking on CNN, maintained that “being so afraid of the machine that the right has put out there, that’s what driving this.” ”

    “The agriculture secretary, Tom Vilsack, said the White House did not pressure him to make the decision to fire Sherrod or communicate with him about the matter, despite Sherrod’s indication that a USDA official told her the White House wanted her to step down.”

    ==============================================================

    I guess the illusive “she” person from the USDA who actually spoke with Ms. Sherrod got it all wrong when relating the info that this action was at the behest of the White House.

    Gosh, how did she manage to get it so wrong? It was really her boss, Tom Vilsack, who decided to fire Ms. Sherrod … the White House knew nothing … nada … completely unaware … totally blameless ……….

  74. Buddha Is Laughing:

    I would like to agree with Slartibartfarst that I am completely right and that your critical comments intended to diminish my complete rightness merely served to prove the complete completeness of my complete rightness.

    I think we can all learn something from this.

  75. Yissil,

    A statement of incompleteness is not a statement countering the veracity of your statement. It is merely a statement of incompleteness.

  76. Yissil,

    Surely you’ve been here long enough now to know that if I was going to say you were wrong, I’d be very explicit in doing so.

    And I’m not calling you surely.

  77. UPDATE #2:

    Sherrod: I’m a Victim of Breitbart, Fox ‘Racism’

    July 21, 2010 11:40 am ET by Joe Strupp

    Shirley Sherrod, the former Agriculture Department Georgia Director of Rural Development, says she is a victim. A victim of poor reporting and, as she contends, clear bias and racist coverage from both Andrew Breitbart and Fox News.

    “When you look at their reporting, this is just another way of seeing that they are (racist),” Sherrod told me about Fox in a lengthy interview Tuesday night. “But I have seen that before now. I saw their reporting as biased during the Bush Administration and the Clinton Administration.”

    from http://mediamatters.org/strupp/201007210037

  78. The 1980’s in Georgia weren’t an example of racial harmony. She grew up in the 60s, she saw the burning crosses and even her father was murdered in a racially motivated incident.

  79. Buddha and Yissil,

    Your statements about the statement my statement was making in regard to your prior statement seem somewhat overstated. My statement was just a statement that was stating the agreement of the statement that was being stated by both of your original statements. I am hereby stating that my statement was stating no more than that statement.

  80. me thinks that maybe some enterprising individual snookered Breitbart to play this hand. Cant say he doesn’t deserve it, you live by the gun you die by the gun.

    He has lost an immense amount of credibility (at least with people on the right).

  81. As a white woman who moved from the Midwest to New Orleans in 1981, I can assure you that EVERYTHING was seen through the prism of race in the South at that time. My son was told by his second grade teacher that he should not play with the black boy in his class (his father was career Marine Corps). The gifted and talented programs in the schools were simply a way to re-segregate. To say that you are shocked that she was still thinking in racial terms in 1986 simply tells me that you have never lived in the South. It was a logical defense mechanism, because, believe me, the whites were thinking in racial terms.

  82. I have been seeing this incident referred to as “the 21st century style of lynching”. Why should black people not be able to point out racism when they witness it. I am so tired of white people on Fox saying whenever race is brought up that the black person played “the race card”. I was hoping she would have a job when I got back from the hike and apparently she does if she wants it.

  83. Slartibartfast

    Buddha and Yissil,

    Your statements about the statement my statement was making in regard to your prior statement seem somewhat overstated. My statement was just a statement that was stating the agreement of the statement that was being stated by both of your original statements. I am hereby stating that my statement was stating no more than that statement.

    =================================================================

    At last, an articulated statement. (sorry … I’ll leave now)

  84. Swarthmore mom

    Apparently the White House was afraid this would conjure up visions of Jeremiah Wright.

    ===============================================================

    At first blush that sounds like an excuse, but the more I thought about it, the more sense it makes.

  85. One, it would probably be difficult for a libel charge to be proved against either Breitbart or FOX news.

    Two, having said that, we can also conclude that both the NAACP and the Obama administration showed themselves as much too willing to distance themselves from their own responsibilities when an orchestrated media attack had been unleashed. Perhaps they can learn from their mistakes…

    Three, maybe a few more Americans will realize that FOX “news” is much more accurately called propaganda than the other major media outlets. All the major media outlets have their conscious and unconscious biases,but FOX is more clearly structured to pursue unusually narrow interests. They have already helped us get into the Iraq War by creating a justifying mantle of deliberate half-truths and untruths.

    Finally, it is considerably easier to claim one doesn’t have ‘prejudice’ if one isn’t present – as either witness or victim — where the actual racial injustices take place.

  86. I am soon to be 60 & very proud of my Irish American/German and working class roots. Back when I was growing up, there were so many plants in the Northeast that you could almost say white men chose to be poor when they refused to work in the plants, because the men in the plants had 2 weeks of vacation to start which quickly became 4 and then 6 weeks, health insurance backed by Major Medical, and chance for advancement.

    There were many blacks in the plants, but mostly the blacks were discriminated against until the Justice Department won major anti-Civil Rights Discrimination suits, 1966-67. The whites and blacks seemed to get along pretty good, especially when our biggest worry was evading overtime because we wanted the money, but also wanted the time off.

    Then about 1972, the working class took a huge hit with plants closing and never re-opening. Blacks and whites, who had never lived in the same neighborhoods, each lost entry level opportunities and tended to demonize each other. Blacks said whites had it made and took all the jobs and conspired to keep blacks down, whites said blacks had it made living luxuriously on welfare and taking all the jobs that should go to more qualified white people because of affirmative action.

    In my life, I became a professional and left the working class behind, but all my life I have heard white people blithely make racist jokes and remarks and express resentment against blacks. Last summer in my cancer doctor’s office, many older white people made explicit remarks about Obama and what he was doing to them, raising their taxes, taking away their benefits, giving everything to the “n***ers”. Many had cancer and it was hard to express how hate-filled I found them. The nurses would often say, “Oh, Mrs. H. you are such a character! But please, we don’t need to discuss politics back here.”

    I find it unbelievable that whites do not hear racist whites even today, 2010. I know black people are similarly racist when they are alone, but can any white person really say that he has not heard direct racist remarks, as I have, for his whole life?

  87. Shirley Sherrod is a hero for the story that the full video displayed. Her racial epiphany was turned into a racist rant by sheer evil intentions and indeed, she should go after Breitbart and his “sources” for their defaming actions. To allow the Breitbart’s of this world to continue to spew their lies unchallenged is the same thing as giving in to their actions. I hope Ms. Sherrod has the courage to fight against these intentional acts.

  88. the added material is redeeming but

    Jonathan, you sorely disappoint.

    1. Not “added”, restored.

    2. What’s to “redeem” really? You say a smidgin, I say zilch, but if it’s a smidgin, what’s with this counselling of perfection to those whose experience had, through no fault of their own, been least conducive to perfection. Shirley counselled perfection way better than you just did.

    3. No “but”s – unless you care more about being perceived as lily white than you care about beneficial public discourse – give white racism (the kind that so abhors “reverse racism”) an inch and it will take a mile. Look where Breitbart is taking refuge now that the jig is up.

  89. I think your comment proffesor is niave at best..

    “I would be very disturbed to hear that a white politician was in 1986 uncomfortable with fully assisting black people and actively sought to have “one of their kind” help them. It may be a sign of my age, but 1986 doesn’t feel that long ago and I would have been appalled to hear such views at that time.

    If you want proof of a white Senator doing this, Jesse Helms had that behavior from day one to the last day of his life..

    Jesse helms quotes!!

    “Crime rates and irresponsibility among Negroes are a fact of life which must be faced.”

    “To rob the Negro of his reputation of thinking through a problem in his own fashion is about the same as trying to pretend that he doesn’t have a natural instinct for rhythm and for singing and dancing.”

    “”Martin Luther King repeatedly refers to his ‘non-violent movement.’ It is about as non-violent as the Marines landing on Iwo Jima”

    I’d guess the late 80s or 90s

    “I thought it [the Civil Rights Act] was very unwise. It was taking liberties away from one group of citizens and giving them to another. I thought it was bad legislation then, and I have had nothing to change my mind about it.”

    Helms also “staged a filibuster against the establishment of a national holiday to mark the birthday of Martin Luther King, having called King a communist and a sex pervert”, and “was one of a small number of senators who opposed extending the Voting Rights Act in 1982, eventually giving up a filibuster when then-Majority Leader Sen. Howard Baker, a Tennessee Republican, said the Senate would not take up any other business until it acted on the extension.”

    And:

    “Appearing on “Larry King Live” in 1995, Jesse Helms, then the senior senator from North Carolina, fielded a call from an unusual admirer. Helms deserved the Nobel Peace Prize, the caller gushed, “for everything you’ve done to help keep down the niggers.” Given the rank ugliness of the sentiment — the guest host, Robert Novak, called it, with considerable understatement, “politically incorrect” — Helms could only pause before responding. But the hesitation couldn’t suppress his gut instincts. “Whoops, well, thank you, I think,” he said.”

  90. Regardless if there are exculpatory remarks later in the video – what the video proves is that racism against whites exists. Notice there was an entire room of colored people there that found her comments quite entertaining. I didn’t see anyone jumping up to protest, prior to that.

  91. While I am still bothered by the fact that this was a revelation in the 1980s or 1990s (as opposed to the 1950s or 1960s)

    Written like someone who knows little of rural Georgia in the 1970s and 1980s.

  92. Lisa at 1:11 stated..

    “Regardless if there are exculpatory remarks later in the video – what the video proves is that racism against whites exists. Notice there was an entire room of colored people there that found her comments quite entertaining. I didn’t see anyone jumping up to protest, prior to that.”

    That comment is so racist I can’t believe you printed it.. That comment shows your ignorance to the full video.. If you ever were present at the a white or black church in the south, the cadence and clapping is to push the speaker along to the finish.. The finish is a south thing that all races share, it is the cadence the change in the story that includes the redemption you MORON!! Look at any southern preacher WHITE OR BLACK..

  93. I see that fox is now saying that Breibart was “set up” by the person he got the tape from.Go figure.

  94. Yissil.

    If that were true blondes would hate brunettes and there would be as much prejudice against Asians as there is against black people. But there is essentially no prejudice against Asians while black people live in ghettos.

    What has happened in the US is that multiple waves of immigrants, English, Spanish, Irish, Italian, Vietnamese, Chinese, Korean ……… have entered and climbed the ladder of opportunity leading to prosperity. Initially each of these ethnic groups have faced discrimination, but the discrimination against them has never been as intense at that against the descendants of the slaves wrongly freed in that most grotesque and egregious excess of politically correct do-goodism, the abolition of slavery. The first generation of each immigrant group has faced prejudice, but this has eased for subsequent generations who attain the status of honorary white.

    Whenever the Negroes have approached the lower rungs of the ladder of opportunity they have been elbowed aside by a bustling crowd of some new ethnic immigrants. The room of upward social mobility is not infinite it is limited by the unused positional goods confiscated from the native un-Americans wrongly occupying the continent prior to Christopher Columbus and it is now near exhaustion and the lacks are still scrambling for the lower rungs. Not surprisingly American Blacks descended from slaves have developed an attitude of bellicose resentment and whites and others detecting this attitude tend to react with more discrimination. This in my opinion is why Africans from Africa and the Carribean find it easier to ascend than do native blacks unless like Amadou Diallo they die in a hail of police bullets before they get the chance.

    Yissil, you mention Asians. There is room for confusion here, some people use the term Asian for people from the Indian subcontinent (South Asians)and others include Chinese, Koreans and Vietnamese. I prefer to use the terms East Asian or Oriental for the latter. However whether you are referring to South Asians or East Asians it is true that immigrants from those areas have integrated into American society in a way that blacks have failed to do. The reason is that although they faced discrimination, this was much less vicious than that against Negroes and they may have arrived with only the clothes on their backs they carried intangible cultural capital, numeracy and literacy in their own languages if not in English. The American Negroes, hobbled by a mean public education system have failed to maintain and even less to build up this cultural capital.

    Here it is time to use the N-Word. It is very impolite but a word is needed to represent the enormous burden of fear, malice, and malign stereotypes respectable white Americans have for people with brown skin. That word is “Nigger”, and when white people respond with malice and suspicion to black people it is because they are responding to that terrible bogeyman, the Nigger. After the abolition of slavery there was a short period when Afro-Americans made gains, but this was followed by a backlash, called “Jim Crow” that succeeded in stripping most Negroes of the franchise and winding back their gains to keep them from getting uppity. Each time Afro-Americans started to make gains a backlash has followed. The successes of the civil rights movement were quickly eclipsed by the War against drugs which should more properly be named “The war against Niggers”. Its commencement by Richard Nixon in the seventies marks it as the counterattack against civil rights.

    If one wants to measure white malice against Niggers, specific examples are the best way, and I can think of no better example than this Shirley Sharrod issue. The eagerness with which so many with people pole vaulted enthusiastically to the conclusion that a wicked reverse-racist and uppity Nigger woman had been caught being racist against poor little whitey without even considering that it might be prudent to pause a bit and do a little extra research is a measure of this malice. Why pause when one has always known that Niggers are wingeing whining losers who blame whitey fr all their own failures and one has finally found one caught red handed.

    White people with a few exceptions such as Jane Elliott and Rev Alan Bean are incapable of realizing how destructive implacable racism leveraged by poverty, disadvantage and army of occupation policing is.

    I recommend that you peruse the archives of Alan Bean’s Friends of Justice website.
    there is a limit of two links allowed in posts on JT’s blog so I continue in other posts.

  95. Yissil.

    Continued from my previous post.

    Even better, get access to the documentaries “Blue Eyes” and “A Class divided” that describe Jane Elliott’s techniques for sensitizing people to racism.

    Another resource is the collected archives of Dave Neiwert’s Orcinus web site. He discusses the processes by which American apartheid to keep Negroes separated from white people to prevent white people thinking of them as legitimate humans. He discusses Sundown Towns and the methods of ethnic cleansing of Negroes from mixed areas.

  96. This story proves that Brightfart is just a big fat racist and anybody who ran with the story like ( FOX) is just as much the same…he calls himself a blogger gone reporter…the guy is an idiot…but he did prove, that the media and the WH are so in denial of the racism bubbling over in the country right now…that all you got to do is suggest reverse racism and there you go, it is true…An informed public and a media that would take a closer look before they all flew in the wrong direction would render guys like him and all his simpleminded friends to their proper place…right next the paper training area in the gated part of the house…man this story and all these other made up pieces of crap are just making me turn it all off….

  97. Professor, I’ll say this as kindly as I can: as a white man, you don’t get to decide when a black woman should have been able to get over any racial bias.

  98. @Carlyle: Although it is true that children can become prejudiced on the basis of eye color, notice that in order to do that she had to privilege one color over the other.

    Racism is about privileges, it is about a caste system, and it is self-perpetuating. The examples you mention of black immigrants being successful are more about them being raised in a culture that ISN’T racist and then succeeding in a culture that IS, or is moderately (my black niece, nephew and three cousins would probably snort at my use of the word “moderately” here.)

    I say self-perpetuating because, due to poverty, blacks in America are typically forced to attend poorer schools in bigger classrooms with less equipment and more poorly paid teachers, and to live in more stressful circumstances, which would prevent any child of any color from being properly educated. Education builds a structured mind, and having tutored children in eighth grade algebra I can tell you that failing to understand variables can sometimes be traced back to misunderstandings in second grade arithmetic.

    Except for a few autodidactic geniuses that can self-correct their education (or a tiny percentage of dedicated and brilliant teachers), the result by the end of high school is a twelve year accumulation of flawed concepts and shallow understandings that make learning “hard” and causes kids to drop out or give up, which usually means a low paying job that doesn’t require much in mental skills, which in turn means poverty. The exceptions (in fields like sales, acting, sports or other entertainment) are such a tiny percentage they can’t drag the other 99.99% of the group out of poverty.

    For those in poverty, the poverty breeds desperation to escape it, and this leads to desperate acts of crime and escapism (drugs, teen sex) and a rejection of what they see as the obviously failing paths that just waste time, like education. If they are in poverty it obviously didn’t work for any previous generation in their family, so why should they believe it will work for them? What they SEE as working escape routes for their slightly older peers are 1) sports, 2) entertainment (like rap), 3) Crime. So they focus on those, in that order, until they fail at each. Failing at crime makes you dead or in prison.

    Racism is mistaking this dynamic for something inherent in the physicality of the poor. Like believing being dumb is about being black instead of being badly educated, or being good at sports is inherent in race, or being a criminal is inherent in race. All of that is untrue.

    That is what Sherrod was talking about. She thought she was there to help blacks, but understood that was a mistake: It was about helping the POOR, who happened to BE primarily black, but not exclusively black. Uncovering that associative error in her own mind is an admirable accomplishment.

    Our brains generalize and correlate on appearances for survival, it is built in. But the cortex CAN override those correlations for deeper understanding, and that is also useful for survival, because an incorrect perception of reality often leads to trouble, or at least non-optimal outcomes.

    The reason blondes don’t uniformly hate brunettes is because blondes aren’t uniformly less privileged than brunettes, or poorer than brunettes, or very different on any other social dimension. In fact brunettes can become blondes or vice versa: just ask my wife and daughter!

    The reason Asians are less discriminated against than blacks is because immigrant Asians are raised in China, Japan, Korea, etc. among Asians. They are not raised in a culture of poverty, they are not automatically associated with crime, drugs or other social ills (like teen pregnancy). Due to this upbringing they have developed useful and valuable intellectual skills. As for the Italians, Irish, etc, after a few generations of interbreeding I defy you to separate one from another. My sister is a red haired, freckled girl that could pass for native Irish in Ireland, except for her American accent. But she is only 1/8th Irish. A half-hispanic niece I have (born to a recognizably hispanic mother) does not show a trace of her Hispanic heritage (other than speaking fluent spanish). She looks like a German model.

    That kind of identity confusion inhibits easy categorization into groups. After a generation or two raised in America with American accents and American culture, the Irish, Italians and others became hard to tell apart anymore.

    My black relatives, born to a quite-white mother, do not enjoy similar benefits. They are too easily identifiable as not white, and their skin color triggers negative social associations and generalizations that result in discrimination based on their color, sometimes explicit, and sometimes subconsciously. That is racism.

  99. More right wing lunacy from Andrew Breitbart–the Energizer Bunny of hate merchants:

    Breitbart’s New Conspiracy Theory: The ‘Purported’ Farmer’s Wife Is A Plant
    (Think Progress, 7/21/2010)
    http://thinkprogress.org/2010/07/21/breitbart-farmers-wife-hoax/

    Two white farmers who were supposedly discriminated against by former USDA official Shirley Sherrod spoke out on her behalf yesterday, saying “no way in the world” is she racist.

    But last night, the right-wing blogger who instigated this faux controversy questioned the white farmers’ honesty and repeated his false racist charges. In interviews with the Atlanta Journal-Constitution and CNN, the Iron City, GA couple Roger and Eloise Spooner described Sherrod as a “friend for life” and a “good person” who helped save their farm. Speaking with CNN’s John King, right-wing provocateur Andrew Breitbart challenged Eloise Spooner’s “purported” story, accusing King of trusting Sherrod “that the ‘farmer’s wife’ is the farmer’s wife”:

    You tell me as a reporter how CNN put on a person today who purported to be the farmer’s wife? What did you do to find out whether or not that was the actual farmer’s wife? I mean, if you’re going to accuse me of a falsehood, tell me where you’ve confirmed that had this incident happened 24 years ago. […]

  100. Tony C.

    “Although it is true that children can become prejudiced on the basis of eye color, notice that in order to do that she had to privilege one color over the other.”.

    I suggest you get hold of DVDs of the early documentaries “Blue Eyes” and “A Class Divided”.

    What Jane Elliott doe is she teaches people that shit stinks by rubbing their noses in it. Essentially she establishes a simulated racist state. She divides the group being processed into two equal halves on an arbitrary basis, for example eye colour. One half is defined as privileged and has the right to polite treatment, the other as being inferior and has negative privileges including an absolute ban on courteous treatment from the controllers and from the other group. The process is divided into two phases, in the second phase the groups are reversed, the privileged become negatively privileged and vice versa. This way everyone sees the processes of racism from both sides, fromthe perspective of a member of the master race and from that of one of the untermenchen.

    The rule governing treatment of the inferior group is that members of this group must never be allowed to win. If there is danger of them winning then the rules change. No opportunity must ever be lost to treat untermenchen with contempt. Whatever they do it is wrong. If they don’t do what they are told they are wrong, if they do do what they are told they are still wrong. Untermenchen must never be praised only punished. If they don’t do something wrong for which they can be criticised then the controllers and the superior group must find something for which they can be blamed. Importantly when they complain of bad treatment, that is proof of their inferiority.

    After someone has undergone such a process, it is much harder for them to avoid noticing when someone is treated with systematic unfairness.

  101. Well Elaine M.,

    You have been Baptized now. You have to be careful, there are some on this site that will take your views, misconstrue them and then blast you for a comment you made totally unrelated to the current comment, which is clearly taken out of context in the current thread.

    I missed about two weeks due to being out of state in a secluded cabin in Northern West-Consin…. I was corrected many times, it is not pronounced Wiz-Consin either…lol…kinda like Illinois, being called Illinoise….but who knows …

  102. Sherrod: I’d Consider Legal Action against Breitbart (CBS News, 7/22/2010)
    http://www.cbsnews.com/8301-503544_162-20011306-503544.html

    Excerpt:
    Speaking on CBS’ Early Show, Sherrod said that while she hasn’t actively talked about suing Andrew Breitbart, she “would definitely consider it.”

    Sherrod said that Breitbart’s intentions were obvious – but misguided.

    “As much as he’s saying it was about the NAACP, he had to know that it was about me,” Sherrod said. “He was willing to destroy me to get to what he thought — to try to destroy the NAACP.”

  103. @Carlyle: Dude, I know ALL of that and knew it before your posts, in fact I read it years ago. Are you just dense, or do you reply to me without even reading what I wrote? I do not claim any entitlement to a reading or a reply by anyone, but if you are GOING to reply to what I wrote at least have the courtesy to READ IT FIRST.

    You suggest I watch the tapes to learn — EXACTLY WHAT I SAID, she had to **privilege** one of the arbitrary groups in order to create the discrimination.

    In point of fact, however, tribalism (an “us” versus “them” mindset) is not dependent upon physical characteristics; sports fan rivalries from grade school through adulthood prove that. Teams become proxies for self, and the people rooting for “you” to lose are your enemies, and we sometimes see true and violent hatreds arise from these completely arbitrary groupings.

    In any case, I know all about these experiments. What I was writing about was based on other research I have seen, read and helped interpret in peer-reviewed sociology (my sister is a sociologist).

  104. AY–

    “You have been Baptized now. You have to be careful, there are some on this site that will take your views, misconstrue them and then blast you for a comment you made totally unrelated to the current comment, which is clearly taken out of context in the current thread.”

    **********
    I was baptized long ago. I refuse to be intimidated by folks who like to take my comments out of context and then blast me for them. I strongly believe that one must have the courage of one’s convictions.

    The Obama administration has let itself be intimidated by the likes of Breitbart and FOX News. It would have been better for this administration to have stood firm against right wing propagandists and hate merchants.

  105. Tony C.

    About the rest of your post, I cannot see anywhere where we disagree with one exception.

    I think that you may underestimate the extent to which black disadvantage is the result of white actions motivated by the desire to harm blacks. The reason blacks are confined to ghettos is that whites refused to allow them to live among real people. Some previously mixed towns were cleansed of blacks by means that would be understood by Bosnians and Kosovo Albanians.

    The fact is that ever since black slavery was introduced whites in America have been terrified of black men. During the period of slavery the fear was of a slave revolt but after the abolition of slavery the fear did not go away. The fer has been passed down generation by generation and has given rise to wite policies designed to keep Negroes under control and to prevent unseemly uppityness.

  106. Jill,

    I take polls with a grain of salt. That said, here’s an interesting article by Joan Walsh about another Tea Party poll that I thought you might be interested in reading.

    Quit calling the Tea Party populist!
    A new poll shows the movement is pro-big business, pro-GOP and united against the “socialist” Obama
    by Joan Walsh (Salon, 7/19/2010)
    http://www.salon.com/news/opinion/joan_walsh/politics/2010/07/19/quit_calling_the_tea_party_populist/index.html

    Excerpt:
    Too many reporters have described the Tea Party movement as some kind of populist uprising at “elites” channeling economic anxiety about the recession. Sadly (because he should know better), the New York Times’ Matt Bai is typical, writing just last month: “The only potent grass-roots movement to emerge from this moment of dissatisfaction with America’s economic elite exists … in the form of the so-called Tea Party rebellions that are injecting new energy into the Republican cause.”

    The latest Democracy Corps poll and report might make Bai and his editors think about a correction — or at least a follow-up. From a database of 2,600 interviews between April and June, in which “strong supporters” of the Tea Party supporters made up a quarter of respondents, Democracy Corps concluded that Democrats should be worried about the Tea Party’s role in the 2010 midterms, but warned, “Don’t mistake it for a populist rebellion.”

    Far from an uprising against Wall Street and big business, Tea Partiers are among the most pro-big-business segments of the electorate, the poll found: 54 percent rate big business warmly; only 20 percent coolly.

    And they are likewise far from the independent, nonpartisan movement some in the media seem to believe they are: The Tea Party is strongly affiliated with the GOP: 86 percent of movement supporters and activists either identify with or lean toward the Republican Party, and 82 percent say they will vote for the GOP candidate in the November 2010 midterms; only 9 percent say they won’t. That margin is actually higher than it is among self-described “conservatives,” where it’s 72 to 18 percent.

    Appallingly, the movement is united by the false belief that Barack Obama is a socialist: 90 percent of Tea Partiers polled call our centrist corporate-Democratic president a socialist.

  107. Tony C.

    Wen you said;-

    ““Although it is true that children can become prejudiced on the basis of eye color, notice that in order to do that she had to privilege one color over the other” I was not clear what you meant. My impression that you may not have fully understood Jane Elliott’s technique, so I included a full description. You don’t need to get upset, I was not trying to imply that you are ignorant or silly.

    Even if you already know about Jane Elliott, this thread is an appropriate place to draw attention to her and other people may be interested. It was only because you addressed me that I replied to you and it was only in relation to that first sentence. The rest of your post is no more than common sense, meaning I agree with it.

  108. I know that I will,but correct me if I as a layman is wrong on this.

    The lady was slandered 24/7 then proved to be innocent of the charge.
    Does that mean that we are all liable to have this happen to us and no one is going to be held accountable?

  109. Carlyle Moulton,

    Back in the early 60’s, I, as a member of a Sunday School class, was introduced to a variance of the exercise you described. I was a member of a Congregational Church and our “high-school age class” was taught by Dr. Brown, a biblical scholar and professor of theology at one of the nearby universities (I think it was Oberlin).

    Three people were sent out of the room and then the remaining group were instructed to behave in the following manner when the three returned.

    1. One individual would receive nothing but praise for anything and everything she said or did.
    2. One individual would receive constant criticism for anything he said or did.
    3. The last individual would be treated in a completely neutral manner … no praise, no criticism.

    At the end of the exercise we then all discussed the dynamics of the groups behavior and our own personal reactions. We were then told to discuss all of this with our parents during Sunday dinner and come prepared the following Sunday to discuss the problem of racism in our society.

    Forty eight years have passed since that Sunday School lesson and I have not forgotten one moment of that day nor the weeks that followed as we teenagers were exposed to the reality of racism in our society, in our community and in our own homes. Needles to say, it was, at times, a very dramatic and painful 8 week lesson plan. In the end everyone of the 43 members of that class learned the dynamics of racism … how to identify it in oneself and others … how to combat it in oneself and others … how NOT to teach it to one’s children.

  110. Maike A.–

    “I also believe, however, that a lawsuit against Mr. Breitbart would be distracting, expensive and not worth the effort. Although he is undeniably a poster child for the “reckless disregard” branch of journalism (we need another word for this stuff), he was ultimately expressing a political opinion on the threat to white exceptionalism (a subset of American exceptionalism) caused by the election of a black President and the resulting boost to black pride and confidence. There is no phenomenon more threatening to racist ideology than a black population reinvigorated and determined.”

    *********

    This may be the only time that I have found myself in disagreement with anything you have written at the Turley blawg. Breitbart was doing much more than “expressing a political opinion.” He has a racist political agenda–as you noted. He knew about the Sherrod tape in March. He waited for just the right opportunity to use/misuse it. He had to know that he might likely destroy the reputation of Shirley Sherrod, a woman who was innocent of the charges he made against her. He was trying to discredit the NAACP. This hasn’t been Breitbart’s first escapade into the journalism of “destruction.”

    I believe that hatemongers and fear merchants like Breitbart and FOX news need to be called to account for their actions…for their intentional distortions of news stories…for their trumped up stories–whose express intention is to rile up certain segments of our population. It’s time we stopped letting right wing bullies rule the playground. It’s time some of us on the other side of the political spectrum started fighting back with vigor…and the truth!

  111. Jonathan, let’s look at Ms. Sherrod’s caseload in context. The USDA, according to the Pigford case, had been systematically discriminating against black farmers, refusing to restructure loans and other things, in Georgia and several other southern states since 1983. Ms. Sherrod had gained some expertise in USDA process to assist these black farmers to keep their farms. Along comes a white farmer who needs assistance. She says she did not give him the “full force” of her expertise, but I have not found any explanation of what the full force of her expertise is. She did make sure he had a competent white lawyer – someone with training in the new Chapter 12 bankruptcy proceedings – and said she thought “his own kind would take care of him.” Then she says that God led her to understand that SHE was this white farmer’s “own kind.” I don’t think Ms. Sherrod ACTED in a racist manner whatsoever even in the beginning. She knew she was the black farmers’ only hope; she came to realize that she was poor farmers’ only hope as well. She prefaces her remarks to this anecdote by saying that God will lead you to places you never thought to go, so the audience is well aware of the type of anecdote this is. Their reaction is the same as to a sinner who tells them how they got off drugs – and the reaction isn’t cheering for being on drugs, but encouragement that you did the right thing.

  112. Elaine M.

    “It’s time we stopped letting right wing bullies rule the playground. It’s time some of us on the other side of the political spectrum started fighting back with vigor…and the truth!”

    Maybe this incident will be the start of that.

  113. @Carlyle: I don’t underestimate it, I don’t think I do anyway. Once a person mistakenly thinks that ANY identifiable group of people are lazy, criminal, drug addicts, prostitutes, filthy, disease carrying, stupid or just thugs (every one of these being a side effect of grinding poverty and discrimination and racism making alternative choices nearly impossible to achieve) then OF COURSE the idiots will vilify them, try to exclude them from town, refuse to serve them or contract with them, refuse to give them jobs or allow them in their restaurants, allow them to associate with their children, even allow them water from the same fountain. In Texas before civil rights, some towns were *proud* to say they did not have a black water fountain or restroom within 3 miles of their city hall.

    I am not naive about the consequences of racism and stupid thought patterns. The “mistaken association” cuts in two directions, not only does it make the racist a dumbfuck callous asshole (some of whom take glee in hurting innocent people), but the misconception ALSO prevents solving the real problems that plague the poverty stricken (as I listed them above), by getting them out of poverty. That part could be done in 20 years or so, but we don’t do it because people mistakenly think the problem is insoluble.

  114. Slarti,

    “we’ve started evolving outside of our genetic code.”

    If I had slept better I’d make a great epigentics joke.

  115. The audience is reacting to Sherrod explaining how the white farmer was talking down to her, presumably either because she is black or a woman, and she was explaining her thought process – like why would I want to help someone who talked down to me? The audience is empathizing with her that even though civil servants and non-profit workers might be mistreated, often regardless of race, it is their duty to help the public.

  116. Elaine M.

    I agree with you about Mr. Breitbart’s motives and actions.

    When my friends and neighbors laud Glenn Beck as someone “who really has thought things through”, and listen only to Fox news, and read no newspapers “because there’s nothing in them”, (though they’re big letter writers to congress and do vote) the cumulative effect is more than just insidious, it’s dangerous. I think it’s a serious threat to the continuance of our republic.

    Media Matters was originated to counteract the misrepresentation (and downright lies), but if people ignore it or denigrate it as just a leftist organization it is no remedy.

    Political shenanigans are an old and reluctantly accepted part of our politics, but in this case real harm was done. Ms. Sherrod’s livelihood and reputation was damaged and for Mr. Breitbart to claim he’s sorry and that her being fired wasn’t his intent is, quite simply, unbelievable. He got exactly the response he aimed for, unfortunately, though in the end it backfired.

    Mike A. might be right about the outcome of the lawsuit, but maybe the effort would be worth it. We ignore to our peril any case of calumny. The Germans can attest to that.

  117. Professor Turley:

    I spent a tour of duty in the USAF in Montgomery Alabama from 85-89. It’s obvious from your remarks that you didn’t.

    Naive is an understatement — repeatedly calling Sherrod’s admission of her unspoken thoughts from that era as “shocking”. Indeed, I would be shocked to find ANY black activists in the 80s that could rightly claim not to have the slightest sense of deep-seated anger toward whites in general, considering how blacks have been so consistently and so specifically harmed by their white neighbors, and for hundreds of years no less.

    Let’s just be clear… I was there and I saw it with my own eyes. Whites predominantly had two racial views in the deep south: either you felt that bigotry was normal and ubiquitous, or you felt like you were the exception to the rule. Of course in the media public officials bent over backwards to pretend they were pure as the driven snow. But simultaneously they used code-words or whatever means possible to reach out to their bigoted constituents — the southern strategy.

    In fact, my guess is that her experience from 1985 is still being replayed consistently to this very day down in Georgia. Blacks have a long memory, and I don’t remember a moment passing where someone was able to finally unfurl the “Mission Accomplished” banner to once-and-for-all lay racism to rest down in Georgia. Maybe Dr Turley has seen it eradicated from Washington DC, where the black population is over 50%, but my guess is that being black is an outright disadvange there too.

  118. Carlyle:

    My only point, which you seem to agree with, is that “racial prejudice” is based on historical and economic considerations. A subsidiary point is that, this being the case, it doesn’t make sense to give a biological explanation of racism as such. The statement you made;

    “The truth is scratch a human and you will find a racist. Those who claim not to be racist are either lying or lack self awareness. The mechanisms to support racial and other prejudices have been built into the human brain by millions of years of evolution…”

    …is an argumenet for something like a tendency to divide people into hostile groups. Strong examples would be Jews vs. Arabs, or Sunni Muslim vs. Shia Muslim, which certainly aren’t “race wars.” Vicious competition over land and religion are infinitely more common historically than racism. It’s arguable that “race” is a concept invented to justify European colonialism and didn’t exist until then.

    So whatever the truth of what you are saying about the biological nature of prejudice, “scratch a human and you will find a racist” doesn’t really work. “Scratch an American,” maybe, since white people and black people are both supposed to be equally prejudiced under the skin.

    As for Asians, well, the concept of race isn’t really geographical or biological. The Chinese are supposed to have high IQ’s and be great at math and computer programming. Koreans are shopkeepers. Tibetans are all very religious. Philipinos are invisible, although there are really a lot of them in the USA. I’m not sure how all the rippling eddies of prejudice work with “Asians,” but I’m pretty sure that inter marriage between an white person and any of them wouldn’t raise an eyebrow.

    So, anyway, I probably agree with everything you are saying except that I want to make it clear that “racism” as such is a peculiar historical artifact and not some kind of biological category, and that hostility between groups is almost always based on things like religion, land and economic disparity.

    And the shape of people’s noses.

    (Just kidding.)

  119. Elaine, I completely agree with the principles you make reference to on the Breitbart matter. From my standpoint the problem with a lawsuit in this instance is two-fold: (1) It will not have the beneficial effect of making the defendant more careful or more responsible in his “reporting.” The reason for that is that he is an ideologue and a provocateur. His history reflects that neither appeals to conscience or to common decency are effective and he is already hard at work in mounting a defense to the attacks on his integrity, to use that term loosely. Therefore, a suit would not discourage his behavior. (2) There are serious obstacles to getting the claim past a summary judgment motion. In addition to the First Amendment protection of political speech, I think that Ms. Sherrod would have a hard time convincing a court that she had any reasonable expectation of privacy when giving a public address to the NAACP. Moreover, I believe that it would be extremely difficult to prove that Breitbart knew the content of the remainder of the speech or played a role in the editing.

    If I believed that she had a reasonable chance of prevailing against this scum, I would volunteer my talents, such as they are, to assist in the case. But pursuing a claim in which the prospects are highly doubtful and which would be used by the right to portray Breitbart as a martyr in the battle against liberal tyranny appears unwise to me.

  120. Answering a lawsuit always slows one down, costs money and time as it has to be answered, and exposes deep dark secrets to the discovery process. I’d like to see it happen, though as above, there’s little chance for success. I’d just like to see him sweat an inch deep pool.

  121. @Mike Appleton: On the contrary, when appeals to conscience and common decency fail, the ONLY thing that works is the threat of financial hardship. If Breitbart is forced to pay $100K for defaming Sherrod, there is a good chance he will reduce his dafamatory efforts and stick to the truth. We won’t fix his racism, but we might keep him from lying.

  122. Gyges,

    That’s too bad, I love a good epigenetic joke.

    Mike A,

    Is there no legal case here against FOX news itself? It seems to me, for instance, that all of the former employees of ACORN should have a cause of action against FOX for the dishonest reporting which resulted in the dissolution of ACORN (especially considering that O’Keefe and Giles broke the law in multiple states to do it). Similarly, I would think (or at least hope) that the lack of journalistic integrity displayed in this case should expose FOX to some liability. Maybe the law can’t live up to the standards of true justice in these cases, but I think that it is strongly in the public interest to have the truth of these matters aired in open court.

  123. Tony,

    I’m with Mike A. on this one. It’s a flimsy case from a prosecution standpoint and I don’t think the cost/benefit with the risk of martyring that douche bag Breitbart is worth it. Sure, if it was a more solid case? Making this Neocon shill pay through the nose would be nothing but good. But this is far from being a slam-dunk of any sort. He’s got just enough plausible deniability to make the risk of painting him, as Mike put it, “a martyr in the battle against liberal tyranny” not worth pursuing the case.

    What’s better is simply better is to make sure he gets as much negative PR as possible to act as an insulating and negating factor on any future shenanigans this clown will be involved it. Then just be patient and feed him rope. He’ll eventually hang himself. Just not today.

  124. Slarti,

    In re FOX. Three words. “Absence of malice”. Unless you could prove a pattern of them going after Sherrod specifically, it’d be hard to press that case. They could always claim simple error or shovel backward to Brietbart, but I’ve already said what’s wrong with that.

  125. Slarti,

    He’ll go too far about the wrong person or he’ll do something that leads to someone getting killed. That nitwit he hired to B&E the Federal building in N.O. could have just as easily ended up dead at the guns of security. While I agree what Brietbart did is heinous, it’s not sufficiently criminal or tortious to run the risk of making him a hero to the far right lunatic fringe.

  126. @Buddha: Right, that’s why we don’t prosecute rape or wife-beating, because we don’t want to risk martyring the criminals suffering their nagging wives.

    Negative PR is WHAT THEY WANT, these children want attention and if they have to get it by breaking lamps and shitting on the floor that’s what they will do.

    Breitbart wants attention because he gets PAID for appearances on Fox News. Who cares if it is a slam dunk or not? I’ll contribute to her attorney costs, or she can find a contingency attorney that costs her nothing if she doesn’t win.

    Remember this would be a CIVIL suit, so the bar is a “preponderance of evidence.” That is, as I have heard a judge put it in his instructions to the jury, a 51% threshold. Do you think jurors are so stupid they wouldn’t see through Breitbart’s lies like tissue paper? I don’t think they are. Get one middle class minority on that jury and Sherrod is richer, and I doubt it would be difficult to find a contingency attorney that felt the same.

    Slam dunk or not, it would scare the living shit out of Breitbart if Sherrod went after all of his profits plus 2x punitive damages for defamation. THAT is why he is confabulating all sorts of crap right now, because he is hoping ANYTHING will stick and prevent her from suing; and the same goes for Fox — If she goes after all their advertising profit in shows where they featured her speech and called her a racist, plus punitive damages, which I think she could and should, it would hurt them a lot. I’d have to review the tapes, but I don’t recall them weaseling with “alleged,” or “what sounds like,” or any other phrase. They flat out called them racist comments and flat out said she used her position [in the Obama administration] to deny services to citizens based on race. She wasn’t IN the Obama administration 24 years ago, so this is an outright lie by FOX.

  127. “I would be very disturbed to hear that a white politician was in 1986 uncomfortable with fully assisting black people…”
    Mr. Turley, I’m very disturbed you could possibly be this naive and blind to reality. Are you not familiar with the marches in Forsyth, GA in 1986 and the hangings in MS? As an educator, it is imperative that you leave the classroom and DC once in awhile so that you can properly teach your students and make intelligent informed comments. I understand you supposedly know about Constitutional law, and that is probably where your advice should end. It is NOT doubtful she could pursue a claim against the government, it is called Administrative Discharge – being force out of your job, which is what happened to Ms. Sherrod. I am very concerned that you may not be ignorant to the reality of society and law and may be showing your own personal feelings. This cannot happen when people are paying you to learn. Leave it at home.

  128. Mike A.–

    I wasn’t specifically speaking to the idea of a lawsuit when I wrote the follwoing:
    “I believe that hatemongers and fear merchants like Breitbart and FOX news need to be called to account for their actions…for their intentional distortions of news stories…for their trumped up stories–whose express intention is to rile up certain segments of our population. It’s time we stopped letting right wing bullies rule the playground. It’s time some of us on the other side of the political spectrum started fighting back with vigor…and the truth!”

    I think that people and groups who have been unfairly attacked or had their reputations besmirched by right-wing organizations and hatemongers like Breitbart, Limbaugh, Savage, and others, should have brigades of liberals and people of conscience helping to support them and fight the good fight. Too often people on the left don’t put up a fight when they have been attacked. Remember John Kerry’s response when he was swiftboated? He stood up against his attackers like a limp noodle. Remember how the Democrats didn’t stand up for ACORN? I say it’s time to put these right-wing scumbags on notice that “we’re mad as hell and we’re not going to take it anymore!”

    BTW, it was good to see some conservatives speak out against Breitbart and what he did to Shirley Sherrod.

  129. Tony C.–

    “I’ll contribute to her attorney costs, or she can find a contingency attorney that costs her nothing if she doesn’t win.”

    I’m right there with you! I’d be more than happy to contribute to Sherrod’s attorney costs. I bet we could find many other Americans who would too.

  130. And that’d be your opinion Tony.

    But first, we need to discuss this: “Right, that’s why we don’t prosecute rape or wife-beating, because we don’t want to risk martyring the criminals suffering their nagging wives.” Hyperbolic sarcasm? Against moi? I really must chuckle. I’m both a master at its construction and destruction as demonstrated by my history posting here. Your attempt to use it for reductio ad absurdum will get you nowhere. I like you Tony. Make no mistake about it. If I didn’t you wouldn’t be receiving this friendly chiding now. You have both passion and logic in your presentations and so far you’ve come down on the ethical side every time – all admirable traits. However, if you attempt to put words in my mouth again using the hyperbole spoon, you’ll might get to see a side of me you haven’t. That’s not meant to be a threat of any sort either. Simply a statement of fact. As good as you are, there are a few verbal jousters here you should exercise discretion with. It’ll serve you better in the long run. Especially since we all seem to be on the same side, namely justice and equity.

    Now back to the matter at hand . . .

    The first thing you must do is define what you are dealing with. “Ask of each and every thing what is it itself.” – Marcus Aurelius. Is Breitbart a criminal? Maybe. A tortfeasor? Possibly. A political operative? Most certainly. So let’s deal with him for what he is, not what he might be, in determining a strategy to deal with him.

    Secondly, I addressed both the civil and criminal aspects of the actions in question with the sentence “While I agree what Brietbart did is heinous, it’s not sufficiently criminal or tortious to run the risk of making him a hero to the far right lunatic fringe” and the observations leading up to that statement. You’re of a different opinion, one I don’t disagree with under all circumstances. I just disagree with it under the current set of facts as we know them at this time.

    Thirdly, let’s weigh that opine in contrast, shall we? Being that Mike and I are both attorneys by training and you’re not, I think I’ll stick with what he and I have both already said. I’m not saying that as an appeal to authority though but rather that he an I have strategic and tactical insight by the nature of both our specialized knowledge and experience that you may lack in informing your opinion. My reasoning based upon that experience and knowledge is thus:

    Simply, you’re acting like a hothead and playing right into Brietbart’s hands by wanting your pound of flesh and wanting it now – both politically and legally. You’re right, he does love PR in almost every form. Right now? He’d love nothing better than to face a criminal or civil trial right now he has a better than 70% chance of winning. A win builds his credibility with his base (hero) and a loss builds his credibility with his base (martyred hero). To act now is a win-win for him.

    This is a strategic false step to pursue him now for other tactical reasons as well.

    “If you can anger your opponent, enrage him” – Sun Tzu. An angry opponent makes mistakes and attorneys and generals have exploited the foible of human nature since the beginning of time. (On a personal tactical note, if you see me appear angry arguing here? It is only an appearance 99.5% of the time. The appearance of anger has tactical value.)

    Your level of impatience for justice – while a credit to your character – is something Bretibart’s counting on (in somebody) to force a tactical error. “Victorious warriors win first and then go to war, while defeated warriors go to war first and then seek to win.” – Sun Tzu. In acting in anger and haste, you are going to war first without seeking out whether this leads to actual victory. The decision to act calmly and simply wait is one of the hardest tactical decisions to make be it in war or in court, but sometimes it is the right decision if one wishes to retain control over the terms of conflict. It is sometimes wise to pass on or even loose a battle if it means one wins the war. You want him punished? Okay. So do I. But I’d rather see him both punished and neutralized from doing any further harm. To that end, it is better to simply and factually point to him as a bad actor and why he’s a bad actor and let the pot of public opinion simmer. Their distrust of him will soon enough become innate and boil up to the top.

    You also dismiss the true nature of negative PR. It’s a sword that cuts both ways. Despite the saying, not all PR is good PR. If Breitbart’s crew is perpetually discredited and further marginalized in the court of public opinion before being destroyed in the courts proper? That’s not the kind of negative PR they want. “The Boy Who Cried Wolf” ring a bell? Apparently not. For it would be far better to let this one run now and await a better chance to fully neutralize him and his crew at a latter date under a scenario that doesn’t present so much potential benefit to him. Beat them now and he “resurrects”. Beat them later and we can make them stay down.

    I vote the later option.

  131. I am not philosophically opposed to quixotic quests. But in my experience the cries to file suit frequently come from those who have never been party to one. The burden of litigation does not only fall on the defendant. A plaintiff faces not only the out-of-pocket expense, but a great deal of stress and emotional upheaval, the commitment of large amounts of time and energy, and continued uncertainty. It is not something to be undertaken lightly.

  132. Mike A.,

    Again practical. This gal has been through enough without the laundry list of stresses you mentioned being added to her plate.

  133. As I said that sound is the air slowly coming out of “fox news ?”

    Bill O’Reilly apologizes to Shirley Sherrod for ‘not doing my homework’
    July 21, 2010 | 6:46 pm
    Fox News host Bill O’Reilly offered a rare mea culpa Wednesday, apologizing for airing a controversial tape of a speech given by a black U.S. Dept. of Agriculture official that was edited to make it appear she was racist.

    Shirley Sherrod was forced to resign Monday after conservative activist Andrew Breitbart posted a video clip of Sherrod’s speech at an NAACP dinner on his website BigGovernment.com in which she appeared to say that she had once discriminated against a white farmer. The edited clip did not include the portion of the speech in which Sherrod said the episode had taught her the importance of overcoming personal prejudices.

    http://latimesblogs.latimes.com/showtracker/2010/07/bill-oreilly-apologizes-to-shirley-sherrod-for-not-doing-my-homework.html

  134. Now you know why the majority of black people vote democrat. Clearly Voting D = dumb as dirt to a failed race in every society that continues to need codling & taxpayer subsidy just make a living. In this case as with every race that needs political protection that votes demmocrat they fall into the trap of being exposed as racist against the majority that are white because that is the only way in the leftist progressive extremist democrat mindset that they justify relevancy. Thank God for BREITBART, Drudge Report, FOX NEWS & The Rest of the New Conservative Media for the continued destruction of all of this failed leftwing extremist tripe. As J.T. Attorny at Law CONSERVATIVES are made of Teflon & are LAWSUIT PROOF better luck next time. Oh one last thing checkout my yahoo profile regarding what the Majority of American think about democrats….byebye

  135. After reading Buddha and Mike A., I understand more about the practicality of a lawsuit in this matter … although I would love to see the bad actors pay dearly now, it is not I who would have to go through the years of stress such an action would require.

    I also, after having read both Buddha and Mike A., understand why “Beat them later and we can make them stay down.” is the wiser coarse of action.

    If I ever require legal representation, given my penchant for emotionalism, I hope I am fortunate enough to retain such wise counselors-at-law. They aren’t telling me what I want to hear but rather what I need to hear.

  136. Buddha–

    Sometimes we gals can be pushed only so far…can only take so much abuse before we go postal. Sometimes fighting for ourselves helps us to feel less like victims…provides a catharsis.
    I think Shirley Sherrod ought to take the bull by the horns. I don’t think she should let a scumbag like Breitbart have the last word. Many of us gals aren’t as emotionally fragile as you might think. IMO, Sherrod would probably feel worse if she didn’t take some kind of action against Breitbart.

    Yours truly,
    A person with no “Y” chromosome

    ;)

  137. GW BUSH:

    “Now you know why the majority of black people vote democrat. Clearly Voting D = dumb as dirt to a failed race in every society that continues to need codling & taxpayer subsidy just make a living. ”

    Your yahoo profile makes you an expert in such matters?I didn’t bother to even check it out.

    I know that you are happy that the internet makes you invisble,its such a shame. We need you out front when you make assertions like that.Even the actual GW Bush isn’t that dumb to make a staement like that.

  138. GW Bush:

    Add this to your yahoo profile:

    “ignorant

    1. Having the lack of knowledge, or background/factual information of a particular thing in general. However, the effect in which this person will be proceeding with their “unproven knowledge” imbedded in their mind as if factual information, they, in turn, will plan on using it in the future to make false and incorrect statements based on what they didn’t know about the particular thing, or may have heard as a majority of votes for.”

  139. eniobob,

    Pssst! I think that was satire. Well. Let’s put it this way . . . I hope that was satire. ;)

  140. @Buddha:

    I am not trained as a lawyer, but as a business owner I have brought three civil suits and two criminal suits, and prevailed in all of them. I am no stranger to the courtroom; I even served as a jury foreman in a significant civil suit.

    I also have twenty years of experience in marketing and advertising, and I know something about how people think. I think you are mistaken in Sherrod’s chances, I think her chances of prevailing *with a jury* are about 95%, and although I do not know her finances, if it were me I’d take the gamble and try to collect. I see no way her suit can be frivolous, so this would hurt Breitbart either way, he’d have to pay for his defense at least. Let him be a martyr; that would be great. It would advertise his financial pain, and that would undoubtedly be a deterrent for other similarly minded people.

  141. GW Bush, you need to understand that diatribes, including illiterate diatribes such as yours, are largely ignored by those of us who got past the third grade. Besides, if you were truly proud of your remarks, you would find it unnecessary to pose as a Bush wannabe.

    So feel free to tell us something about yourself and join in the conversation. You might want to consider adding some logical reasons for your views if you want a logical response.

    As a starting point, perhaps you could enlighten me about something which I’ve never been able to understand about the conservative mindset. Why is it that Republicans in particular profess to have a much greater trust than Democrats do in the ability of average citizens to make the best decisions about their lives, yet constantly push for limits on the range of decisions those trusted citizens may make when they honestly believe that they have been victimized by defective products, by fraudulent financial transactions or by dishonest business practices? By way of example only, I offer the following: statutory limits on some types of damages, mandatory arbitration clauses, the ubiquitous contract provisions waiving jury trials, prohibitions against class actions and unfair choice of law clauses. I await your response.

  142. Elaine,

    Don’t get me wrong. I don’t think women are fragile. Individuals can be fragile, but that knows no gender line. In fact, on the crap taken over the course of a lifetime to strength ratio chart, most women are tougher than a barrel of Vikings – on average much tougher than most guys I know. But I’d give the same advice even if she was a man.

    To me this case is simply a matter of cost versus benefit and what the best shape of victory looks like. As Sun Tzu also said, “the face of victory changes endlessly”, but to my eyes it’s far better to put this kind of dog down in as permanent a fashion as possible. Ethically? From a pure standpoint of does he deserve it? Yeah, I’m with you. She really should be able to hand this guy a big old shit sandwich. Her chances just aren’t that good because of the factual scenario and he really has no downside. Win or lose, he gains political capital with the lunatic fringe.

  143. Elaine and Tony C., I share your anger over this incident. And I certainly wasn’t making a reference to gender when I made my remarks about the strains of litigation. However, I know of no particular reason that Ms. Sherrod should agree to take the point in our march to go to war with Breitbart.

    I would also note that I have tried business disputes as well as private tort actions. Big difference. Commercial litigation is about money-period. I’ve had experiences in which we settled contract disputes between businessmen, and they’ve recommenced doing deals with each other the next day. And I don’t know how you “bring” a criminal case. That is the function of the state and the outcome is pretty much out of the control of the victim.

  144. Tony,

    Then we’ll just be disagreeing then. My experience with the mechanics of law tells me that jury sympathy or not, as a matter of the letter of libel and slander laws – which the judge will instruct the jury on and they are bound to follow – she doesn’t have that good enough a case to merit risking raising this clown’s profile with his demented base. There are other ways to hurt him worse. They simply require patience and timing.

  145. Mike A. and Buddha,

    As I mentioned in previous comments–I wasn’t speaking specifically about a lawsuit when I wrote about Sherrod calling Breitbart to account and not letting him have the last word on this incident. Breitbart has already begun fabricating different reasons for having done what he did to Sherrod. The more he talks the more ludicrous he sounds. Some conservatives have even called Breitbart out for what he did. Let Breitbart gain political capital with the lunatic fringe. I think there are many conservatives who are much more reasonable than the lunatic fringe who follow the likes of Breitbart and his ilk.

    What do you suggest that Sherrod do–go quietly back to a job at USDA and ignore the fact that a hate merchant nearly destroyed her career and her reputation? I’m not trying to be a smartass. I would appreciate suggestions from both of you as to what action, if any, you think Sherrod should take as I respect your opinions.

  146. Buddha,

    You are the only sexist one that is still posting on the list. If you will recall……btw how is Mike S? I have not seen the other sexists post for a while. I am sure as the heat subsides he will be back…but then again new grandpa’s have other priorities……

    Oink……

  147. I looked in the new urban dictionary for this term “GW BUSH”

    GW Bush

    Really bad bud; That indoor-grown which has no THC and just gives a headache

    hey Jon, hook me up with your bud guy, mine just picked up a pound of GW Bush so I won’t hit him up till next week… hopefully he’s sold that crap off by then.

    *********

    As I understand it, GW did not have to smoke weed to be as stupid. But the relevant context is here.

  148. Buddha,

    I believe that Mr. Breitbart’s demented base will believe his viscous lies no matter what (a court case, successful or not, wont change that). To me the important thing is to expose him for the sniveling liar that he is is to the rest of the conservatives in order to pull his fangs. I think that a lawsuit would help do this. In any case I think that the left needs to draw a line in the sand here as far as the FOX smear campaigns go and say ‘No more!’. As for Ms. Sherrod, I hope (since she is apparently considering a lawsuit) that she gets the type of realistic legal advice that has been presented here so that she can make an informed choice about what the right path is for her.

  149. Elaine,

    “What do you suggest that Sherrod do–go quietly back to a job at USDA and ignore the fact that a hate merchant nearly destroyed her career and her reputation?”

    I suggest that she wait and then the next time this hack goes after someone? She strikes. By going on every friendly forum she can find and showing what a great person she is while highlighting what terrible trouble this douche bag caused for her. Make herself a super-sympathetic reminder to everyone what a POS this guy really is. Oprah would jump at having her as would most of the wonk shows.

    I don’t just play a tough guy on the Internet. I didn’t just read “The Prince” for entertainment. I’m actually capable of being a real political bastard. :D

    AY,

    I heard from Mike S. just late last week. He’s fine considering the situation, but he’s got most of his energy tied up right now in treatment and being on the transplant list. He said to tell everyone hello and that he hoped to be back as soon as he is able.

  150. Elaine, inasmuch as Ms. Sherrod has not sought advice from anyone on this blog to my knowledge, I don’t wish to cross that invisible line separating opinion from presumptuousness, but I would suggest that she retain a competent libel attorney and have him or her make written demand on all of the offending media outlets to broadcast, or publish as the case may be, formal retractions of their stories having the same prominence as the original publications. In a number of jurisdictions, that is a prerequisite to the right to file suit in any event. I understand that Bill O’Reilly has already apologized. I don’t know whether he is truly penitent or is being proactive on the advice of counsel.

    To some extent, Ms. Sherrod can control the play. She doesn’t have to make any decision about litigation at present. I would also advise her not to make any public statements or answer any questions concerning the prospects for a lawsuit.

  151. “I would also advise her not to make any public statements or answer any questions concerning the prospects for a lawsuit.”

    Yep. Let ’em sweat.

  152. Elaine, I might add that I also agree with Buddha on the public appearances. She can use all of the forums to which she will inevitably be invited to discuss the real message of her speech, the transformational power of forgiveness and reconciliation. She can present herself in a manner demonstrating that she is a much bigger and more complete person than the mean-spirited, spiteful dogs nipping at her heels. And this can be accomplished with dignity and virtually no mention of Mr. Breitbart. I love the power of contrast.

  153. Buddha,

    You’re right (and a clever bastard – I like it ;-)), that’s probably a more effective ploy in the court of public opinion. In any case, given her behavior throughout this episode, I’m guessing that whatever Ms. Sherrod does will continue to show her to be the admirable woman we saw in her speech. Please pass along my best wishes to Mike S as well.

  154. Buddha,
    I too agree with your statement cautioning Mrs. Sherrod to not say anything about the possibility of ligigation, however, she has already stated today that she is considering action against Breitbart. I agree with her that she should consider, just stay below the radar and keep your powder dry.

  155. Buddha & Mike,

    Thank you for your swift responses to my question.

    I guess I shouldn’t admit the wish that I have to see Breitbart drawn and quartered in the Coliseum. Oh well, maybe that punishment would be considered a bit too barbaric for the 21st century!

  156. Elaine,

    One lives to be of service.

    In re your wish?

    It’s thoughts like that that keep me up at night.

    And by “keep me up at night”, I mean “make me giggle”. ;)

  157. Here is Glenn Greenwald’s opinion about whether or not Sherrod has grounds to sue Breitbart. (Taken from an Update at Greenwald’s blog at Salon.com)

    Svensker:
    Does she have grounds to sue
    Glenn, do you think she has grounds to sue those who released the edited video?

    Glenn Greenwald:
    Possibly. If someone purposely distorts a video to cast false aspersions on you, that’s a form of defamation and other tortious conduct that’s probably actionable. As a practical matter, it’s probably difficult to prove damages (if she is offered her job back). Beyond that, Breitbart is claiming it wasn’t him but his “source” who did the editing, and you’d probably have to have a fight over whether he can conceal the source’s identity under some sort of shield law. But there’s little question that she was defamed and injured through wrongful and likely actionable conduct.

    I think there could be claims against Breitbart either way because, as I said, I think it was clear even from the video in edited form that she was making the opposite point of the one he claimed she was making. That’s a form of recklessness that could be actionable even if he wasn’t the one who did the editing.

    Finally, I think it’d be worth it to sue him just to uncover his “source” who did the editing. “Journalists” are supposed to expose their “sources” if they use the journalist to perpetrate a fraud.

  158. Slarti:

    I have a feeling someone set his behind up. Supposedly he did not get the full tape and did not edit it, apparently it was from a trusted source so he did not bother to dig deeper. At least that is what I am hearing. Although I get info from the equivalent of the Huffington Post so one has to take these types of things with a large grain of salt.

    Although he probably does deserve the backlash. It will be interesting to see how it plays out.

    In any event Ms. Sherrod should get here job back with a big apology from someone in the government at least a cabinet level position or higher.

  159. Oh please.

    Would you like some salt with that salt?

    Byron, if I’m sure of one thing about this whole situation? It’s that any “setting up” was done by Breitbart.

  160. Elaine:

    the only question I have is why didn’t the Dept of Ag look into this in more detail rather than can here with only a whiff of evidence? Seems to me someone jumped the gun big time. And why? The dems own 2 branches of government what are they worried about? I suppose it was a political decision in view of the trouncing everyone thinks they are going to get in November. Throw the woman under the bus so we can keep the house and senate. They must be running a little scared in the White House. Politicians are a bunch of moral cowards.

  161. Byron–

    I believe Breitbart once worked for Arianna Huffington and Huffington Post.

    Breitbart knew about the Sherrod tape months ago. He would have had plenty of time to check it out if he had wanted to. Folks like Breitbart don’t care about the truth–only about their own personal/political agendas. Who was his trusted source? You don’t suppose it was James O’Keefe–or one of his buddies–do you?

  162. Buddha:

    I don’t know, he is a tricky bastard but there are enough people out to stick it to him that it might have some play.

  163. Byron,

    Most of the Democrats are scaredy cats–with a few exceptions, of course. I think it was wrong of Vilsack/the Obama administration to demand Sherrod’s resignation because they were worried about a story on Glenn Beck’s Show. Shame on them!

  164. Byron,

    I’m with Buddha on this. Though it probably can’t be proven in court, I’m assuming that Mr. Breitbart knew exactly what he was doing – as mentioned above, even in the edited tape any intelligent, fair-minded listener could tell that she was setting up a story of redemption. In any case, either Breibart knew what he was doing, or he was being recklessly negligent in light of the fact that he already destroyed ACORN with misleadingly edited (and illegally obtained) video in which he similarly promoted unjustified smears to further his political agenda. Everyone on the right should be tripping over themselves to denounce this slimeball and his tactics – how about you?

  165. Ok, Karl.

    Pull the other one.

    He tried to set this gal up. Did. She got fired. And lo and behold it blew up in his face.

    But no body set him up unless you’re counting himself, Byron.

    He’s a wormy lying shit disturber with a history of? Being a wormy lying shit disturber . . . with only middling success at pulling it off. Hmmmm. Live by the sword, die by the sword also includes self-inflicted wounds.

  166. Boehner, Fox’s Shep Smith, And Other Journalists Slam Breitbart For His Race-Baiting Smear Campaign (Think Progress, 7/22/2010)
    http://thinkprogress.org/2010/07/22/boehner-shep-journalists-breitbart/

    Excerpt:
    This morning, President Barack Obama apologized to former USDA official Shirley Sherrod for her forced resignation based on a highly misleading video produced by right-wing media tycoon Andrew Breitbart. Obama “expressed his regret” in a phone call with Sherrod, which she described as “a very good conversation.” Sherrod also said she is considering suing Breitbart — who has refused to apologize or retract the story — for defamation, noting, “He was willing to destroy me…in order to try to destroy the NAACP.”

    But Sherrod isn’t the only one denouncing Breitbart’s deceitful tactics. Speaking to the Daily Caller, House Minority Leader John Boehner (R-OH) called it “unfortunate” that Breitbart “didn’t lay out the whole story, as opposed to a part of it.” “They only put a little piece of the story out there and people make judgments and they rush and they make bad decisions. They make rash decisions,” Boehner said.

    Meanwhile, Fox New anchor Shep Smith — whose network breathlessly promoted the smear campaign — slammed Breitbart’s BigGovernment.com as “widely discredited,” and blasted the White House for acting on its video. Smith even called out his own employer, saying, “The video, taken completely out of context, it ran all over the Internet, and television, including on this network:”

    We here at Studio B did not run the video and did not reference the story in any way for many reasons, among them: we didn’t know who shot it, we didn’t know when it was shot, we didn’t know the context of the statement, and because of the history of the videos on the site where it was posted, in short we do not and did not trust the source. […]

    [The White House based its decision on] an edited videotape on a widely discredited website that has had inaccurate postings of videos in the past–edited to the point where the world was deceived. … What in the world has happened to our industry and the White House?

  167. And there is your answer from a lawyer, Glenn Greenwald, he opines that Sherrod has a suit even IF the tape were edited for Breitbart by his “source.”

    So, as I said, it wouldn’t be hard to find one, and my advice to Sherrod would be: These suits are easier than you think, put your trust in the common sense of the jury. They don’t like racists EITHER.

    As for what the judge will instruct the jury: Do what my best lawyer did, TELL the jury what the law is (and therefore what the instructions are going to be) and summarize how he violated them, why there are damages and why it was his actions and recklessness and disregard that caused them. I would imagine that is lawyering 101; don’t let the jury get confused by whatever the judge’s final instructions are going to be.

    Also, having BEEN on a jury, I don’t think any of my fellow jurors paid any attention to the judge’s instructions in the least. Not being allowed to discuss the case during the trial, most of them had too many pent up opinions of their own to get out. I think when the judge was talking they really just wanted to get into the room and finally vent about the bad guy.

  168. Fine Tony.

    A suit and a good suit are not the same thing. Nor is an available tactic the best tactic simply because it’s available.

    All you’ve proven is that reasonable people can disagree.

  169. From Andrew Sullivan’s The Daily Dish
    The Long Game And The Breitbart Implosion (7/22/2010)

    Excerpt:
    I have not been immune to feeling frustrated and depressed by the sheer power and energy of the Fox News/Drudge/Breitbart media onslaught against anything to do with Obama. As in the campaign, I’ve longed in my gut for the administration to lash back with as much vehemence as Fox lashes forward. I’ve also winced when the Obamaites have appeared totally craven in responding to the context-free narrative many on the denialist, angry right have been pushing. (But at least Vilsack apologized which makes him much more of a man than Breitbart.)

    But I’ve learned over time to respect the canniness of this president’s restraint. His gift is patience and perseverance and allowing his enemies to destroy themselves. And I suspect this Breitbart racial smear may be a moment when, once again, you see how Obama outsmarts his opponents. I mean: when you examine it, you see that a woman who actually exemplifies honesty about race and overcomes prejudice was cynically and recklessly used to create a false notion that this administration is racist toward whites, an old and disgusting canard devised by the Becks and Hannitys and Limbaughs in the tradition of Wallace and Atwater and McCarthy.

    But – and here’s the thing – to the credit of many on the right (and, of course, good old Shep Smith of Fox News), this episode has led to the first real rift in the lock-step of the right-wing noise machine. I know this was so egregious a smear it was indefensible. And I know, as David Frum has noted, that many conservatives tried to deflect blame onto Obama, and the media – led by the cynic Lloyd Grove – has joined the pack. But nonetheless, many on the right took Breitbart on, from NRO outward. This great injustice has, to anyone with a fair mind, deeply damaged Fox News, deeply discredited the Breitbart noise machine, and will render every new soundbite and video issued by FNC more suspect.

    It was, in other words, an over-reach from hubris. And I suspect that this over-reach is not just in the rightwing media but in what’s left of conservative political activism.

  170. I’m beginning to understand why, at one time in our history, the social phenomenon of the duel of honor was common. I guess we’re too sophisticated and advanced to return to those good ‘ol days.

  171. So the opinion of three attorneys here, Prof. Turley, Buddha, and Mike A., as I understand it, is that a lawsuit against Mr. Brietbart would be futile because Mr. Brietbart would benefit from the publicity no matter which way the suit went and Ms. Sherrod would only suffer more.

    I can see their point because many of the radical right, especially those that only watch Fox news, read only right wing papers, and look at only right wing websites will never get the correct information about what happened. And there’s a hell of a lot of them. I am still shaking my head that 48 million voted for Sarah Palin as VP. That’s an astonishing and very worrisome fact.

    Which means, to me, that something has to be done to get their attention. I’m at a loss as to what, since they never look at Oprah or ABC,CBS, NBC, or PBS news. What method can be used to inform this population?

    It seems to me that this constant poison of “The Big Lie” that has been going on for the past 10 years or so has to be countered by something that gets through to the radical right, whether it’s a lawsuit or a write-in campaign, or sponsor withdrawal – though the last hasn’t been too effective on the Glenn Beck Show.

    I think the only effective plan is one that hits them in the pocketbook – by a lawsuit or whatever other means are available.

    I’m just so concerned that we seem to be in the same zeitgeist (as Chris Matthews says) as Germany in the 1930’s, and that it could lead to the same result.

    We’ve had demagogues many times before, but they were limited by the media available. Now we have nearly instant communication and it’s boxing us in.

  172. buckeye,

    “I’m just so concerned that we seem to be in the same zeitgeist (as Chris Matthews says) as Germany in the 1930′s, and that it could lead to the same result.”

    It’s not an unreasonable concern.

  173. Slartibartfast.

    “You’re essentially comparing society to an iterated prisoner’s dilemma (which I approve of ;-) ) but I don’t agree with your conclusions.

    I am not sure that I understand you, but does the follow clarify what I was trying to say?

    Ultimately all life involves a struggle for limited resources required for survival and reproduction. Most life forms compete individually, some in small social groups of cooperating individuals but humans are unique in in that each one will be a member of multiple teams each of which tries to acquire and hold on to resources which are then shared among team members. While members of a single team are mostly cooperating among themselves they are mainly competing with members of other teams competing for the same resources. Sometimes competition between teams involves an irreconcilable competition of interests between the teams, for example Israelis and Palestinians or Americans and the native Un-Americans wrongly occupying the continent before the arrival of the rightful owners. In the case of the Israelis and Palestinians the only possible resolutions involve a choice between genocide and ethnic cleansing, the only question is who will do the genocide/ethnic cleansing and who will be the genocidees/ethnic cleansees. Sometimes vicious competition is optional, but when one team has the upper hand as has the white American team over that of the black Americans, why not exert all the leverage available to the maximum extent. The fact is that white Americans have power over black Americans in a way that black Americans lack with respect to white Americans. White Americans could well afford to take their jackboots off the heads of black Americans for a few seconds, but why bother, after all any resources kept from black Americans goto benefit white Americans.

    Discrimination is a double edged sword and motives don’t matter. The motive behind discrimination may be to benefit members of an in-group but the result is harm to all who are not members of the in-group, the motive may be to prevent undeserving members of an out-group from getting anything to which they are not entitled but the effect is to make more resources available for all who are not members of that out-group. The situation that I call “The Kingdom of heaven on Earth” with all humans cooperating and not competing with all other humans is imaginable but could not exist in reality. Sooner or later some groups of humans would form who see the advantage of cooperating against some other group whee the potential for a power balance in their favour exists.

  174. Blouise.

    The main difference between your Sunday School’s class exercise and Jane Elliott’s technique is that J E exposes participants to both scenarios. I would hope that your Sunday School exercise was repeated so that each person experienced all 3 situations.

    In my view Jane Elliott’s technique is the only effective tool for lessening racism, who knows were Mr Breibart exposed to it even he might reform. All Nations really need the widespread use of the Eliott method,for the USA it might be the only hope against the onrushing juggernaut of fascism.

  175. Tony C.

    One of the things that Jane Elliott discovered is that people exposed to constant negative treatment underperform from the psychological effect alone.

    For Afro-Americans the problem goes beyond the psychological effect. I do not believe that Blacks are genetically inferior to Whites, but I expect that the deficits Blacks exhibit relative to whites on IQ tests and such are real. For example poverty leads to malnutrition and lack of adequate medical care, what effect does this have on brain development? What happens when malnutrition and poor medicine are applied to a group of people generation after generation?

    It is now accepted that constant uncontrollable stress does damage including to children in the womb, what effect does living in a war zone under army of occupation policing and subject to real racism have on the brains and hearts of Blacks.

    There is no shortage of reasons one can find for Blacks to have problems, but if one traces these back prior cause to prior cause one will find in the end that they lead to one overarching prime cause, that they were conquered and forced into slavery by people who had power over them, hated them and despised them, and they are still copping abuse from the descendants of the same people who still hate and despise them.

    One can look at dysfunctional schools, at behavioural poverty, at the lack of industries where they live and so on ad infinitum but the fact is that they have been converted into an underclass. Rehabilitating an underclass is not impossible, but it requires enormous resources.

    For example in Australia on the 26th of January 1788,two underclasses arrived, one being the convict scum of London’s sewers dumped at Port Jackson from the first fleet, the other being the Blacks, descendants of unlawful immigrants who arrived 40,000 yeas before who very quickly became a new underclass. The descendants of the convicts ceased to be an underclass, all it required was the full resources of a continent confiscated from its undeserving prior occupants. Today Australians are still wringing their hands about the intractable problems of life conditions of the un-Australian Aborigines, despite the enormous amounts of taxpayer’s money spent on them. The problem is in the definition of the word “enormous”, what is the benchmark compared it which the amount of money is measured as enormous. Is it the amount required to do the job of rehabilitation? No!!! Is it compared to the amount in damages that blacks would receive were all cases of white bastardy against them were assessed in a truly unbiased court of law just as if they were white people? No!!!! Is it the amount that such undeserving people deserve to have spent on them? Yes, Yes, Yes Yes!!!!!!

  176. Carlyle Moulton,

    Remember that this was a 43 member class of sophomores and juniors and this exercise was an introduction to an 8 week coarse on racism.

    We all experienced the point of the exercise in observing the three subjects and their reactions to the group as a whole. Further, it could not have worked as effectively as the three subjects were not informed what would be happening before the exercise began whereas when the exercise was finished everybody knew.

    There was an in-depth discussion as to how each member of the group felt as they purposely excluded one member, fully welcomed another, and were indifferent to the third.

    Several similar exercises followed as the weeks progressed including some very interesting values clarification exercises.

    It was an unusual class but it was the 60’s and the history of the Congregational Church was anti-racism and the teachers were all highly educated in the biblical and human sciences.

    The class initially met for 1 hour and 15 minutes before church. The discussions on racism became so interesting that the class kept going instead of breaking up and attending the service. Finally we voted (in Congregational churches you vote on everything)to begin class 2 hours before church service.

    I won’t use any names of coarse but I can tell you that several members of that class became very active in the Civil Rights Movement and are still at it today.

  177. CM,

    I understood what you were saying, I just think that there is an evolutionary advantage to having larger groups cooperating and to large groups maintaining a level playing field for competition amongst their members. I’ll probably have more to say after I check out the link you posted.

  178. Blouise.

    I think it is impossible to overstate the value of such exercises as that of your Sunday School class and taught by Jane Elliott.

    It ought to be compulsory for all government employees at least to be exposed to them and it would be good if mot citizens underwent them.

  179. I think Shirley Sherrod has a good case with a substantial chance of winning significant punitive damages if she decides to make the fight. I speak as a retired attorney, and also as someone who once lost a job because of an unfounded accusation. If I were in her position, I’d sue Breitbart and FOX News, as well as any other right-wing pseudo-journalists who propagated the lie or added to it.

    As to which, BTW, Breitbart’s libel did not merely consist of presenting the edited remarks of Shirley Sherrod. The posted video included defamatory caption slides – presumably added by Breitbart, his editor or his original “source” – that created the impression Sherrod was talking about discriminating against a white farmer in her contemporary job as a federal official. Those additions strengthen the case for malice.

    Prof. Turley has been taken to task enough by others on this post for naively assuming a black woman who grew up in Georgia in the 1950s should have “gotten over” the wounds of racism by 1986. I would just add this anecdote from my personal experience: in 1986 I bought a Volkswagen Jetta. I’m Jewish, and I caught hell from my grandparents for buying a car “from the Germans.” This was 40 years after the Second World War. I explained I was sure no one at VW had been older than a teenager during the Holocaust, but my grandparents weren’t in a forgiving mood toward even the children of Nazis. Keith Olbermann got it right: considering her father was murdered by a Klansman, Shirley Sherrod is closer to being a saint than most of us will ever be.

    Returning to the subject of her lawsuit: Mike A. is right that a lawsuit is no picnic even for the plaintiff. And Mrs. Sherrod has no obligation to put herself through that grinder on behalf of other government employees who may in the future be dragged out of semi-anonymity for the purposes of the right-wing noise machine. But I hope she will undertake the task. No one else has standing to do it, and I doubt there will be a better case for quite a while. ACORN and the NAACP are corporate entities; you can libel them, but they don’t bleed red, so to speak. Mrs. Sherrod is a real person; as far as I can tell, she has a great life story, and Breitbart tried to destroy her. Now, that’s jury appeal!

    Any practicing lawyers (Jonathan?) reading this post: I hope you’ll try to connect Mrs. Sherrod to a good libel lawyer and/or an organization that will assist her with the expenses of prosecuting a lawsuit against Breitbart and FOX et al.
    And here is one retired attorney who’s willing to put in some time. The right-wing attack machine has finally crossed a clear-cut defamation line, and this is a chance to start taking them down.

    Among the many reasons for a lawsuit: well, read the comments on many of the conservative web sites. Seems there are lots of people who still haven’t watched the unedited speech and think the excerpt shows a racist. Breitbart hasn’t apologized and is still defending his actions; FOX News as an organization to my knowledge hasn’t apologized or run a sincere retraction. A lawsuit will help set the record straight in the minds of people who are still thinking of it wrong. It’s also an opportunity via the discovery process to dig out the malicious methodology we suspect exists inside many of the right-wing media organizations – to intentionally distort the presentation of news. (How I long to see those Roger Ailes memos in court!)

    Query: where does she file suit? Seems to me just about anywhere. The internet and cable news are ubiquitous. At a guess I’d pick a plaintiff-friendly city in a diversely populated Blue state – New York City, anyone?

    Last observation: it’s entirely possible that Ms. Sherrod will emerge from this episode with no financial damages, or even a windfall. (Think: book tour. Lecture circuit.) Not a problem. This case cries out for punitive damages. I am reminded of the famous case of Reynolds v. Pegler (1955) (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Reynolds_v._Pegler), memorably recounted in Louis Nizer’s book, My Life in Court. The jury in that case awarded only $1 in compensatory damages, but $175,000 in punitive damages (a record for the time, and equivalent to about $1.5 million today).

    I say, “Sue, Shirley, sue!”

  180. FYI:

    For a lesson on cooling racial rhetoric, look to the 2007 Rutgers women’s basketball team
    Published: Friday, July 23, 2010, 6:15 AM
    Star-Ledger Guest Columnist

    Chris Pedota/The RecordRutgers women’s basketball head coach Vivian Stringer and her team addressed derogatory remarks by talk show host Don Imus during a press conference at Rutgers Athletic Center April 10, 2007.

    By DeForest B. Soaries Jr.

    Had the Obama administration, the NAACP and cable news personalities followed the 2007 script of the Rutgers University women’s basketball team, they would have spared themselves tremendous embarrassment and avoided the infliction of personal and public pain upon Shirley Sherrod. Instead, they fell victim to the racial lock-and-load mentality that will destroy this country unless there is a truce in the American race war.

    Had someone been responsible enough to take thirty minutes to conduct an actual review of the remarks made by this U.S. Department of Agriculture official at an NAACP event earlier this year, we would have spared another explosion of racial controversy.

    It’s instructive to look back at what the young women from Rutgers did in 2007 when radio personality Don Imus called them “nappy-headed hos” on a live, nationally broadcast show. The incident quickly became a top national news story and the racial battle lines were drawn.

    AP Photo/Richard DrewDon Imus in April 2007 file photo
    On one side were Imus’ defenders, who demanded that everyone defer to his freedom of speech. They charged his detractors with hypocrisy, noting that leading figures in the entertainment industry hurled racial and gender insults at black women every day with impunity. On the other side were the “racism is alive and well” gladiators who consider themselves the social chemotherapy for the lingering signs of the cancer of racism.

    In the middle were Imus, who sought an opportunity to personally apologize to the Rutgers students, and the students themselves, who wanted to understand why Imus had made those comments on his show.

    The Rutgers women said nothing publicly for six days, despite being stalked by the media and pressed for interviews. During these days of silence, third parties began to discuss ways to bring closure to the controversy and prevent it from turning into a media-driven circus. Those deliberations produced the proposal for a face-to-face meeting between Imus and members of the team and their coaches. The key here was that neither side was willing to let the news media or public appetite for a racial battle drive the process.

    Five days after Imus made his remarks, the members of the basketball team and their coaches met at Rutgers and decided to accept Imus’ offer to meet. Unlike the secretary of agriculture and the president of the NAACP, the girls at Rutgers wanted to know the facts and speak with the person responsible to hear his side of the story.

    The next day, at a press conference to announce the meeting, team members described how they felt and what they had been experiencing. But they did not throw any gasoline on the racial fire that was growing. They did not use inflammatory language nor presume to understand what was in Imus’ the head or heart. They did not call for a boycott of his show or a protest at his studio. They did not ask for him to be fired. They simply wanted to meet him personally.

    Eight days after Imus’ derogatory remarks, he and the Rutgers women’s basketball team met in the New Jersey governor’s mansion. The meeting lasted almost three hours. There were tears, there was anger, there were confessions — and most important, the meeting ended with forgiveness. The team then stood on the steps of the mansion and told the media and the world that they had accepted Imus’ apology. Two days later the story was over. And a major racial incident was not allowed to become what it could have become.

    As long as organizations, media and politicians are preoccupied with the game of racial “gotcha” and we remain bent on using our best energies destroying one another, we will never be the worthy beneficiaries of the tremendous racial progress that we have painfully made in our country. It is really time to move on and attempt to conquer some very important challenges that remain like poverty, disease and education. We should assume that people will make mistakes, we should allow the appropriate agencies to respond when there is suspicion of bias or injustice and we should call a truce on the race war. If we do not, we will have more collateral damage like Shirley Sherrod.

    Perhaps we should let the young people from Rutgers be our guides and teach us how to move on.

    DeForest B. Soaries Jr., senior pastor of the First Baptist Church of Lincoln Gardens in Somerset, mediated the meeting between Don Imus and the Rutgers women’s basketball team on April 12, 2007. Have a comment? Visit njvoices.com.

  181. @Carlyle: Thanks for the link; I am a long time subscriber to New Scientist (and Science News, a different magazine) and read them cover to cover.

    I am aware of this; there is more in sociology that says the same. Some other things you should be aware of: IQ is malleable. It is not the fixed quantity that early researchers believed it to be; on a scale where 100 is average and 90 is considered mildly disabled, people have increased their IQ by 10 and 15 points with training. IQ tests are like puzzles, and if a person is exposed to enough puzzles they develop new ways of thinking about puzzles that let them solve puzzles they have not seen before much faster — Thus raising their IQ, even on brand new IQ tests they have never seen. IQ is malleable.

    As you note; there are experiments in which a mixed class of black and white students are told:

    A) blacks typically score poorly on this test relative to white students;
    B) blacks typically score better on this test relative to white students;
    C) this test has been specifically designed and tested hundreds of times so that black students and white students do exactly the same on average.

    Guess what? Both black and white students perform as expected. Better if they are supposed to be better, worse if they are supposed to be worse, and the same if they are expected to be the same. The difference that expectations make can be a full letter grade (10%).

    Why? By presenting the test on a computer screen, the researchers can measure to the millisecond precisely when the screen with a question appeared to a test taker and how long they took to read and think before answering the question.

    In scenarios where a group thought it was expected to do *better* members of that group spent much longer on the screens with the more difficult questions (as measured by the percentage of right answers), and got a higher percentage of these correct. Whether they were whites or blacks, when expected to do better, they tried harder to live up to that expectation. When expected to do worse, they gave up easier. This was borne out in interviews with the students as well — When blacks expected to do worse got to a hard question, they say, “I figured that was a white question.” Whites did the same thing in reverse.

    The lesson is that IQ has about a 10 point margin of error, my own has varied by that much over the years (and not just down!), so has my sister’s and my father’s (he was a fan and collector of IQ tests, we took about one a year when I was younger). My father loved logic puzzles, crossword puzzles, puzzle books, physical puzzles, block puzzles, mechanical puzzles, word problem puzzles, mathematical puzzles. If you practice an hour a day or so entertaining yourself with puzzles, you KILL on an IQ test.

    **************
    I disagree with the idea that it will cost a fortune to undo the damage caused by racism. What the victims deserve is something we could afford pretty easily: Physical security with real law enforcement (two beat cops per block, 24/7), clean and healthy buildings, real schools with real teachers and equipment, and modern working infrastructure (working sewers, clean water, working electric street lights, roads, traffic lights and signs). Remedial training for those in school and any adults that want it. Safe daycare for parents that want to work.

    I honestly don’t think this is a big deal financially; if we can afford ten billion a month to fight wars, and magically produce 750 billion to bail out banks, we can afford to defeat poverty as well. Not only that, but it would pay off in the future, because THIS generation would become productive members of society and add far more value than they cost us; just as the middle class and upper class believe that THEIR investments in their own kids are ultimately worth the cost. We could solve poverty relatively quickly and cheaply, there just isn’t any poltical will to do that.

    I am not talking about handouts, they only ever help with immediate concerns (hunger, rent, medication, transportation). Those are important concerns but do not solve the problem. I am talking about spending money to make a wholesale change in the environment that *creates* poverty, breaking the cycle of poverty. Take a two-year-old out of the slum and raise him/her in the American middle class and 18 years later you get a college student learning to program computers. I think there is no IQ differential, there is an expectations differential and an environment differential, and both can be addressed and conquered within a generation.

    In the meantime, for their parents, put them to work. Create jobs doing whatever, there is always a way to add value for society, but let them work for pay. Or pay for grades, let them go to school for a living if they want that. You have to provide a way out, a way up, a way forward.

    What would that cost? Practically nothing, a full time job with a net cost of $10/hr costs $20K a year. You can employ 50,000 people at that rate for a billion dollars a year; in our taxes that is $9.10 per adult in the USA, per year. Want to employ five million? 100 billion a year, about what we are spending on Iraq, and 1/10 what we spent on the banks.

    But that assumes they dig ditches and fill them in; providing zero economic benefit, which is ridiculous. We need people to build the schools, be the cops, clean up the neighborhood and change that environment, so hire them for that, and the myriad maintenance jobs that go with it. In my opinion the actual cost is a small percentage of the ticket price, because the poor can produce value worth nearly what we would pay them, and at least they would be working for a living.

    In “Freakonomics”, Levitt and Dubner explore the economics of drug dealing with the question, “Why do drug dealers still live with their mom?”

    The majority of them do, btw, and the answer is that standing on the street corner dealing drugs is the only job they can get, and on average pays THAT guy about $4 an hour. Working the counter at McDonald’s is considered a BETTER job, but there are fifty applicants for every McDonald’s opening and drug dealers are typically ones that didn’t get it. They live with their mom because they really can’t afford to live on their own.

    That is the problem with poverty stricken areas. No resources, no jobs, no education, just people growing up with nothing that become nothing and perpetuate the cycle of misery because they have literally NOTHING to work with. I started my first business with $3000 and sold millions of dollars worth of product and employed several people. But I had that $3000 to bet, and a college education, and corporate work experience and an understanding of costs and overhead and taxes and the ability to do every job I needed all by my lonesome. The starting conditions that let me do all that were given to me for free, literally, up to the age of 22.

    If parents, for whatever reason, are incapable of providing their children this basic starting point, I think it is wrong to punish the children for the failings of their parents. As a society we should ensure that all children get at LEAST the American middle class start in terms of education, nutrition, health and physical safety, whether their parents can provide that or not.

  182. Tony C.

    I can’t disagree with most of what you say, but such a benign experiment would require in humans a capacity for enlightened self interest that does not exist..

    The cost is not unaffordable in your opinion, but it is in the opinion of the vast majority of mean spirited jumped up naked apes that constitute are species.

    For the rich, a dysfunctional underclass that scares the majority is a good thing as poor whites are distracted from effective fighting in the class war by appeals to their tendency to discriminate against the underclass. When as in the US the underclass is largely racially defined this results in the extreme right wing bias that is visible in US politics. Even poor people hate and despise poor people. Thentere is the really visceral hatred that Americans have of losers. Never miss an opportunity to kickaloser when he is down could be the US motto.

    I recommend the HBO series “The Wire” as a good reference on all the things that go wrong in poor communities of colour.

    I disagree that things like IQ can be fixed in the short term. Generations of underclass existence do irreversible damage to the phenotypes of those experiencing it. The genes maybe perfectly good, but deficits in IQ and capacity to manage anger are real. Malnourished mothers in a community under extreme stress give birth to malnourished babies with smaller brains. To truly rehabilitate an underclass benign practices would need to be repeated for several generations. This experiment actually occurred in Australia with the descendants of the convict underclass having the full resources of the continent confiscated from the aborigines benefit for over 200 years.

    I subscribe to the Scientific American so I can confused about cosmology and particle theory and visit the new Scientist website daily. Occasionally I buy the magazine when an article behind the subscriber wall attracts me.

  183. Tony C.

    Somewhere recently I came across an article or maybe a TV program about the damage that stress does to the human body. Chronic stress affects brain development and the cardiovascular system. Stressed mothers give birth to pre-damaged children who struggle in life. I will try to find it again and post a link when I do.

  184. Some of you may want to check this out:

    Timeline of Breitbart’s Sherrod smear

    Media Matters has documented a timeline of Andrew Breitbart’s smear of Shirley Sherrod, from Breitbart’s initial posting of his deceptively edited clip of Sherrod — which was amplified by Fox News and other right-wing media — through the release of the full video of Sherrod’s comments, which made clear the context of her remarks.

    http://mediamatters.org/research/201007220004

  185. @Carlyle: Either you believe in genes or you don’t.

    If you believe in genes, then the generation about to be conceived TODAY can develop and grow into productive middle class citizens by the time they are adults. This problem, as I said, can be solved in two or three decades, if we wanted to solve it.

    To believe otherwise is to believe in magical, unexplained cognitive deficits in people NOT YET CONCEIVED without any evidence to support that belief. Why would you make such specious claims? It is ridiculous.

    Either you believe the genes that produce their brain are identical to everybody else’s, or you do not and are engaged in superstitious crap. Their brain genetics are identical. Get over it. Raise them out of poverty and out of malnutrition with a proper education and you won’t get anything different. I will not believe otherwise until somebody provides some scientific evidence to the contrary.

  186. Buddha:

    “Seriously, Byron. I’m appalled you’d even consider defending this clown.”

    Everyone deserves equal representation no matter how heinous the crime. Since I am about the only non-progressive voice on this blog I felt I had to throw it out there to keep the discussion lively :)

    Anyway you may be acting as hastily in your condemnation as Vilsac did in firing Ms. Sherrod.

    What I find deplorable in this entire situation is that this woman, a private citizen, has been used as a political pawn by both sides. As I said above politicians are moral cowards and are using this woman’s skirt to hide behind.

  187. Byron,

    I’m nowhere near acting as hastily as Vilsac. Sherrod has a history of being a valued employee. Breitbart has a history of being a propagandist scumbag (and usually proud of it).

    History counts in the evaluation process as it is a record of actions. Actions speak louder than words. Brietbart stands on a history of bad and suspect actions.

    And for your sake I hope there is a difference between “non-progressive” and “retrograde” and/or “stagnant”. :D True, if in court, Breitbart deserves the same access to defense as anyone but just like there is a difference in the terms above, there is a difference between “defended” and “defensible”.

  188. Byron–

    “I don’t know, he is a tricky bastard but there are enough people out to stick it to him that it might have some play.”

    If you believe that, I’ve got a bridge in Brooklyn that I’ll sell you.

    Breitbart was “hoist with his own petard.” IMO, it couldn’t have happened to a more deserving villain!

  189. Elaine M.,

    I am a big Maddow fan and started watching her MSNBC show from the start. In my opinion, her staff is top notch in that they do excellent research which leads to her accurate reporting.

    I loved the fact that she had no idea what “The Closer” was … I’ve read that she doesn’t watch TV and I guess she really doesn’t.

    I’m sure you have heard that famous question … “If you could meet anyone alive today, who would it be?” … I’d like to meet Rachel Maddow’s mother.

  190. I used to listen to her on “Air America”. Rachel is going to Arizona soon to investigate the new immigration law. She is a Roman Catholic.

  191. Blouise,

    I think Maddow is terrific! She’s so smart and has such a terrific sense of humor. I love what she did to that pompous ass O’Reilly in the video I posted here.

    I’d like to meet Rachel in person. She’s a great mixologist. I’d be happy to talk politics and toss back a couple with her.

    And, yes, her staff is topnotch–just like her.

  192. Swarthmore mom
    1, July 23, 2010 at 12:04 pm
    I used to listen to her on “Air America”. Rachel is going to Arizona soon to investigate the new immigration law.
    ==========================================================

    Yes, Air America is where I first found her. Maybe we should tell FFLEO she’s coming.

  193. I’ll always think of Dr. Maddow as a godless liberal and the best interviewer on TV right now…

  194. Elaine,

    I just watched the Maddow clip about O’Really and FAUX ratings.

    Now I have to clean coffee off my monitor.

    As to what Mr. Ed there says, who cares if she’s Jewish by birth? She’s awesome in action. That’s what really counts.

  195. Elaine M.
    1, July 23, 2010 at 12:07 pm
    Blouise,

    I think Maddow is terrific! She’s so smart and has such a terrific sense of humor. I love what she did to that pompous ass O’Reilly in the video I posted here.

    I’d like to meet Rachel in person. She’s a great mixologist. I’d be happy to talk politics and toss back a couple with her.

    And, yes, her staff is topnotch–just like her.

    ================================================================
    My husband and I tried a few of her recipes … veeery good.

    She exhibits a real proclivity for common sense which, when coupled with her intellect, produces some wise commentary and thought provoking challenges. Hers is the only program I watch faithfully and record if I’m not home. I’m proud to say I’m part of that “245” number.

  196. Not that it matters–but I don’t think Maddow’s mother was Jewish. I don’t know about her father. I do believe Swarthmore mom is correct about Maddow’s being a Roman Catholic.

    **********

    Buddha,

    Better to get coffee on your monitor than baby vomit on your suit and in your bag of toys like JT!

  197. Elaine,

    I can’t argue that last point. As a former educator, I was something as a kid I am sure you are familiar with: a “sympathy puker”. Blood, broken bones, lacerations, never a problem. But the instance some other kid puked? It simply meant I got to go home too. :D It’s not much better as an adult.

  198. Buddha,

    I taught for many years in a school that had carpeted classrooms. Imagine trying to get the odor of “vomit” out of carpets???

    There are some things I definitely don’t miss about teaching.
    Fortunately, I never got head lice!

  199. I just read an interesting Slate profile on Brietbart and I’m more convinced than ever that the way to truly punish him is to neutralize his voice.

    You can’t hurt this guy by taking his money. Money is a side-effect of what he desires. What he desires is influence.

    You can destroy him by limiting and/or destroying his influence. Why? He’s nothing but pure ego. It just shines through in the profile that he’s a narcissist and megalomaniac.

  200. Smom,

    Sad news indeed. I’m not only a fan of Schorr’s reporting (especially from the Nixon era) but his ubiquitous and often funny presence on NPR’s “Wait, Wait, Don’t Tell Me!”.

  201. I’m afraid that she may not have much of a case against Breitbeart. She told Anderson Cooper on CNN that she believes he is a racist. He can sue for slander if she decided to take him to court. Breitbart is a slimeball in my opinion, but the truth is, it will pretty hard for Sherrod to win this case.

  202. @PoetX: I’m not a lawyer, as I said before, but if she said she “believes” he is a racist, typically slander requires a *false* statement. Saying what she believes would be protected under her freedom of speech. It is not slander to tell somebody else, “I think that guy is an asshole,” or even “I think he is lying to us.”

  203. @Tony C

    “Either you believe in genes or you don’t.”

    I believe in genes, but they are not the only influence, environment makes a contribution and a toxic environment has toic effects. I will mention 4 possible mechanisms by which the the environment can make negative contributions;-

    1/ Bad nutrition;
    2/ Chronic disease due to lack of medical treatment;
    3/ Chronic Stress;
    4/ Actual toxins in the environment due to proximity to polluting industries.

    I don’t believe that my list above is anywhere near complete.

    I believe that it would take at least a eighty years 3 generations before the overhang of the environment would be cleared from the system. I am still searching for the program/article on stress. I have found plenty of hits but not yet the one I want.

    A new field of study is called epigenetics. It is about how the environment alters the function of genes and how this modification can be inherited by following generations.

  204. All who think that Shirley Sherrod should sue.

    You are forgetting one thing, that is that a proportion of the people on any jury would be white anti-Negro racists who watch Fox news.

    My advice as someone pretty ignorant of the law would be don’t sue but keep talking and writing about Breitbart’s scams, don’t let them be forgotten.

  205. @Tony C.

    Rummaging in my brain for memories from 1967, from my 1st year university biology course, I retrieved the terms “genotype” and “phenotype”.

    Genotype refers to the coding in the genes, phenotype to the actual life form that is produced by the combined effects of genes and the environment.

  206. @Carlyle: Of course those four things affect an individual. Even if you don’t think they are complete, I assume you think the four you named are the most important. Every one of them can be cleared in one or two years, and none of them need affect children conceived tomorrow.

    Please read that again: Children conceived TOMORROW.

    They have no phenotype! No body! So,

    1) Bad Nutrition? No child conceived tomorrow (or mother impregnated tomorrow) need ever suffer malnutrition. To the extent that they DO in America, it is because we fail to provide for them.

    2) Chronic disease due to lack of medical treatment? No child conceived tomorrow need suffer for lack of medical treatment, as a fetus or after being born. Mothers impregnated tomorrow may already be suffering from chronic problems, but if they are caused by a lack of medical treatment they are NOT HERITABLE. They are also treatable, so said mothers continue to suffer because we choose to let them suffer rather than treat their disease.

    3) Chronic Stress? Does not have to be a problem for the child born tomorrow, or the mother impregnated tomorrow. The typical culprits in chronic stress can be solved in a few years; namely medical care, a safe environment, food, education and a job. Although it is true that mothers under stress give birth to infants with lower life expectancies and weakened immune systems at birth (and perhaps for life), the stresses in question can be relieved quickly. (The study I read looked at children born to mothers that conceived in war zones and were there for all or most of their pregnancy; i.e. the stress was being pregnant and in physical danger. I cannot remember if it applies to the stress of poverty, joblessness, or untreated illness, although it probably applies to the stress of living in a crime-infested neighborhood.)

    4) Actual toxins in the environment due to proximity to polluting industries? There is no reason on EARTH we should be letting industries pollute with actual toxins. Of course we do, but there is no reason on earth we should let them pollute the environment of the poor MORE than the environment of the middle class or the environment of the rich. That is pure sociopathic exploitation of the poor, and if we wanted to, we could stop THAT too, within six years (a full election cycle). We just don’t want to.

    Your “eighty years” is unsupportable, you provide no evidence for the claim.

    To be clear, this is purely a theoretical exercise. If we are talking about when we might *actually* solve the problems, the answer in my book is NEVER. We won’t do it. The country will collapse before we do, we will have a revolution, or let industry kill us all before we solve the problems of poverty. We are just too short-sighted, and frankly just too stupid, emotionally driven, greedy and uncaring about the grave consequences of our actions if we don’t think we will have to pay for them. If somebody can make one dollar by costing society at large a hundred, you will have a long, long line of Americans ready and willing to do that.

    We have poverty, wasted lives, underemployment, sickness, early deaths and all of that because of people willing to fuck over others to make a buck for themselves. Willing to move jobs overseas to make a buck. Willing to destroy the entire gulf fishing industry to make a buck. Willing to deny the unemployed $300 bucks a month to save a buck. Willing to fight wars to make oil cheaper. Willing to let coal miners and oil rig workers die to make an extra half of a percent on the quarterly report.

    Poverty in the USA could be wiped out in the time it takes a child born tomorrow to graduate college; about 22 years. Nevertheless, poverty will NOT be relieved in our lifetime, or our children’s, or their great grandchildren’s lifetime. It will probably never be relieved, and that is because we are too stupid. We Americans are metaphorically standing in the path of an oncoming train, blowing its whistle, and arguing with each other over insane shit, like whether tax cuts should count as adding to the deficit, or whether a sociopathic health insurance industry should be regulated and if that counts as socialism.

    So the train is coming and it going to hit us, and kill us. We can’t get Americans off the god damned track, and the closer it gets the louder they shout at each other to be heard over the noise.

    I honestly don’t see how this path is sustainable for much longer. The sociopaths will come after social security, and Medicare and Medicaid, and drive the American populace into modern serfdom. We will all be treated like the “free market” treats overseas employees, soon enough. When the rich sociopaths have a free hand, and in our government they do, they exploit the living shit out of their employees, literally to the point of killing them or the employees killing themselves out of despair.

    I think that is where we are headed. Enjoy your freedom and comfort while it lasts, because it won’t last long.

  207. Tony,

    You said, “When the rich sociopaths have a free hand, and in our government they do, they exploit the living shit out of their employees, literally to the point of killing them or the employees killing themselves out of despair.”

    This leaves out a third option and the inevitable result of fascist repression.

    The repressed won’t eat cake but rather they’ll eat the rich.

  208. I guess it says something about the hot button of racial issues in the country that this event should generate so many posts.

    I have to say I agree with Prof. Turley and am also uncomfortable with a government employee expressing racists sentiments in late 1989 (when Chapter 12 [Farmer bankruptcy] was put into effect). This isn’t Robert Byrd in a Klan suit in the 1940’s.

    I also agree with Prof. Turley that when you listen to the tape there definitely murmurs of approval from the crowd when she relates this story of being talked down to by and white guy and getting revenge. I was practicing bankruptcy law at the time and would have been outraged if I felt that a govermental employee was failing to provide help to a white person and wanted to send him to “his own kind” for help.

    I am glad she finally saw that this was the wrong approach. She shouldn’t have been fired, that was a big WH mistake. I am sure Vilsack wouldn’t have fired her without WH approval. The WH is terrified of Faux News and that’s bad.

  209. @Tony C.

    “Of course those four things affect an individual. Even if you don’t think they are complete, I assume you think the four you named are the most important.”

    The four things that I mentioned are the four that I can think of off hand with out unduly straining my brain, it does not mean I think that they are the most important although I suspect that they are pretty important. I don’t rule out that something which I have not included in the list because I have not thought of it being more important than the ones that I have included.

    “Bad Nutrition? No child conceived tomorrow (or mother impregnated tomorrow) need ever suffer malnutrition.”

    Does malnutrition of a mother during her childhood affect her phenotype when she is adult? I suspect that it does.

    Does her damaged phenotype when adult affect the phenotype of a child she carries even if she is properly nourished during pregnancy? I don’t know but I would not bet that it doesn’t.

    If the child is a girl, will any damage done to her phenotype by her mothers malnutrition during childhood have no damaging on a child she bears even though she is properly nourished during her entire life up to and including her pregnancy.

    I would suspect that at least 3 generations would be needed to purge the damaging effects of malnutrition on the translation of genotype to phenotype. The same may be true for other negative environmental factors I mentioned.

    “Your “eighty years” is unsupportable, you provide no evidence for the claim.

    My eighty years is my estimate of 3 generations. I cant prove this is a good estimate. As you say there is no chance that the experiment to find out whether your prediction or mine is closer to the truth is never going to happen because enlightened self interest sufficient for a democracy to spend enough money on an underclass that the respectable people despise in a way that would benefit them does not exist. It is not that we do not spend money on the underclass, we do but it goes on things like police and prisons and making them properly miserable.

    The rest of the gloomy predictions in your post I completely agree with. In the USA, the UK and to a lesser extent so far in Australia, too many people have been brainwashed into believing an ideology that tilts the terms of trade between the rich and the rest decisively in favour of the former. The oligarchs need the underclass to terrify the rest of the non-rich into supporting advancing fascism.

  210. Timeline of Breitbart’s Sherrod smear

    Media Matters has documented a timeline of Andrew Breitbart’s smear of Shirley Sherrod, from Breitbart’s initial posting of his deceptively edited clip of Sherrod — which was amplified by Fox News and other right-wing media — through the release of the full video of Sherrod’s comments, which made clear the context of her remarks.

    http://mediamatters.org/research/201007220004

    It appears that she may have a case against this asswipe…

  211. AY–

    You’re a day late with this news. Check out my comment at 9:24am yesterday. That said, this is a long thread and some folks might have missed it. I’ve referred to Breitbart as a scumbag at the Turley blawg. I like your pejorative better!

  212. You wrote”She uses the racially loaded story to explain that “That’s when it was revealed to me that it’s about poor versus those who have.””

    The discussion should be about media liability. They re-edited Breitbart’s tapes and dropped 56 very important seconds. O’Reilly admitted that he had not listened to the entire tape before he aired the reedited tape on Monday. He changed his views after he did.

    The statement that you quoted was in Breitbart’s video. I saw the video Monday morning and immediately identified it as a tale of redemption. They are commonly told by members of the congregation in Southern churches. The complete tape elaborates the story, but does not change the gist of it. If you start the tape at 1:44, you will see it:

    http://biggovernment.com/abreitbart/2010/07/19/video-proof-the-naacp-awards-racism2010/

    He has added a correction at the top and a blurb on the video to correct the date. Otherwise, the site is the same as I remember from Monday.

    O’Reilly said he was misled by Breitbart’s calling her a racist in his introduction. However, that seems to be due to his poor wording. He said, “Sherrod’s racist tale is received by the NAACP audience with nodding approval and murmurs of recognition and agreement.” I first read it to mean that the whole clip was racist and could not reconcile it with what I had viewed. However, in the context, he clearly referring to the racist portion. In the previous paragraph, he said, “Eventually, her basic humanity informs that this white man is poor and needs help.”

  213. And the Neocon trolls circle their wagons around Brietbigot.

    Almost as if on cue . . .

    Like someone was pulling their strings . . .

  214. Isabel:

    She was not IN the government when the incident she was talking about occurred, she was working for a non-profit agency that was formed to assist BLACK FARMERS, and she was approached by a white farmer looking for her help. At first she referred him to a white lawyer, but when the white lawyer was telling the white farmers to give up, she actually DID step in and help them save their farm. She says that it was THEN she realized it was about poor versus rich, not black versus white.

  215. Isabel,

    I wonder how you would have felt if you were a young black woman whose father was killed by a white farmer who was never prosecuted for his crime. Do you think racism in the US was a thing of the past in the 1980s and 1990s? It’s still with us today. I believe it was the election of Obama that brought the racism simmering under under the surface out into the open. Breitbart and Limbaugh and their ilk understand this and are doing the best to stoke the fire of racism and resentment in the 21st century. Gotta find a scapegoat when things are going bad, don’t we? Gee, has anything like that ever happen before in history?????

  216. Correction: Breitbart and Limbaugh and their ilk understand this and are doing THEIR best to stoke the fire of racism and resentment in the 21st century.

  217. “Gotta find a scapegoat when things are going bad, don’t we? Gee, has anything like that ever happen before in history?????”

    Yes, but to really get the flavor of it, one needs to be able to read and/or speak German.

  218. Curiouser and curiouser.

    I got some interesting “spam” to my e-mail blind today from somebody trying to impersonate Google employees. It’s from address pwwadxcv@gmail.com. Let’s see if you all can guess what’s wrong with this picture:

    “There is an on going email congestion due to anonymous registration of our service so we are shutting down some accounts and your account will be automatically deleted. Still interested to use our services, please filling the space below for verification purpose.Your email address needs verification for user safety.

    Full name: …………………….

    Password: ……………………..

    Date Of Birth:………………..

    Country:…………………………..

    Your account will not be interrupted after following the instructions and your service will continue as normal.We apologize for any inconveniences

    Thank you for using Gmail.”

    My response was to the point:

    “Oh, I’m still interested in the service alright.

    What I’m not interested in is providing my personal information and access data for this account to some anonymous douche bag pretending to represent Google.

    You see, I know quite a bit about computers – much more than you apparently – and this doesn’t pass the smell test in the slightest. Google would handle congestion issues much differently from a technical standpoint.

    You smell like a hacker, so fuck you.”

    Gee, I wonder who’d try to do something ham-handed like that? And why?

    Any speculation regulars?

  219. @Buddha: This actually looks like a study, to me. Notice the one sentence of very bad English grammar (“Still interested to use our services,”) plus “please filling the space below for verification purpose.”)

    But the other sentences use a more fluent grammar than that shown in the above sentence. That makes me think the above sentence is purposely crafted to have bad grammar or sound like it is spoken by a foreigner. And if that is done ON PURPOSE, then the sender isn’t striving to actually GET your information, they just want to see if you respond!

    That sounds like a study; some sociology student or psychology student trying to see how many people will fall for a message that is obviously not sent by a professional firm.

    You may have been counted as one of the gullible; or maybe not. It depends on whether they just counted responses, or had a computer program read the messages. For ethical reasons the researcher could not personally read the responses (or test if they were real); but they COULD both count the responses, and have a computer program check to see if the elements were actually filled in, before deleting the responses.

    Or, I suppose it could be truly incompetent criminals.

  220. A related lawsuit was just filed in San Diego where Breitbart employee James O’Keefe is being sued for exactly the same type of misleading editing.

    Former ACORN employee Juan Carlos Vera is suing O’Keefe and unnamed “John Does” who helped O’Keefe publicize the narrative that Vera wanted to help commit crimes. The San Diego videos showed Vera in a false context as well, claiming he was helping O’Keefe’s pimp character when it is not proven – Vera says he was playing along to humor O’Keefe.

    But O’Keefe never mentioned Vera called the police. FOX and Hannity ran with the story, again without checking it, without contacting the subject for a statement and without independent corroboration.

    This lack of basic journalistic due diligence should become the lesson of the Sherrod scandal. With FOX, Hannity and Breitbart, we have activist broadcasters with a bitterly partisan point of view. While they should continue to enjoy their free speech, they must be shamed into including all relevant facts in these reports.

    Hannity has been caught editing crowd scenes so he also has established a pattern of deception and never replies to articles that fact-check his fraudulent claims. Recently convicted on federal charges, O’Keefe has another ACORN worker suing him in Philadelphia as well.

    But Breitbart is the conduit for O’Keefe’s reporting, encouraging illegal activities in the pursuit of partisan narratives.

  221. BiL; here is my ‘spambucket’:

    If you get spam email that you think is deceptive, forward it to spam@uce.gov.

    The FTC uses the spam stored in this database to pursue law enforcement actions against people who send deceptive email.

  222. On web and cable, speed and competition trump accuracy and objectivity
    Published: Sunday, July 25, 2010, 6:25 AM
    John Farmer

    AP Photo/NAACPIn this image from video provided by the NAACP, Shirley Sherrod is shown speaking in March, 2010, at a local NAACP banquet in Georgia. A conservative website posted video of Sherrod’s remarks, causing a furor which led to her condemnation by the NAACP and her ouster by Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack before both reversed themselves.
    Back when American political journalism was in full flower (without the weed of cable television) newcomers to the trade were lectured sternly about the need to treat every story, every nugget of information, with an informed skepticism.

    In its most picaresque form it was expressed thusly: “If your mother tells you she loves you, check it out.”

    A lot of the best that characterized the old journalism has been lost in this brave new electronic world, including the admonition to be wary even of mom, and to verify everything. Just more nostalgia, you say? Not really.

    The latest evidence of this slippage in standards is the mistreatment of Shirley Sherrod, a rural development director for the Agriculture Department in Georgia. An African-American, Sherrod was the victim of a politically edited tape recording that made her appear biased against a white farmer whom she supposedly denied help.

    Just about every individual or institution involved did her wrong — Andrew Breitbart, the conservative blogger who put the tampered tape into circulation; the NAACP, which denounced her before backtracking, and the Obama administration, which fired her before trying to rehire her. But the bulk of the blame belongs to the media — specifically cable television led by Fox, infamous for faux and biased news.

    Our friends at Fox swallowed Breitbart’s concoction hook, line and misrepresentation, flogging it almost hourly. There appears to have been no serious effort to check the tape or Breitbart’s motivation. Other cable and internet outlets compounded the damage by simply repeating the tale before taking the time to examine it.

    Once CNN and other news organizations did begin to look closer, they discovered that Sherrod had actually intervened to help the white farmer, Roger Spooner, as Spooner and his wife rushed to attest. And once the full tape of Sherrod’s remarks came out, it became clear they had been taken completely out of context.

    Why is this sordid story such a big deal? Because it illustrates the extent to which cable TV news threatens to erode the credibility of all political journalism since it’s now a dominant force in political reportage.

    The imperatives that drive cable television — speed and the struggle for revenue in a highly competitive news environment — have pushed accuracy and objectivity off stage for the most part.

    That same kind of cut-throat competition once existed in print journalism. But it perished for the most part with the demise of the afternoon papers, where speed in meeting recurring P.M. deadlines sometimes compromised accuracy. Today there’s less real competition in the print field and thus less need for speed.

    Most newspapers, especially local papers, enjoy a near monopoly and can take some time to evaluate breaking news and submit stories to the judgment of more than one editor. TV, with its all-news, all-the-time format has too little time for such scrutiny. That’s especially true of cable TV, but has also hurt broadcast television; the rush to judgment with a bogus story about George W. Bush’s military service cost even the iconic Dan Rather his job.

    TV’s other great drawback in covering politics and public policy is its inability to clearly separate news from opinion. The two get blurred. A newspaper can designate the editorial pages that stake out its stand on issues and the Op-Ed pages that provide a sampling of opinion on a range of issues. TV, especially cable, hasn’t figured out how to do that yet.

    All this, dear reader, may seem like a lot of inside journalistic baseball — and it is. But it’s especially important today, as issues become more complex and contentious, that the public understands how the rendering of news has changed and the difference between the print and electronic media. It’s best to view them both, but especially cable TV and the blogosphere as well, the way we were advised to all those years ago to treat what mother said.

    “Check it out.”

  223. BIL:

    Thought that you would like to know,that over the week-end NPR gave a nice tribute to the late Daniel Schorr.

  224. Elaine M wrote:
    “I wonder how you would have felt if you were a young black woman whose father was killed by a white farmer who was never prosecuted for his crime.”

    It is an alleged murder. We have not heard the other side.

  225. TraderB–

    Don’t tell me you think I’m trying to pull a Breitbart????? In all the news articles I’ve read and news reports I’ve listened to no one has suggested it was an “alleged ” murder.

    What is “the other side?” If you have information to prove that Sherrod’s father was not killed by a white farmer, I’ll listen.

    *********

    Despite adversity, Shirley Sherrod has history of civil service
    By Krissah Thompson
    Washington Post Staff Writer
    Thursday, July 22, 2010
    http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2010/07/21/AR2010072106437.html

    Excerpt: Shirley Sherrod is a woman who has been failed by the system again and again.

    She was a 17-year-old high school senior when a white man shot her father, Hosie Miller, in the back. A grand jury refused to bring murder charges.

    ***

    From The Nation
    In Shirley Sherrod Case, White House Falls for Another Right-Wing ‘Scandal’
    Greg Mitchell
    July 20, 2010
    http://www.thenation.com/blog/37762/shirley-sherrod-case-media-and-white-house-fall-another-false-right-wing-scandal

    Excerpt: CNN also revealed that Sherrod’s father was killed by a “white farmer” who was never prosecuted. An attorney from Alabama who has long known Sherrod referred to the killer as “KKK” but Sherrod did not make that claim.

  226. TraitorB,

    Alleged murder?

    You mean like Neocon Andrew Breitbart is allegedly human?

    Albeit a poor example of a man regardless.

  227. Buddha,

    “allegedly human”–Good one!

    Now that this Neocon-man has gotten blowback from the Sherrod incident maybe we should refer to him as Andrew Not-So-Brightbart.

  228. Elaine,

    I like the suggestion.

    W=c,

    Thanks for the info. I’ll be forwarding the offending e-mail to the Feds.

  229. Elaine M,

    None of writers know any more than you or I. The only information we have is his death certificate. Despite allegations that he was shot in the back, it states that the bullet penetrated his chest, abdomen and liver. It states that he lived in Mitchell County, not Baker County, as she stated. He died in Dougherty County.

    His murder is not on the list sent to the FBI by the Southern Poverty Law Center. They sent in the black murders needing further investigation.

  230. Elaine M. wrote

    “Don’t tell me you think I’m trying to pull a Breitbart????? In all the news articles I’ve read and news reports I’ve listened to no one has suggested it was an “alleged ” murder.”

    Those are the same people who called Sherrod a racist, until they got the other side from Glenn Beck.

    You are also doing the same thing to Breitbart. His video contains the phrase Professor Turley cited at changing the whole meaning of her comments. Listen to it and tell me whether you hear her saying, “That’s when it was revealed to me that it’s about poor versus those who have.” It is at at 1:44.

    http://biggovernment.com/abreitbart/2010/07/19/video-proof-the-naacp-awards-racism2010/#idc-cover

  231. TraitorB,

    “Despite allegations that he was shot in the back, it states that the bullet penetrated his chest, abdomen and liver.”

    Seems that’s just another lie by implication from you Neocon trolls. Sherrod tells the story herself which not only confirms murder, but your ‘lil fact. Also, a Grand Jury convenes in the situs of the crime, not the residence of the victim, as the situs is the proper venue for prosecution. Now come on and tell us she doesn’t know any better than you, Andy’s Handpuppet.

  232. Everything that comes from a Breitbart site is a distortion when not an outright lie.

    Go peddle your propaganda swill to the Tea Baggers. They aren’t so big on facts as long as it promotes racist bullshit.

    We’re a fact based lot in these parts, TraitorB

    And as such, you’ll achieve nothing in this forum but make your boss look like more of liar than he already does.

    Which is fine. Keep it coming, Neocon nitwits.

    It further erodes his efficacy when you come here and get debunked and un-spun. And I think I speak for all the regular posters here in saying we’d love noting more than Breitbart and his minions to have just about as much credibility as the KKK.

  233. TraderB–

    There’s facts–and there’s facts. Of course, some of us may look at the facts and news reports differently.

    From Philly.com
    Hosie Miller: Shirley Sherrod’s dad, and a casualty in a forgotten war
    July 21, 2010
    http://www.philly.com/philly/blogs/attytood/Hosie_Miller_Shirley_Sherrods_dad_and_a_casualty_in_a_forgotten_war.html

    Excerpt:
    A grand jury investigated the case, and no one was charged. All of the grand jurors were white, as was typically the case before the passage of the landmark civil rights legislation of the mid-1960s. From that incident, a movement was born. Indeed, according to this article, Shirley Sherrod’s mother — Grace Hall Miller — became the leader of the civil rights movement in Baker County after the killing, organizing marches and other protests from her home. The then 17-year-old Shirley Miller decided to stay in the South and become an activist; she soon married one of the leaders of the Student Non-Violent Coordinating Committee, or SNCC, a man by the name of Charles Sherrod. Shirley Sherrod told CNN that “”I decided to stay in the South and work for change.”

    How unusual was it for a black man to be killed by a white man in the Deep South up through the mid-1960s with no one brought to justice. Way too common. We hear a lot about one particular killing in Mississippi — the 1964 murder of a trio of civil rights activists that included two white college kids from up North — but in reality dozens of black men were killed for taking a stand, for trying to vote or just on a whim. If you want to read something sobering, check out this letter from 2007 from the Southern Poverty Law Center, asking the FBI to investigate some 74 additional unsolved deaths from the era.

    For example:
    Banks, Isadore – Marion, Ark., 1954
    Banks’ charred corpse was found chained to a tree. Black press reports speculated he was killed by whites who wanted his land. His property was later rented by white farmers.

    Bolden, Larry – Chattanooga, Tenn., 1958
    Bolden, 15, was shot by a white policeman. No arrests were made.

    Brazier, James – Dawson, Ga., 1958
    Brazier was beaten to death in front of his wife and children by two police officers. County Sheriff Z.T. Matthews was later quoted in the Washington Post saying, “There’s nothing like fear to keep niggers in line.”

    Brewer, Thomas – Columbus, Ga., 1956
    Brewer was instrumental in forming a local chapter of the NAACP in 1937. He was shot seven times outside his office by white politician Lucio Flowers. A grand jury failed to indict.

    Brooks, Hilliard – Montgomery, Ala., 1952
    Brooks was shot by a police officer after initially refusing to get off a city bus when the driver claimed he had not paid his fare. A coroner said the murder was justified because Brooks resisted arrest.

    Brown, Charles – Yazoo City, Miss., 1957
    A white man shot Brown, who was visiting the white man’s sister. The Justice Department handed the case over to the state.
    Brown, Jessie – Winona, Miss., 1965
    The 1965 NAACP annual report claimed white farmer R.M. Gibson killed Brown.

    Brumfield, Carrie – Franklinton, La., 1967
    Brumfield was found shot to death in his car on a rural road. He was shot once in the chest with a .22-caliber revolver.
    Brumfield, Eli – McComb, Miss., 1961
    Police officer B.F. Elmore alleged self-defense after shooting Brumfield. Police claimed Brumfield jumped from his car with a pocket knife after police pulled him over for speeding.

    Now that’s just the letter, “B”, OK? There’s 65 more. And you’ll notice that Hosie Miller — gunned down by a white man in a dispute over cows — isn’t even on the list. You have to wonder how many more Hosie Millers there was in a place like Georgia.

    Here’s a link to the letter referenced in the Philly.com article
    http://www.onthemedia.org/files/FBIletter_re_forgotten.pdf

  234. “Andrew Breitbart has a job to do and he does it well. Breitbart’s job is to lie and distort the truth in order to advance a right-wing agenda, embarrass liberals, and undermine the Obama administration.

    Breitbart is not a journalist, researcher, or pundit. He is a propagandist. He operates several websites (BigGovernment, BigJournalism, and BigHollywood), where he and other right-wing bloggers spew their political pornography. The articles that appear on these websites are contemporary versions of what historian Richard Hofstadter called, in a famous 1964 essay, the “paranoid style” of American politics practiced by extreme conservatives.

    Breitbart is part of the “paranoid style” conservative echo chamber that includes Rush Limbaugh, Glenn Beck, Sean Hannity, Bill O’Reilly, Mark Levin, and thousands of lesser-known activists who use a combination of talk radio, Fox News, dozens of conservative publications, and the new media (emails, blogs, youtube, facebook) to mobilize support for their right-wing crusade. Breitbart was a featured speaker at the Tea Party conference in Nashville in February and is a frequent guest on Fox News and right-wing TV and radio talk shows. His websites are propaganda vehicles for building a political movement. Unlike Fox News, he doesn’t even pretend to be “fair and balanced.” What much of America learned this week is that Andrew Breitbart is unfair and unbalanced.”

    Read the rest at Why Does Anyone Take Andrew Breitbart Seriously?

  235. Elaine,

    I had already read the blog at philly.com and responded to it. That is where I saw the allegation that he was shot in the back. I do not remember hearing Sherrod say it. One of the media people added the “fact” that the farmer was in the KKK. She said that she did not know, but suspected it.

  236. Herr Goebbels, your credibility is calling on line one.

    It wanted you to know it has run away from home along with your effectiveness and they won’t be returning.

  237. TraderB–

    An excerpt from the letter the Southern Poverty Law Center sent to the FBI:

    “While researching the deaths, we found dozens of additional victims of racial violence who could not be included
    on the Memorial because there simply was not enough known about the circumstances of their deaths. We suspect
    that some were killed by white supremacists to intimidate the black community or to thwart the Movement.”

    So answer this for me: The name of Hosie Miller is not included on the list the SPLC sent to the FBI. Is that proof that he wasn’t killed by a white farmer?

    ********

    Buddha,

    I can’t respond in the affirmative until I know what WWE stands for.

    You know, I’m having a hard time typing this comment because I’m laughing so hard thinking that one should go to Glenn Beck to get the “other side.”

    **********

    P.S. to TraderB: Please don’t send me to Not-So-Brightbart’s site. He’s a partisan hack and hate merchant. I’m not “into” reading right-wing propaganda.

  238. “One of the media people added the “fact” that the farmer was in the KKK. She said that she did not know, but suspected it.”

    You mean like you Breitbart clowns added the “fact” Ms Sherrod “is a racist”?

  239. Elaine,

    The World Wrestling Entertainment, Inc. is a “wrestling federation”.

    They are to actual Greco-Roman wrestling what Breitbart’s sites are to actual journalism – they aren’t really wrestlers they just play them on TV, except played for fun instead of Neocon propaganda.

  240. Buddha Is Laughing wrote:

    <>

    I watched the CNN clip and it confirms the fact that he was shot in the chest, so it looks like the “Neocon trolls” were right. The allegation that he was shot in the back was published on philly.com by a left-wing blogger.

    She was in school when the shooting took place, so how could her statement confirm that it was murder?

    It always pays to check the facts.

  241. It’s called second hand reports contemporaneous to the events, Troll Baby. Hearsay in court perhaps, but this isn’t proper court, jackwad. However, her statements are evidence to conversations she had with actual eyewitnesses. Evidence admissible in court proper. Evidence is a culmination of facts. Add her second hand knowledge from first hand sources to the evidence Elaine brought up and those facts smack your bullshit down.

    You are way out gunned here, Propagandist.

  242. Trader B,

    Why do you seem to think that being ‘shot in the chest’ precludes having been ‘shot in the back’? Dictionary.com says:

    chest   [chest] –noun
    1. Anatomy . the trunk of the body from the neck to the abdomen; thorax.

    One can be shot in the chest from the back, the front, or the side. Over-parsing people’s words seems to be a frequently used tactic used by people who don’t have the facts on their side.

  243. Damn it!

    There goes Slarti with that pesky logic again, TrollB.

    Yeah.

    You are definitely out of your depth in this forum.

  244. Buddha,

    Its not logic, it’s just knowing the definitions. You can’t make any sort of a valid argument if you don’t know the freaking definitions! (Sorry, my inner math geek escaped for a moment there… There is no cause for concern – I hit it with a sudoko puzzle and a quick hand of poker and it’s back under control.)

  245. Slartibartfast wrote:
    “One can be shot in the chest from the back, the front, or the side. Over-parsing people’s words seems to be a frequently used tactic used by people who don’t have the facts on their side.”

    I considered that. However, the death certificate did not mention the back. The organs are normally listed in the order of penetration. Besides, she confirmed that it was the chest. The media got it wrong. I Googled “Shirley Sherrod” “shot in the back” and got over 2000 hits. Some are random, but most were from this case.

    She said that he was walking to his truck and turned around to say something. The farmer could legitimately have thought he had pulled a weapon. It would not make any sense for him to shot him at that moment, if he had intended to murder him.

  246. Again, Troll . . . we aren’t the media here. We are We the People.

    We’re much much worse for a propagandist such as yourself than a simple media outlet.

    We’re not constrained by who pays our check in finding the facts, applying logic, or calling “Bullshit!” on propaganda.

    Unlike you.

    Come on. Squirm some more. It goes great with coffee.

  247. We are kind of curious though.

    Can you taste Andy’s fingers working your mouth when you go to brush your teeth?

  248. Slartibartfast
    One can be shot in the chest from the back, the front, or the side. Over-parsing people’s words seems to be a frequently used tactic used by people who don’t have the facts on their side.

    Sometimes expressions have meanings beyond the individual words. To be shot in the back implies that the victim’s back was facing the shooter.

  249. To BuddhaIsLaughing:

    “When the facts are on your side, argue the facts. When the law is on your side, argue the law. And when you don’t have either the law or the facts on your side, pound the table.–Old Lawyers’ Adage”

    You are pounding the table.

  250. Trader B said:

    “Sometimes expressions have meanings beyond the individual words. To be shot in the back implies that the victim’s back was facing the shooter.”

    Since you seem to have missed the obvious point – to be shot in the chest implies no particular orientation whatsoever.

  251. Elaine M wrote:
    “P.S. to TraderB: Please don’t send me to Not-So-Brightbart’s site. He’s a partisan hack and hate merchant. I’m not “into” reading right-wing propaganda.”

    You do not have to read his site. Just start the video at 1:44. However, it is clear that you do not want any facts that conflict with your opinions.

  252. Tables are not trolls.

    What I am doing is pounding on the troll.

    And while we are talking definitions, let’s look at the words propaganda and liar.

    propaganda\ˌprä-pə-ˈgan-də, ˌprō-\, n.,

    1 capitalized : a congregation of the Roman curia having jurisdiction over missionary territories and related institutions
    2 : the spreading of ideas, information, or rumor for the purpose of helping or injuring an institution, a cause, or a person
    3 : ideas, facts, or allegations spread deliberately to further one’s cause or to damage an opposing cause; also : a public action having such an effect

    liar \ˈlī(-ə)r\, n.,

    : a person who tells lies

    When examined in the context of the word rumor

    rumor\ˈrü-mər\, n.,

    1 : talk or opinion widely disseminated with no discernible source
    2 : a statement or report current without known authority for its truth

    That makes propagandists liars. Liars with an agenda, but liars none the less.

  253. Lies of omission include lies of omission of context.

    The Breitbart edition of facts omits context and ergo is a lie of omission.

  254. And if his problem is with “the media attacking the Tea Party”, why is he attacking the NAACP via Sherrod? Hmmm? Why not take up the media’s treatment of the Tea Baggers with the media and not drag in a third party and an organization dedicated to ending racism?

    Unless his agenda and that of the Tea Baggers is indeed racist?

    Hmmm?

  255. Buddha,

    I applaud your attempt to educate. (I had never heard of the proper noun definition of Propaganda, so I learned something ;-)) However, you said:

    “The Breitbart edition of the facts…”

    You need some sort of qualifier in there – there is only one version of the facts although there may be disagreement about what the facts are. (Yeah, I’m being nit-picky today – deep into editing mode, sorry.)

  256. Slarti,

    I would think that a propagandist claiming to know the facts, i.e. the Breitbart edition, would clearly be lies in light of the above definitions and their relationship, but I submit the correction of “the Breitbart distorted edition of the facts” to differentiate from the actual facts.

  257. TraderB–

    Elaine M wrote:
    “P.S. to TraderB: Please don’t send me to Not-So-Brightbart’s site. He’s a partisan hack and hate merchant. I’m not “into” reading right-wing propaganda.”

    You do not have to read his site. Just start the video at 1:44. However, it is clear that you do not want any facts that conflict with your opinions.

    **********
    Why don’t you just suggest that we watch the entire video–as some of us have already done–and not just tell us to look at a specific clip?

    I’m so glad you have come to a determination that I don’t want any facts that conflict with my opinion. Provide me with proof of the points that you have made that come from a RELIABLE source, why don’t you???

    Another thing…you didn’t answer a question I asked you in one of my previous comments. I’ll repost it for you…in context:

    An excerpt from the letter the Southern Poverty Law Center sent to the FBI:

    “While researching the deaths, we found dozens of additional victims of racial violence who could not be included
    on the Memorial because there simply was not enough known about the circumstances of their deaths. We suspect
    that some were killed by white supremacists to intimidate the black community or to thwart the Movement.”

    So answer this for me: The name of Hosie Miller was not included on the list the SPLC sent to the FBI. Is that proof that he wasn’t murdered by a white farmer?

    *****

    BTW, you were the one who originally brought up the list that the SPLC sent to the FBI in an earlier comment. You wrote:
    “His murder is not on the list sent to the FBI by the Southern Poverty Law Center. They sent in the black murders needing further investigation.”

    Did the SPLC send in a list of ALL blacks they believed were victims of racially motivated murders???

    Here’s the excerpt from the letter the Southern Poverty Law Center sent to the FBI that I posted previously:

    “While researching the deaths, we found dozens of additional victims of racial violence who could not be included
    on the Memorial because there simply was not enough known about the circumstances of their deaths. We suspect
    that some were killed by white supremacists to intimidate the black community or to thwart the Movement.”

  258. Elaine wrote:
    “So answer this for me: The name of Hosie Miller is not included on the list the SPLC sent to the FBI. Is that proof that he wasn’t killed by a white farmer?”

    No. However, after hearing her story, I do not think it was racially motivated.

    Her story makes me think he was killed accidentally. Sherrod said that the event occurred on the farmer’s property. After walking away, her father turned around upon reaching his truck. The farmer may have thought he was going to shoot him and fired in self defense. Otherwise, the timing makes no sense.

  259. Thinking isn’t your strong suit, is it?

    Mischaracterization is a key to propaganda.

    It’s just as likely, Mr. Psychic Mind Reading Troll, that the farmer waited until Miller turned to face him as to remove shooting him in the back as direct evidence of murder beyond a reasonable doubt, laying the ground for his dubious “self-defense” claim.

    The only accident here is you’ve come to the wrong place to try to defend your demonstrably racist lying propagandist master, TrollB.

  260. Elaine,

    I copied this from Turley’s blog:

    “Putting aside this issue, the editing was clearly intended to make the story worse than it was. She uses the racially loaded story to explain that “That’s when it was revealed to me that it’s about poor versus those who have.” That is a very different story where she was trying to explain how she learned to overcome racial sentiments.”

    Do you agree that this is a true copy?

    Do you agree with his last sentence?

  261. Gus Wynn wrote:
    “But O’Keefe never mentioned Vera called the police. FOX and Hannity ran with the story, again without checking it, without contacting the subject for a statement and without independent corroboration.”

    How would he know that Vera called police?

    The editing did not make any difference. There was not evidence on the tape to exonerate Vera.

  262. “You can scrub it and powder it and put some perfume on it but an asshole is still an asshole.” – Richard Pryor

  263. FYI:

    Who is ACORN?
    ACORN is the nation’s largest grassroots community organization of low- and moderate-income people with over 400,000 member families organized into more than 1,200 neighborhood chapters in about 75 cities across the country. Since 1970, ACORN has been building community organizations that are committed to social and economic justice, and won victories on thousands of issues of concern to our members, through direct action, negotiation, legislative advocacy and voter participation. ACORN helps those who have historically been locked out become powerful players in our democratic system.

    http://www.acorn.org/about

  264. Trader B said:

    “How would he know that Vera called police?”

    By asking him about the incident (you know, check out the other side of the story… What’s that called? Oh yeah, journalism.)

    “The editing did not make any difference. There was not evidence on the tape to exonerate Vera.”

    In light of the fact that he called the police immediately, the tape completely exonerates Vera.

  265. TraderB posted:

    Elaine,

    I copied this from Turley’s blog:

    “Putting aside this issue, the editing was clearly intended to make the story worse than it was. She uses the racially loaded story to explain that “That’s when it was revealed to me that it’s about poor versus those who have.” That is a very different story where she was trying to explain how she learned to overcome racial sentiments.”

    Do you agree that this is a true copy?

    Do you agree with his last sentence?

    It being revealed to her “that it’s about poor versus those who have.” is the epiphany that allowed her to overcome her racial sentiments. How dense are you?

  266. Slartibartfast
    “In light of the fact that he called the police immediately, the tape completely exonerates Vera”

    He called a policeman friend in Mexico, after they had left, to warn them about the plot. The friend then contacted local police.

  267. Byron,

    Ouch! Well played, sir! (Although would it have killed you to use metric units?) (That’s 1.08 g/cc, in case you were wondering…)

    TraderB,

    Interesting phrasing there: “…to warn [the Mexican police] about the plot.” So due to Mr. Vera the police were alerted after he had collected as much information about the plot as he could.

  268. TraderB–

    Sorry it’ s taken me so long to respond. I had to pick up my daughter at the airport.

    You wrote to me the following in an earlier comment:

    I copied this from Turley’s blog:

    “Putting aside this issue, the editing was clearly intended to make the story worse than it was. She uses the racially loaded story to explain that “That’s when it was revealed to me that it’s about poor versus those who have.” That is a very different story where she was trying to explain how she learned to overcome racial sentiments.”

    Do you agree that this is a true copy?

    Do you agree with his last sentence?

    *****
    His last sentence: That is a very different story where she was trying to explain how she learned to overcome racial sentiments.”

    I don’t think the meaning is clear–and I’m not sure what your point is. I do agree with what Slartibartfast wrote: It being revealed to her “that it’s about poor versus those who have.” is the epiphany that allowed her to overcome her racial sentiments.

  269. Buddha Is Laughing wrote at July 22, 2010 at 8:29 pm
    “Slarti,

    I try to use my powers for good. I don’t always succeed, but I do try.”

    You are documented by the American Psychiatric Association under teenage fantasies. Hopefully, your parents will intervene quickly.

    http://www.apa.org/

  270. Buddha Is Laughing wrote:
    1, July 25, 2010 at 11:40 am
    “Elaine,

    There may be a future for us as WWE tag team wrestling champions.’

    I suggest she review the statutory rape laws beforehand. There is a vast difference in your ages.

  271. Buddha Is Laughing 1, July 25, 2010 at 1:54 pm

    “You can scrub it and powder it and put some perfume on it but an asshole is still an asshole.” – Richard Pryor”

    Out of the mouth of babes.

  272. TraderB–

    You wrote the following:
    Buddha Is Laughing wrote:
    1, July 25, 2010 at 11:40 am
    “Elaine,

    There may be a future for us as WWE tag team wrestling champions.’

    I suggest she review the statutory rape laws beforehand. There is a vast difference in your ages.

    *****

    FYI: I assume I’m quite a bit older than Buddha.

  273. Awwww. I throw in the Pryor quote and look who barked! It’s Andy’s Pet Spider! Hooray!

    Did I strike a nerve there, sweet-um’s? Apparently so. But first up! Your “responses” . . . such as they were.

    1) Really? Your lack of a sense of humor is the best you got in your attempt to make me look crazy? That’s just . . . sad. You do know that a lack of a sense of humor is a symptom of both schizophrenia and paranoid personality disorder, right? Which would be about par for the hiring practices of an obvious narcissist and megalomaniac. See, I kid about being a superhero. It’s called a joke, son! You’re built too low to the ground! The fast ones go right over your head! Because I’m neither delusional nor a narcissistic megalomaniac. I just play one on TV.

    2) Age disparity made no difference to how bad we’ve been kicking your ass. Did it, Sock Puppet? That was a rhetorical question since you’re so slow on the uptake. As to the statutory rape aspect of your snark, I’d be more concerned about your age since you’ve been the victim in this episode, ‘lil Propagandist. But what can we say? You came in here dressed like a propaganda slut and we’ve clearly “had our [factual and comedic] way with you”. What did you expect dressed like that? (That’s also a joke – this label provided for your protection, the humor impaired.) FYI, both of us are above the age of consent in every jurisdiction. Not that you’d let a little thing like facts get in the way. You haven’t so far.

    3) Crude language is not an indicator of inaccuracy. The late Mr. Pryor’s quote was indeed most accurate in re propagandists like Breitbart. If you need more powder, check Andy’s desk.

    Seriously, by the quality of your trolling I’m just amazed Herr Propaganda pays you inept clowns to blog in his defense. Assuming by the low quality of work that Andy isn’t manning the keyboard himself. And that you’re smart enough to actually get paid for selling your soul no matter how small the material in question might be. He must be getting his henchmen from Regents or perhaps Liberty University to get such low quality workmanship. Then again, a race baiting toad like Breitbart isn’t going to exactly attract either the best or the brightest. Is he? (Also rhetorical.)

    You be sure to come back now any time you just want another verbal ass kicking! We’ll leave a sterilized boot on for ya!

  274. Blouise

    “TraderB,

    “Buddha scares you … it’s obvious from your posts”

    What scares me is that there are people on this board who actually think he knows something. Professor Turley seems to wasting his time.

  275. TraderB–

    Your responding to a comment Buddha made to me by bringing up statutory rape laws is really mature and speaks to the subject at hand.

    (Please note the intended sarcasm in my comment above.)

    What scares me is folks whose journalistic heroes are the likes of Glenn Beck and Andrew Not-So-Brightbart.

  276. Blouise wrote:

    “TraderB,
    Buddha scares you … it’s obvious from your posts”

    I looked at his old posts and think the opposite is true. To me, they appear to be from an adolescent posing as an adult. However, in responding to me, he clearly revealed that he is an adolescent, at least in behavior. I hope he is one in age, so that we can expect him to grow out of it.

  277. TraderB,

    The only thing slightly scary about Buddha is his green complexion. I suppose, given his knowledge of the Constitution, he does frighten those who are attempting to subvert that document in order to establish a Christian theocracy.

    I suspect that many televangelists and mega-church pastors look at the present day Mullahs and Ayatollahs protecting their respective states’ Islamic character through Islamist ideology and salivate. If only the Christian clergy lived in a Christian country run by a Christian priesthood wherein all answered to the Christian theocracy … then they too would have the power their Islamic brothers possess …. not power for themselves … heavens no … the power to save others … for Jesus of course.

    What stands in the way of that big Christian takeover of our Republic is the Constitution and the Declaration that preceded it. Those who understand and defend the Constitution frighten those who want to ignore it.

    That’s all I’m saying. ;)

  278. Elaine M,

    You never did answer my question of whether you agreed with Professor Turley’s statement.

  279. Elaine M.

    “TraderB–

    Your responding to a comment Buddha made to me by bringing up statutory rape laws is really mature and speaks to the subject at hand.

    (Please note the intended sarcasm in my comment above.)”

    You are right. I should not have brought you in.

  280. I wonder if calling out Buddha for his color makes me a racist … nah, some of my best friends are green.

  281. TraderB–

    I did respond at 6:30 pm yesterday. I wrote the following comment:

    His (Professor Turley’s) last sentence: That is a very different story where she was trying to explain how she learned to overcome racial sentiments.”

    I don’t think the meaning is clear–and I’m not sure what your point is. I do agree with what Slartibartfast wrote: It being revealed to her “that it’s about poor versus those who have.” is the epiphany that allowed her to overcome her racial sentiments.

    **********

    I’m not exactly sure what Professor Turley meant when he wrote that sentence. It isn’t explicit or clear to me–so I can’t agree or disagree with it. What do you think he meant to imply?

  282. You know, it’s really funny … having failed as Catholics in running Europe as a Christian theocracy, having failed as Protestants in running England as a Christian theocracy, why in the world would Christians think that a Christian theocracy in America would result in anything other than failure … maybe C Streeters could set me straight on why replacing our Republic form of government as established by the Constitution with the newest new order of Christianity would succeed.

  283. Elaine,

    It is pretty explicit. He is saying that the sentence quoted makes for a different story from the “racially loaded story” story that appeared on TV. Do you agree that the quoted sentence completely changed the story from the one first shown on TV?

    “Putting aside this issue, the editing was clearly intended to make the story worse than it was. She uses the racially loaded story to explain that “That’s when it was revealed to me that it’s about poor versus those who have.” That is a very different story where she was trying to explain how she learned to overcome racial sentiments.”

  284. I’m going to offer a different perspective on this situation that might be startling. It is from Bruce Dixon at blackagendareport.com. There is another piece on their site by Glenn Ford. Mr. Ford does feel the Tea Party Movement is racist but still criticizes Obama.

    “From the established civil rights organizations like the NAACP to legions of elected Democrats and preachers and even people like our good friends at Color of Change, the main activity these days is an endless circling of wagons around the president, defending him against the flood of racist bile that spews daily from the likes of Fox News, the Tea Partyers and naysaying Republicans. But is that really where so much of our energy and creativity should be going? Aren’t there other urgent matters more deserving of the attention of black America’s political leadership, our pastors and spokespeople and self-described activists? Matters like black mass incarceration, record unemployment, and the sinking of vast resources into multiple wars abroad?”

  285. Jill I am glad you are no longer promoting the Tea Party, and that you realized that was not the best means to turn people against President Obama. It creates the opposite effect as you seem to have realized.

  286. Blouise
    “You know, it’s really funny … having failed as Catholics in running Europe as a Christian theocracy, having failed as Protestants in running England as a Christian theocracy, why in the world would Christians think that a Christian theocracy in America would result in anything other than failure … maybe C Streeters could set me straight on why replacing our Republic form of government as established by the Constitution with the newest new order of Christianity would succeed”

    That is a straw-man argument, the refuge of scoundrels. No one has ever suggested a theocracy for America.

  287. I’ve said it before but I’ll say it again . . .

    The only one wasting their time here is the Propagandist and his minions (pictured above – actual size).

    If calling me adolescent is the best shot you’ve got, you are really out of your depth. You see I have a long established reputation in these parts: I speak truth to power and I’m both consistent and relentless in doing so. Don’t get the idea I think you’re powerful though because you and your boss are just tools in every sense of the word. Oh, and I’m funny too but that’s just the gravy. But you can keep trying to goad me in your amateurish manner TraitorB and I’ll be glad to keep making you look like what you exactly are: Neocon right wing theocratic racist propaganda promoting hacks. Nazis without the natty uniforms or the balls to go for the Final Solution option so instead you’ll try to kill the America Dream defined in the Declaration of Independence and the Constitution one cheap lie at a time. Your lot aren’t just liars and racists trying to keep the country divided so We the People won’t rise up and eat your corporatist masters.

    You’re cowards.

    And I’ll take being an adolescent truth teller to being a grown lying coward any day of the week.

    What am I?

    I’m a propagandists worst nightmare: someone who knows all your tricks and won’t “play ball”. I’m an anti-propagandist, age irrelevant. You’ve wandered into a den of troll killers and while I’m one of the meanest of the lot, I’m far from the only one. A bad choice on your part that will result in enormous entertainment on our part. Our usual trolls are simply your duped minor minions – the unfortunate consumer of your poison product. But if you want to step into this arena, you too can meet the same fate they do.

    You cannot hide from the light that We shine.

  288. TraitorB,

    You mistake that we’ll address the points of your divisionist plans in the order that you wish. You don’t control the conversation here.

    We do. You stepped into our playground. We define the games.

    Your dream of a white Judeo-Christian America with a permanent underclass of the poor and the non-white will be attacked in toto.

  289. To which quoted sentence are you referring?

    If you’re asking me if I think Breitbart used the edited video to besmirch Shirley Sherrod’s reputation–my answer is “Hell, yes!” He wasn’t making a mountain out of a molehill–he was making a mountain out of vapor.

  290. Jill,

    I believe the point raised by Dixon (endless circling of wagons around the president) is valid. Much is being ignored, or not enough energy left to address, due to the force field that many feel must be maintained around Obama at all times. However, it is also true that there are constant “incomings” from the sources mentioned that must be dealt with.

    I believe, and agree with Rachel Maddow on this, that the DNC needs to assume a greater role in organizing against these attacks so that others may get back to doing what they do best. The DNC nominated Obama and he is their leader … it is their responsibility to handle these political attacks against him.

    I watched Sherrod on John King shortly after her telephone conversation with Obama … I certainly don’t want to heap any more “spin” on her but my impression was that she was not “wholeheartedly” impressed … she’d vote for him again …. but … I think she considers him to be a bit naive … maybe more than “a bit”. I want to state, once again, that was just my impression … and I could very well be transferring my own disappointment with Obama onto her.

  291. TraderB
    1, July 26, 2010 at 10:48 am
    Blouise
    …. That is a straw-man argument, the refuge of scoundrels. No one has ever suggested a theocracy for America.

    ==============================================================

    Frightening … isn’t it … hell, I wouldn’t admit to it either!

  292. Buddha Is Laughing wrote

    “Awwww. I throw in the Pryor quote and look who barked! It’s Andy’s Pet Spider! Hooray!” and on and on and on…….

    Fantasies of power are a sure sign of an adolescent mind.

  293. Elaine:

    From what I have heard it wasn’t about Sherrod but the perceived double standard of the NAACP. The right was pretty p.oed. about the dropping of the charges against the New Black Panthers. And the failure of the NAACP to speak out against black racism.

    Sherrod is an unfortunate pawn in a wider war from what I can tell. It looks like she will land on her feet and rightly so, she was ill-treated by both sides.

  294. Elaine,

    The following is the sentence that Turley quoted for Sherrod’s speech:

    “That’s when it was revealed to me that it’s about poor versus those who have.”

    Do you agree that it changes changes the meaning of the previous racist portion?

  295. Republicans want you to vote third party so they can win. Al Gore was not considered “pure” enough so people voted for Nader and we got Bush and now here we are. So you vote third party and the “tan man” takes over the House and Mitch McConnell takes over the Senate. It is the republican strategy. One independent is doing well. He is Charlie Christ. He will probably caucus republican and he is very much a corporatist. Franken is right.

  296. Come on! Is that the best you’ve got, ol’ Barking Spider?

    Attack me some more. When you attack me, you do not damage me, only yourself. But . . . as you wish. The harder you attack, the harder you’ll hit the pavement. I can watch the true enemies of We the People make asses of themselves all day and still think it’s funny. I know. I’ve seen me do it.

    Now how about addressing that huge lie of omission that the Breitbart edited Sherrod tape is? Hmmm? You care to address that, Racist Sock Puppet? Or do you want to get slammed into the pavement again?

    Doh! Bad news! Either way, you’re going to get smacked!

    Life is full of choices.

    You choose poorly in choosing to bring your little show here.

  297. Trader B:

    I don’t think Buddha is childish, he just defends his position to the best of his abilities and passion.

    Even I as a non-progressive think Brietbart went a little over the top by playing a video of a private citizen giving a talk. It is one thing going into Acorns offices and doing undercover “reporting” but quite another to throw out this woman as an example of racism condoned by the NAACP. If the NAACP is a racist organization then they will eventually pay the price. I don’t think Shirley Sherrod should be used as a pawn. I dont know how that can be condoned by either side.

  298. Swarthmore mom
    1, July 26, 2010 at 11:10 am
    Republicans want you to vote third party so they can win. Al Gore was not considered “pure” enough so people voted for Nader and we got Bush and now here we are. So you vote third party and the “tan man” takes over the House and Mitch McConnell takes over the Senate. It is the republican strategy. One independent is doing well. He is Charlie Christ. He will probably caucus republican and he is very much a corporatist. Franken is right.

    ==================================================================
    You are right … I’m not happy with some of the things Obama has failed to do but I will not vote for a third party in the Presidential election until that party has run some local and state candidates and proven itself to be built on principle and not on personality.

    The republican strategy for the last hundred years has been:

    Demoralize the Democratic base with phony press releases and whisper campaigns. (Sherrod)

    Attack oponents strength with character assassination.(Sherrod)

    Suppress the vote in every possible way.(Acorn)

    Buy some people off with tax cuts.(Bush Tax Cuts)

    Scare the rest into voting against their own interests.(Healthcare)

  299. Byron,

    You’re right, we should impeach the bastards who let the New Black Panthers off the hook… Unfortunately the Bush administration is no longer in office. It’s disgusting how Fox News makes a huge hue and cry about the failure of the Bush justice department to prosecute the inept voter intimidation by a pair of NBP asshats (they were in a district that voted overwhelmingly for President Obama) while ignoring decades of successful voter suppression by Republicans.

  300. Buddha,

    Someone but first have the ability to turn the electricity on before the light will shine. But then again too many mollys can cause burn out.

    SWmom,

    Some people you can talk with all the time and yet they say really nothing, except to take your words, make you think that they are agreeing with you and then utilize those same words against you. Beware….The Ides of July are upon us today……

  301. Swarthmore mom
    “He [Crist] will probably caucus republican and he is very much a corporatist.”

    What do you mean by corporatist? The literal meaning is someone who wants to organize everyone into corporations for political, economic and social purposes. Is that what he is for?

  302. Swarthmore mom,

    I don’t agree that everyone in the Tea Party is racist. Mr. Ford does. My real point is, that it’s always a good idea to read people who disagree with you and give an honest consideration to their ideas. For you, I know that anyone who doesn’t think everyone in the Tea Party is a racist, rules out anything else they may have to say. Since I won’t agree to your premise, everything I say is immediately dismissed. Therefore, I included a person who does believe the same as you on the Tea Party but doesn’t agree with you on Obama.

    The article by Cynthia McKinney at the website goes to the heart of Ms. Sherrod’s revelation, that the govt. fears black and white working together on the basis of class. This is a very good website. I don’t agree with everything on it and I know you’ll agree with very little of it, but it’s not an evil right wing website. These are people who are for social justice, who have given a great deal of thought to what they say. I hope you will check it out. Here’s a position I do advocate in common with Ms. McKinney: “The former Georgia Congresswoman and Green Party presidential candidate was last weekend awarded the Munich American Peace Committee Peace Prize. “Those of us who have stepped outside of the ‘acceptable’ political paradigm,” she said, “must be willing to break bread with one another and find common ground on which we can operate.”

  303. Byron
    “I don’t think Buddha is childish, he just defends his position to the best of his abilities and passion.”

    I was talking about his power fantasies, not his beliefs. It is a common adolescent syndrome.

  304. Byron said:

    ‘It is one thing going into Acorns offices and doing undercover “reporting”‘

    You mean illegally taping people and misleadingly editing the tapes in order to demonize an organization dedicated to helping to empower poor people? I suppose ACORN deserved what they got – after all, they did get many urban poor people to register to vote (and urban poor people are known to vote mostly Democratic). The Republicans are obviously justified in using any dishonest, immoral or illegal tactics that they can think of in order to win elections. Hopefully the electorate will eventually wise up and realized that the ends don’t justify the means – the means shape the ends you can achieve and throw the Republicans on the dust heap of history. Then maybe we can get a new conservative party of people like you who are willing to actually engage in reasoned debate on the issues instead of trying every dirty trick they can think of to win.

  305. Swarthmore mom
    1, July 26, 2010 at 11:31 am
    The voter suppression in Ohio kept Kerry out of the white house.

    ===============================================================

    Yes, and a great deal of it happened just east of me in Cleveland … Kucinich talked about it a lot.

  306. Voter Suppression in Ohio? Can’t be….Never could happen….Its called Electioneering Johnson Style. They are still finding Ballot boxes which were lost, well lost is really a term of art. Hidden is more the operative term…..After all Taft was the governor, the Grandson of the other useless Taft…that Wilson beat only because TRR got back into the election process because Taft was to loyal to the Corporate America…..even in the early 1900…go figure….

  307. Elaine M wrote:

    “I do agree with what Slartibartfast wrote: It being revealed to her “that it’s about poor versus those who have.” is the epiphany that allowed her to overcome her racial sentiments.”

    Do you agree that, if the statement were in the clip, it would have been fine?

  308. Slarti:

    Acorn has been involved in some questionable activities. Anyway the major news networks have done it for years. Not that that makes it right.

    Acorn is a target of the right as other organizations are a target of the left.

  309. Byron,

    The Rolling Stone magazine had a very good article on voter suppression and many other machinations during the 2004 election. I live in Ohio and saw these things as they occurred. On a personal level there was an attempt to keep my husband, a disabled Vietnam veteran, from voting. That made me really angry and disgusted, (as the attempt to keep anyone from voting would). Bush was not elected in either 2000 or 2004.

  310. Trader B:

    “I was talking about his power fantasies, not his beliefs. It is a common adolescent syndrome.”

    Are you a mental health professional? If not I dont know how you would be qualified to comment.

    You might do well to read these:

    “Just as reasoning, to an irrational person, becomes rationalizing, and moral judgment becomes moralizing, so psychological theories become psychologizing. The common denominator is the corruption of a cognitive process to serve an ulterior motive.

    Psychologizing consists in condemning or excusing specific individuals on the grounds of their psychological problems, real or invented, in the absence of or contrary to factual evidence.”

    “The Psychology of ‘Psychologizing,’” The Objectivist, March 1971,

    “While the racket of the philosophizing mystics rested on the claim that man is unable to know the external world, the racket of the psychologizing mystics rests on the claim that man is unable to know his own motivation.”

    “The Psychology of ‘Psychologizing,’” The Objectivist, March 1971, 4.

    “Armed with a smattering, not of knowledge, but of undigested slogans, they rush, unsolicited, to diagnose the problems of their friends and acquaintances. Pretentiousness and presumptuousness are the psychologizer’s invariable characteristics: he not merely invades the privacy of his victims’ minds, he claims to understand their minds better than they do, to know more than they do about their own motives. With reckless irresponsibility, which an old-fashioned mystic oracle would hesitate to match, he ascribes to his victims any motivation that suits his purpose, ignoring their denials. Since he is dealing with the great “unknowable”—which used to be life after death or extrasensory perception, but is now man’s subconscious—all rules of evidence, logic and proof are suspended, and anything goes (which is what attracts him to his racket).

    While the racket of the philosophizing mystics rested on the claim that man is unable to know the external world, the racket of the psychologizing mystics rests on the claim that man is unable to know his own motivation.”

    “The Psychology of ‘Psychologizing,’” The Objectivist, March 1971, 2.

    “A man’s moral character must be judged on the basis of his actions, his statements and his conscious convictions—not on the basis of inferences (usually, spurious) about his subconscious.

    A man is not to be condemned or excused on the grounds of the state of his subconscious.

    While the racket of the philosophizing mystics rested on the claim that man is unable to know the external world, the racket of the psychologizing mystics rests on the claim that man is unable to know his own motivation.”

    “The Psychology of ‘Psychologizing,’” The Objectivist, March 1971, 5.

  311. Slartibartfast
    1, July 26, 2010 at 11:40 am
    Slartibartfast
    1, July 26, 2010 at 11:40 am
    Byron said:

    ‘It is one thing going into Acorns offices and doing undercover “reporting”‘

    You mean illegally taping people and misleadingly editing the tapes in order to demonize an organization dedicated to helping to empower poor people? I suppose ACORN deserved what they got – after all, they did get many urban poor people to register to vote (and urban poor people are known to vote mostly Democratic). The Republicans are obviously justified in using any dishonest, immoral or illegal tactics that they can think of in order to win elections. Hopefully the electorate will eventually wise up and realized that the ends don’t justify the means – the means shape the ends you can achieve and throw the Republicans on the dust heap of history. Then maybe we can get a new conservative party of people like you who are willing to actually engage in reasoned debate on the issues instead of trying every dirty trick they can think of to win….Hopefully the electorate will eventually wise up and realized that the ends don’t justify the means – the means shape the ends you can achieve and throw the Republicans on the dust heap of history. Then maybe we can get a new conservative party of people like you who are willing to actually engage in reasoned debate on the issues instead of trying every dirty trick they can think of to win.

    ================================================================

    Excellent … bears repeating!

  312. Oooo. Again with the ad hominem! That means a lot coming from you, Breitbart. Come on. Attack me some more and avoid the issues.

    It shows exactly how weak you really are.

    But please, if you’re going to try to insult me? You should really learn to bring the heat. I once endured a six-month long tirade and invective laced meltdown by a gal much better at insults than you. AY knows who I’m talking about. You aren’t even in the same ballpark as her, TrollB. Your projection of your power fantasies won’t work here. These people know me well and they know that power is not one of my motivators (ergo it’s not going to be one of my fantasies, which usually involve actress Rachael Weisz). Your fantasies however? Breitbart is clearly the one with power fantasies, I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again:

    “I just read an interesting Slate profile on Brietbartand I’m more convinced than ever that the way to truly punish him is to neutralize his voice.

    You can’t hurt this guy by taking his money. Money is a side-effect of what he desires. What he desires is influence.

    You can destroy him by limiting and/or destroying his influence. Why? He’s nothing but pure ego. It just shines through in the profile that he’s a narcissist and megalomaniac.”

    So in summary, your projection of your Breitbart’s power fantasy as a Rovian smear will not work against me. But please, keep running that flag up the poll. One of the secrets of comedy is repetition.

    And while we are at playing psychologist, what people don’t say is as important as what they do say. You regulars will all note that not once has TrollB here denied being in the employ of the known propagandist Andrew Breitbart but has instead taken extreme offense to my attack on their fearful leader? Just like a dutiful lackey.

  313. Slartibartfast
    “The Republicans are obviously justified in using any dishonest, immoral or illegal tactics that they can think of in order to win elections.”

    The Acorn tapes were not made by the Republican Party. I could never tell whether the Acorn employees were just jerking O’Keefe around or not. However, the editing was typical Mike Wallace tactics used by CBS for many years.

    However, Democratic officials are doing something much worse by calling the Tea Party movement and Fox racists to win an election. It is backfiring on them. Many whites are now convinced that the White House is full of black racist. They fired Shirley Sherrod to counter this, without even viewing the entire Breitbart tape.

  314. Acorn outcome:

    (NYTimes)The Acorn employees in Brooklyn who were captured on a hidden camera seeming to offer conservative activists posing as a pimp and a prostitute creative advice on how to get a mortgage have been cleared of wrongdoing by the Brooklyn district attorney’s office.

    District Attorney Charles J. Hynes said in a statement on Monday that “no criminality has been found” in his investigation of the three employees, who had appeared to advise the woman, who was scantily dressed and identified herself as an “outcall” specialist, not to tell prospective lenders that she was a prostitute and to funnel her earnings to her “pimp” through a third party so that he would not be tied to her.

    Mr. Hynes declined to elaborate on his decision.

    “Hopefully today’s announcement, and similar results from independent reviews, will make politicians and media examine the facts more carefully the next time a valuable community organization is attacked.”(Kevin Whelan)

    California Attorney General Brown also found that there was no criminality.

    ************************************************

    And then along came Sherrod

  315. Thanks Jill, I read a little bit and will read the rest. But I have no illusions that it doesn’t happen. The democrats have done it as well. The entire voting system is suspect, on the one hand you have democrats registering anyone and on the other you have republicans asking for ID’s and worse.

    What is the answer? I don’t think Al Franken won legitimately and you don’t think George Bush did. I also wonder about Kennedy and many democratic party congressmen. There needs to be some sort of bi-partisan agreement as to how to handle elections or there will never be any peace between right and left as far as elections are concerned.

    The more I learn the more I think all “leaders” of political parties are rectal towels.

  316. Buddha wrote:
    “And while we are at playing psychologist, what people don’t say is as important as what they do say. You regulars will all note that not once has TrollB here denied being in the employ of the known propagandist Andrew Breitbart but has instead taken extreme offense to my attack on their fearful leader? Just like a dutiful lackey.”

    Paranoia will destroy ya.

  317. Reality will destroy you. So nanny nanny boo boo to you too, AvoiderB.

    And again with the projection. It’s kinda cute in a pathetic sorta way.

  318. TraderB
    1, July 26, 2010 at 12:09 pm
    Slartibartfast
    ……….. However, Democratic officials are doing something much worse by calling the Tea Party movement and Fox racists to win an election. It is backfiring on them. Many whites are now convinced that the White House is full of black racist. They fired Shirley Sherrod to counter this, without even viewing the entire Breitbart tape.

    ===============================================================

    Excellent spin when you’re preaching to the lily white choir but here everything you say has to be vetted through facts … besides, we like shades of green ….

  319. Byron said:

    “Slarti:

    Acorn has been involved in some questionable activities. Anyway the major news networks have done it for years. Not that that makes it right.

    Acorn is a target of the right as other organizations are a target of the left.”

    Can you give me an example of the left targeting an organization and destroying it with lies and propaganda? And the most well known ‘questionable activities’ surrounding ACORN (before propagandist in training and felon O’Keefe got involved) were multiple instances of voter registration fraud which ACORN was the victim of (employees getting paid for registering Mickey Mouse to vote). In most cases ACORN reported the fraudulent registrations when they submitted them (they were required by law to submit the registrations even when they knew them to be invalid. I haven’t heard of anyone claiming that Mickey Mouse ever showed up to vote (I suspect that Ann Coulter has committed more voter fraud than ACORN ever did).

    As for voter suppression, there are a wide array of tactics used by the republicans from poll taxes and literacy tests to caging and unequal division of resources – Jill mentioned some of the things and you can find more examples here:

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Voter_suppression

    Did you know that before the 2000 election in Florida many voters were removed from the rolls for allegedly being felons and not notified until it was too late for them to be contested? (Some of them just had the same names as felons – but they were still robbed of their right to vote. Notice the proportion of the voter suppression examples that favor the Republicans (and yes, I know that Wikipedia cannot be considered an unbiased source, but demographically speaking, voter suppression is not a tactic that generally helps Democrats).

  320. “Speculating on what the Internet could morph into under the Republicans’ preferred lack of regulation, Franken asked the audience of bloggers how long it would take before the Fox News website loads significantly more quickly than the Daily Kos website.”

    No sane person would believe this.

  321. She is not her husband, badtroll. And since when did you think you’d be taken seriously after using the “Christ Killer” stick in here, bigot? Oh, that’s right! You like your play pal TraitorB here can’t tell when you’re the objects of ridicule and not the dispensers of ridicule.

  322. Ooo. Bigoted and misogynistic! Nice to see you’ve upped your ante on why no one should pay attention to you.

  323. Bdaman:

    That seems pretty benign to me. But racism is a form of tribalism and it effects all people. It takes a certain level of intellectual development to understand that racism/tribalism is nothing but an affront to the individual. And since all men are individuals racism/tribalism strikes at the very core of our society which is founded on individual rights. Ergo a racist is actually against the American ideal and no friend of liberty.

  324. Byron,

    We do need to redo our election process. We need easier access to other parties besides Democratic and Republican to the ballot/elections in general. Instant run off voting would help as would a system of proportional representation. We need a lot of changes before we’ll see representative govt. in the US!

  325. Apparently not.

    Married people disagree on lots of things all the time. Being married doesn’t make one a clone of the other.

  326. Bdaman is back? Boy, the phone lines must be hot! Where’s Tootie … one of them has to be available.

    Shoot, I have to leave to run some errands …

  327. Byron
    1, July 26, 2010 at 12:34 pm
    Bdaman:

    That seems pretty benign to me. But racism is a form of tribalism and it effects all people. It takes a certain level of intellectual development to understand that racism/tribalism is nothing but an affront to the individual. And since all men are individuals racism/tribalism strikes at the very core of our society which is founded on individual rights. Ergo a racist is actually against the American ideal and no friend of liberty.

    =================================================================
    Very well put!

    Now … everybody, stop being interesting so I can get out of here!

  328. Byron it’s the part where he says we must not be afraid to turn a black out who votes against our interest.

    P.S. how you doin? Getting ready to take the little one to the pool. I’m still here everyday but just haven’t felt like commenting.

  329. Byron–

    You wrote the following to me:

    Elaine:

    From what I have heard it wasn’t about Sherrod but the perceived double standard of the NAACP. The right was pretty p.oed. about the dropping of the charges against the New Black Panthers. And the failure of the NAACP to speak out against black racism.

    Sherrod is an unfortunate pawn in a wider war from what I can tell. It looks like she will land on her feet and rightly so, she was ill-treated by both sides.

    **********

    Much of that Black Panther story was hyped by Faux News.

    From Media Matters for America
    REPORT: Fox News has hyped phony New Black Panthers scandal at least 95 times
    July 16, 2010
    http://mediamatters.org/research/201007160038

    Six Fox News shows have discussed the phony New Black Panthers scandal during a total of 95 segments since Megyn Kelly’s June 30 interview hyping the unsubstantiated allegations of right-wing activist J. Christian Adams. In all, these Fox shows have devoted more than eight hours of airtime to discussing the New Black Panthers.

    Excerpt:
    Adams’ accusations don’t stand up to the facts

    • Adams is a longtime right-wing activist who is known for filing an ethics complaint against Hugh Rodham that was subsequently dismissed. Adams served as a poll watcher for George W. Bush in Florida in 2004, and he reportedly volunteered for a Republican group that trains lawyers to fight “racially tinged battles over voting rights.”

    • Adams was hired at the Justice Department in 2005 by Bradley Schlozman, who was found by the Justice Department’s inspector general and Office of Professional Responsibility to have improperly considered political affiliation when hiring career attorneys — the former head of the DOJ voting rights section reportedly said that Adams was “exhibit A of the type of people hired by Schlozman.”

    • Adams has admitted that he does not have firsthand knowledge of the events, conversations, and decisions that he is citing to advance his accusations.

    • No voters have come forward to claim that they were intimidated and did not vote because of the New Black Panthers’ presence outside the polling center.

    • The Republican vice chairwoman of the U.S. Commission on Civil Rights, which is currently investigating the Justice Department’s decision, has said that the case is “very small potatoes” and that it has been surrounded by “overheated rhetoric filled with insinuations and unsubstantiated charges.” She has further stated that the investigation has not “served the interests of the Commission” and that the DOJ has given a “plausible argument” for not pursuing additional charges in the case.

    **********

    Let me get this right–and correct me if I’m wrong. The right was upset about a the panther story…so it was okay for Not-So-Brightbart to sully Shirley Sherrod’s reputation by using an edited video to call her character and motives into question–as well as the character and motives of members of the NAACP.

    Too many right wingers are drinking the Koolaid providing to them by Faux News and right wing hatemongers like Not-So-Brightbart. As with this Sherrod story–too many of their charges are either trumped up or grossly exaggerated.

    Faux and right wing hatemongers don’t report news so much as make up stories that they hope other networks and news organizations will pick up on and report.

  330. But most aren’t. I see your platitude and raise you an “opposites attract” don’t you know.

  331. TraderB–

    I think I have made my feelings about the Breitbart/Sherrod incident perfectly clear. What is it that you don’t understand about the comments that I have made? Why don’t you just spit out EXACTLY what it is that you want me to say?

  332. Elaine:

    I actually don’t think it was right to sully her reputation. I am just saying that was a possible motivation.

    Thanks for the info on the NBP, I just saw a couple of thugs dressed in paramilitary gear and armed with billy clubs and I guess I jumped to a conclusion.

  333. ‘DBT Online advised the Division of Elections …….. Mr. Bruder testified that the company recommended, for example, that it develop criteria requiring an exact match on the first and middle names. Thus, a Floridian named Deborah Ann would not match with the name Ann Deborah.[64] But the Division of Elections favored more inclusive criteria and chose to “make it go both ways,” as Mr. Bruder recalls it.[65] In addition, he pointed out that state officials set parameters that required a 90 percent match in the last name, rather than an exact match.[66] Mr. Bruder insisted that “the state dictated to us that they wanted to go broader, and we did it in the fashion that they requested.”[67]’
    http://www.usccr.gov/pubs/vote2000/report/ch5.htm

  334. Elaine,

    I will try again. Do you agree that adding Sherrod’s statement, “That’s when it was revealed to me that it’s about poor versus those who have.” to the tape shown on the networks would have made it a fair presentation? Just a yes or no will suffice.

  335. Byron–

    “I actually don’t think it was right to sully her reputation. I am just saying that was a possible motivation.”

    I don’t care what his motivation was. If the story on the NBP was mostly hype then maybe the NAACP’s “perceived” double standard is just that–perceived…perceived in the minds of right wing smear merchants like Not-So-Brightbart.

  336. Not much in the logic department, are you TraitorB?

    What you keep doing is framing a question to Elaine that is in the form of the logical fallacy of presumption known as the false dilemma or the bifurcation fallacy.

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Bifurcation_fallacy

    And lest we forget basic defintions:

    fallacy \ˈfa-lə-sē\, n.,

    1 a obsolete : guile, trickery b : deceptive appearance : deception
    2 a : a false or mistaken idea (popular fallacies) b : erroneous character : erroneousness
    3 : an often plausible argument using false or invalid inference

  337. Why does Breitbart name all his sites “big” something?

    I’m thinking it must be because of his small something.

  338. Algae bloom the most likely culprit. Caught a little ten inch flounder yesterday, really pretty, and a 27 inch Red last night.

    Little one’s good, just finished her dance recital and ribbon day for gymnastics. Now she wants martial arts and is becoming quite good at sir yes sir in preparation.

    Hope all is well, off to the pool.

    I’ll hit your inbox soon, just been real tough lately and super busy. You know, fishin and everything, not to mention the pool.
    :) :) :)

    I’m sorry, did I say pool. Comin El, C-ya B and who needs a raise, I certainly don’t, I rise on occasion, raise, I fold.

  339. TraderB–

    “I will try again. Do you agree that adding Sherrod’s statement, “That’s when it was revealed to me that it’s about poor versus those who have.” to the tape shown on the networks would have made it a fair presentation? Just a yes or no will suffice.”

    *****

    I can’t give you a YES or NO answer unless I know the exact context in which the tape was presented on each and every network that played it. I’m aware that you’re trying to play word games with me. As I wrote in a previous comment–and I’ll repeat here: Why don’t you just spit out EXACTLY what it is that you want me to say?

  340. Byron,

    Voter suppression is a typically Republican tactic because of the demographics (it works best on the urban poor). As you pointed out, Democrats would be more likely to use a tactic like fraudulently registering people to vote (I’m not talking Mickey Mouse here, but multiple registrations (with multiple identities so they can vote multiple times) or registering people who are ineligible).

    I don’t buy your GW Bush – Al Franken equivalence. In one case the state election law was abrogated by what may be the most political SCOTUS decision in our history and in the other state election law was followed down the line including Norm Coleman exploring all of the legal avenues available. Minnesota is a great example of how the system should work (a close election triggered an automatic recount followed by a careful examination of all of the contested ballots in a process which included representatives from both campaigns and was totally (and boringly) transparent). If Florida had as well-designed election law as Minnesota does (and it were followed), we would have had President Gore in 2000.

    And Kennedy? It takes a truely incompetent Democrat to lose a statewide election in Massachusetts (see Senator Brown’s opponent) even WITHOUT the Kennedy name…

    Until political parties are upfront about the agendas they wish to enact instead of giving the spin that they think will get them elected your ‘rectal towel’ comment will hold a lot of truth (with all of the shit).

    TraderB posted:

    “Speculating on what the Internet could morph into under the Republicans’ preferred lack of regulation, Franken asked the audience of bloggers how long it would take before the Fox News website loads significantly more quickly than the Daily Kos website.”

    No sane person would believe this.

    Considering that BP ‘bought’ the top spot on oil spill searches on google, what makes you think that providers would charge sites for expedited loading?

    Slartibartfast
    “The Republicans are obviously justified in using any dishonest, immoral or illegal tactics that they can think of in order to win elections.”

    The Acorn tapes were not made by the Republican Party. I could never tell whether the Acorn employees were just jerking O’Keefe around or not. However, the editing was typical Mike Wallace tactics used by CBS for many years.

    In a couple of cases the ACORN employees were clearly jerking O’Keefe around, in Mr. Vera’s case he tried to get information which was passed to the police and in at least 2 states (Maryland and California), Mr. O’Keefe and Ms. Giles were breaking the law by recording people without their permission. I don’t think that Mike Wallace would ever have let any of that tape see the light of day

    However, Democratic officials are doing something much worse by calling the Tea Party movement and Fox racists to win an election. It is backfiring on them. Many whites are now convinced that the White House is full of black racist. They fired Shirley Sherrod to counter this, without even viewing the entire Breitbart tape.

    No, Democrats are saying that there is a (highly visible) racist faction of the Tea party and calling on the rest of the Tea party to denounce the obvious racism in their midst instead of implicitly condoning it because it helps their agenda. Fox News has been airing race-baiting propaganda since before President Obama was elected (also in support of a political agenda). As I said before, the ends don’t justify the means – the means shape the ends that you can achieve. Given the means that the conservative movement frequently employs is it any wonder that their ends are corrupted?

    I’m with Blouise – will you people please be quiet (or stop saying interesting or asinine things) so I can get some work done?

  341. Byron–

    From Winnipeg Free Press
    Megyn Kelly takes centre stage for Fox in New Black Panther story
    By: David Bauder, The Associated Press
    http://www.winnipegfreepress.com/business/breakingnews/megyn-kelly-takes-centre-stage-for-fox-in-new-black-panther-story-99231914.html

    Excerpt:
    NEW YORK, N.Y. – The aftermath of Megyn Kelly’s interview with a former Justice Department lawyer over a New Black Panther Party case has made her a hero and a villain.

    The Fox News Channel host is a hero to fans who appreciate the time she has spent on a story about a nightstick-carrying New Black Panther Party member standing outside a 2008 polling place, wondering if it reflects an Obama administration inconsistency in pursuing civil rights cases.

    But she’s a villain to critics who believe Kelly is promoting a dubious story given outsized attention because it could hurt a president unpopular with most of Fox’s viewers.

    Kelly, host of her own daytime show at Fox, had the first media interview with J. Christian Adams, a former Justice Department lawyer angry about the Obama administration’s handling of the case. Adams alleged his bosses have no interest in civil rights cases unless minorities are adversely affected, a charge the administration denies.

    A criminal investigation into the Philadelphia episode was dropped by the Bush administration, but the Obama administration obtained a narrower civil court order against the conduct than Bush officials had sought.

    Kelly followed the story so relentlessly that she perhaps goaded the Obama administration into its bungling of the Shirley Sherrod case, much like a baserunner dancing off third base who distracts a pitcher into a balk. (The administration pressured agriculture department official Sherrod into resigning over remarks that seemed racially biased, only to apologize later when it was discovered that the opposite was true.)
    Most Fox News Channel shows have followed the Black Panther case, but Kelly’s “America Live” midday show has spent the most time on it.

    None were more electric than the July 13 confrontation between Kelly and a Fox News contributor, Kirsten Powers.

    Kelly set up the segment with Powers by showing footage of a congressman in a town hall meeting dismissing concerns about racial bias in the Justice Department. “No one seems to give a darn,” Kelly opened her discussion.
    “You can certainly put me in the category of people who don’t give a darn,” replied Powers, a New York Post columnist.

    Then they were off. Seemingly personally offended, Kelly repeatedly accused Powers of not knowing what she was talking about and even threatened to turn off her microphone.

    “The minute I challenge you, you tell me I don’t know what I’m talking about?” Powers asked.
    “Because you don’t,” Kelly responded crisply.

    Kelly, a former corporate lawyer who left law to become a local news reporter in Washington before joining Fox in 2004, rattled off details of the case from court documents and testimony with confidence.

    “I cannot believe that this one case, after all of the cases that were dismissed during the Bush administration, is getting the amount of attention that it is getting,” Powers said. “I find it absolutely shocking.”

    “Let me tell you why,” Kelly shot back. “Because the voting place is sacrosanct.”

    Powers accused Kelly of playing the “scary black man” card, a remark the host regarded with openmouthed shock and apparent anger. Kelly was not made available for an interview for this story.

  342. Slarti–

    “I’m with Blouise – will you people please be quiet (or stop saying interesting or asinine things) so I can get some work done?”

    I know how you feel. We’ve got beautiful weather here–our first humidity free day in weeks. I’ve got to get some yard work done.

    Before you go–let me ask you a question that is way off topic. I know you’re a scientist. (I’m a science buff.) Have you read “Pandora’s Seed: The Unforeseen Cost of Civilization” by Spencer Wells. It’s a fascinating book.

  343. Slartibartfast
    “Considering that BP ‘bought’ the top spot on oil spill searches on google, what makes you think that providers would charge sites for expedited loading?”

    If people found they were doing this, they would probably change providers.

    Search engines are different, since they depend on advertisers. Buying the top spot is not as obnoxious as slowing down the loading of a site.

  344. Elaine,

    I haven’t read the book, but I saw the author on ‘The Colbert Report’ and I think I would probably agree with what he wrote for the most part. I think we should be more aware of the hidden costs of civilization in order to make informed decisions about the risks and rewards implicit in our technological society. We really need to make more explicit decisions about things like if the pollution caused by items is acceptable, necessary and unavoidable, or too high a cost or we’re going to end up drowning in our own garbage.

    TraderB,

    You’re assuming that people can find viable alternate providers that voluntarily observe net neutrality. Oh well, what could possibly go wrong with an industry being allowed to regulate itself…

    Okay, now I’m out to go do my science thing… See y’all later.

  345. TraderB 1, July 26, 2010 at 12:23 pm

    “Speculating on what the Internet could morph into under the Republicans’ preferred lack of regulation, Franken asked the audience of bloggers how long it would take before the Fox News website loads significantly more quickly than the Daily Kos website.”

    No sane person would believe this.
    __________________________
    http://www.gamepolitics.com/2010/04/06/court-fcc-cannot-stop-comcast-internet-throttling

    ‘…the United States Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia has ruled that the FCC does not have the authority to force Internet providers to grant equal treatment to all traffic traversing their networks.’

    this in no way suggests that I might be in the least bit ‘sane’….

  346. Elaine M.
    1, July 26, 2010 at 1:11 pm
    TraderB–

    “I will try again. Do you agree that adding Sherrod’s statement, “That’s when it was revealed to me that it’s about poor versus those who have.” to the tape shown on the networks would have made it a fair presentation? Just a yes or no will suffice.”

    *****

    I can’t give you a YES or NO answer unless I know the exact context in which the tape was presented on each and every network that played it. I’m aware that you’re trying to play word games with me. As I wrote in a previous comment–and I’ll repeat here: Why don’t you just spit out EXACTLY what it is that you want me to say?

    ==============================================================

    I don’t know Elaine … sounds like “Do you still beat your dog? Yes or No …. as Buddha, ever the elegant, put it … a false dilemma.

    I wonder if TraderB worked with the Pentagon on their latest survey for the troops concerning gays in the military?

    Alright … time to weed for as Elaine said, the day is indeed a beautiful one.

  347. or could have been released early and it now stuck doing community service…..as a condition and release….

  348. Woosty’s still a Cat,

    Buddha rolls around as a wrinkled green poly then morphs into the Jolly Green Giant then, out of nowhere the Incredible Hulk appears … but consistently green.

  349. Jill,

    I did some research this weekend on teabaggers and want to report my findings to you … I’ll do so later, after I’ve accomplished some household chores.

  350. Woosty’s still a Cat wrote:
    “…the United States Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia has ruled that the FCC does not have the authority to force Internet providers to grant equal treatment to all traffic traversing their networks.”

    Comcast was trying to manage traffic by disconnecting certain heavy-bandwidth protocols at peak hours. They changed it to slowing down high-bandwidth users.

    http://www.networkworld.com/news/2008/060408-comcast-traffic-management.html

    This is a far cry from favoring certain sites on a partisan or monetary basis, as gloom-and-doom Dean says. If they did and people found out, they would very likely change providers, especially if it were partisan. They could potentially lose half their customers. It would be very effective advertising for competitors.

  351. Well again, TraderB is wrong based simply on the pay to play history that is Telecom Immunity and the shell game that is their pricing structure. Whoever pays the most to AT&T or Sprint or whomever provides that section of the backbone and that access will get preferred service. End of story. Or there would be 1) massive GOP support against net neutrality as their loyalty is as ever purchased by lobbyists, lobbyists who are responsible for stories like this one: http://tech.slashdot.org/story/10/05/11/221207/The-Telcos-Secret-Anti-Net-Neutrality-Strategy

    That won’t, however, distract from the fact that Andrew Breitbart is a propagandist race baiting liar. Distraction is also a propagandist tool. Or as W.C. Fields famously said, “If you can’t dazzle them with brilliance, baffle them with bull.” So how about you staying on topic, TraitorB. You wanted to defend Breitbart on being a racist propagandist and now you want to debate net neutrality from the corporatist side. Even if you can’t maintain focus, at least you’re showing your leash is held by the same master.

    Blouise,

    I’ve always liked Groucho Marx’s use of the false dilemma when he asked a “You Bet Your Life” contestant “Do you still beat your wife?” But then again, comedians are always funnier than propagandists.

  352. Blouise–

    I know what TraderB is up to. I was just wondering if he/she would express–in clear and explicit language–exactly what it is that he/she wants me to say. So far no word on that. I just get asked for a YES or NO answer. I think each of us has his/her own way of dealing with trolls.

  353. Elaine M,

    The point I was trying to make is that the Breitbart tape has the redemption, mentioned by Professor Turley on it. If the White House had listened to it in its entirety, they would not have fired Sherrod. O’Reilly admits that he did not watch the whole tape before the show on Monday night and apologized. However, she had already been fired before it aired, so it had no effect.

    For those who want to get their heads out of the sand, they can watch it. The redemption begins at 1:44. I watched it Monday morning and immediately got her point. It seemed like a typical tale of redemption told in Southern churches. I was completely appalled when I heard she had been fired.

    http://biggovernment.com/abreitbart/2010/07/19/video-proof-the-naacp-awards-racism2010/

    Breitbart’s point was that the NAACP audience was murmuring approval of the racist portions. However, it is hard to tell. He may not be familiar with the call and response used in black churches. He also did not know that the encounter with the poor farmer had taken place 24 years ago.

  354. The question should be whether Breitbart could prevail in a lawsuit against CNN, since they stated that their re-edited tape was his. It would be hilarious if he sued the MSM media and the bloggers who have been telling lies about him.

  355. Again, an omission of context is still a lie of omission.

    And if he’s claiming to be a reporter, which which also be hilarious given his track record, there is a term he should familiarize himself with that prevents lies of contextual omission: due diligence.

  356. He could of course resolve this issue by revealing his most likley non-existent source. It’s established Breitbart isn’t a journalist but it’s not like that would do him any good either in court. He could still be compelled to reveal his “source” as there is no Federal journalist shield law.

  357. Slarti,

    Oh I have no doubt it’d be (as they say in the South) both a “hoot and a holler'”.

  358. TraderB:

    you are doing a “really great” job defending me, thanks for nothing. I am canceling the check I made out to you because Buddha is Laughing and Elaine have cleaned your clock.

    Buddha is Laughing I am firing TraderB and need to replace him, would you be willing to come work for me?

  359. roflmao!

    Dear Andy B.,

    I appreciate the offer and while you have an impressive stable of zeros, I don’t think you have enough zeros on that check to make me consider the offer.

    Again, thanks for the offer!

    As ever, one lives to be of service.

    BIL

  360. Elaine M.

    Dam right he is and it is costing me a pretty penny, only it doesn’t seem like I am getting my monies worth. Go easy on him and I will give you a piece of his action.

  361. Buddha is Laughing:

    thank you for at least considering the offer. These friggen conservatives need to learn some debating skills. For Christ sake you are explaining logical fallacies to TraderB, he told me he could handle “light” work. Yeesh you would think I would have learned with O’Keefe. Maybe mom was right when she used to say “Andrew become a doctor, politics and journalism isn’t your strong suit”.

  362. Andy B.–

    You offer Buddha a job–and not moi? What are you–a sexist and an ageist? The chubby green guy gets an offer–the retired female gets ZIP! Do I have grounds for a lawsuit…I wonder???

  363. Elaine,

    It is most unfair and warrants looking in to but it’s no more unfair than MoveOn.org giving Breitbart what will forever be known as “The Breitbart Treatment” in this video.

    I guess if Andy can’t get the influence his craven little heart desires, he’ll have to settle for ignominious infamy.

    Besides, I was just playing hard to get to get us a package deal. ;)

  364. What is perhaps funniest in the most subliminal way is that ‘ol Distortion there is standing in front of a background drop reading “Accuracy In Media” and not catching fire like a vampire in the noonday sun.

  365. Elaine M.
    “Are you attempting to absolve Not-So-Brightbart of any wrong-doing in regard to the Sherrod incident?”

    No, I am just stating something that can be objectively proven. His tape contains the gist of her story. The entire speech does elaborate on the theme, however. The networks’ omission of 52 seconds changed the story from one of redemption to a racist plot.

    He was at fault for saying that the incident occurred while she was working for the Federal Government. He should have checked on the timing. It did not make sense for it to have occurred recently. However, he did put a note on his site as soon as he realized it.

  366. I certainly hope Sherrod files a lawsuit against Breitbart. We can then find out who in the White House told Cheryl Cook to fire her. She appears to be in the Witness Protection Program.

  367. That last post alone should tip the hand that a Sherrod lawsuit is not the best way to punish Breitbart.

    His lackey has openly said he wants it. He knows it’s a win/win. And he fears simply being marginalized like the propagandist he is.

    Oops!

    Don’t go to Vegas with that poker face, TraitorB.

  368. Jill,

    Based on several of your posts, I decided to do a little “interviewing” of my own this weekend. I had 3 large parties to attend right here in my small town and, wanting to gauge the “racism” issue associated with the teabaggers I knew that the freshness of the Sherrod/Breitbart affair would be a good way to introduce the subject without having to come straight out and say, “By the way, are you a racist?”

    I have lived in this town for decades and my reputation is established as someone who, when dealing with or on behalf of the government, doesn’t lie or make excuses for wrongdoing. This town is republican through and through as can be found on the voter roles with registered republicans outnumbering registered democrats by more than 3-1. (2008)

    I talked with 18 republicans. Eight identified themselves as ardent Tea Party folk, four as sympathetic to the Tea Party issues, and six who had no use for the Tea Party and were “loyal” republicans.

    My method was simple. I started asking questions about the Tea Party and then brought up the Sherrod/Breitbart situation along the lines of, “So what do you think ….?”

    Of the twelve Tea Party sympathizers … all 12 responded to the Sherrod/Breitbart situation as being just another attempt by blacks trying to put one over on the white man. Eight were adamant and had no use for anyone who is black or an immigrant, four were a little less racist, but certain Obama had black sympathizers who would do anything for him as long as it hurt whitey. The six loyal republicans thought that the video was unfortunate and should never have been aired but also thought that the NAACP and the Obama administration had acted badly in response.

    Now I know this was unscientific as hell and only took into account the opinion of 18 people but Jill, when I scratched the surface of a teabagger I found racism unabashed and unashamed. I don’t know what kind of teabaggers you have in your neck of the woods but here … well, I will not work with such folk. It was all I could do to remain civil while they were venting. (I had to since I was the one who introduced the subject into the conversation.)

  369. Actually, I wonder if Breitbart has a good law suit against Sherrod. She has said some pretty nasty things about him.

  370. Elaine M.
    1, July 26, 2010 at 4:14 pm
    Blouise–

    I know what TraderB is up to. I was just wondering if he/she would express–in clear and explicit language–exactly what it is that he/she wants me to say. So far no word on that. I just get asked for a YES or NO answer. I think each of us has his/her own way of dealing with trolls.

    =============================================================

    I knew you knew … I was trying to impress Buddha with my sophisticated knowledge of a a false dilemma.

    What, exactly, are trolls trying to accomplish? That is a serious question … I don’t understand.

  371. Now that would be funny.

    New York Times v Sullivan, 376 U.S. 254 (1964), creates an exception for public figures. The burden of proof would shift the burden of proof to make Breitbart prove Sherrod (a private figure) had actual malice to Breitbart before she called him a racist. Considering that he tried to paint her as racist and what she said was in response to that attack? The public figure must prove that Sherrod knew the statement was false (which his antics are clear race baiting), or Sherrod acted in reckless disregard of the statement’s falsity or truth. There is a reason public figures almost never sue for slander or libel. They can almost never overcome the burden of proof required.

    So good luck with that.

    Andy shouldn’t be counting his chickens before the eggs rot, er, hatch.

  372. Blouise,

    Impress moi with your knowledge?

    You had me at ‘finely tuned sarcasm’. :D

    Consider me impressed and appreciation conveyed.

  373. Buddha Is Laughing,

    Yes, but in trying to impress you I might have slightly messed up Elaine’s strategy … vanity is my downfall!

  374. Blouise,

    I’ll let you in on a secret. You have to promise not to tell a soul even Buddha, but not only is vanity a downfall, humility is a blow out…..for him as well…..lol

  375. Blouise,

    Your poll may have been unscientific, but your experiment was very much in the spirit of science (and you were upfront about the anecdotal nature of your study). Thank you. And if you ever figure out what trolls are trying to accomplish, please tell the rest of us…

  376. Buddha wrote:
    “The burden of proof would shift the burden of proof to make Breitbart prove Sherrod (a private figure) had actual malice to Breitbart before she called him a racist.”

    This is what Professor Turley stated:

    “In this case, Sherrod would be considered a public figure or limited public figure.”

    From The Citizen Media Law Project:

    “The “public officials” category includes politicians and high-ranking governmental figures, but also extends to government employees who have, or appear to the public to have, substantial responsibility for or control over the conduct of government affairs. Courts have interpreted these criteria broadly, extending the public figure classification to civil servants far down the government hierarchy. For example, the supervisor of a county recreational ski center was held to be a “public official” for purposes of defamation law. See Rosenblatt v. Baer, 383 U.S. 75 (1966).”

    http://www.citmedialaw.org/legal-guide/proving-fault-actual-malice-and-negligence#publicFigure

    It appears that she would be a public figure for her Government work.

  377. Slarti,

    Trolls as I understand it try and diffuse the topic of the thread(s) so that nothing substantive can be discussed. You will notice an increase in activity when either the professor is going to be on a tv program or Obama is going to be on tv or the Democrats actually do something.

    It is rare that they will ever come out in droves like they do when a republican is doing the same thing. The comments are as lite as they are in qualitative analysis.

    This is my opinion and if it reeks I have done my job well. I wake up in the mornings just to annoy. If you need proof go back to September 9 or 10th of 2009 and you will see it for yourself…..

  378. I was talking about Breitbart being a public figure in your speculation about him having a suit, you hard of reading troll.

  379. Buddha,

    They are Blind in One Eye and can’t see out of the other.

    What happens when a Troll gets Alzheimer’s? There IQ goes up.

    How do you sink a submarine of Troll’s?

    Knock on the door…..

    How did the troll break its leg?

    They fell out of the tree raking leaves….

    What do you see when you look in a Troll’s eyes?

    The back of there heads.

    How do you make a Troll’s eyes shine?

    Put a flashlight in there ear…..

  380. Buddha Is Laughing

    “I was talking about Breitbart being a public figure in your speculation about him having a suit, you hard of reading troll.”

    What are those three words in parentheses next to Sherrod?

  381. So let me repeat this in case you missed it the first time:

    I don’t think your boss Andrew Brietbart should be sued by Sherrod.

    I think she has other better options to discredit him.

  382. One last one,

    Did you hear about the Troll walking down the street with a pig under her arm?

    A guy hollers out where did you get that. The pig says, I won her in a raffle…..

  383. Wow! You’ve pointed out that I disagree with the Prof.! Here’s there words for you:

    Big fucking deal.

    I’ve disagreed with him before.

    But what everyone but you is in agreement on is that you are a paid troll working for a known propagandist.

  384. AY,

    You are a boon of troll jokes, so here’s one for you:

    How many trolls does it take to screw in a lightbulb?

    Two, but they’ve both got to be real small.

  385. Blouise,

    I give you a lot of credit for actually talking to people and it was interesting to hear of your experience. I know non-racist tea party members who live in my neighborhood or close by. These particular people are not ones I could easily work with politically because their economic views are horrible, but some of them are antiwar, and that’s a common cause. I can also work with them as my fellow human beings. And that is simply my point. I am not asking anyone here to like people in the tea party, believe in anything they believe in etc. I am saying, and I provided statistical evidence, that not everyone in the tea party movement is a racist. I also advised to look for allies where you can find them and don’t waste your time otherwise. For example, I wouldn’t go to GS looking for allies, but if I met one, I would work with her or him. I advised humanizing oneself to others. As the guy who wrote “Three Cups of Tea” said in an interview today, some of their best teachers at the schools for girls are ex-Taliban. You just never know in this world. And the only way they became ex-Taliban was because someone who didn’t think like them reached out to them anyone, one person to another. Hard times are here for many of us and I think it would reflect well on us to be kind to our neighbors and be helpful to one another. That doesn’t mean don’t criticize or to say nothing about horrible beliefs. It means just reaching out anyway when that is possible for you to do. If you want to get an ex-Taliban, you have to talk to a Taliban first.

  386. Awwww. It’s that special! So you want to argue she’s a public figure? Fine. Go ahead.

    I’ll even stipulate she’s a public figure. You know why?

    It doesn’t change a damn thing about the rest of the analysis of what she should do to best disable your racist pigswill of a boss.

  387. Slartibartfast
    1, July 26, 2010 at 7:50 pm
    Blouise,

    Your poll may have been unscientific, but your experiment was very much in the spirit of science (and you were upfront about the anecdotal nature of your study). Thank you. And if you ever figure out what trolls are trying to accomplish, please tell the rest of us…

    ================================================================

    I was rather shocked at some of the comments coming from a few of my acquaintances … I never suspected the depth of dislike for blacks some of them harbor … it has changed my view of them considerably. Strangely enough, especially for republicans, they don’t like the cops much either. One comment rather summed it up, “Cops now-a-days, they think they can do anything they want!”

    As to trolls … the more they write, the more they reveal the true nature of their motivations … it just seems, from a troll’s standpoint, counter productive. That’s why I don’t get it.

    So one of them calls Buddha a bunch of names … come on, stuff like that rolls of the green guy’s back like holy water. Then, after he’s challenged them on the merits of their argument and basically, factually disproved every point they’ve raised, their only response is to keep repeating the disproved point as if writing it over and over is going to somehow change the facts. That’s when it just gets boring. There’s no more challenge.

    So what, in the end, did they accomplish? It’s a mystery to me.

  388. Trolls? Let me say this about trolls . . .

    “It is a tale told by an idiot, full of sound and fury signifying nothing.”

    But in this case, “nothing” should read “unlimited greed and lust for power.”

    What they cannot destroy they will obfuscate, like a dog fouling his own house.

  389. Jill,

    I take your point and agree that should I run into a teabagger who doesn’t turn my stomach with racism, then yes, depending on his/her views on other issues important to me, the wars, healthcare, taxes (I believe in taxes and don’t think they’re a bad thing)… then sure, I would work with them. But our political philosophies, myself and the teabagger, probably wouldn’t mesh well over the long haul … but I shouldn’t just assume that without giving my fellow human being the chance.

    I don’t think your making a radical suggestion … open mindedness is what you are advocating … am I right?

  390. In game theory, there are only three outcomes.

    1, 0, and -1.

    Here, the trolls have run into a zero sum game which is in truth the only outcome they hate other than the -1’s which prove fatal. For you see, here is the sad truth: if today Breitbart were say caught with something totally damning in the eyes of the public – say for the sake of argument he was found out as a child molester – his public life would be over instantly and there would be no chance of recovery. His reputation ruined, he’d soon be relegated to the “Where Are They Now?” columns if he appeared in the press at all. But in his absence, the GOP and the Neocons would hire some other schmuck to take his place tomorrow.

    And tomorrow we’d have to start shredding them again.

    For now, as it ever was, the price of liberty is eternal vigilance against the tyranny of the hateful, the small minded and selfish people.

  391. Anonymously Yours
    1, July 26, 2010 at 7:58 pm
    Slarti,

    Trolls as I understand it try and diffuse the topic of the thread(s) so that nothing substantive can be discussed. You will notice an increase in activity when either the professor is going to be on a tv program or Obama is going to be on tv or the Democrats actually do something.

    ===============================================================

    That makes sense

  392. obfuscate\ˈäb-fə-ˌskāt; äb-ˈfəs-ˌkāt, əb-\, v. (int.v.)

    transitive verb 1 a : darken b : to make obscure (obfuscate the issue)
    2 : confuse (obfuscate the reader)

    intransitive verb : to be evasive, unclear, or confusing

    There is no confusion here:

    There should be no law suit against Breitbart. The best way to deal with a propagandist is every time he attacks someone in the court of public opinion, use his previous bad acts against him in the court of public opinion. As bad acts accretion over time gives more ammunition, over time the counter attacks will only become more effective until they reach a point that the propagandist is totally discredited in they eyes of all but the most fanatical of followers.

  393. Jill I wonder if the common ground we are supposed to find with the tea party is the dislike for Obama and Nancy Pelosi and the desire to get them out of office. That seems to be their primary goal and I don’t share that view. Granted both of them are far from perfect but the alternative tea party endorsed candidates are plenty scary.

  394. Blouise,

    I submit in re annoyance the following observation:

    Trolls live to annoy like a tick lives to annoy.

    AY lives to annoy like a clumsy puppy licking your face lives to annoy.

    One lives off of blood, the other just wants to slobber on you and perhaps administer a mild mauling.

  395. Jill
    1, July 26, 2010 at 8:50 pm
    Open heartedness!
    ==============================================================
    … is good for the soul but sometimes damnedly hard to accomplish … for you pagans … I’m a Scorpio.

  396. Buddha Is Laughing
    1, July 26, 2010 at 8:54 pm
    Blouise,

    I submit in re annoyance the following observation:

    Trolls live to annoy like a tick lives to annoy.

    AY lives to annoy like a clumsy puppy licking your face lives to annoy.

    One lives off of blood, the other just wants to slobber on you and perhaps administer a mild mauling.

    ==============================================================

    He can take a joke … can’t he? If not, I’ll apologize and let him slobber on me.

  397. Elaine,

    I liked the video. If I didn’t have the TV aversion, those guys could use my services.

  398. … the thought of getting slobbered on is tantalizing … but don’t tell him … I don’t want him to think I’m being fresh …

  399. Elaine,

    The mind boggles …. I say keep pushing this guy, Not-So-Brightbart … he might be getting close to a psychotic break … perhaps he’ll see little green buddhas climbing his walls.

  400. One lives to be of service.

    If that service involves one or more Not-So-Breitbabies going mad, that’s just gravy.

  401. Well Blouise, depending on where you live I can slobber fairly far.

    Thanks Buddha, I let you do the PSA’s from now on……lol

    What do you call a basement full of troll’s?

    A whine Cellar.

    What do UFO’s and smart trolls have in common?

    You keep hearing about them but never see any.

    What do you get when you offer a troll a penny for its thoughts?

    Change……

  402. Damn, land of the free home of Bush. I’ll let you take home a Bush as a souvenir. Wait until the first week of October and you can say you won it at the fair…..

  403. “Mister? Do I have to take this Bush? It’s kind of a crappy prize. I’d rather have that fake dog doo or the plastic vomit.”

  404. Blouise–

    “The mind boggles …. I say keep pushing this guy, Not-So-Brightbart … he might be getting close to a psychotic break … perhaps he’ll see little green buddhas climbing his walls.”

    I was under the impression that Not-So-Brightbart had already HAD a psychotic break! I find myself continually confounded by the numbers of people who listen to and believe hate merchants like him, Limbaugh, Michael Savage, and others.

  405. Speaking of plastic vomit, the Charge of the Breit-Brigade has temporarily ended it seems. Must be a shift change.

  406. Buddha–

    “Speaking of plastic vomit, the Charge of the Breit-Brigade has temporarily ended it seems. Must be a shift change.”

    One thing we know for sure–it won’t be a shift to the LEFT!

  407. The right wing blogs don’t allow trolls. If you say something that reveals you are anything other than a right winger, they ban you.

  408. Buddha–

    I think sublimation is too good a process for trolls. There’s no pain involved.

    (I hope I don’t sound as nasty as like Cruella Deville.)

  409. Elaine M.
    1, July 26, 2010 at 9:36 pm
    Blouise–

    …………. I was under the impression that Not-So-Brightbart had already HAD a psychotic break! I find myself continually confounded by the numbers of people who listen to and believe hate merchants like him, Limbaugh, Michael Savage, and others.

    ================================================================

    After talking to 12 of my fellow townsmen teabaggers this weekend, I am no longer amazed … they want to believe it and as long as there is someone spouting it then they feel justified in believing it … it’s a confirmation of sorts for them … it’s okay to hate because someone on TV hates the same things I do.

    I’m not, in what I say next, trying to draw a Nazi comparison between the teabaggers and said Nazi party, but I’ve always wondered how Germans from a culture steeped in music, philosophy, original religious thinking, and the literary arts could fall so easily under the sway of Hitler’s hate mongering … believing that the Jews were the cause of all their financial woes and ignoring the role their former politicians had played in the country’s problems after the first world war. I’m no longer puzzled … at the risk of sounding simplistic … they wanted to believe it so they did. Hitler didn’t lead them anywhere they weren’t ready to go … he just jumped in front of them and yelled, “Forward, Ho!”

  410. Blouise I have thought of that comparison. If Palin is their nominee for president, it will definitely have that feel.

  411. I feel sorry for Professor Turley. It looks like he attracts only about 10-15 very lightweight posters and only a couple that actually have anything worthwhile to say. I wonder why he even bothers.

  412. Matt Taibbi’s most recent take on the Tea Party:

    The Tea Party is Perverted and Irrelevant
    by Matt Taibbi (RollingStone, 7/25/2010)
    http://www.rollingstone.com/politics/matt-taibbi/blogs/TaibbiData_May2010/184697/83512

    Excerpt:
    Which brings me to the Shirley Sherrod business. Following this surreal episode involving a heretofore obscure black female USDA official – an episode in which almost everyone involved acted like a complete and utter buffoon, from Tom Vilsack to Ben Jealous to Bill O’Reilly – there’s really only one thing we can say with absolute certainty. And that’s this: there are a hell of a lot of people in this country who enjoy talking about racism way, way too much.

    This applies to people on both sides of our burgeoning race war, an increasingly unavoidable drag of a phenomenon that is looking now like a very good bet to drench the next 5-10 years of domestic political discourse in cacophonous suckhood. On the Tea Party side, I’ve decided it isn’t even necessary to have the debate over whether or not the Tea Partiers are racists. It’s enough to point out that the Tea Party and its sympathizers contain too many people like Andrew Breitbart (the idiot blogger from the Big Government website who originally posted the Sherrod video), Bill O’Reilly, and Glenn Beck, all of whom popped huge public woodies the moment the Sherrod video surfaced.

    It’s just not necessary to say whether or not these people are racists. All that needs to be pointed out is that when they get a chance to gape at a video purporting to show a black Obama official confessing to having mistreated a white farmer (it turned out to be the opposite of that, of course), or a tape of Black Panther King Shamir talking about “killing cracker babies,” the word that best describes the emotions they display at these times is glee.

    **********
    At every Tea Party event I’ve gone to, the scene always devolves in one of two directions: either everybody trades stories about the corruption of Charlie Rangel or ACORN or Jeremiah Wright or some other notable nonwhite villain, or else a group therapy session breaks out in which everybody shares their harrowing experiences of being unjustly accused of racism. Once they reach one of those two destinations, they camp out there, conversationally, not just for minutes but hours.

    I remember being in Nevada with one group of Tea Party folks: I had one guy in my ear for a full half an hour about how “the mainstream media” had reported that a white man with a gun attended an Obama speech, and how in the end it wasn’t a white guy at all but a black guy… or something along those lines. The guy was staring at me like he had just told me the greatest and most interesting story since the Gospel and expected that when he was done, I would get the whole world on the phone so that it could apologize to him personally for how that initial misreport had made him feel.

  413. Anonymously Yours
    1, July 26, 2010 at 9:33 pm
    Damn, land of the free home of Bush. I’ll let you take home a Bush as a souvenir. Wait until the first week of October and you can say you won it at the fair…..

    ==============================================================

    Ha, you think I’m easy?

    A Bush in the hand is worth two in the Bush?

    To that I answer with a quote from Jesse Jackson, “”Whatever you do, fellow voters, STAY OUT OF DEM BUSHES!”

  414. Swarthmore mom
    1, July 26, 2010 at 10:11 pm
    Blouise I have thought of that comparison. If Palin is their nominee for president, it will definitely have that feel.

    ==============================================================

    If she is … the dems will have no problem gettin’ out the vote.

  415. TraderB–

    “I feel sorry for Professor Turley. It looks like he attracts only about 10-15 very lightweight posters and only a couple that actually have anything worthwhile to say. I wonder why he even bothers.”

    Is that the best you can do to insult us lightweights? C’mon…you can do better than that.

  416. TraderB
    1, July 26, 2010 at 10:14 pm
    I feel sorry for Professor Turley. It looks like he attracts only about 10-15 very lightweight posters and only a couple that actually have anything worthwhile to say. I wonder why he even bothers.

    ==========================================================

    Ah, dinner break over?

    Are you counting yourself … why bother?

  417. Awww. Isn’t that precious!

    Wearing his ass like a hat, the troll now criticizes the forum in which his nonsense found no foothold.

    Aesop had a story about you. Well, really it’s about a fox and some grapes. Sour grapes to be precise. Actually, it’s about rationalization.

    You know. Rationalizations like TraderB’s previous comment.

    Since you obviously aren’t very educated, even by the standards of properly educated children, I doubt that you’d gain any value from reading Aesop, troll. To get value from words one must first understand their meaning and context. So instead of providing a link to the text story, I’ve got a video for you with pretty pictures.

  418. Dismiss the opponent as insane.

    Oh yeah. That’ll work. See, for that to work, the opponent must actually be demonstrably insane. Like committing multiple expressions of irrational hatreds like, say, oh I don’t know, maybe . . . racism.

    This tactic of dismissal has failed every time you’ve tried it so far. Yet you try it again? You do know what they call repeating an action again and again and expecting a different result, don’t you?

    Insane.

    Hmmmm. Careful with that smear there Karl. Looks like you got some on you.

    Try.

    Again.

    I’ll gladly pin you to the mat for your efforts. Not that you the uke is learning anything. This demonstration is for the benefit of the class.

  419. Sorry Buddha. The audience is too small here to bother with. Over to the WSJ, where they have knowledgeable posters.

  420. Sure.

    Go on over to the Murdoch owned WSJ and find a friendlier tamer more edited audience.

    Run away.

    That is what cowards do.

  421. And please, insult my intelligence on the way out.

    I do so value your assessment of my finer qualities. (That was sarcasm.)

  422. Oh shoot … is he gone?

    What’s the going rate? Hourly or per post

    He wasn’t engaging enough, I guess

    We need better trolls!

  423. Oh I doubt he’s left yet, Blouise.

    Unless he was ordered to quit making a fool of himself by Andy.

    Probably lurking a bit longer and trying to come up with some snappy retort.

  424. He’ll run over to the conservative pit that used to be the Wall Street Journal and lick his wounds while their editors protect him.

    I could insert the Chicken video again, but that’s kinda like kicking a lame dog at this point.

  425. I went to that site he mentioned … too funny … everybody (all 2 of them)are in a snit over the wiki thing … things like “our brave troops deserve better” etc.

  426. So much for his hopes of a more learned audience! I do wonder how many subscribers the WSJ lost when Rupert took over. Shame really. They used to be a real newspaper.

  427. I’m going to enjoy a mid-nightcap with my spouse and then go to bed … bid our troll goodnight and offer him some thoughtful words … it’s tough to be unemployed and reduced to the status of troll … I don’t imagine one would list it on a resume ….

  428. Oh, come to think of it … over the weekend I ran into a few people who read this blog … they don’t post, or at least they claim they don’t … they were talking about one of the threads as I approached and clued me in to their conversation … even went so far as to recommend that I read the blog … too funny

  429. Buddha,

    It has been amusing playing you like a fiddle. I write one sentence and you write a page of nonsense. You did all the trollwork. I am sure those seriously interested in the topic, if there are any left, will appreciate finding nothing but crap here.

    However, I cannot waste my time on a blog with so few readers and so little substance.

  430. The only thing you’ve demonstrated you can play with is yourself, troll.

    Now either leave or bring it.

  431. Or are you going to wait half an hour again and declare your victory as you run away with your pants pulled up over your head?

  432. Either way? I’ll dismantle your garbage again tomorrow, because if I hadn’t gotten a phone call? I’d be asleep right now.

    So nighty night, ‘lil TrollB.

    Be sure to tell your boss he’s a douche bag for me.

    Enjoy your sour grapes.

  433. I should add that I was talking about the comments, not Professor Turley’s blog, which I find worthwhile reading. I image there are many who read it, but ignore the comments. I found only 3 out out of 578 that added any insights to his comments in this blog. Too much chaff, too little wheat.

  434. Is this what “blindsided”looks and feels like?

    “OpinionDem senator calls ‘white privilege’ a myth and gets away with it
    By Sophia A. Nelson

    9:22 AM on 07/26/2010

    Democratic senator calls for ending diversity programs Virginia Sen. Jim Webb speaks during a press conference at the Japan National Press Club in Tokyo. (AP Photo/Koji Sasahara, File)

    I have to tell you when I first read my own U.S. Senator Jim Webb’s (D-VA) opinion column last week in the Wall Street Journal titled, “Diversity and the Myth of White Privilege” my jaw dropped.

    This must be a misprint I thought–no sitting Democratic U.S. Senator (from the south no less) with a black population of almost 20 percent would be so openly divisive. Then I read it again, and again, and I finally grasped the point: Jim Webb is up for re-election in 2012 in a state that has turned “red” once again and he needs to bring home conservative white voters and independents that apparently feel discriminated against since Barack Obama became president of the United States. His op-ed is simply a preview I fear of what we can expect in the 2010 midterms and the 2012 presidential election.

    Let’s face it folks–race and race baiting are here to stay. Pitting black against white and white against black still works in America and we had all better buckle up as I like to say because when a sitting U.S. Senator makes declarations such as this: “Forty years ago, as the United States experienced the civil rights movement, the supposed monolith of white Anglo-Saxon Protestant dominance served as the whipping post for almost every debate about power and status in America. After a full generation of such debate, WASP elites have fallen by the wayside and a plethora of government-enforced diversity policies have marginalized many white workers. The time has come to cease the false arguments and allow every American the benefit of a fair chance at the future.”

    What alternate reality is Jim Webb living in? Does he really believe that affirmative action and diversity programs have truly harmed white Americans? I simply don’t live in that America when we can all plainly see that black unemployment is double the national average, and that black men in some cities are experiencing Great Depression level unemployment in excess of 35 percent. Black infant mortality rates, incarceration rates, wealth gap, home ownership, marriage rates, education rates are all disproportionately at the bottom of the barrel (facts Webb reluctantly admits as he is talking out of both sides of his mouth).

    But here is the point: I guess what incenses and alarms me most is that had a conservative written this column, or God forbid a Republican politician all hell would have broken loose and this story would have been carried by many news outlets. But since Webb is a Democrat, like the late Senator Robert Byrd (who once as a member of the KKK), he gets a pass. That is most unfortunate, because once again African-Americans are the losers in the “race-baiting” gamut. And I’d bet my house that despite this op-ed Webb will feel entitled to garner a large share of the black vote come the fall 2012 election. And worse, he will likely get it.

    If any of us ever doubted the specter of race-baiting works well, we just have to reflect on the past week’s events with the NAACP, Tea Party, Shirley Sherrod, USDA, and Andrew Breitbart. For a United States Senator to author this kind of divisive op-ed, in the nation’s premiere conservative economic newspaper in such racially charged times as these is simply shocking.

    This is exactly the kind of nonsense that Rush Limbaugh spews on airways day after day as he calls it in “Barack Obama’s America”: “[In] Obama’s America, white kids getting beat up on school buses now. You put your kids on a school bus, you expect safety but in Obama’s America the white kids now get beat up with the black kids cheering, “Yay, right on, right on, right on, right on,” and, of course, everybody says the white kid deserved it, he was born a racist, he’s white. Newsweek magazine told us this. We know that white students are destroying civility on buses, white students destroying civility in classrooms all over America, white congressmen destroying civility in the House of Representatives.”

    To my fellow Americans I would ask is this the kind of U.S. Senator we want: one that would divide us on issues of race and class beyond what we already are. Words penned by a statesman matter. Words penned by a United States Senator carry great weight. Words written that suggest one group is suffering because of the advancement of another are dangerous.

    Sophia A. Nelson is a contributor to theGrio.com she is a political pundit and communications strategist. Her forthcoming book, Black.Female.Accomplished.Redefined. will be out in 2011.

  435. eniobob Never have liked Jim Webb. Virginia voted for Obama but has been sliding backwards ever since. They even elected a republican christian fundamentalist, Bob McDonnell, as governor. Remember this is the state that brought you George Allen.

  436. forum\ˈfȯr-əm\, n.,

    1 a : the marketplace or public place of an ancient Roman city forming the center of judicial and public business b : a public meeting place for open discussion c : a medium (as a newspaper or online service) of open discussion or expression of ideas
    2 : a judicial body or assembly : court
    3 a : a public meeting or lecture involving audience discussion b : a program (as on radio or television) involving discussion of a problem usually by several authorities

    It’s a package deal.

  437. TraderB:

    “I feel sorry for Professor Turley. It looks like he attracts only about 10-15 very lightweight posters and only a couple that actually have anything worthwhile to say. I wonder why he even bothers.”

    if someone doesn’t agree they get nasty and people just say forget it. Verbal force is as bad as physical force. But a common tactic of those with a totalitarian mindset.

  438. “Verbal force is as bad as physical force.”

    Bullshit. Words hurt a lot less than sticks. It’s much better to get your ass kicked in an argument than by thugs wearing brown shirts. That’s a fact.

    Debate, an essential component of a democracy, is by its nature an adversarial process. You don’t have people debating when there is unanimous agreement but rather only when there are positions in opposition.

    If someone brings propaganda – by definition and modern application containing lies and distortion – to a public forum that encourages factual and logical discussion and debate? Then they are going to loose and loose badly.

    If they are made to look like fools by people with a factual basis for their arguments and superior skills in logic and presentation? Then that is the price they pay for being propagandists and building their foundations for argument on sand instead of stone.

    “I feel sorry for Professor Turley. It looks like he attracts only about 10-15 very lightweight posters and only a couple that actually have anything worthwhile to say. I wonder why he even bothers.” is not a statement of totalitarian oppression. It’s simple (pathetic) dismissive invective – a form of rationalization just as surely as the fox’s thoughts on grapes. Words of a sore loser walking away with his tail between his legs.

  439. eniobob,

    Thank you for the info on Webb … I guess he’s just another “I’ll say whatever it takes to get my important self elected.” Once that happens, he can never be trusted again … by anyone.

  440. Swarthmore mom,

    Here’s the latest on Tancredo:

    Goss clears way for Tancredo, resigns as gubernatorial candidate
    July 27, 2010 10:44 AM
    THE ASSOCIATED PRESS
    DENVER — Benjamin Goss has submitted his resignation letter Tuesday as the American Constitution Party’s candidate for governor.

    Goss is stepping down to make way for former GOP congressman Tom Tancredo, who plans to run on the party’s ticket. Tancredo switched his party affiliation Monday. (American Constitution Party)

    ****************************************************
    He’s Colorado’s problem … I feel sorry for them

  441. Buddha,

    Did you get the sense that TraderB wasn’t as fully committed to his cause as he should have been … he waffled a lot … or was that just my impression?

  442. Blouise My son is active in Colorado politics. Tancredo opens the door for the democratic candidate, John Hickenlooper. He was the very progressive mayor of Denver.

  443. Blouise,

    Yep.

    It’s hard to argue a losing position. For example, my moot court experience in law school. I was set against a friend who was just as bad a bulldog as I am when arguing. That was a large part of why we were friends. Well, most moot court exercises are about a well established case, you do the research, you build your arguments and present them. Our case? Our old friend in keeping the government secular, Lemon v. Kurtzman. Unfortunately for my friend, I was assigned the winning side. And at moot court, I saw a side of him I didn’t know existed prior to that. He was subdued and in some cases waffling. At the time, I was more than a bit shocked. It’s much harder to argue with passion from a side you know is a loser is the moral of that story. I’d think that applies to propagandists as well.

  444. Swarthmore mom
    1, July 27, 2010 at 1:48 pm
    Blouise My son is active in Colorado politics. Tancredo opens the door for the democratic candidate, John Hickenlooper. He was the very progressive mayor of Denver.

    ============================================================
    From what I’ve read in the Denver papers (read them right after your first post), John Hickenlooper was looking good for the win even before TT did his switch-a-roo. The egos of these old farts (excuse the crudeness)blinds them to everything outside of their sense of self-importance … they just can’t seem to come to terms with the fact that their careers are finished. A failing shared by all political players.

  445. Buddha Is Laughing
    1, July 27, 2010 at 1:50 pm
    Blouise,

    Yep.

    …It’s much harder to argue with passion from a side you know is a loser is the moral of that story. I’d think that applies to propagandists as well.

    ===============================================================
    Yes, I see … so my impression wasn’t off the mark. He came on like gang busters and just kind of shriveled … as if his heart wasn’t really in it. I almost felt sorry for him.

    Imagine spending 4 or 5 years getting a degree in Political Science or whatever and ending up being a “Troll” … I wonder if that job, like positions in so many other fields, typecasts one forever. The only way out is literally out … changing fields.

  446. The anti-Mexican sentiment is heating up in the Southwest. I had a call from my republican state rep’s campaign yesterday. The woman said the democratic opponent was from the “valley” and the caller keep talking about illegal immigrants. It was sickening. The democratic opponent is of Mexican descent and I don’t know if she is from the “valley” but the woman was using it as a racial stereotype. Those of you not from Texas probably would not know that the “valley” means the Rio Grande Valley which translates into Mexican. It looks like the republicans are making the 2010 campaign about race not issues. I have experienced it firsthand now just as I experienced the anger of the tea party over proposed changes to health care.

  447. eniobob
    1, July 27, 2010 at 2:07 pm
    What makes webb so strange to me,was his strong suit was suppose to be the military.

    Go figure.

    =============================================================
    Exactly! Now I wonder if that strong suit (boots and all) was just a gimmick … perhaps he’s just another rudderless politician with no real fiber except the over whelming need to feel important.

  448. Webb is getting ready for George Allen. Apparently Mr. “macaca” is running against him in 2012.