Tonight on AC360° Amy Cuddy told Gary Tuchman, “Obama, is aware that as a black man, and this is supported very very well by good science, it is very risky for black men to show any signs of aggression. So, when a black man shows a sign of aggression, people say, ‘See!’ It confirms a stereotype of black men.”
We asked Cuddy for that science. FULL POST
President Barack Obama said Thursday that Shirley Sherrod "deserves better than what happens last week when a bogus controversy ... led to her forced resignation."
"Many are to blame" for the reaction that followed, he said, "including my own administration."
Her whole story, Obama said he told Sherrod, "is exactly the kind of story we need to hear in America (because) we all have our biases."
The president made his remarks during an appearance at the National Urban League's 100th Anniversary Convention in Washington.
Shirley Sherrod told a panel at the National Association of Black Journalists convention Thursday she would pursue a lawsuit against blogger Andrew Breitbart.
"I will definitely do it," she said, when asked about rumors she was considering legal actions.
The Sherrod controversy began after conservative blogger Breitbart posted a portion of the speech in which Sherrod spoke of not offering her full help to a white farmer. The original post indicated that the incident Sherrod mentioned occurred when she worked for the Agriculture Department, and news outlets quickly picked up on the story.
CNN Political Ticker
Rush Limbaugh said Thursday on his radio show that Fox News and at least one of its anchors "caved" in its coverage of Shirley Sherrod, the former USDA employee who was fired in haste on Monday after an edited clip of her was posted on a conservative website.
"I have to go after it … because even Fox caved on this," Limbaugh said. "Even Shep Smith. Even poor old Shep Smith went down there and said that everybody's wrong on this, that [BigGovernment.com founder Andrew] Breitbart is wrong and so forth. There's only a handful of us that have the guts to put this story straight. If we don't hammer back nobody will."
Limbaugh dismissed the story, saying he was bored by it.
Tom Foreman | BIO
If you notice political punditas walking around with neck braces this weekend, it may be because they were whiplashed by the story of Shirley Sherrod. She’s the Agriculture Department official who was given the bum’s rush out of her job after she made a speech that was clipped by a blogger, that was posted online, that seemed to be racist, that lay in the house that Jack built. Or something like that.
Ag Secretary Vilsack (who up until now was pretty much just the answer to a current affairs trivia question) apologized for unceremoniously heaving her from the loft. Seems her comments were taken out of context; that the speech was made long ago, and it was actually about the need to overcome racism in all its nasty forms. Imagine.
The real issue here, however, is not racism. It’s reaction-ism. For years, Washington and the political media have ramped up the feeding frenzy mentality that passes for news in the same sense that BP passes for an environmental group. The appetite for scandal begat a hunger for instant scandal begat a craving for anything that even looks like scandal, even if the facts haven’t fallen into the furrow.
After all, why coax the seed of truth, when you can pile up the fertilizer of sensationalism? The water falls from the blogosphere, or is piped in by political schemers, many of whom have only a passing familiarity with the truth even on their best days. Their real passion lies in winning. Both sides have pursued this kind of instant, public pillorying with such gusto that each is now terrified of it.
So something like the Sherrod story splashes across the headlines, the damage control police start ringing their alarm bells, and before there is even reasonable time for facts to be determined and weighed, rash action is launched. (As an aside, notice how quickly Washington can move when political image is at stake instead of, oh say, jobs or the Gulf of Mexico.)
I’m neither defending nor condemning Ms. Sherrod, because I’ll readily admit I don’t know enough about her case. But others had no problem choosing their course of action, with no more information. And as a result, the Ag Department, the Administration, and many in the DC media are reaping a bitter harvest.