Fox News is an entertainment channel—I use entertainment loosely—it is in NO way a sufficient source of factual information. The amount of people that do not know this, and worse yet—use Fox News as their main source for national affairs, is frightening to say the least. I have expressed my views about Fox on here in the past however this recent fiasco involving Shirley Sherrod’s “Racism,” as portrayed by Fox News really disgusted me.
Summary: Shirley Sherrod, a former United States Department of Agriculture Georgia State Director of Rural Development, was forced to resign after a heavily edited video of her address to a March 2010 NAACP meeting was posted on Andrew Breitbart’s Big Government website on July 19, 2010. It was then blasted all over Fox News. In the video, Sherrod (an African American woman) described her own attitude, while employed at a private advocacy firm in 1986, when a white farmer sought her help after his farm was about to be foreclosed. The edited video shows Sherrod explaining that at first, she wasn’t sure if she would help the farmer. Breitbart’s edited video is portrayed as if it was an admission of racial discrimination while at her federally appointed position (of which she was appointed to in 2009).
The point that she was making in her story was that her initial thought was wrong and that she would help the white farmers and that any kind of discrimination is wrong. This quote was one of the ones edited out, “I didn’t let that get in the way of trying to help… I didn’t discriminate … If I had discriminated against him, I would not have given him any help at all because I wasn’t obligated to do it by anyone … I didn’t have to help that farmer. I could have sent him out the door without giving him any help at all. But in the end, we became very good friends, and that friendship lasted for some years.” The video also didn’t explain that she grew up during segregation and that her father was shot to death by a white farmer who faced no charges.
Fox News simply picked up the video without asking any questions or without checking any context and broadcasted it out to millions and millions of people as factual news. We wonder why there are so many misinformed people in this country—THIS is the reason. Broadcasting fake news under the guise of actual news in dangerous. Fox News did their best to ruin this women’s career and more by falsely portraying her as a racist.
The fact that the Obama administration pressured her to resign is shameful. That said, she has since received an apology from the administration, and has been offered another job with the Department of Agriculture. She has not yet accepted the job offer.