Sherrod Videos and Timeline

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Shirley Sherrod



Shirley Sherrod is a former United States Department of Agriculture official, who was fired by Tom Vilsack, the head of the Department of Agriculture, due to aired video excerpts provided by Andrew Breitbart, which purportedly showed Sherrod making racist remarks concerning a farmer who sought her help in financing for his farm in 1986.[1] Sherrod was the Georgia State Director for the USDA.

Breitbart's Excerpted Videos

NAACP Bigotry in Their Ranks - Air date: 07-18-10
Federal Jobs - Air date: 07-18-10

Andrew Breitbart posted two video excerpts on July 19, 2010 on his site Big Government, showing Shirley Sherrod making the following statement at the NAACP Freedom Fund banquet:

You know, the first time I was faced with helping a white farmer save his farm, he took a long time talking but he was trying to show me he was superior to me. I know what he was doing. But he had 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 had 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 so that when he... I assumed the Department of Agriculture had sent him to me, either that, or the Georgia Department of Agriculture, and he needed to go back and report that I did try to help him. So I took him to a white lawyer that had attended some of the training that we had provided because Chapter 12 bankruptcy had just been enacted for the family farm. So I figured if I take him to one of them, that his own kind would take care of him.
That's when it was revealed to me that it's about poor versus those who have, and not so much about white--it is about white and black, but it's not, you know, it opened my eyes because I took him to one of his own.[2]

After the dust settled somewhat, it turned out that the posted video was an excerpt of broader comments Sherrod made that were quite different when taken into context. Breitbart did not edit any of the video excerpts he had in his possession (7 in total). He never had a copy of the entire speech.[3] The complete video was finally released by the NAACP the evening of July 20, 2010, who had the full version in their possession from the beginning.[4] It is unknown how Breitbart came into possession of the video excerpts.

A Question of Timing

What the Media Won't Tell You: Shirley Sherrod's Racist Remarks to the NAACP - Air date: 07-23-10
Shirley Sherrod On Morning Joe (Part 1) - Air date: 07-22-10

The USDA was in receipt of the transcript for the NAACP video on July 15th, 2010. This is a full four days before Breitbart aired the excerpts in his possession. From RBO:[5]

The significance of this find by blogger Michelle C. Austin — which I think is a REALLY BIG DEAL — has been overlooked.
We learn from Secretary of Agriculture Tom Vilsack’s July 21 briefing to the media that, on July 15 — the Thursday prior to the clip being played on Monday, July 19, by Andrew Breitbart at BigGovernment.com — his office at the Department of Agriculture already had in its possession a transcript of Sherrod’s March 27 NAACP speech.

More on Vilsack:

But then Vilsack continues to tell the reporters that he talked with Sherrod about the fact that she had emailed the office with a copy of the transcript of her NAACP speech — more than a week ago. That would be approximately five days before the clip was shown at BigGovernment.com.
Vilsack says he did not receive the email because it was “not addressed properly” to him. There was a problem with the email address, he says, so it never came to his attention.

Next we get the surprising news that, in her conversation with Vilsack, Sherrod told him that she had received some indication of this clip being available. In an effort to respond to the possible release of the clip, she pre-emptively sent an email to Vilsack to give him a head’s up.
Vilsack says he did not get the email as it was sent to the deputy secretary’s attention.
Vilsack says, “We did not discover it until after the fact, until this all came up.”

RBO asks a number of very valid questions in their article here: The Sherrod Mess: Something Reeks at the Department of Agriculture

Sherrod definitely contends that the USDA knew about the video before Breitbart aired it. Why was this covered up and why was the mainstream media not more aggressive in reporting the facts? Or are a number of them complicit in the cover up? Obviously a cover up occurred for reasons unknown and the whole issue should have been reported on much more transparently than it was. Why was there such a swift reaction to getting rid of Sherrod when the video was known about already?

The Timeline

Andrew Breitbart Defends Shirley Sherrod Story - Air date: 07-21-10
Shirley Sherrod: the FULL video - Air date: 07-20-10

March 27, 2010 - Saturday

  • Shirley Sherrod delivers a controversial speech to a NAACP Freedom Fund banquet.[6]

April 14, 2010 - Wednesday

  • Andrew Breitbart comes into possession of seven selective clips of the Sherrod video speech at the NAACP Freedom Fund banquet. Breitbart does not have access to the entire video until it is released by the NAACP on July 20, 2010. It can be safely said, that as the smoke clears, that this appears to be a 'managed leak' in which Breitbart was the recipient of the excerpted videos.

April 15, 2010 - Thursday

  • Tom Vilsack at the USDA is in receipt of the emailed transcript of the NAACP video from Sherrod. He contends he did not see it before Breitbart's airing of the excerpts because it went to the wrong email address at the USDA. But Sherrod definitely confirms that she personally had confirmation that the USDA had received the transcript.

July 19, 2010 - Monday[7]

  • 4:50 pm EDT - Andrew Breitbart tweets on the subject to Media Matters for America - "Get some rest. Tomorrow's gonna be long day & first of many in a row."
  • Some time before 5:00 pm EDT - Shirley Sherrod resigns her position.

According to Sherrod, she was called twice[8] as she drove home by an official who had contacted her after prompting by the White House. The official was so insistent that she resign immediately that Sherrod pulled over to the side of the road to resign by email.[9] The White House rejected any claims that they pressured Sherrod for a resignation with a statement that said: "The White House did not pressure her or USDA over the resignation. It was the Secretary’s decision, as he has said."[10]

  • 8:50 pm EDT - Bill O'Reilly airs Breitbart's Sherrod video. The is the first instance of an actual Fox News broadcast to cover the Sherrod story.
  • 9:04 pm EDT - Sean Hannity reports that Sherrod has resigned.
  • 9:44 pm EDT - Sean Hannity's Great American Panel discusses Sherrod video.

July 20, 2010 - Tuesday

  • 6:53 am EDT - CNN interviews Sherrod who says comments were taken out of context and then claims administration fears "Fox and the Tea Party." AMERICAN MORNING
  • 9:52 am EDT - Glenn Beck picks up the story. This is the first time he has mentioned the story.
  • 11:06 am EDT - On CNN Newsroom, Sherrod claims she was told to resign because she would appear on Glenn Beck that night - Monday, July 19th, 2010. Beck never even mentioned the story that day. CNN NEWSROOM
  • 11:20 am EDT - On CNN Newsroom, the farmer's wife who was allegedly discriminated against by Sherrod, calls Sherrod a "friend" who "helped us save our farm."
  • 2:15 pm EDT (approx.) - RedState reports that "it seems like the right just got the scalp of a penitent lady."
  • 5:00 pm EDT - Glenn Beck covers the Sherrod story on his television show. He reiterates that context matters and defends Sherrod. Sherrod never appeared on Glenn Beck's show even though there were four requests from Fox for her to appear on their network.
  • 6:41 pm EDT - Bret Baier reports on the Sherrod story.
  • 7:45 pm EDT (approx.) - NAACP purportedly releases the full Sherrod video.

External links

References