Said NAACP President Ben Jealous in the newstatement:
With regard to the initial media coverage of the resignation of
USDA Official Shirley Sherrod, we have come to the conclusion we were
snookered by Fox News and Tea Party Activist Andrew Breitbart into
believing she had harmed white farmers because of racial bias.
Having reviewed the full tape, spoken to Ms. Sherrod, and most
importantly heard the testimony of the white farmers mentioned in this
story, we now believe the organization that edited the documents did so
with the intention of deceiving millions of Americans.
This is the same Jealous who said
Monday he was “appalled” by Sherrod’s “abuse of power.” Good for the
NAACP for admitting a mistake.
No, not good.
Because they admitted thewrong mistake. No one believes for one minute that Jealous, or Vilsack, and whoever in the administration allowed or ordered Vilsack to carry the ball on urging Sherrod to step down, was “snookered” or “hoodwinked.” No one at that level of political power listens to Fox or Breitbart and falls for it. Fox News manipulating a story? Andrew Breitbart lying? Gosh, who in the White House press office would expect that?
They made a bet on the response that was calculated to cause the least amount of damage, and now, in addition to losing big to the rabid assholes who started all this, they are throwing table scraps to the public and pretending they didn’t do something cynical and paranoid and contrived at the expense of a public servant with a long career of civil rights advocacy who committed the grave error of speaking in public about amatter of moral complexity that happened a quarter of a century ago.
Breitbart and Fox are scumbags and they deserve every bit of blame getting thrown at them for this. But come the fuck on, in what nine-dimensional, 12-steps-ahead, crystal-ball-PR-chess game did the Obama administration, the USDA, and the NAACP arrive at the decision that the correct first course of action, the very best first thing was to condemn and jettison Sherrod right off the bat? In what universe does no one in the administration pause and consider that their actions will make them look like chumps and losers – again- to the people who put them in power? In what game book is that preferable when it’s written across the sky in black smoke that everyone on the other side hates your guts anyway and no one over there will ever be convinced anything you do is right?
There’ll be more statements, maybe an apology, maybe some attempt to walk part of this back. I don’t care what they do because none of it will bear any resemblance to the truth and it certainly won’t look like winning. I am so weary of this shit.
And don’t even get me started on theWashington Post story.