Submitted by Anne Landman on
The recent attempt by the right-wing propaganda machine to stir up interracial hatred by smearing Department of Agriculture employee Shirley Sherrod should be a call to action for traditional journalists. It is now clear that a component of the right's campaign against President Obama is creating racial backlash through the fabrication of false and outrageous propaganda. The Obama administration wrongly assumed that whatever narrative Fox News might concoct and broadcast about a given situation trumps all else in importance, even at the risk of defaming a reputable government worker. The truth is that mainstream journalism has been beaten into believing that writing a "balanced" story means they must take into account whatever defamatory garbage right-wing extremists produce, and portray it as "the other side of the story." The strategy of fabricating lies to influence policy and elections goes back years now. Claims that Al Gore said he "invented the Internet" and that there were "death panels" in the Democrats' health care bill are just two examples of lies that actually succeeded in influencing debates over substantive issues. The Scott Breitbarts of the world are turning into the traditional media's assignment editors. The Sherrod case should be the end of the line for this type of media climate. The mainstream media needs to summon enough courage to start differentiating real news from outright propaganda.
Solomon Kleinsmith replied on Permalink
Just one side of the coin
This is prevalent across the spectrum. I watch it for my blog, and find just about as much garbage on the left as I do on the right.
Dave Allen replied on Permalink
I agree, the news should be
I agree, the news should be the news.
boroka replied on Permalink
Reverse "Qui bono?"
Who was harmed in this whole sloppy affair? Certainly not the lady "smeared." She is now infinitely more famous, popular, influential and CERTAINLY wealthy than she was, say a couple of months ago. Her political views may be placed on public display, to be sure. But that is one of the things medianddemocracy is in favor, ain'tit? Or if not, then what's in a name? There is plenty of slipshod journalism in evidence her, (the end-product of training by liberal-dominated J-schools), but why hide these facts: Which media outlet ran the story first? The most often? Who actually DID something to the woman (i.e who fired her)? Which ethnic organization hurriedly condemned her, before listening to the entire speech? Can anyone "snooker" an organization with half a brain?
JRang replied on Permalink
Not Only in USA
The phenomenon of fabricating news stories going viral and greatly influencing election results and defaming a renowned personality exists almost in every country.
Some journalists, rather than working to present a news - work just like activists of a political party along with their papers or channels. Some even do it to suffice some kind of personal vendetta and other accepts money or gifts to do it which should not happen with journalism who have this fine job of presenting a real important news to the public without any bias.
The government should also look into the stories by news agencies properly so that the ill-minded journalists don't succeed.
davea0511 replied on Permalink
Gee whiz. It's the the late 1600's and Fox News is the witch. Where's the outrage at Obama's boys jumping the gun? Isn't it a shame that all news agencies can't be like ABC, CBS, NBC, CNN, MSNBC ... i.e., liberal, even-handed, and unbiased.
He he he ... how utterly hypocritical ... get your facts straight you clowns: Breitbart didn’t force Sherrod to resign, Vilsack did.
Anonymous replied on Permalink
Yes!! For the love of all that is holy and right, let's "call to action for traditional journalists"
We want it the way it was!! Liberal and mainstream!! I want my Dan Rather, Tom Brokaw, Ed Bradley, Harry Reasoner......I want them all back!
Anonymous replied on Permalink
Who did What to Whom ? ? ?
Please answer this question:
Which of these COMPLETELY SUPPORTED Shirley Sherrod from the BEGGINING to the END ?
The Obama Administration
Glenn Beck, FOX NEWS
Correct answer: Glenn Beck.
The author of this article should check thier facts first. Just like Glenn Beck did.
If FOX news is such a monster, what does that make the Obama administration or the NAACP ?