They call it ‘snookering’, I call it deliberate smearing


by Sunny
21st July, 2010 at 2:20 pm    

A controversy has erupted in the US. CNN explains:

The NAACP has retracted its original statement condemning comments made by a former Agriculture Department official who resigned after a video clip surfaced of her discussing a white farmer.

“Having reviewed the full tape by Shirley Sherrod, who is the woman who was fired by the Department of Agriculture, and most importantly heard the testimony of the white farmers mentioned in this story, we now believe that the organization that edited the documents did so with the intention of deceiving millions of Americans,” the statement from NAACP President Benjamin Jealous said.

In the video, Sherrod can be heard telling an audience at a March 27, 2010, appearance before a local chapter of the NAACP that she had not given a white farmer “the full force of what I could do” to help him save the family farm.

But in actual fact the full video shows her saying the opposite – that she’d actually done her best to help the farmer. CNN quotes the farmer in question saying: “I don’t know what brought up the racist mess. They just want to stir up some trouble, it sounds to me in my opinion.”

This reminded me of the controversy that Harry’s Place blog tried to start up by smearing the New Statesman political editor Mehdi Hasan, which I then had to debunk and illustrate the full context to explain what Hasan was actually getting at. And yet, you still read extremist nutjobs on blogs frothing about how racist Mehdi Hasan was based on the video. It was a straight-up smear job, deliberately edited down and selectively presented for a particular reason. The same applies in this context to the NAACP incident. A small but very vocal percentage of people reading political blogs aren’t interested in context or understanding what the person is trying to get at. Especially if that person is black or Muslim. They get a clip that confirms their bias and they go apoplectic.

Update: There’s an excellent summary at The Week.


              Post to del.icio.us


Filed in: Media






11 Comments below   |  

Reactions: Twitter, blogs
  1. sunny hundal

    Blog post:: They call it 'snookering', I call it deliberate smearing http://bit.ly/a6c6db




  1. Bill — on 21st July, 2010 at 6:39 pm  

    …a video clip surfaced…

    Where did it first surface? Who dredged it up? Yes, Shirley Sherrod did go on to explain that she overcame her prejudices and treated the farmer equally, as the Constitution requires. And her effective dismissal by the USDA was done in a rotten way and to some degree was unjust. That’s two strikes against an organization that hired a bigot in the first place.

  2. Sunny — on 21st July, 2010 at 6:42 pm  

    That’s two strikes against an organization that hired a bigot in the first place.

    You’re calling someone a bigot who explains how they overcame her racism and helped a white family who was suffering?

    … twat.

  3. Bill — on 21st July, 2010 at 9:54 pm  

    You’re calling someone a bigot who explains how they overcame her racism and helped a white family who was suffering?

    She admits that she was bigoted so how did she get hired in the first place? That is my question for the USDA. I happen to think that her confession, remorse, and overcoming of her prejudices is commendable, even inspirational, and I don’t think she deserved to be fired as it seems she now performs her job properly. But given that US liberals have elevated racism above all other sins in public life, you should hardly be surprised at what the USDA has done.

  4. Bill — on 21st July, 2010 at 9:54 pm  

    … twat.

    Classy.

  5. Sunny — on 21st July, 2010 at 10:49 pm  

    She admits that she was bigoted so how did she get hired in the first place? That is my question for the USDA.

    She wan’t working for the USDA at the time.

  6. Bill — on 21st July, 2010 at 11:01 pm  

    She wan’t working for the USDA at the time.

    You are correct, a little digging shows that she was working for the Federation of Southern Cooperatives/Land Assistance Fund, which makes her firing even more unjust — but doesn’t excuse you any more for being damn rude.

  7. Don — on 22nd July, 2010 at 8:29 am  
  8. joe90 — on 23rd July, 2010 at 5:33 pm  

    Sheesh talk about government U turn. Is this the same US administration that is in charge of thousands of nuclear weapons. What if they acted hastily on launching one of them ooops we made an error oh and we killed 10 million people in the process!

  9. Don — on 23rd July, 2010 at 6:48 pm  

    Well, let’s hope they learn from this. When right-wing attack pups yap at your heels, it’s a mistake to throw them a bone.

  10. Kismet Hardy — on 3rd August, 2010 at 11:37 am  

Sorry, the comment form is closed at this time.

Pickled Politics © Copyright 2005 - 2010. All rights reserved. Terms and conditions.
With the help of PHP and Wordpress.