Is this what the powers that be in Washington have sunk to?:
“Sherrod told CNN that the White House urged her to resign Monday afternoon after the video clip surfaced.
“They harassed me,” she said. “I got three calls from the White House. At one point they asked me to pull over to the side of the road and do it because you are going to be on Glenn Beck tonight.
Sherrod said the White House calls came from Cheryl Cook, USDA deputy undersecretary for rural development. “The administration was not interested in hearing the truth. They didn’t want to hear the truth.”
And this? From Cook’s boss, Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack
“The controversy surrounding her comments would create situations where her decisions, rightly or wrongly, would be called into question making it difficult for her to bring jobs to Georgia…Our policy is clear. There is zero tolerance for discrimination at USDA and we strongly condemn any act of discrimination against any person.”
So federal government employees like Shirley Sherrod can be smeared by edited video tapes sent by an anonymous source to a well-known right-wing purveyor of doctored video tapes (see ACORN) Andrew Breitbart. They can lose their jobs without one shred of evidence or one second of investigation into whether or not the accusations are true. All because of adherence to a stupid-ass zero tolerance policy (as are all zero tolerance policies) where right or wrong doesn’t matter, just make it go away so it doesn’t show up on the Glenn Beck Histrionics Hour? What a bunch of weak-kneed, pants-wetting cowards.
Also, regarding this from the agriculture secretary; I may have been born at night, but it wasn’t last night.
“Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack this afternoon took responsibility for firing an official, Shirley Sherrod whose appearance on video recalling her behavior toward a white farmer drew charges of racism, and whose immediate firing drew suggestions that the administration had over-reacted to an edited video clip. A White House official told me just now that the White House backs Vilsack’s decision — but that it was Vilsack’s alone. The official said the White House — contrary to the Sherrod’s charge — did not pressure the Department to fire her.”
Bullshit. This high profile of a firing done this quickly isn’t done by a USDA deputy undersecretary or even the Secretary of Agriculture without being run by somebody at 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue.
Shirley Sherrod is owed two things. First and foremost, her job back. Immediately. Secondly, apologies from everyone involved. Both should come as quickly and as publicly as was her hasty dismissal. Let’s also hope a lesson has been learned here. When Breitbart releases a video and Fox News cranks up their RNC propaganda machine, will somebody please check out the veracity before the condemnations and firings begin?