Feb. 14, 2011 Shirley Sherrod sues Andrew Breitbart over his distribution of a specific section of a video of Sherrod regarding his idea of alledged racism.
The conservative talk show host was served at the CPAC Convention over the weekend with court papers for the claim of defamation of her character when he released and published on his website Big Government dot com that damaged her reputation, prevented her from continuing to work which was a hostile position by Tom Vilsack the head of the US Department of Agriculture after the release of the video.
Sherrod was put in the massive public eye and all the media attention she initially received condemned her as a racist against white farmers. The excerpt that Breitbart released was only a small part of her whole speech which was 43 minutes long given at a NAACP conference.
Attempting to Smear a Black Woman Breitbart over stepped reality and the ethics of journalism
Shirley’s name was dragged through the mud, she was abruptly and wrongly fired by Tom Vilsack and her name was slandered by the partial video release by Breitbart.
In response, Breitbart has wrapped himself up again with the Constitution, crying his freedom of speech is infringed upon and furthers his own demented attempts to use liberals targeted for political gain. His motives were clear, his plan was to discredit her and damage her reputation and there is no evidence or reasoning to the contrary.
While the RWN Job’s continue their hiding behind the Constitution it is evident they haven’t read it very thoroughly on a legal basis the constitution does not:
1) Allow defaming another person as free speech, nor does it protect the defamer from legal recourse.
2) Free speech is not Free Defamation.
3) There are laws that accompany the aspects of what you can and cannot publish as truth when you have doctored the tapes or edited them yourself.
Andrew Breitbart has a history of splicing, editing and using these videos to further his political agenda such as his involvement in the Acorn sting operations conduced by another nut job James O’Keefe. Breitbart and O’Keefe seem to be targeting blacks in their right wing attacks and slander. Fox News has also a part in airing the video after the release and no retractions were ever offered to Sherrod or an apology.
James O’Keefe and Breitbart worked together on their sting operation to take down Acorn, posing as a pimp O’Keefe also spliced and diced his videos. These two amateurs have been doing this for years and it is time to pay the piper for their fraudulent journalism reports if you can call it journalism.
Breitbart relying on the Constitution on this one which has no bearing on libel or defamation cases is a poor excuse for his lack of judgment in broadcasting the video excerpt on the internet.
In journalism verification of sources and legal ramifications of the printed word are conducted prior to the release of a news story and that is a standard of ethics followed by most news organizations. In this case the specific excerpt Breitbart released was intentional and a clear determination of his intentions were to damage Mrs. Sherrod’s character as a racist.
His distortion of Sherrod’s character was false, blatant and was devised to elicit a certain response that he intended and that was to slander her.
Had Breitbart not publicized the video, Sherrod would never have been fired and dthe fact that Vilsack did not do his homework does not absolve Breitbart for the cahin of events he put in place after the release of the specific portion of the tape.
The media had a field day with Sherrod for several weeks and she had to appear on national television to clear her name and clarify her whole 43 minute tape due to Breitbart’s actions.
Sherrod appeared on all the national news networks from NBC, ABC, CNN, CBS and The View to clear her name. She had to endure the humiliation of being fired, being cast as a racist and there are laws and penalties against this damage.
If people like James O’Keefe that also attempted to burglarize a government building and the Andrew Breitbart have to resort to this type of fraud they must answer for their actions. Breitbart denies all charges, O’Keefe was freed for any criminal charges and subsequently tried to seduce on tape a CNN reporter.
The extremes of the right wing shows their desperate and illegal attempts to score political points will land them in jail rather than their intended objectives. More than their damage to Shirley Sherrod they have damaged their own reputation as punks who need to break laws in order to obtain fame in politics and recognition.
The case will continue.
The Explanation by Andrew Breitbart where he admits he was angry at the depiction of the Tea Party as Racists, therefore he released the video in his attempt to prove that the NAACP condone racism. In this video he is admitting his motives, he admits his actions were revengeful and his taking it upon himself to right a wrong by exposing the NAACP by using the tape against Sherrod. Further, Breitbart has a history of involvement with the sting operation on ACORN with his associate in that matter who is James O’Keefe. It is odd that Breitbart does not bring that up in his interviews on CNN or FOX NEWS.
CNN Video Interview with Andrew Breitbart on the Shirley Sherrod Slandering Video Release