My, oh my, how can one blogger turn the President of the United States into a quivering and quaking wimp?
That’s how I read it, anyway. When conservative blogger Andrew Breitbart, already discredited for earlier fabrications, claimed current Department of Agriculture employee Shirley Sherrod admitted to not working hard to assist a white farmer in Georgia, the Obama Administration made sure she was fired forthwith.
Of course, what Breitbart blogged was nothing but a clever manipulation of video clips from a speech Ms. Sherrod made seeking to show how she learned to move beyond race; and the incident she referred to occurred many years before she even worked for the Department of Agriculture. None of this was apparent from Breitbart’s blog.
Yet, the Administration jumped like a trained dog, ordering her firing, scared that the racist overtones in the Breitbart fiction would hurt politically. It was prompt action, so prompt that Ms. Sherrod was ordered to give her resignation over her cell phone while driving.
Talk about being decisive! It appears the Obama Administration for perhaps the first time acted quickly without its usual procrastination and reflection. Hmmmm!
What is disturbing about this whole event is that the Obama Administration jumped to the bleatings of a notorious right-wing blogger and the Fox Fictionalized News channel. Don’t those folks on Pennsylvania Avenue know yet that they should not believe anything that comes from Fox and liars like the Breitbarts and Limbaughs and Becks? Far from “fair and balanced,” Fox was founded in 1996 as the propaganda arm of rising New Right Republicanism. (Its righteous-sounding slogan is nothing more than an inside joke, adopted because the public at the time might have rejected an overtly partisan news outlet.)
Like a cancer, right-wing misinformation has invaded the news media, filling the public with all sorts of fictions and myths that have skewed public opinions about the economy, war and peace, the environment and general public values. When Fox tells its fictions, and repeats them and repeats them, people begin to believe them.
And now we find the Obama Administration falling for the bait. The Administration’s action in instantly firing Ms. Sherrod further brings credibility to these agents of lies, encouraging them to continue to spread this cancer upon the body politic.
Look for more and more fabrications. There will be no pangs of conscience for those who deliberately defamed Shirley Sherrod. Not as long as False News (err, Fox News) keeps adding to the already bulging pockets of cynical entrepreneurs like Fox’s Rupert Murdoch. It may be too late to provide the “chemotherapy” and “radiation” to combat these lies, but it’s time to start.
The President needs to fight back against the Fox News fabrications, as do other Democrats and those few moderate Republicans that are still in the GOP. Those who are knowledgeable need to answer immediately and directly with facts and complete information to refute these continual lies. Those of us in the public need to be alert to such lying and look to more than one source for our information.
There’s only one way to stop the lying and that’s to ignore the liars by turning away from places like Fox News. And, when we can, sound off factually to set the record straight. Democracy requires a well informed electorate to function, or else it is doomed.–By Ken Germanson, with added comments from Ann Germanson.