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Is Andrew Breitbart jumping the shark?

July 21, 2010

Answer: not likely.

Alternative title: see, this is why I never jump over these things the second they’re out of the cage.

The story: USDA official Shirley Sherrod reportedly said some racist things at an NAACP banquet…um…when was that? I’m not sure.

Andrew Breitbart posted a small amount of video from the event, as evidence (her comments plus the audience’s reaction to them) of racism.

But now the full video is out, and it looks like Breitbart was wrong, at least about Sherrod. Allahpundit:

“…skip ahead to 16:30 for the segment about the white farmer and stick with it until at least 24:00 or so. She actually introduces the story by saying how she started working in order to help black people but then, through divine providence, came to realize that she was meant to work for poor people generally. The key moment comes just after the 21:00 mark when she talks about how helping the Spooners “made me see that it’s really about those who have versus those who don’t. You know, and they can be black, they can be white, they can be Hispanic.” And the crowd murmurs its assent. From there she segues into a historical narrative about racism being an artificial construct manufactured by wealthy interests to keep lower-class blacks and whites divided when in fact they should be working together.”

That’s via Charlie Sykes. FYI: the Anchoress was sounding the cautions on Monday.

I’m sure that, if I look hard enough, I’ll find examples wherein I leaped to an unfair conclusion too quickly. But. Here’s the deal: context matters. Credibility matters. Due diligence matters. The whole reason we’re even talking about this now is the Left’s lack of due diligence – their lack of context and what ought to be, therefore, their lack of credibility – on racism. They just spout it, willy nilly, any time they want. Because context is for Whitey.

It’s Dubya with his “Mission Accomplished” banner. That’s been taken completely out of context since the day it happened.

Or it’s the photo of Obama, in which he apparently – but not actually – checks out a girl’s ass (photo and exculpating video here).

Or Howard Dean and the “Yeeeeeaaaaaaahhhhhhrrrrrrg!” Just hearing the audio, boy, that sounded nuts. The video didn’t look nearly as bad:

Or the video of that Texas Democrat Congressman, getting mad at a constituent listening session. The Right’o’sphere leaped all over that.

And, hey, maybe the guy really is an asshole with a history of blowing up at constituents. Maybe he really can’t take criticism. But nobody can honestly reach that conclusion from these few seconds of video. All I saw was: a guy getting angry after somebody strongly implied he was lying.

Can you blame somebody for that? Without context?

That’s three examples of the Right hitting something out of context, versus only one example from the Left. I’m more sensitive to it, see, when my side does it. From the other side, I expect childishness and illogic. That’s who they are.

And yes, I know, the Left does it all the time. With or without context, with or without evidence, they’ll paint thousands upon thousands of ordinary Americans as racists simply for coming out to peacefully exercise their First Amendment rights. You hate black people, and all I need to reach that conclusion is to see the “R” beside your name.

Still. Things happen fast on the internet, and we have to recognize when they’re happening too fast. I’d rather be fast. But not if it makes me wrong.

One more thing: is it ironic that the NAACP also piled onto Sherrod without knowing all the facts? Kudos, I guess, for criticizing what looked like black-to-white racism. I wouldn’t have expected it.

UPDATE – how often do Lefties admit error and apologize?

And: isn’t the phrase “conservative media bias” redundant? If it’s conservative media – or liberal media, for that matter – it’s obviously got a bias. The reason we get mad about media bias is: the MSM pretends they don’t have one. We – the conservative media – pretend no such thing.

So why is David Frum being such a smug sumbitch about it?

Another update – Breitbart’s not backing down. The point, he says, is the audience reaction to Sherrod’s statements. They were all for it. Plus, the Left started this with all of their own race baiting.

All kinds of crap on Memeorandum.

One Comment
  1. Steve In Tulsa permalink
    July 22, 2010 7:25 am

    Exactly, it was about the audience response to the story and how all the members laughed and applauded when she said she would send the white farmer to ‘his own kind’ for help.

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