35 thoughts on ““Snookered” … by FoxNews … Yet Again.

  1. “I hope the … fretful liberals and casual news consumers are taking good notes.”

    As someone a labelmaker might slap the sticker of ‘fretful liberal’ and ‘casual news consumer’ upon…I must take umbrage at how you have chosen to sully (see, I’m trainable…your commenteers like sully and I’ll give them what they want), yes sully my reputation.

    Now with my reputation thus stained, my point will be easily dismissed by you and your readership…but I’ll mention it nonetheless–
    –who promoted this story! That is where the reputations should be buying spot remover by the 55 gallon drum.

    –who caved into this story! That is where heads should bang their own desk as they hide their shame.

    In the meantime, as a media consumer, I feel dirty and cheated, and I don’t like that feeling. So I’m going to change the subject back to the real story of the week–
    –the whistleblowers at the Pentagon (or is it CIA, or -insert alphabet here-) who visited Dana with a career worth of material…that comes to mind as maybe something more worthy our time and attention.

    Any other news come out this week worth my time? I’m trying to be an adult, and these petty actions of GOP thieves keep landing on my potato salad.

    1. The origin of the Sherrod story lies in what can only be described as a conscious, malicious piece of media theater concocted by a guy — Breitbart — with a history of contorting stories with racial animosities attached. Next, he fed it to FoxNews, as he has before, and they gave it full-throated play. Obviously the Obama people should have considered the source before reacting like they did, but the nastiness and irresponsibility begins with Breitbart and Fox.

  2. Jim Leinfelder says:

    So there’s a frog and scorpion standing on the bank of a river. The scorpion asks the frog to carry him across the river on the frog’s back. The frog is naturally leery of being stung by the scorpion. The scorpion assures him that, hey, why would he do that only to drown himself right along with frog…?

    We’ve all heard the parable of the frog and the scorpion. And who doesn’t know what Breitbart and other similarly predisposed scorpions are about?

    Breitbart and his ilk live in the same country we all do. But they can’t help bringing political discourse and democracy low anyway because, well, it’s his ineluctable nature, isn’t it.

    Why those tremulous frog’s at the head of NAACP and The White House expect anything but poison out of scorpions such as Breitbart, eludes me completely. They deserve to drown.

  3. Mike Kennedy says:

    Boy, if only you were this outraged and verbose about the Tea Party being labled as racist, though there isn’t one shred of proof that the movement at large is racist. Are there some members who are? Yes, for sure. Are there members or associates of the NAACP who are racist? Yes, undoubtedly there are. I’m disgusted by the whole thing from Big Government to the NAACP.

    Unfortunately, the NAACP, in its partisan effort to scold the Tea Party for its alleged racism, started this shit storm that is culminating in Ms. Sherrod telling her story of redemption.

    Just who is playing the race card here? This woman got caught in a very dangerous game of partisan politics that uses race as an issue to continually divide the country.

    1. Mike: Are you kidding me? The NAACP “started this shit storm”?

      Moreover, instead of constantly implicitly defending this sort of stuff why don’t you, as I guess a representative of the “rational right” start a discussion about how it is that people like Breitbart and FoxNews are primary/principal message leaders for your point of view. Lacking any kind of criticism of even their most flagrant offenses, you are encouraging more of the same.

      1. Mike Kennedy says:

        I have criticized them. I believe I said that I am disgusted with everyone from Big Government to the NAACP and that includes all the news organizations — not just Fox, as liberals have a habit of singling out while all other media fits the “good and objective” definition.

        In addition, it appears the folks you entrusted to run the White House weren’t all that careful, either. And I’m not buying the “snookered” (though I love the word) excuse.

        My point in the earlier post — and it still stands — is that tossing around the word racist or accusing a group of racism or a party or a movement ignites dynamite. I have heard plenty of liberals allege racism was present at health care debates, Tea Party events etc. but they somehow come up short — nay — totally empty handed when it comes to any real proof.

  4. The frog and the scorpion is a good parable, and on topic, thanks Jim. And ‘the woman got caught in a very dangerous game of partisan politics’ seems dead on too MikeK, thanks.

    Now, armed with the events, and these appropriate comments, what will you do with this info? Jim mentions it is okay that everyone (NAACP/WhiteHouse/Breitbart/media outlets who prop it up) drowns…but do they? And do they all truly deserve to?

    MikeK says this is a game intended to continually divide this country, and I think he is right…but why does it, why do we let it? Why can’t we stop it …at the source?

    1. I’m sorry “Other Mike” I don’t see the NAACP resolution calling for the Tea Party to denounce racism (not a difficult thing to do, really) and pseudo-journalist recklessly and willfully disseminating a wholly false and misleading story that actually fans racial animosities as having anything remotely resembling equivalency.

  5. Dave says:

    Couldn’t disagree with you more Brian, seems like you have been reading too much from Media Matters.

    Beck (who I am not fan of) didn’t cover the story Monday on Fox. He talked about it Tuesday. O’Reilly and Hannity did and both were wrong. But Fox News did not cover the story, the commentators did. Shepard Smith at 6 who does the last actual news for Fox did not cover it.

    So yes, the commentators ran with it and were wrong. Then again so did the NAACP and they had access to the FULL video. (I know, the NAACP is a fine middle of the road organization defending peoples rights — yeesh)

    So let me get this right. I should torch a news organization, but feel fully confident in a White House administration that throws someone under the bus without doing any real research. Perhaps the White House is a tad political?

    Monday night, Jason Lewis (I know you are a big fan), actually came out in defense of Sherrod. Last I checked, Jason leans a bit right. My point? He took the time to consider the situation and reacted differently than Obamas crew. Go figure.

    I wish you would get this excited over a president who defends healthcare as “not being a tax” and then fight lawsuits against it by calling it a tax. But I’ve learned it’s no longer about an open and honest debate, it’s about keeping track of which team has one more ideological points.

    You aren’t adding anything to the debate Brian, you are just adding to the divide.

    P.S. Good to be back, I’m sure you missed me

    1. Nice to hear from you again, Dave. But let’s not play the semantic game of who FoxNews is and isn’t. There is no question that the story was, as I’ve said, completely false and misleading. There is no reason to believe that either Breitbart or FoxNews cared or bothered to check to see if the two-minute tape was accurate. Breitbart served it up to Fox and Fox served it up to their viewers to provoke outrage. That alone is indefensible in any professional journalistic context. the racial element only makes it more despicable. i haven’t listened to Lewis in probably a decade so I won’t comment on his take, but for Fox — without acknowledgment of its previous hyping and ranting, much less an apology (O’Reilly withstanding) — to pivot and attack Obama and Vilsack for not fully investigating the Sherrod story is beyond laughable.

      This country needs a rational debate on a lot of issues. But when one side is regurgitating is monotonous diet of half-truths and outright fictions, like this incident, (and countless others), we on this side wonder who exactly it is we’re supposed to debate with?

      FoxNews is an entertainment con dependent on a highly credulous and uncritical fan base.

      1. Jim Leinfelder says:

        As for Breitbart and FOX vs. legitimate journalism, it’s the shit v. Shinola scene in “The Jerk.” Anyone who fails to apprehend the yawning chasm of difference is well beyond help.

        But otherwise intelligent people who allowed themselves to be stampeded by the likes of a Breitbart and the agitprop echo chamber at FOX have only their feckless selves to blame.

        Perhaps they should read some Uncle Remus.

    2. PM says:


      i think that this piece puts it all into context.

      money quotes:

      “The video was released as a counterattack against the NAACP’s resolution asking the Tea Party to purge the racist element within their movement, but in a larger sense this is really about the cost of frankly discussing racism so high that no reasonable person would ever attempt to do so. Sherrod’s story isn’t about anti-white racism; it’s a story about overcoming her own personal prejudice, the kind of prejudice we find understandable because of her story but that we should be willing to forgive in ourselves and each other, given that none of us is immune. This is the mechanism by which “color blindness” destroys all avenues for actually mitigating the lingering effects of racism and American apartheid. The point of this smear was not to “spark” discussion of race. The point was to end it.

      For all the sound and fury, Breitbart’s video was nothing more than an alibi, an attempt to collectively exonerate the right from a charge of racism by turning it back on the NAACP. This is the precise origin of the oppositional culture developed by some conservatives in the aftermath of the 2008 election. It is broadly premised on convincing conservatives they face a similar kind of institutional racism black people have faced throughout history, while maintaining that the sole obstacle to black advancement is the same culture of grievance they’re so desperate to imitate. Glenn Beck saying today’s America is “like the 1950s except the races are reversed,” isn’t an observation; it’s a demand for absolution. This is the same selfish white guilt rightly mocked when possessed by liberals, curdled into a bitter stew of defensive anger and epic self-pity. Yet even Beck thinks Sherrod was wronged.”


  6. leftymn says:

    from Tobin Harshaw’s Opinionator blog piece in the July 16 NYTimes who is quoting Ta-Nehisi Coates (sorry for the referral to a referral):

    “the Atlantic’s Ta-Nehisi Coates feels that the most invidious racism is the sort that you can’t even see:

    ” I think it’s worth, first, considering the record of American racism, and then the record of the Tea Party and its allies. Racism tends to attract attention when it’s flagrant and filled with invective. But like all bigotry, the most potent component of racism is frame-flipping–positioning the bigot as the actual victim. So the gay do not simply want to marry, they want to convert our children into sin. The Jews do not merely want to be left in peace, they actually are plotting world take-over. And the blacks are not actually victims of American power, but beneficiaries of the war against hard-working whites. This is a respectable, more sensible, bigotry, one that does not seek to name-call, preferring instead change the subject and strawman …

    I am at a loss to understand the criticism directed at the NAACP. This is a Civil Right organization who’s taken as part of its mission opposing any attempt to inject racism into American politics. When the Tea Party’s media advocates, when the politicians the movement embraces, when the speakers at its conventions do precisely that, and the NAACP responds by “calling on Tea Party leaders to repudiate those in their ranks who use racist language in their signs and speeches,” I have trouble finding the actual problem. “

    1. Jim Leinfelder says:

      Certainly the right AND the left could make full-throated demands without fear of attack that mainstream Islam repudiate hate speech by jihadists and terror-supporting factions of fundamentalist Islam.

      But when the same reasonable request is made of the ranks of the inchoately angry, demand-saturated Tea Party by the NAACP to repudiate the bigots in their midst, it’s somehow beyond the pale.

      It’s a private and contrived logic in service, not to reason, but a reactionary conservative agenda.

      It succeeds, though, when the NAACP responds by gnawing at its own belly and the White House dispatches its prim quisslings to demand the resignation of a woman who is the very avatar of racial healing this country so direly craves.

    2. I wish I had put it that way.

      But, again, I assume there’ll always be 20% of any population locked in phobias relating to racial, religious, class superstitutions. But what’s different today is one of two major political parties in the richest country on earth, the country with by far the most influential media, has all but entirely conceded its standing to this ill-informed, perpetually angry and aggrieved faction. When you start asking HOW that happened you begin mixing the Southern Strategy with a reliable and highly seductive 24/7 message delivery system.

      1. Mike Kennedy says:

        Oh for God’s sake, Brian. You are telling me with a straight face that the left wing, Bush-hating, foaming-at-the-mouth faction of the Democratic Party were less angry than fringe groups like the Tea Party? Seriously?

        I think the left wing nut faction of the Democratic Party has more than its share of angry, irrational, ill informed, uneducated bozos.

      2. Mike, are you or are not a bright fellow? There’s a place for anger. Like when an administration invades a country that never attacked us, and invades it inadequately prepared so that the result is a near decade-long cauldron of violence with no easy escape. Likewise when the same administration politicizes the U.S. attorney system, unnecessarily runs up a multi-trillion dollar deficit through lavish tax cuts to the wealthiest citizens, impedes the work of nearly every environmental agency on the books, installs unqualified cronies in vital watchdog agencies like FEMA, the SEC and the Mineral Managements office and stands by hapless as their blundering destroys lives and fortunes. Informed citizens SHOULD get angry. These are serious and valid affronts to ethics, common sense and most of our precious stated values. Tea Party “activists” whipped up in a lather over “death panels” and “socialism” are fundamentally clueless, irrational and … unwitting pawns of a profit-making machinery.

      3. Mike Kennedy says:

        Well, not to put too fine a point on it, but I would guess I could more than hold my own with you in a test of IQs. Oops, maybe that isn’t your measure of bright. Maybe your measure of being bright is whether I agree with all of your grievances and whether I consider them valid or not. If so, I’m bright. If not, I’m dumb. You’ve got the standard, liberal wailing down, brother. And I have no doubt you passionately believe it all, hook, line and stinker.

        In your black and white world — one I used to inhabit myself – you have developed the ability to not only divide everything into right and wrong, but the incredible ability to get into people’s heads and determine what they were thinking.

        Unfortunately, the vast majority of us don’t have these superhuman powers and are left to wonder what motives are pure and what aren’t, whether someone is telling the truth or not, be it Bush or Obama. And most of us mere mortals can’t take someone else’s mental inventory, and I’m not sure I’d want to.

        I don’t have all the answers and I’m prone to try to give people the benefit of the doubt until proven wrong. I didn’t vote for Obama, but I didn’t want McCain in that chair, either. I still don’t know how to judge Obama — though I am not happy with what I see so far, I do have hope for the next 30 months. Besides, if the country isn’t happy with the direction of the country in that time frame, we have an option, and it was used with Carter.

        And the one thing I do know for sure. The Republicans are not the sole owners of the lunatic fringe — comparing a man to Hitler and calling for him to be murdered or hanged is about as nutty, confused, psychotic and irrational as it gets — no matter what the alleged grievance.

      4. Mike Thomas says:

        Let’s keep in mind that the Iraq invasion was not only supported by Democrats (who were the majority in the Senate in 2002) but was heavily promoted and cheered on. The 2004 Democratic Presidential nominee spent two years on the cable shows making a case for war, and only started to waffle when he had to run to the left of Howard Dean.
        As for the US attorneys office, let’s get real. These are appointed nominees by the President – Clinton fired all of them in 1993. Did Clinton have a political motive when he replaced them? I don’t think most Americans are seeing any scandal here. Again “lavish tax cuts”? Last I checked everyone got a tax cut – what is wrong with keeping money you earn regardless of your income level. Democrats only concern themselves with deficits when they are not in power. If this was a concern there would be some anger over the debacle of the “American Reinvestment Act”.
        Brian I will give you that you are able to articulate your point, however your liberal fringe friends (like Nick Espnioza) the kind that screams and yells at the RNC in St. Paul, or fund Moveon.org are more angry with the idea of George Bush and conservatives then any real policy that he signed into order.

    3. Mike Kennedy says:

      Really? Are you speaking of the same NAACP that counts as its guests people like Jesse Jackson and Louis Farrakhan? Or the same organization that sponsored the ad against Bush regarding the James Byrd murder? The NAACP had a proud history, but it’s more recent history…..well, let’s just say there is some room for debate.

  7. Mike Kennedy says:

    Leftymn, that last post was directed at you — you too, Brian. I don’t want to leave you out.

  8. 108 says:

    This discussion isn’t complete without Spencer Ackmerman’s acknowledgement that liberals call conservatives racist to change the nature of any argument.

    There’s no racism. You’re a Powerline reader Brian. Much of this ‘racism’ that’s occurred at health care rallies / tea party rallies never occurred. The PW guys have made a complete case. And to the extent it did occur, with the crude signs, it’s no worse an offense than a college kid doing a skit in blackface. Which happens quite frequently. It’s ignorant, not evil.

    Now I’m pedantic here…and more literate than you…but the proper word is bigotry, such that it exists. Leinfelder gets this right.

    Racism doesn’t exist in any meaningful way in this nation.

    The Obama’s clumsy reaction here was done to gain credibility after not prosecuting the dude in Philadelphia with the baton. Now I know there’s probably a very nuanced, Marxist deconstructionist reason they didn’t complete the prosecution of that guy…a reason that escapes us rubes but a reason I’m sure you can appreciate…. But the fact of the matter is dudes with batons outside polling places need to be prosecuted. When they don’t get prosecuted, it makes the government and its leaders look capricious.

    1. PM says:

      Except that your whole point falls apart because they got a restraining order against the guy. Which is more than sufficient because there is no evidence that ANYONE was in anyway intimidated.

      Nuanced marxist deconstruction: it would have been a waste of money to do anything more.

      Why is it you are so fixated on these so called examples of “reverse racism”?

      1. 108 says:

        Ya think Holder’s worried about the money? They made a value judgement, and they made the wrong value judgment.

        PM, you’re being obtuse. Dudes with batons standing outside of polling places need to be prosecuted. The intent is as important as the effect. Doesn’t matter if no one was intimidated.

        Personally, I’m not fixated. Right, they might very well be ‘so called examples of reverse racisim.’ But it’s the prosecutorial and administrative capriciousness that is destructive to credibility here. And that’s why Shirley Sherrod got fired. The O’s were looking for a symbol to restore their credibility on race and culture.

        I mean really, tell me thats not why this happened.

      2. PM says:

        Here’s the next problem with your example–Holder didn’t make the decision. The decision was made before Holder was appointed. Indeed, it was made before Obama took office.

        How can you use this as an example of anything related to Obama when Obama had nothing to do with it? I mean, the only possible connection is that Obama is *gasp* black. And so is Holder! But the actual decisions in this example where made by white men appointed by Bush, in the previous administration.

        As for intent–you never prosecute people based on intent–you can only impute intent based on actions–things people say or do. Thoughts (which is what an intention is) are never enough. Intentions can be used to mitigate or intensify something (“I wasn’t trying to kill him, honest”), but unless the person actually took some action (bought a gun, fired the gun, or even talked about killing the person etc.) there would be no prosecution. And when people only talk about doing things as opposed to actually doing them, well, it is a judgement that has to be made–is it worth the time and effort to do this as opposed to that? And the BUSH ADMINISTRATION made this particular value judgement–that it would be stupid to try to prosecute this particular clown.

        So, if you have a beef with the decision, why don’t you direct it towards those who made it, rather than the current object of your ire?

      3. The New Black Panther “outrage” — a top of the (Fox) headline for what? A week? Is yet another ridiculous example of any sentient being taking the bait. While I can appreciate, on a social psychological level, the primal horror a tough looking black dude with a baton strikes in the minds of a certain group of white viewers, the … fact … that no one was menaced in anything like a criminal way really only reinforces my negative impression of the hysterical attitudes of the vicarious victims.

    2. If racism is the wrong description of their actions…what is the correct way to call it–immaturity, shyness, ignorance, silliness, pranksterism?

      What is the correct way to evaluate it?

    3. I’m still digesting 108’s assertion that the Power Line boys made “a complete case” that there was no racism at those Tea Party rallies. Really, 108? I must have missed that one. Hinderaker? Boot it over.

      But that one is obliterated by his next conclusive leap that, “Racism doesn’t exist in any meaningful way in this country.” The argument posted here by PM (the Adam Serwer excerpt) is quite cogent in terms of describing modern “racism”, which has evolved from rednecks in sheets to things much less overt, but pernicious. Get a black man or woman going on crap they put up with every day.

      But I continue to be fascinated/obsessed with “conservative” intellectuals implicitly alibiing for Breitbart and FoxNews by expending no energy “refudiating” their maliciousness.

      Or maybe I’m really more fascinated by how a wholly fabricated “outrage” is presented as fully equivalent to … the Iraq war, non-existent oversight of the SEC, etc., etc., etc.

  9. newt says:

    Meanwhile in today’s news …

    Sen. John Kerry, who has repeatedly voted to raise taxes while in Congress, dodged a whopping six-figure state tax bill on his new multimillion-dollar yacht by mooring her in Newport, R.I.

    Isabel – Kerry’s luxe, 76-foot New Zealand-built Friendship sloop with an Edwardian-style, glossy varnished teak interior, two VIP main cabins and a pilothouse fitted with a wet bar and cold wine storage – was designed by Rhode Island boat designer Ted Fontaine.

    1. Joe Loveland says:

      One gets quite an echo in the chamber when one types “Edwardian-style, glossy varnished teak interior” into Google.

  10. Well, I had to chime in from the lapping waters of the cove, under this sunny summer sky, and ask why Brian does not address the issue of why ANY government official would be “allowed” to make such racially charged comments in WHATEVER “context” in a such a setting (as “public” as the NAACP can be considered)?

    Nothing “malicious” here by Fox, America’s #1 news channel. The woman was fired before O’Reilly said a word about it. The facts are pretty clear, yet you rail against the network as if it…..might….present….the facts.

    Who gave Breitbart the NAACP-produced and owned tape?

    And why?

    And Bri, why don’t you and Leinfelder put your utopia-obsessed heads together in this “post-racial” era and tell us why neither NBC, CBS, or the other dinosaur media have covered the video evidence of the punk Panthers intimidating white voters in Philadelphia, as 108 points out?

    Or the DOJ dictum that complaints by whites against ‘people of color” are to be ignored.

    The fear that grips the Leinfelders of the world about the righteousness and determination of the Tea Party leads to claims of, what else – racism, it’s their only defense against “right”, which threatens their utopian superiority complex.

    BJ Jr. knows racism when he sees it, even through his smudged aviators.

    Oh, and please read the comments in the Strib about Minneapolis “cracking down” on illegal guns used by felons to kill other felons in “certain parts” of the city.

    We have a cultural problem in this city and in this country.

    November shall be a salve for those of us who are fed up with the likes of your misrepresentations, equivocations and false premises.

    We know who the real racists are, Bri, and it sure ain’t us.

    Hating on the best news network in America (and it’s loyal audience) doesn’t help your credibility.

    MSNBC and CNN will eventually go the way of Air America.

    1. “Who gave Breitbart the NAACP-produced and owned tape? And why?”

      BJ, you are exactly the person who should dig into these questions as certainly the backlash on Breitbart is blowing up well beyond him and damaging numerous GOP candidates, possibly unfairly, so the facts and truth would set them free. I would enjoy reading your research and logic, so please make sure to let us know when you post it.

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