John King, USA

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July 20th, 2010
07:29 PM ET

Breitbart: 'This was not about Shirley Sherrod'

Washington (CNN) – Andrew Breitbart, the conservative blogger who published video of a speech by former USDA employee Shirley Sherrod, said Tuesday that his decision to release the video was not motivated by wanting to target Sherrod, the African-American woman shown in the footage talking about racially-charged matters at an NAACP event.

Instead, Breitbart told CNN he released the Sherrod video because he believes it shows the NAACP itself tolerates racist behavior within its ranks – a stinging accusation just one week after the civil rights group made a similar charge against the conservative Tea Party movement.

"This was not about Shirley Sherrod," Breitbart said Tuesday in an interview set to air on CNN's John King, USA.

"This was about the NAACP attacking the Tea Party and this [the video of Sherrod] is showing racism at an NAACP event. I did not ask for Shirley Sherrod to be fired. I did not ask for any repercussions for Shirley Sherrod. They were the ones that took the initiative to get rid of her. I – I do not – I think she should have the right to defend herself."

Breitbart also described his decision to publish the Sherrod video as an effort to expose what he sees as the NAACP's hypocrisy when it comes to allegations of racism.

"[R]acism is used by the left and the Democratic Party to shut up opposition," Breitbart told CNN Chief National Correspondent John King, "And [by releasing the Sherrod video] I am showing you that people who live in glass houses should not be throwing stones."

And Breitbart also sounded off on claims by African-American congressmen that they had been greeted by racial slurs during a Capitol Hill protest earlier this year. The protest included Tea Party activists.

The conservative blogger said the NAACP had "resurrected the false charge" that racial slurs had been directed at the black lawmakers in order to help justify the civil rights organization's recent resolution calling on the leaders of the Tea Party movement to condemn racist elements within their movement's ranks.

"[I]t is a manufactured political hit against the Tea Party because they're fearful that this group of people is going to amass going into November," Breitbart told King.

Editor's Note: Full video coming soon

soundoff (22 Responses)
  1. Tom

    The only thing thats keeping racism alive in America is the NAACP. They are just a bunch of profesional raciest.

    July 20, 2010 at 7:34 pm |
  2. kjdjr

    Your article points out thatBreitbart sounded off on claims by African American congressmen being greeted by racial slurs. You don't mention the three aides to the congressmen who while walking up the stairs had their phone cams on and were recording the protesters, and you don't mention Breitbarts 100k reward for video proof of the slurs be hurled. Surely one of those aides needs 100k and would have happily shown the media any evidence they had. Sad, sad CNN to not add this to story. Shame

    July 20, 2010 at 7:43 pm |
  3. Jim

    John, how can you let Andrew say that its not about Shirley. Its all about her. Shes on the tape. his posting of that edited video has cost the women her job. what a sleazebag he is. He says i did not fire her.
    and he says hes had knowldege of this tape for months. This is not the first time Andrew has done this. He posted those edited Acorn videos that destroyed a whole organaziation. You were way to easy on this guy. This guy needs to exposed for what he is.

    July 20, 2010 at 7:44 pm |
  4. George H. Fleming

    How can you stand to listen to people like that? He made me cringe. Jumping from one accusation to the next.

    These people can't be interviewed. Did you get anything out of him? He knows what he's going to say. No matter what you say or ask, he's just going to keeping saying it.

    Haven't you noticed that White racist think that all Black people are racist?

    July 20, 2010 at 7:51 pm |
  5. Gary George

    This is in response to Ben Jealous twitter remark" when next time in Georgia will visit Ms. Sherrord", do not wait, you should book a flight on a plane and meet with this woman tomorrow.

    For Breitbart: this is egg on your face moment.

    To All: we need to learn to from this incident and realize how the media either "left or right" can miss-report their stories.

    July 20, 2010 at 7:51 pm |
  6. Brian

    The moral outrage on both sides of the NAACP/Tea Party debate is pretty laughable. Mark Williams claims that the Tea Party has no racists? Come on. Get 20 people together at a neighborhood block party and you will have a racist in your presence. And the NAACP, while they have accomplished many good things for African Americans, they are hardly the last bastion of unadulterated racial tolerance.

    Funny article.

    July 20, 2010 at 7:57 pm |
  7. K. Haglund

    Mr. King. I listen to CNN, PBS, Fox and the general networks; to try and get a fair perspective on the news. Tonight I watched your show regarding the lady fired by the USDA. Frankly, it sounds like there is alot of truth that was not uncovered within the parameters of this bigger story. Mr. Roland Martin, who I respect and listen to often, seemed to have mufflers to his ears from what others were saying regarding this story. Needless to say, that took him down afew notches in my book. Mr. King, as narrator and host, you too seemed to miss the point. This is sad and sorry to say; but it is the 'typical' news scene these days in America. You all wish to interview each other and there is less time spent getting to the 'truths' of what the real storyline is about.

    The real issue seems to be, but I am certainly not an expert, as I have not seen the entire tape, but the gentleman is making a comparison between how the Tea Party persons were being treated in the press via the NAACP and how this lady was being treated. But the real basis for his comments was the fact that NAACP members themselves were "applauding" her comments, even before she revealed the entire story. Or, so we're told?

    Maybe the real issue here is ratings. All of the news people seem to believe that 'hype' is better then facts. It seems that even the USDA jumped the gun on this one. Good grief people, lets all calm down, locate the 'real' truth before running rampant with a story. Then let all sides have real time to speak their peace. The networks, including CNN are great at 'hyping' a story before all the facts are in; and then interview each other instead of those who have the real story to tell.

    Where is Walter Cronkite when you really need him.

    Mr. King and Mr, Martin; you now have one less rating from our household. Go out and seek the truth before making judgement and opening your mouths. And that means from both sides of the aisle. Be fair and EQUAL to ALL. Then report your story!

    July 20, 2010 at 8:00 pm |
  8. Jane - WI

    It would be nice if CNN spent as much time debunking the "racist" label that liberals have put on the Tea Party. So far, no one has proved that the "N" word was used against black Congressmen, yet CNN and others take the accusation as fact.
    Did CNN spend as much time trying to put into context the brief "macaca" moment we heard on a video showing George Allen. How about the innocent Trent Lott comments about Strom thurmond made at his birthday party? The media was not interested in context when it came to Republicans.

    July 20, 2010 at 8:02 pm |
  9. Barb

    Most troubling about this Shirley Sherrod circus is while she was ramping up to bare her soul to the NAACP regarding her former closely held prejudices against white people , they were laughing and snickering at her racist comments before she revealed her change of heart. Again, more blaring evidence of massive racism within that organization. Meanwhile, decent Americans are being falsely accused left and right of the inhumanity of racism. It crushes the soul of a vast population of Americans what slavery and racism did to human beings. This is a raw topic. Though it is my personal belief believe Sherrod genuinely did change her mind regarding her racist views, and that she is remorseful and genuinely mortified, it is the behavior of the NAACP that has made her offense unforgiveable in the eyes of Americans who are sick to death of the constant "in your face, racist white America" discrimination – thanks to the likes of Sharpton, Jackson, and the hypocritical NAACP, et al. This is proof positive that this group of so called civil rights activists are not friends of black people or any other minority. I hope they can realize that their overkill and exploitation of black people is responsibel for throwing Shirley Sherrod under the bus. Though I doubt it. There seems to be no shame amonst this group of the most disgusting group of true racists in modern history.

    July 20, 2010 at 8:04 pm |
    • Imperatrix

      I justed watched CNN ( which I very rarely do), where I was so angery to see t he character assassination of Andrew Breitbart. Anderson Cooper gave a little background information to his audience because it seemed he was saying they might not know who he was. Well off course they didn't know! The liberal media has never covered him. Cooper had the gall to gloss over the work Brieitbart did involving ACORN as if it was underhanded. When in fact if the failing media had covered the ACORN story from the beginning their views would know Breitbart is really.

      Note: As far as racist anything goes in the Sherrod story I only heard a lot of very racist comments from Ms Sherrod. I feel that she is like a lot of people who do not not understand, yet, racism goes both ways!

      July 23, 2010 at 2:25 am |
  10. maria

    Well John, what an embarrassment to the person who released this tape when the white family spoke on behalf of the black woman's on CNN. I found it very amusing that someone was trying to start something but it all backfired. First of all everyone really acted hastily on this one without looking at the whole video. I heard the whole video and feel that the white house acted hastily in firing her. They needed to understand the context of the speech. I hate racism but think that this black woman was really trying to teach people that their personal feelings about someone's race have nothing to do with helping a person. She was saying that she learned from this experience that people are rated by class and not the color of their skin. She was teaching people and yes i think this will hurt the re-election of President Obama. President Obama can kiss his re-election good bye given the haste in firing this woman. They needed to have listened to the whole tape and given her an opportunity to defend herself including speaking to the white farmer. Shame on the white house.

    July 20, 2010 at 8:11 pm |

    This is not about Sherrod, really! She lost her job because of some fancy editing and this is not about her? I think there is only a particular leaning group who buys that. A group which believes maligning a person's character is justifiable because their actions and those around them, because you are known by the company you keep especially when you fail to reprimand them for certain actions, reveals their true intent.

    Yes by all means lets forget the cause of the fall-out and look at the fall-out, because if there was no cause there would still be fall-out. What crazy thinking is this? Of course the handling of it was not correct, but this by no means absolves the person who edited the script to malign Sherrod's character. If only we could get rid of the agents of spin.

    July 20, 2010 at 8:13 pm |
  12. Dexter Greer

    I just wish the talking heads would shut their mouths and let it die.

    If you keep stirring the pot you will be witness to a race war that

    this country will never forget.

    D E Greer

    July 20, 2010 at 8:16 pm |
  13. margo

    everyone owes this woman an apology!!..esp the president..why has he not come out with a statement concerning this matter yet?? The administration moves toooooo...slow.

    If no one gives her back her job, I hope she suits them and retire..not resign..with a whole lot of money!!

    July 20, 2010 at 8:43 pm |
  14. Kimberly

    You are correct Brietbart, it's about you. If your mouth is moving, you're lying?

    July 20, 2010 at 8:51 pm |
  15. Purple Alaska

    Mr. Breitbart should be charged with a HATE crime. And all day, the MSM has added fuel to this nonsense. I hope that someone will right this injustice . . . and that the media will act more responsibly going forward. Investigative journalism is NOT a futile concept. You have an obligation to the American public to get YOUR stories straight; no chaser.

    July 20, 2010 at 8:55 pm |
  16. PMB

    The way journalism used to work is a bogus knucklehead like Breitbart would be laughed out of all credibility once he pulled a stunt like this. Now, with Fox "News" pulling stunts like this on a daily basis, Breitbart becomes a cult figure. Bring me back to the print media that had had a code of ethics regardless of their political bent.

    July 20, 2010 at 9:29 pm |
  17. moryngasa

    I don't hold with the theory that only whites can be racist. All groups do have factions that use race or ethnicicity or gender or some other identity marker to promote an us against them attitude. Those in power may use it to stay in power. those without may use it to survive. we all come from a tribe. but we should have moved past that by now.

    Brietbart spun. He used editing and technology to make something appear to be other than it was. He did it to defend his tribe.In the process he destroyed an innocent woman's life. and, unfortuntely, he does not seem to regret it.

    Sherrod is a good example for all of us.She at first responded to her prejudice. but when she saw the farmer did not get the help he deserved, she corrected her mistake – and learned from it.

    We should all get called out when we act unfairly. The NAACP was not wrong. the Tea Party was tolerating racists. they were called out on it and they did something bout it. Good for them.

    Breitbart's actions were just plain wrong. He manufactured a lie to score one for his side. Until we get past this us against them mindset, there will be many more people that get hurt. And though points may be scored, no one wins.

    July 20, 2010 at 9:34 pm |
  18. Jim

    I just watched the whold video and an injustice happened to Shirley. Everyone needs to watch it. What a shame. his video is nto even 3 minutes long. The full speech is 43 minutes.

    July 20, 2010 at 9:35 pm |
  19. Carmon

    Breitbart is a despicable entity in today's volatile political arena. He has done and is doing more harm to American society than anyone since McCarthy. He is a "faux" patriot who undermines the spirit of the political discourse with innuendo and lies. A sophomoric clown and a disgrace to any person with two fingers of intelligence.

    July 20, 2010 at 10:04 pm |
  20. Teresa Bertani

    Looks like his strategy backfired. This hateful man and member of the hateful conservative party took something innocent and turned it into an ugly and harmful lie. Ms Sherrod is not racist. She is a compassionate human being who made the right choice when she had the option to do something immoral in retaliation to the unjust world she lived in. She passed her test from God. Not so for Mr Breitbart. He has failed miserably.
    Ms Sherrod you are a fine women.

    July 20, 2010 at 11:57 pm |
  21. JLarryJ

    John the language around Ms Sherrod is that she is owed an apology, which she is, and that the President is not handling this and previous race issues very well.
    Our President is held to a superhuman standards. He caused the war on Afghanistan, he alone caused the devastation in the Gulf, and he is solely responsible for the lack of positive race relations in the US. All this month.
    I expect you network to get to the facts of all of above. I also expect CNN to be leaders in trusted news. Using as a foundation of news the lies if a blogger and another network is not the type of leadership Ted Turner envisioned. Concentrate on who is responsible for causing headlines. Do your TV show on their intentions. Racists love when their targets (minorities) are shot at and the blame falls on someone else like another minority representative (our President.
    It is my hope that those in power correct the racist behaviors of their peers. CNN should make it a point to race towards this story and ask why this discussion is never heard.

    July 21, 2010 at 7:52 pm |