-By Warner Todd Huston
You really have to hand it to Media Matters for America. I mean, they deserve an Olympic Gold Medal for the gymnastics that they evince while spinning the news to the extreme left-wing of the political spectrum. This whole Fox-didn’t-push-Sherrod story is a perfect example.
Eric “Boomarwrong” Boehlert is shamelessly spinning the story of the firing of USDA employee, Shirley Sherrod, as a Fox attack job with all his little Maoist heart. He is desperate to make Sherrod’s firing a result of a Fox News smear campaign and his reply to the posting at Johnny Dollar’s website proving that FoxNews Channel didn’t really even take up the story until after Sherrod was fired by the White House is a masterpiece of spin.
Starting with, “So many people, all saying the same thing. The same untrue thing,” Johnny Dollar goes on to show the timeline of how Fox News approached the story. Then J$ posted the words of a Fox exec, to wit: “Michael Clemente, senior vice president of news editorial, said the network’s news programs reported the story with caution.”
After this set up, J$ goes on piece by piece to show that the news channel did not push the story on the air until after the White House pre-emptively and hastily fired Sherrod in the wake of the video Breitbart posted on Monday last week. He then shows all the lefty newsies that made the false claim that FoxNews was peddling the Sherrod story before the White House fired the woman.
But the moonbats at Media Matters have to make this whole thing a Fox conspiracy despite the truth of the matter. So, “Boomawrong” Boehlert tries to refute J$’s correct assertion that Fox News didn’t push the story. And here is his… cough… evidence:
Question: Has Johnny Dollar ever head of the Internet? Because if he had, he’d know that there’s this whole division within “Fox News” (i.e. FoxNews.com) that publishes news and commentary online. And if he had heard of the Internet, he’d know that “Fox News” peddled the bogus Sherrod story before she resigned.
As our timeline of the Sherrod smear shows, on Monday afternoon, prior to her resignation, FoxNews.com reported on the story without the comment from Sherrod that Clemente indicated was crucial. In fact, while the story indicates that “FoxNews.com is seeking a response from both the NAACP and the USDA,” it gives no indication that they tried to contact Sherrod herself. In a follow-up report published some time before 5 p.m., FoxNews.com reported that USDA had announced Sherrod’s resignation” shortly after FoxNews.com published its initial report on the video.”
That’s it? That’s all Boehlert has? The story appeared in a small story on the Fox website (which doesn’t program Fox News, by the way) before the actual programmers and execs over at the Cable side put the story on the air. One story. On the web. That’s it.
You see, this one wire-like copy story that appeared on Fox.com hours after Breitbart and a slew of righty bogs already posted about the story is somehow a massive smear campaign on the part of Fox News as far as “Boomawrong” Boehlert is concerned. Even after he discovered that the FoxNews Channel execs that really decide what goes on TV put the story on hold and approached it cautiously and didn’t begin discussing it until after the White House fired the woman, “Boomawrong” is trying to suggest that this one little posting is a campaign against Sherrod instigated by Fox News.
“Boomawrong” seems to think that the interns that post to the Fox.com website have the power to program the cable division. Here’s a guy that knows nothing about how organizations work… or is purposefully distorting the issue to make a political point. You can guess which is more likely, I’d bet?
The truth is FoxNews has precisely nothing to do with this story. They came to it late and did so on purpose. This story was made entirely by the conservative blogosphere led by Andrew Breitbart. The White House jumped like a startled cat the second this thing hit the public sphere and acted without any pressure from FoxNews Channel.
But “Boomawrong” Boehlert and his unprincipled crew at Media Matters simply must make this about FoxNews. Mostly because they know they cannot legitimately come to the aid of Shirley Sherrod. They need a villain. Unfortunately, their enemy is the truth.
We know their enemy is the truth because one last point mars their story. Even the FoxNews.com posting that Media Matters points to as “proof” of a great Fox conspiracy was made after the White House fired Sherrod.
If you go the the FoxNews.com piece mentioned by Media Matters you’ll see in the comments that the first comment was made on July 19 at 5:22 PM by a commenter named “tv1530.” The White House was already making its decision to fire Sherrod before that time and calls by the administration to Sherrod for her resignation had already been made that afternoon long before the posting early that evening by FoxNews.com.
Comments appear almost instantly on news articles so the fact that comments didn’t start to get posted until 5:22 PM, this means the story had not been up but minutes before the comments appeared.
Then there is the FoxNation.com posting which also fits the “so what” category. I was made at around 1PM, but again, the Serrod decision was already being made before it showed up. Additionally, FoxNation.com is even further removed from the chain of command of the cable side. FoxNation is site for the fans and not really connected to the actual news side of the company.
Quite despite the spin foisted on the public by Eric Boehlert and Media Matters for America, there is no way the FoxNews.com of FoxNation.com posting made in the evening of the 19th had any influence on the Obama Administration’s decision to fire Sherrod.
Really. This Boehlert guy must have trouble looking himself in the mirror. If he doesn’t he’s as shameless as they come.
(Originally posted at BigJournalism.com)