The Shirley Sherrod case is a tragic example of how nasty our nation’s politics have become. A woman loses her job because some commentator wants to make a point about racism and does so with a piece of very selectively edited video. It was a hatchet chop, pure and simple.
The truth has come out; the lies have been exposed. But so far, all Sherrod has gotten is an apology from the White House delivered via spokesman Robert Gibbs at a press conference — along with his promise that Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack, the man who fired her, is trying to reach her. She’s sitting right there watching the whole thing from CNN headquarters, and he’s only “trying to” reach her? How hard can it be? Indeed, how hard would it have been to obtain and review the entire video before rushing to judgment? Particularly when the video came from someone whose career is based on creating controversy, twisting truths, and grinding axes. What happened to the journalistic mandate of having at least two solid sources before publishing/broadcasting a story?
An apology at this point is beyond lame and totally inadequate. She’d better get her job back. Or at least it should be offered.
I’m beyond furious about all this. The injustice of it all is gut-twisting for me. I’ve been fired for non-job-related reasons. I’ve had the truth distorted and my reputation slandered after the fact, for reasons that had nothing to do with my job performance. I’ll certainly understand why, even if they ask her to return to her job, she refuses. The environment has been poisoned. The employers have shown their true colors. It’s difficult to imagine her wanting to go back and work in that cesspool.
Update: CNN is reporting now that Sec. Vilsack has spoken personally to Sherrod and apologized. He has also offered her a different position in the department, rather than full reinstatement to her former position.
Update, July 22: Cable news is reporting that Pres. Obama called Sherrod this morning and they spoke privately for about 7 minutes.