Obama White House caves in to rightwing bullies

There is a playground rule that even little girls learn: never give in to bullies. If you do, you’re done. Bullies are never satisfied until they’ve completely dominated you, humiliating you on a daily basis.
By firing Shirley Sherrod out of fear of right-wing bullies, the Obama administration ran afoul of that basic playground rule. The bullies are celebrating. And they’ll be back.
Andrew Brietbart is one of those bullies. He’s a rightwing activist who has already ruined ACORN with selectively edited videos. He has called well-respected black members of Congress “liars” because they reported the racial jeers and slurs they got from some tea party protestors on the day of the health care vote.
Rush Limbaugh is one of those bullies. On Tuesday, by the time many legitimate news outlets had backtracked and pointed out that Sherrod’s story was one of reconciliation, Limbaugh was still calling her a racist.
Glenn Beck is one of those bullies. Nearly every day, he finds a way to call Barack Obama a “racist.” Never mind that Obama was reared by his white mother and white maternal grandparents.
While the administration claims that fear of the vast rightwing conspiracy played no role in the Sherrod affair, the facts suggest otherwise:
From Howard Kurtz, WaPo media critic:

Sherrod may be the only official ever dismissed because of the fear that Fox host Glenn Beck might go after her. As Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack tried to pressure her into resigning, Sherrod says Deputy Undersecretary Cheryl Cook called her Monday to say “do it, because you’re going to be on ‘Glenn Beck’ tonight.” . .
Breitbart has worked closely with Fox opinion hosts in the past, most notably when he posted videos of two young activists ostensibly posing as a pimp and prostitute and seeking help from ACORN offices. Breitbart promoted those tapes on Sean Hannity’s Fox program and the network gave them heavy play.

The administration’s concern about Beck stems in part from his campaign last year that prompted the resignation of White House environmental official Van Jones over divisive remarks–a controversy that some news organizations acknowledged they were too slow to cover. Ironically, Beck defended Sherrod Tuesday, saying that “context matters” and he would have objected if someone had shown a video of him at an AA meeting saying he used to pass out from drinking but omitting the part where he says he found Jesus and gave up alcohol.

Bill O’Reilly, who has — remarkably — become a bit of a voice of conscience on Fox News, apologized for disseminating Breitbart’s video:

On Monday night, O’Reilly played the clip posted by conservative activist Andrew Breitbart on his site BigGovernment.com. He led his Wednesday program by criticizing some of Sherrod’s language but acknowledging his own mistake: “I owe Ms. Sherrod an apology for not doing my homework. . . . and for not putting her remarks into proper context.”

Don’t expect any such apology from Breitbart. He will do the same thing again since it worked to embarrass the Obama administration before.

436 comments Add your comment

MiltonMan

July 22nd, 2010
8:25 am

Both Jay & Ms. Tucker have posted bacially the same topic today. F- for creativity.

Cynthia Is Sexy!!

July 22nd, 2010
8:25 am

Oh my…this should get the home fires burning!!

LOL!!

The Nerve

July 22nd, 2010
8:28 am

Sigh. Another column of hate for our liberal friends. Didn’t really expect anything different though. Hate is all they have.

Pathetic.

Peadawg

July 22nd, 2010
8:30 am

Wow. I thought Jeff Dunham or Bill Engvall were funny. They have nothing on your Cynthia! You should have your own “Comedy Central Presents” where all you do is read your blogs.

Ragnar Danneskjöld

July 22nd, 2010
8:30 am

Dear Cynthia, MiltonMan – first – implicitly raises the question we are all wondering – was our beloved editor on the Journolist?

Honest Broker

July 22nd, 2010
8:32 am

CT, do you Obama’s maternal grandmother that he called a “typical white person?”

The fact of the matter is taht Ms. Sherrod said some other things during the NCAA convntion that should have gott her fired as well.

Enoch

July 22nd, 2010
8:33 am

Tucker never cares about left wing bullies. She is just another partisan with an agenda.

There was a time when editorial writers brought perspective and restraint to political issues. While having a point of view, they helped bring people together and were a constraint on the excesses of the overly political.

No more. Now they just fan the flames that divide us as long as they percieve advantage for “thier side”.

How the profession has fallen!

Well...you don't say!

July 22nd, 2010
8:35 am

Well, well, well….Tucker takes the side of the racist black woman and tries to make her look like the victim…surprise, surprise, surprise. Cynthia, I hope all of the bad things in the world happen to you…and only you.

Drawing Black Lines

July 22nd, 2010
8:37 am

CT

I know you are not always this dogmatic. Lets talk bullies: Michael Moore, Bill Maher, Rachel Maddow, Ed Shultz, Keith Olbermann. Nice show though, wouldn’t want everybody believing the poor wittle dems are getting beat up and victimized all the time.

resno2

July 22nd, 2010
8:38 am

Didn’t Fox run with this AFTER she resigned?

One activist ruined ACORN, and there was no validity to any of his claims?

You honestly think that a person, who is 50% black, and raised by a white mother and white grandparents can’t be racist?

Tea Party jeers… nope never heard any racial slurs or jeers coming out of any Democrats mouths… nope no-sir-ree.

“He will do the same thing again since it worked to embarrass the Obama administration before.”

Sadly the obama administration doesn’t need much help in the embarrassing itself category

Drawing Black Lines

July 22nd, 2010
8:38 am

Milton Man,

Yeah, but Tucker is brighter than Jay.

LeeH1

July 22nd, 2010
8:38 am

Sherrod was a political appointee, and did not have the rights and protections of a regular federal employee. As an appointee, I could care less if she was hired or fired. They work at the will of the administration, and their first rule is “Do no harm.” Sherrod raised her head, and it was cut off. So what? It has happened before to other people who play the game of politics, and it will happen again.

some guy

July 22nd, 2010
8:39 am

Ms. Sherrod acted racially and should have been fired. Imagine if Ms. Sherrod was white and the farmers were black. Also, imagine if those were KKK’s or Neo Nazis instead of Black Panthers outside the polling station in Philadelphia with billy club. There are different standards depending on which side of the racial/political spectrum you stand on. The hypocrisy of PC’ness is sickening.

gale

July 22nd, 2010
8:42 am

News flash, some guy, 24 years ago when this happened, white administrators neglected to help black farmers and businessmen all the time.

ctucker

July 22nd, 2010
8:42 am

some guy, you clearly have not listened to her speech or to Roger Spooner, the white farmer she helped. You don’t care what the facts are.

Tommy Maddox

July 22nd, 2010
8:42 am

The White House has again shown what every other world leader has already surmised:

The Administration is spineless and knee-jerk oriented.

Come on November.

ctucker

July 22nd, 2010
8:42 am

resno2, there is absolutely no evidence that Obama is racist.

Granny Godzilla

July 22nd, 2010
8:43 am

Rags

Did the Journolist thing 2 days ago…..too funny.

“it appears that the big scandal is that liberal journalists and professors talked to each other about how to frame a publically released letter to ABC News”
From MMA

What we really need to talk about is the 7 million dollars in debt Michael Steele hid.

ctucker

July 22nd, 2010
8:44 am

Drawing Black Lines, What’s dogmatic about my post?

Tommy Maddox

July 22nd, 2010
8:44 am

Oh. let’s change the subject.

neo-Carlinist

July 22nd, 2010
8:44 am

interesting take from O’Reilly. I guess he’s just being a good battlefield tactician and taking (and I mean TAKING) the high ground. I guess this makes him a moderate bully. but you know, in a Hyman Roth/Godfather II type of way, the bullies “played this one beautifully”. in my opinion, the “Justin Beiber’s” and Rush Limbaugh’s of the world don’t care about “racism” (as an example of injustice or a contemptable behavior). they simply used the allegation to demonstrate not that Obama et al are actaully “racists” but that “liberals” lack conviction and loyalty to their ethic, which exposes them as ineffective or incompetent leaders. so, in a left-handed way, kudos to the mud-slingers, bottom-feeders and hacks; they set up the perfect ambush. Oh, and “Nilsack’s” apology, while sincere holds about as much weight as O’Reilly’s. Obama is the one who needs to apologize. Maybe he can host a “beer summit” for Sherrod and the Sec Ag.

ctucker

July 22nd, 2010
8:44 am

Well. . you don’t say! You’re one of those people for whom the facts don’t matter. Roger Spooner, the white farmer whom Sherrod worked hard for, says she’s no racist.

ctucker

July 22nd, 2010
8:45 am

Honest Broker, What were those things?

Peadawg

July 22nd, 2010
8:45 am

some guy, the entire video proves she wasn’t being racist.

But, for the rest of your post, “Also, imagine if those were KKK’s or Neo Nazis instead of Black Panthers outside the polling station in Philadelphia with billy club. There are different standards depending on which side of the racial/political spectrum you stand on. The hypocrisy of PC’ness is sickening.” You’re 100% right on with that!

ctucker

July 22nd, 2010
8:45 am

Ragnar, I never heard of Journolist until Dave Weigel was fired.

Shawny

July 22nd, 2010
8:46 am

ACORN is a corrupt organization and needed to be outed.

Shame on those that did not get the facts before acting. Limbaugh and Obama too.

I like OReilly, because he tends to smack everybody that needs smacking. Not just libs.

Wahoo

July 22nd, 2010
8:47 am

Actually, Cynthia, I think it’s even worse than what you describe.

Obama Admin will be seen as weak because (as you say) he caved to right wing bullies in firing Sherrod.

But the Admin will also look incompetent because they offered to hire her back. They fired her without even so much as doing an ounce of homework – it doesn’t inspire confidence in the Admin.

I don’t always catch all of Olbermann’s rants, but last night I had the image of a man coming unglued on national television. He seriously needs to go back on vacation (or go back to the asylum).

joe

July 22nd, 2010
8:47 am

Wow..CT showing some love to Bill O…never thought I’d live to see the day…guess that takes some sting out of the lib argument that Fox News is not fair and balanced.

Ragnar Danneskjöld

July 22nd, 2010
8:49 am

Dear Granny @ 8:43, thanks, I missed it – must have been working. What was the answer?

Kamchak

July 22nd, 2010
8:49 am

I like OReilly…

There’s your sign.

Ragnar Danneskjöld

July 22nd, 2010
8:50 am

Dear Cynthia, thanks, I wondered. Frankly I kinda wish you had been there – you might have toned down some of the lunacy of others, as you do here.

The Nerve

July 22nd, 2010
8:51 am

I went back and read the column just to make sure, but I still don’t see any sort of condemnation for the incompetent way our current administration handled Mrs. Sherrod. Only more hate on right wingers.

You liberals are no better than those you hate on the far right. No better at all.

Peadawg

July 22nd, 2010
8:51 am

“But the Admin will also look incompetent because they offered to hire her back. They fired her without even so much as doing an ounce of homework – it doesn’t inspire confidence in the Admin.”

Can Obama look anymore incompetent than he already does? I didn’t think he could get any lower.

Lil' Barry Bailout

July 22nd, 2010
8:53 am

Cynthia, I must have totally missed your post on Journolist, the email list for leftard journalists coordinating their efforts to help Obama get elected. One of their tactics was to smear Obama’s enemies as racists.

Big surprise.

Why do Democrats hate America?

Peadawg

July 22nd, 2010
8:53 am

“but I still don’t see any sort of condemnation for the incompetent way our current administration handled Mrs. Sherrod.”

You must new here. Cynthia would never say anything bad about Obama.

Stan

July 22nd, 2010
8:55 am

CT- the issue nowadays is there is generally a kernel of truth in all the stories and mouthpieces and the public is left trying to piece it all together. One needs to be smart enough to know that the radical fringe, like Beck on the right and Maher on the left, are no more than entertainment that fit a certain audience (who, I really can’t figure). I was never, and am still not, a Hannity fan but he was the first that I heard or Rev Wright. Not a huge issue, but should have been somewhat of a story- more so than Clinton “didn’t inhale”. I really think there is a void of true “here is all the facts journalism” and playing from strength, versus somehow a protectorate is needed.

Lil' Barry Bailout

July 22nd, 2010
8:56 am

Your post might have been better titled “Obama caves in to his own incompetence”.

Moderate Line

July 22nd, 2010
8:56 am

At what point when does the Obama administration become accountable for firing someone without cause. Also, we have the episode where Obama said the police officer acted stupidily.

Now, we have someone claiming that the right wing media bullied the administration into firing Sherrod. Please, did the administration let the right wing media bully them on health care and extending unemployment. No.

This is just an excuse for making a bad decision. Everytime Obama makes a mistake it is someone elses fault. However, I don’t see Obama making excuse just his apologist.

The right wing media(Breitbart) and the left wing media (Tucker) will always placed their own spin on events. Presidents must be able to show they can handle media.

T-Town

July 22nd, 2010
8:59 am

Ms. Tucker, Ms. Sherrod is just a pawn between the right and the left, just someone to use. The real question is: why did the President flinch so early in this game of chicken?

Big D

July 22nd, 2010
9:02 am

CT, The really telling part of the tape is the fact that the audience had no idea where she was going with her dialog, when she made references to not giving adequate help to the farmer THEY CHEERED, they had no idea she was going to tell them the she repentant over the actions she exhibited. The NAACP …IS… a racist organization that exists now only to inflame feelings between white’s and people of color in this country to preserve a job for themselves, just like Al Sharpton and that Shake down artist Jessy Jackson.

Keep up the good fight!

July 22nd, 2010
9:02 am

Sure Obama can look totally incompetent…he can change his name to George W. Bush and then screw up the economy, the military, the government…and more!

jt

July 22nd, 2010
9:02 am

An over-paid-federal-worker-institutionalized-racist-scandal.

Whatever it takes to keep the minds off plundering the tax-payer.

It works. Baaaaaaaaaaa……………………….

Drawing Black Lines

July 22nd, 2010
9:03 am

CT

As a swing voter and independant who has voted both sides of the spectrum I appreciate you giving credit where credit is due, such as mentioning O’Reilly’s apology. However, I see you consistently attack pundits on the right (who clearly have their misgivings) but I don’t ever hear your critique of the left wing idealogues I mentioned above. To me thats dogma….Beck, Breitbart, and Limbaugh are “bullies” because you say so. My point is that objectively, there is truth in that these guys are agressive toward the left but the above mentioned I listed are aggressive toward the right. You can’t have two bullies bullying each other – thats a fight

Keep up the good fight!

July 22nd, 2010
9:03 am

big D…Ummm.. your claim of cheers is totally unsubstantiated by the tape. Its an outright falsity. Care to discuss facts or just make up your own?

neo-Carlinist

July 22nd, 2010
9:04 am

OK children, it seems people parse or edit the English language as “Justin Bieber” edits YouTube clips. I don’t know where it started, but let’s stop throwing using the word racist to define or describe those with an alternative or contrary political point of view. feel free to refer to the following while drafting posts –
racism/racist: the belief that one’s ethnic stock is superior. bigot: a person of strong conviction or prejudice; especially in matters of race, religion, or politics. one who is intollerant of those who differ with him.
discriminate: to act on the basis of prejudice. And note that “racism” includes ethnic origin – which includes religion – holier than thou Christians and Muslims (or Buddhists, for that matter) are by definition, racists. I guess the politics of racism is different than racist politics.

The Nerve

July 22nd, 2010
9:07 am

“You must new here. Cynthia would never say anything bad about Obama”

Peadawg….unfortunately no. I wander in and out though becasue sometimes the sheer idiocy of the articles and some of the commenters is just too much. But like a moth to a flame, I keep coming back. I know CT would never say criticize Obama in anyway. The spin these liberals can put on the utter deplorable and incompetent “leadership” currently provided by the Democrat party in charge is simply a stunning thing to behold. It’s almost as if they prop up the far right so that they will have something to complain about. They give them more credibility than anyone.

The Nerve

July 22nd, 2010
9:11 am

“Sure Obama can look totally incompetent…he can change his name to George W. Bush and then screw up the economy, the military, the government…and more”

He most certainly doesn’t have to change his name to do that. Being “Barack Obama” is working just fine for running our country further into the ground. Which is what I believe he wants.

Never let a good crisis go to waste right?

Keep up the good fight!

July 22nd, 2010
9:11 am

Hmmm… amazing Obama is incompetent for “believing” the story by Fox and Notsobrightbart. The White House apologized the same as O’Reilly. So based on wingnut logic, it is clear that Fox New and Notsobright are clearly incompetent.

Finally, all sides agree: FOX NEWS is incompetent as a news organization! Now lets see what else we can agree on…although I am not holding my breath.

T-Town

July 22nd, 2010
9:11 am

neo-Carlinist your are correct, but throwing the word “racist” congeries up more of the feeling of “evil.” Using bigot and/or bigotry is so benign that we have to sensationalize everything we say or write to prove our points to be more dramatic.

You Asked

July 22nd, 2010
9:11 am

Sherrod was done wrong when the middle of her story on awakening to her own biases was used to present her as racist. She should be rehired with an apology.

The White House firing of Sherrod over out of context remarks shows a real problem with our current administration that has NOTHING to do with RACE.

What it does show is the current obsession with image and popularity that our politicians have. The Obama administration (and their cohort of Clinton administration retreads) is overly concerned with image and it drives their decisions and policy far too often.