Before I saw Rachel Maddow's show last night, I was ranting about Andrew Breitbart's complicity in the mugging of Shirley Sherrod, who was fired from her job as a regional director of the USDA's development program yesterday for being a racist, after a videotape of her was posted on Andrew Breitbart's "Big Government" site that ostensibly showed her voicing a bias against white people (Ms. Sherrod is black).
In an utterly unsurprising development, it turns out that the tape was carefully misleadingly edited and the accusation was wholly false (Ms. Sherrod was telling a story about how she came to see that the problem she was confronting had nothing to do with race). Before the lie had a chance to be revealed, though, Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack sacked Sherrod - within hours of the story breaking (if this sounds familiar, it's because Breitbart also had a hand in the ACORN story, which has also been revealed as a complete fraud):
The NAACP has now released the full video of the speech that got Ms. Sherrod fired, and it's clear that Breitbart is complicit in a vicious hatchet job on an innocent woman who was describing an incident 25 years ago that changed her perspective about race. It's telling that Breitbart felt no need to see the rest of the video before passing his judgment that Sherrod and her audience are racists, and it speaks volumes about the quality of that judgment. Sherrod should be apologized to and immediately rehired by the USDA, which got stampeded by a cheap con, and the next time Breitbart claims to have damning evidence in support of his peculiar theories, we should remember this lie and his part in it.
Breitbart now claims that he was making the case that the racism of the NAACP audience, not Sherrod, was the reason he posted the videotape, and that he feels sorry that "the media has misconstrued" the story to make it about Ms. Sherrod, and not her audience. Leaving aside the laughable implication that Breitbart isn't part of "the media", you'd have to be really naive to believe that anyway, but even if you did, the point Breitbart says he's making is completely unsupported by the unedited tape.
Naturally, I didn't do as well as Maddow did in summarizing the story - here's a clip from her show last night: