Friday, July 23, 2010

The fox and the chickens' house

It is a fable from old that disaster strikes when you put a fox in charge of the chicken house.

And yet, here's Fox News allegedly providing daily, minute by minute, spoonfuls and bucket loads of unfair and unbalanced tripe from their talking head gnus**.

The Canadians, thankfully, put this in a stark message:

A nation of cowards?

U.S. Attorney General Eric Holder, was describing a country where the workplace is, for the most part, racially integrated, but where Americans self-segregate in their private lives and in their leisure activities.

"We have to have the determination to be honest with each other," he told justice department employees a few months ago, adding that, "in things racial, we have always been and, I believe, continue to be in too many ways, essentially a nation of cowards."

There has certainly been evidence of much cowardice over the past week.

It began when conservative activist and blogger Andrew Breitbart posted on his website a video of Shirley Sherrod, an employee with the U.S. department of agriculture.

Fox News, which has worked with Breitbart in the past, jumped on the video and began to air it, while several of its hosts branded Sherrod a racist.

The network interviewed Newt Gringrich, the former Republican House speaker, who expressed his outrage. Other Fox talking heads agreed and the network's star, host Bill O'Reilly, ended that first day by calling for Sherrod's resignation.

Other media then picked up the story and continued the onslaught.

Sherrod was not going down without a fight. She went to CNN headquarters in Atlanta with the complete tape of her 43-minute speech.

It exposed a vicious smear job that had been done, as Sherrod said, "by slicing and dicing."

A subtle but important element of her story: Sherrod was not a government employee 24 years ago, as Breitbert described her, when the incident in question happened.

Rather she was working with a non-profit agency that assisted black farmers when an impoverished white farmer approached and asked for her help.

Yes, she told the NAACP meeting, she had thought of not helping the white farmer, but quickly decided she couldn't do that. It was, she realized, her job to help all the poor.

The speech made the point that she recognized her prejudice and that "there is no difference between us."

On several occasions, she urged her audience to put race to one side and, in this particular case, she went on to help the farmer save his land.

To drive the point home, CNN went out and found that farmer, Roger Spooner, who agreed Sherrod had, indeed, saved his farm.

"I tell you what," he said. "I was never treated no better than Shirley."

At this point, it would be great to praise CNN. But the truth was that the network, too, had joined in the early coverage, slandering Sherrod.

At Fox News, O'Reilly apologized for the initial attack at least but never really explained how a doctored tape made it to air; nor what relationship Fox has or will have with Breitbart.

So we get back to the issue of cowardice that Attorney-General Holder talked about.

There can be little doubt the government and the NAACP reacted too quickly for the fear of being caught on the wrong side of the race issue.

The conservative media moved too quickly because it clearly felt it had some fresh meat to feed its viewers and readers.

The mainstream media didn't show the courage of its convictions — accuracy and fairness — probably because the big outlets are being continually attacked of late for not jumping on internet-inspired stories. Besides, they were getting reaction from the USDA and the White House. Why check further?

Then there is Breitbart. What would possess someone to try to make a scapegoat out of a 62-year-old African-American woman in rural Georgia whose whole life has clearly been centred around helping poor farmers, white and black?

Cowardice? There is more than enough here to go around.

Read more:

Andrew Breitbart was victim of 'fraud' in Shirley Sherrod 'racism' story, says Ann Coulter
Forget Shirley Sherrod, Andrew Breitbart is the real victim.

That's what Ann Coulter believes, anyway.

Breitbart has not apologized for the story, but insists it was never about Sherrod.

"This was about the NAACP attacking the Tea Party, and this is showing racism at an NAACP event," he said, arguing that the video showed people reacting with "laughter" at her remarks.

"The whole key to this story is that Andrew Breitbart was set up," the fiery right-wing writer told Sean Hannity on Fox News on Wednesday.

She argued that the conservative blogger was the victim of a "fraud" by the person who sent him the edited video.

"He was set up," Coulter said. "This was a fraud."

Read more:

** A gnu is the African word for what the the Dutch settlers called a "wild beast", or "Wildebeest".

Wildebeest are known for their annual migration to new pastures.
Although it is assumed that this migration is a frenzy and that the wildebeest cross blindly, recent research has shown that a herd of gnu possesses what is known as a "swarm intelligence", whereby the animals systematically explore and overcome the obstacle as one.

The primary defensive tactic is herding, where the young animals are protected by the older larger ones while the herd runs as a group.

Wildebeest have developed some additional sophisticated cooperative behavior and scientists are unsure how much is learned behaviorally and how much is hard wired into the DNA of the animal.

-- Source: Wikipedia



Anonymous Anonymous said...

Sad how people run towards lies if it suits their political agenda rather than just trying to make things work out for everyone.

23 July 2010 at 10:41:00 am GMT+10  

Post a Comment

Links to this post:

Create a Link

<< Home