|Scoobie Davis Online|
Sun Myung Moon Blog
Search Engine Optimization and Free Submission
Thursday, July 22, 2010
Now that it has been shown that Shirley Sherrod was wrongly accused of racism because of a selectively edited video on Andrew Breitbart's website that gave the polar opposite impression of Sherrod's actual views.
Conservative David Frum knew the score when he wrote the following
On the phone on the evening of July 20, a friend asked me: "Can Breitbart possibly survive?" I could only laugh incredulously. I answered: "Of course he'll survive, and undamaged. The incident won't matter at all."If history is any guide, Frum is right. Two recent non-ACORN examples:
1. In 2001, then-Washington Times reporter Bill Sammon wrote a book At Any Cost: How Al Gore Tried to Steal The Election. The book didn't have any footnotes for a very good reason: in at least one instance, Sammon cited a newspaper article to give his reader the direct opposite impression of the article's content. A Washington Post article detailed how in a meeting with advistors, Gore gave his highest priority to the country. Sammon carefully edited the incident to give the exact opposite impression to his readers: Sammon libelously claimed that Gore gave his lowest priority to the country, writing that Gore "was looking out for Number One, plain and simple." Bob Somerby of The Daily Howler discovered Sammon's serious journalistic misconduct and wrote about it (I also wrote about it later). The consequences for Sammon: nothing happened. In fact, Sammon eventually become Vice President and Managing Editor of Fox News. Talk about failing your way up.
2. Last year, Sean Hannity falsely accused President Obama of "decided to give 9/11 sympathizers a voice on the world stage" when he visited Cairo. Like Beitbart, Hannity did this by cropping a video clip to give the exact opposite impression to his viewers that Obama was communicating to the audience in Cairo (watch this priceless video of The Daily Show's Jon Stewart on the incident). Was Hannity fired or even publicly reprimanded? Nope.
As long as there are no negative consequences for this kind of distortion, expect to see more of it.
UPDATE: Read Michelle Cottle's analysis of the Sherrod flap.