A Full Set of Facts
by Charles Lemos, Wed Jul 21, 2010 at 04:56:10 PM EDT
It is pretty clear that in the Shirley Sherrod case the Obama Administration acted precipitously without a full set of facts at their disposal. The question left in my mind and shared by others is why the Administration won't draw a line in the sand and stand up to the right wing noise machine. It is especially troubling since the Obama Administration had previously noted that Fox News was not just a news outlet but all too often acted as a propagandizing agent for the deranged right. So it is disturbing that Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack and his deputy Cheryl Cook, an undersecretary at the Department of Agriculture, acted in the way that they did. Mrs. Sherrod said White House officials wanted her to quit immediately because the controversy was "going to be on Glenn Beck tonight." In truth, it was the USDA acting on its own and ironically Glenn Beck was among those who felt that Mrs. Sherrod shouldn't have been fired. Nonetheless, an Administration living in fear of what Glenn Beck or what Fox News may say is not a good thing.
Today, White House Press Secretary Robert Gibbs issued an apology, "on behalf of this entire administration" to Shirley Sherrod. He also said Secretary Tom Vilsack was trying to reach her to extend an apology. More on this from MSNBC.
Mrs. Sherrod, for her part, has accepted the apology but noted that she's not sure if she wants her job even if it is offered again. That would be a crying shame for someone with such commitment to the poor is precisely the type of civil servant that we so desperately need.