The Perils of Gotcha Video

By Boston Globe, Boston Globe - July 23, 2010

NEXT TIME around, the Obama administration should wait for the full story — and consider the source — before forcing a government employee out over a snippet of video.

Shirley Sherrod, a previously obscure Agriculture Department official, was fired this week after Andrew Breitbart, a conservative blogger and provocateur, posted a video of a talk Sherrod gave in March at an NAACP event in Douglas, Ga. In it, Sherrod, who is black, described a time when she was in a position to help a white man who was in danger of losing his farm but made only a perfunctory effort to do so. Once the video surfaced, Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack pressured Sherrod into resigning with surprising speed. The White House stood behind the decision, and the NAACP applauded her firing.


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