It's interesting that, while Ms. Thernstrom's comments where picked up in the mainstream media, and while those stories all mentioned the Shirley Sherrod case somewhere, none of them pointed out that the origin of the New Black Panthers story was also a Breitbart pal and Big Government blogger, Mike Roman.
I haven't been able to find out if Roman actually shot the video that he posted to his "election protection" site, electionjournal.org, and that was taken up by the right wing Noise Machine so lustily. But his website is the one that hosted it. It is the site that is referenced in the media and in the Congressional Record in the ensuing investigation. In fact, Mike Roman's whole site (and especially his donations page) is built around the image of the two New Black Panthers on Election Day 2008 in Philly. I don't know if Mike actually sells dog whistles but his donations page features a graphic with the title "Kick voter fraud in the nuts" that shows a figure kicking up at a huge acorn.
If you have tracked election and voting news on a daily basis, you could quickly come to the conclusion that the site was set up to showcase this "story". Most people don't realize that there are at least 15 to 20 important stories in the election reform world every day. Real election reform advocates, like the late and revered John Gideon at VotersUnite, track these stories and offer them to the public for their information and to establish trends that committed activists need to know. Roman's site does nothing of the sort. In fact, his one attempt at internationalism is a story about the last Colombian election which misspells "Colombia". Raw Story noted (Conservatives Using Sketchy Videos; 01/19/10), that while Roman's site doesn't list an affiliation, he is a former GOP operative that only seems to find stories beneficial to the GOP.
To sum up: this storefront website of a Breitbart pal was the source for the entire New Black Panther's "voter intimidation" case that was based on zero (0) voter complaints and for which the Obama DoJ was smeared with unequal protection even though it was the Bush DoJ that decided there was nothing there.
And yet, this video was set out for the right wing Noise Machine to "find", which it did as it finds all the breitbartian bits of video that call up white racist fear and it got all the way to a congressional investigation. Before you know it, John Fund is on "Face the Nation" accusing the Obama administration of racializing the Justice Department for political gain and without a trace of irony, considering that the Bush administration was built on the backs of disenfranchised black voters twice, once in Florida and once in Ohio. Someone should sit John Fund down and read him the story of the wooden puppet that yearned to become a real boy, seriously, for his own good.
That this particular piece of breitbartia sputtered out probably won't prevent Mike Roman from "investigating" again since fake stories of voter fraud are an old Republican weakness. He was not quite as involved as that other Breitbart pal, James O'Keefe, in smearing ACORN but his did his bit, sponsoring online petitions and posting slanderous stories to his website -- "ACORN hiring registered sex offenders to forge registrations in New Mexico". And in particular, since Roman hearts Rubio on his face book page, I'd suggest that anyone working the Florida Senate race be on the lookout for "watchdogs" in largely black precincts on Election Day.