You see the things that are wrong with the above paragraph and the lesson not learned. First, the media didn't fire Shirley Sherrod, the Obama administration did, namely one Tom Vilsack. Second, the only conclusion to be drawn from Republican fraud is that Republicans commit fraud. Third, there was no finger pointing at each other, all the finger pointing was directed at Shirley Sherrod.
Scott Harshbarger, in another Huffington Post article, says that the "overarching lessons or messages that may be of most immediate relevance here," "looking at this controversy," is something about business and civic leaders remain engaged, blah, blah, blah. No lesson can be learned from looking at this outright fraud as a controversy. Breitbart was caught committing fraud and Shirley Sherrod was fired. There is no controversy about that.
Howard Dean, again on the Huffington Post, said, "There are lessons to be learned here. Tom Vilsack stated the first one best: don't make decisions without all the facts." But, Howard, that's exactly what he did. Then, he changed his mind based only on the one fact that Breitbart is a fraud, but didn't learn the lesson that that is not all the facts. Dean goes on, "The second lesson is harder. Stand up for what you believe in." No, Howard, as shown by your first example, you stand up for what you know, not what you believe. Vilsack acted on what he believed, not what he could have known. Another lesson unlearned.
One of the lessons that can be learned from this affair is that the only person of all the people involved, Andrew Breitbart, Fox News and the Obama administration, only the innocent victim, Shirley Sherrod, was fired from her job. The rest of them still have their jobs. I don't know how Shirley Sherrod feels about it, but I would never again work for or be associated in any way with people who I know will automatically and immediately think the worst of me based on what a Republican says.
Rob Kall, in an article here on OEN, summed up the whole affair by saying that it "showed a lot of weaknesses and liabilities and flaws." The weakness of Vilsack to do the dirty work for Fox News, Breitbart and the Republicans. The liability for the firing a person based on the false claims of Republicans. The flaws for not recognizing the falsus maxim as it applies so very perfectly to the Republicans.
Here are just a few examples of how a person who lies about one thing will lie about everything:
Republican Senator Jim Inhofe of the benighted state of Oklahoma says, "I don't think that anyone disagrees with the fact that we actually are in the middle of a cold period that started about nine years ago."
Fact: The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration announced that 2010 is globally the hottest year on record since record-keeping began in 1880.
Republican Senate minority leader Mitch McConnell declared, "There's no evidence whatsoever that the Bush tax cuts actually diminished revenue. They increased revenue, because of the vibrancy of those tax cuts in the economy."
Fact: Tax cuts diminish tax revenue. The "vibrancy" he's referring to must be the worst economic and financial collapse since the great depression. That diminished revenue.
According to Paul Krugman, Mort Zuckerman said that Obama "lashed out at unscrupulous and underhanded businesses," when what he actually said was that "responsible businesses are forced to compete against unscrupulous and underhanded businesses."
Fact: What Zuckerman did here is exactly the same thing that Breitbart and Fox News did, fraudulently take out of context partial information to make someone appear what they are not.
Haley Barbour, Governor of Mississippi, said, "I think right now every oil company in the world says, I don't want to pay $100 million a day to cut corners on drilling a well. And that's where I believe the market system works. Nobody's got more to lose in this deal than BP."