I missed the initial bruhaha caused when a video surfaced of Shirley Sherrod making apparent biased comments regarding aid for a white farmer. Sherrod was, at the time of the video's release, the Director of rural development in Georgia for the Department of the Interior. She was forced to resign shortly thereafter and suffered condemnations at the hands of the Obama administration and NAACP.
It turns out that the right wing agency that broke the story of the video released an edited version of the video. In the edited video, Sherrod is telling a story of, 20 years ago, giving a white farmer with less help than she could have. In the full video, she uses that story to make a point about how it made her realize that bias is wrong and that what she wants to be about, and has been about ever since, is helping all poor regardless of race.
This kind of falsification and alteration of evidence has become standard operating procedure for the GOP and those attempting to further Conservative efforts and policies.
We saw the same thing with a leaked video purporting to show Acorn workers assisting a pimp with prostitution efforts. The same producer of that video, James O'Keefe was apprehended in a Democratic Senator's office (Senator Mary Landrieu of Louisiana) tampering with her phone equipment. It turns out that what happened in the Acorn video was staged and manipulated. One can only imagine what Mr. O'Keefe intended to do with Senator Landrieu's phone equipment. I'm guessing that Mr. O'Keefe intended to tap her phone and release incriminating conversations and if no incriminating conversations were heard, he would edit them to make them seem incriminating.
There is an interesting connection here. The same website that featured James O'Keefe's manipulated Acorn video is the one that released the edited video of Shirley Sherrod.
The website, Biggovernment.com is owned by Andrew Breitbart. Mr. Breitbart has issued vigorous denials when asked whether he knew the Sherrod video was edited and also when asked whether he knew Mr. O'Keefe was going to trespass and tamper with the equipment in Senator Landrieu's office. Is it possible Mr. Breitbart is telling the truth? Maybe, I doubt it but it is possible. It still means that his publishing and fact-checking standards are in the toilet and that no one should believe anything he puts out ever again.
There are more examples of this. A few months ago, hacked emails of climate scientists in London magically appeared in the hands of right wing operatives who provided them to their friends in conservative media. Those tens of thousands of emails purported to have 6-10 excerpted statements that showed issues with the theory of Global warming and intend to hide data. No less than five separate independent investigations have taken place and the investigations concluded that the statements were misinterpreted, taken out of context, the scientists did nothing wrong and there is no effect on the theories concerning anthropogenic global warming.
For some reason, I haven't seen a lot of coverage of the ClimateGate investigation results in the Mainstream Media. There were articles in the Huffington Post and San Francisco Chronicle that indicate that the scientists were vindicated but little to no TV coverage in the US.
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