July 29th, 2010
11:53 AM ET

Sherrod to sue blogger who released video clip

Former Agriculture Department employee Shirley Sherrod said Thursday she will pursue a lawsuit against conservative blogger Andrew Breitbart - the man responsible for posting an edited video clip of Sherrod appearing to say she discriminated against a white farmer looking for assistance.

"I will definitely do it," she said when asked whether she was considering legal action. Sherrod made her remarks during an appearance at the National Association of Black Journalists convention in San Diego.

Breitbart "had to know that he was targeting me," Sherrod said. "At this point, he hasn't apologized. I don't want it at this point, and he'll definitely hear from me."

The controversy surrounding the clip led to a rush to judgment and Sherrod's forced resignation. However, it was later determined that her speech, unedited, focused on how the incident changed her outlook and made her realize people should move beyond race. The incident occurred 24 years ago, before Sherrod began working for the USDA.

She received an official apology from the USDA and a phone call from President Barack Obama once the full text of her remarks came to light.

Sherrod has since been offered another position at the Agriculture Department.

Obama said earlier Thursday that Sherrod "deserves better than what happened last week." Speaking at a National Urban League conference in Washington, Obama called the claim of racism against her "bogus."

"Many are to blame" for the reaction that followed, he said, "including my own administration."

Her whole story, Obama said he told Sherrod, "is exactly the kind of story we need to hear in America (because) we all have our biases."

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Filed under: Civil Rights
soundoff (420 Responses)
  1. Greg

    Way to go girl, take this man down just like he did ACORN. BTW CNN, you covered the fall of ACORN for days upon days, and helped them lose their government funding. Yet when the truth came out you barely mentioned it. Isn't it time we revisited the so-called ACORN scandal and give the truth the coverage it deserves? Conservatives are held to a completely different standard when it comes to the so-called liberal media. Dishonesty and lies go unnoticed.

    July 29, 2010 at 12:16 pm | Report abuse |
  2. Michael

    "Yes, definitely sue this guy. People on the blog has done so many damage to other people without paying consequence. We have to let people to face up what they say on web must be true and totally truth."

    You go to public schools?

    July 29, 2010 at 12:16 pm | Report abuse |
  3. PARROT

    SHE SHOULD OPEN A BANK ACCOUNT SO WE CAN HELP HER WITH THE ATTORNEYS FEES...!!!!!

    July 29, 2010 at 12:17 pm | Report abuse |
    • Avian Allergies

      Since you're such a big spender, why don't you empty your bank account? (Unless it's empty already).

      July 29, 2010 at 12:41 pm | Report abuse |
  4. spike in conshohocken pa

    Breitbart and the useful idiots who used his mendacious video to create a problem where none existed are a clear example of what's wrong with the way the news media, CNN included, use opinion pieces which haven't been vetted, and then present them as news, parroting what the other guys are saying so as not to be left behind.

    July 29, 2010 at 12:17 pm | Report abuse |
  5. Michael

    "when the truth came out you barely mentioned it."

    What truth?

    July 29, 2010 at 12:17 pm | Report abuse |
  6. WDRussell

    Breitbart will just pull a Rush, and claim he is an entertainer and not required to be truthful.

    July 29, 2010 at 12:18 pm | Report abuse |
  7. Rosa Parks

    Even she did exhibit racism, stupid people of this country needs to understand after 200 years of segregation and killed father this would be justified by any measrue of ethical standard.

    July 29, 2010 at 12:18 pm | Report abuse |
  8. Jim in Truckee, CA

    Breitbart is without honor and integrity–an end justifies the means type of person (his twisted concept of what the end should be). There has to be ramnifications for what he did to this woman. In my humble opinion, MSNBC and FOX news and their wingnut devotees are damaging our great country.

    July 29, 2010 at 12:18 pm | Report abuse |
    • clr

      what did he do to this woman... besides make her famous and get her a far better job than the one she had, oh – and a chat with her obamasavior.

      July 29, 2010 at 12:28 pm | Report abuse |
  9. Michael

    "SHE SHOULD OPEN A BANK ACCOUNT SO WE CAN HELP HER WITH THE ATTORNEYS FEES...!!!!!"

    She just won a $13 million lawsuit fron the taxpayers of this country. Let her use that money!

    July 29, 2010 at 12:18 pm | Report abuse |
    • clr

      amen – I hope she paid all her taxes on that dough

      July 29, 2010 at 12:29 pm | Report abuse |
  10. aprincess

    Freedom of speech for Andrew, the President called for her resignation, the Department of Agriculture fired her and the NAACP condemed her. Sorry lost cause, wrong person being pursued and stupid lawsuit. This country is two sue happy. Don't like the public life, then get out of the public life.

    July 29, 2010 at 12:19 pm | Report abuse |
    • Marcus in Greensboro, NC

      aprincess, the right one is being sued first. There may be other lawsuits, because she has legal rights to sue others as well.

      July 29, 2010 at 1:11 pm | Report abuse |
  11. marc

    Does this mean that I can sue anyone who calls me something that I am not?

    July 29, 2010 at 12:20 pm | Report abuse |
  12. Michael

    "defamation of character"

    Where? How?

    July 29, 2010 at 12:20 pm | Report abuse |
    • Marcus in Greensboro, NC

      He edited a 45 minute video down to 3 minutes to leave out the substance of what she said in the speech. Meaning he changed the character of her speech, and, in effect, defamed her character. She is the one giving the speech, so targeting the NAACP was not possible. She did not even work for the NAACP at the time.

      July 29, 2010 at 1:13 pm | Report abuse |
  13. hjs3

    The guy is a bad actor and apparently strutting his stuff with the RNC along with the "noise" machine.

    Someone needs to serve notice with this kind of b.s. practice so good on her....

    The whole thing is just wrong period.

    July 29, 2010 at 12:20 pm | Report abuse |
  14. whatnext

    Sherrod to sue blogger over video – Isn't she going to sue the White House? Remember? They "harassed" her.

    July 29, 2010 at 12:20 pm | Report abuse |
    • weptiger

      But she got to speaks with "her" President, so she is cool with the way the governament terminated/force her to resign.

      July 29, 2010 at 12:23 pm | Report abuse |
  15. Mike in Texas

    Anyone putting media out that has been edited to deliberately incite or malign should be taken to task.
    Having said that, lets also look at the list of liberal organizations and individuals that strive to smear moderates and conservatives with incendiary racial accusations. MSNBC, NAACP, ACLU, SEIU, La Raza, etc. etc...
    Just what we need, a wave of law suits judged and prosecuted by those that are inciting divisions among the American people. A very left leaning proposition indeed.

    July 29, 2010 at 12:20 pm | Report abuse |
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