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. Justice4All

    Sarah Palin should do the same thing.

    July 29, 2010 at 12:30 pm | Report abuse |
  2. amigay

    I hope she nails his sorry a** big time!

    July 29, 2010 at 12:30 pm | Report abuse |
  3. bill

    Since when can you sue someone for playing a clip of what you actually said? He did not alter the video, just edited it. If you could sue for that every politician and news organization would be libel for every snippet they ran. If bad things happened to her because someone viewed the clip, it's not anyone's fault but those who over-reacted without seeing the full video.

    July 29, 2010 at 12:30 pm | Report abuse |
  4. Frank

    Well, personally, I don't feel that the lady should sue Breitbart; rather I think she should pull him by his ear out to the woodshed and administer a good azz-whomping. The guy has always been an azz-kisser and water boy for the nutso fringe since his "epiphany" of a few years back. An epiphany which made him realize that he could carry the water for the nutso crowd and they would pay him well and also he would be assured of his constant 15-minutes.

    July 29, 2010 at 12:32 pm | Report abuse |
  5. azezel

    Another case in the break down of free speech in amerika. People don't have rights and freedoms in a state of systems and dynamics that are guided by group think decision making.

    July 29, 2010 at 12:32 pm | Report abuse |
    • Bubba

      Free speech? You don't have the right to yell "Fire" in a crowded theater, and even less right to point at someone and yell "Arson!" Let's just let a court decide if his posting that video was meant as an attack or incitement.

      July 29, 2010 at 12:46 pm | Report abuse |
  6. whatever

    Has anyone of you watched the rest of the video? What the media released is not even the worse part of the video. You people that back her are just as racist as she is. Its okay for a black person to say whatever it is they want to say about white people but a white person is not allowed to say anything negative about anyone of color. Seems to me the real racist are those of you who believe that one race should be treated better than another. She is a racist and that seems to be okay with people, its not okay for anyone of any color to say anything about someone else just because of their color.

    July 29, 2010 at 12:32 pm | Report abuse |
  7. Lewy

    Is she going to sue Barry also?

    July 29, 2010 at 12:33 pm | Report abuse |
  8. Chris

    Will she sue the NAACP?

    July 29, 2010 at 12:33 pm | Report abuse |
  9. Frank

    If he edited the video to make her say things she didn't then by all means sue...he could also say he did it with no malice, but just good humor, which is legal...Supreme Court say's so.

    If he just showed a portion of the video then he is not liable for anything because she did say the things she said, so again nothing illegal. If the USDA didn't appologize and offer her job back then she could sue the USDA, but they did. It was her decision to not go back and now wants money for what she did and said. Sorry honey, your going to lose and end up paying legal fees.

    July 29, 2010 at 12:34 pm | Report abuse |
  10. frank schutz

    I think we all get it. Although taken out of context, the tape was not spliced or fabricated. She said she is a different person today. She should prove it by walking away. That is the noble and honorable to do.

    July 29, 2010 at 12:35 pm | Report abuse |
  11. Brad - Ohio

    Go Girl! In the meantime, sue Fox News, Bill O'Reilly, Sean Hannity, Rush Limbaugh and their ilk for jumping on this story before they checked the facts. I will join a class action in a hearbeat to stifle these lying fools and prevent them from ruining other lives through their bigoted swill.

    July 29, 2010 at 12:35 pm | Report abuse |
    • Mike

      I guess you should add the president, the USDA, and CNN to that list?

      July 29, 2010 at 12:37 pm | Report abuse |
  12. jona

    She's an idiot. The video was not 'doctored' it was shown as a clip.She can't sue for anything. This is a joke! She's an embarrassment as are the idiots who think she has some kind of a case. If she hadn't said those things there would be no video. Simple as that. A judge will look at this case and laugh..

    Try Judge Judy Shirley!

    July 29, 2010 at 12:35 pm | Report abuse |
    • Bubba

      Look up Richard Jewell and see how things went with him.

      July 29, 2010 at 12:37 pm | Report abuse |
    • Dan

      I'm afraid that's not true. Taking someone's words out of context to change the meaning of what they said can be libelous in a case such as this.

      July 29, 2010 at 12:49 pm | Report abuse |
  13. Bubba

    By "blogger," you mean the RNC, right?

    July 29, 2010 at 12:36 pm | Report abuse |
  14. Mike

    Seems like if she sues anyone it would be her employer who wrongly fired her? That wouldn't be as good a story I suppose

    July 29, 2010 at 12:36 pm | Report abuse |
  15. M Trought

    Good for you MS Sherrod. Hit him where it really matters his pocket. Breibfart may or may not learn but he will pay

    July 29, 2010 at 12:36 pm | Report abuse |
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