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. Sean

    The whole purpose of posting the video (according to the blogger in an interview) was not what she had done, or that she eventually realized her misjudgment. His purpose in posting was to show that the audience applauded and cheered when she said what she had done. This leads us to see that the NAACP has racist elements, which is not old news, but it puts Tea Party slammers in context, since they never seem to call out the NAACP. That is why the video was posted.

    July 29, 2010 at 12:45 pm | Report abuse |
  2. scasados

    Ingnorance is bliss in the comments that believe their was no racist intent on harming the lady. Most of the people who post this get their talking points from FOX "Dirty" News. If you listened to the whole unedited version of the story how can you say she was being racist? Are you stupid? Well maybe because you get your talking points from a bunch of comedians Glenn Beck and his other phony friends. Educated people will remember this in November GOP=LOSS!

    July 29, 2010 at 12:45 pm | Report abuse |
  3. Dave

    What a joke.

    I dare any liberal to show me where they post full 1 hour plus videos of any of their attack targets on their sites!

    The don't.

    Don';t believe me? Watch liberal news stories, they post clips that are under 1 minute long.

    Is that out of context? You betcha if you follow the new standard for 'malicious editing' if a 2+ minute excerpt is now considered misleading.

    Liberals are hypocrites.

    July 29, 2010 at 12:45 pm | Report abuse |
    • JC

      Yes–remember the wikilinks video a couple months ago of the Iraqis getting shot at by the Army? That video was cut & selectively edited along with captions (see this little blurry thing that looks sort of like an AK-47?? It's actually a CAMERA") to make it look like our pilots were a bunch of barbarians. All that in a life & death situation and the video did nothing but create more hate by people who want to kill as many Americans as they can. Yet that little pasty faced rodent that founded that site is still running around all over the world causing problems. Why is there not an arrest warrant for him???

      July 29, 2010 at 1:16 pm | Report abuse |
  4. LOLBlogs

    And the clip itself is not the reason for the lawsuit....lol (Come on people). It is the pre-meditated intention behind it. When you post something on your web site to the effect of "NAACP and USDA Support Racism and Award It", or whatever, and a person is cast in an unfavorable light to the public with half truths for sensationalism, do you really think that Breibart isn't libel???? LMAO

    July 29, 2010 at 12:45 pm | Report abuse |
  5. Martha

    Just want to clarify something....Fox News (Bill O'Reilly, Laura Ingraham) were both demanding her resignation BEFORE the video aired. Instead of admitting their part in this fiasco, they blamed the President & NAACP. There's plenty of blame to go around, but Fox news was definitely a big part of it.

    July 29, 2010 at 12:45 pm | Report abuse |
  6. Gene


    You're obviously just as stupid as you are racist.

    July 29, 2010 at 12:46 pm | Report abuse |
  7. MAT

    She just needs to make sure she hires ONE OF HER OWN KIND for a lawyer. Her words. I wonder if she'll try to sue me for something she said. What a waste of life.

    July 29, 2010 at 12:46 pm | Report abuse |
  8. James

    A lawsuit against Brietbart means court-ordered discovery. Even if she drops the suit, we get a supoena-empowered look at Mr. Brietbart and his methods. The result is almost less important than the facts that will be exposed in that process.

    July 29, 2010 at 12:46 pm | Report abuse |
  9. j1c2

    Is there a National Association of White Journalists??

    July 29, 2010 at 12:46 pm | Report abuse |
    • Gene

      Yea – FOX News, moron...

      July 29, 2010 at 12:52 pm | Report abuse |
  10. Sly

    I hope she wins! Andrew Buttflogger was just trying to stir up trouble, in the mold of Rush Limpnoodle and other far-right (and far left) public personalities.

    July 29, 2010 at 12:47 pm | Report abuse |
  11. obamas Mamas

    If you chose not to take back your job when it is offered to you, how can you sue someone else for making you lose it. (Seems like she wants there to be a loss so she can make a law suit). This is the best thing that has ever happened to Shirley. She won the 15 minutes of fame lottery and she should be happy as she goes about cashing in her chips (talking with obama, giving speeches, having her life story on CNN, her book/movie deal and her new found notoriety). Do you think any of these things ever would have happened to her otherwise?? Did you see her riding in the limo giving an interview with sunglasses on like she was Janet Jackson???

    July 29, 2010 at 12:47 pm | Report abuse |
  12. Shirt

    What woudl she sue for? Damages? Loss of income? She was OFFERED A JOB, so she can't claim loss of income. She has sued before, so I imagine she isn't hurting financially anyway. Just another hack trying to get more mileage from her 15 minutes of fame.

    July 29, 2010 at 12:48 pm | Report abuse |
  13. Jimmy

    Correction... Fox news did not cover it until the night of her resignation. They did however behave like complete idiots with the story...


    July 29, 2010 at 12:48 pm | Report abuse |
    • Jake

      Thank you.

      July 29, 2010 at 12:49 pm | Report abuse |
  14. scasados

    Do people understand that editing equals altering something to the way you want it to come out or be preceived? Come on people give up the lame argument.

    July 29, 2010 at 12:49 pm | Report abuse |
  15. Jack Beslanwitch

    Breitbart committed clear defamation and should be taken to task. Long over due, in fact. But this is also an indictment of the 24 second news cycle instead of the 24 hour. Fact checking loses in this regard. And Breitbart used this to his advantage to slander someone who did not deserve it. And keep wanting to say Blackbart, but, oh, well 🙂

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