Speaking of Andrew Breitbart smearing important black people, Associated Press reports today on 2,000 pages of Obama administration emails over the Shirley Sherrod debacle. According to AP, the emails show the White House engaged significantly with Agriculture Department officials’ discussion over whether and how to push Sherrod out. The White House says that the emails merely confirm what it has already acknowledged—that officials were aware of the discussion but did not order Agriculture to fire her.
Agriculture Department officials exchanged more than two dozen e-mails with their White House counterparts as the story began to hit conservative websites and later Fox News the afternoon and evening of July 19, 2010. The video - posted on the website BigGovernment.com, run by the late Andrew Breitbart - showed Sherrod saying she was initially reluctant to help a white farmer more than two decades earlier.
USDA director of communications Chris Mather sent the White House press office a heads-up email describing the video.
“She goes on to make it a larger case about understanding race …. but looks bad. (Fox News host Bill) O’Reilly just called us for statement,” Mather says in the email.
White House spokesman Reid Cherlin, responds, asking Mather in an email what USDA is going to say about the matter, “and has she been fired? I’ll alert folks here.”
Sherrod has a defamation suit pending against Breitbart, which he was trying to get thrown out before he died. According to Colorlines.com’s legal eagle Victor Goode, a judge has already rejected one motion to dismiss that suit and Sherrod could amend it to make a claim against Breitbart’s estate.