USDA employee Shirley Sherrod was forced to resign after a misleadingly edited video of her was posted by Andrew Breitbart to his website, Big Government.
At the time, the White House blamed her dismissal on Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack, claiming that the White House had been informed, but not consulted about the firing. But that’s not completely true.
It turns out that emails acquired through a Freedom of Information Act request show that the White House was involved from the time the story broke, and even approved the wording of Vilsack’s public statement.
The next day, it was revealed that Sherrod’s comments were taken completely out of context. Vilsack and the president later apologized and offered to give her job back.
The emails show that the White House was afraid of the media storm that blew up around the story, driven by Fox News, (Bill O’Reilly showed the video and demanded that she resign).
So which is worse? The media falling for a misleading story, or the White House panicking?