Why is the Obama administration listening to right-wing smear merchants?
Several members of the Obama administration have lost their jobs or been demoted, and nominees to cabinet positions have either stepped down or withdrawn their nominations after becoming the target of smear campaigns launched by far-right blogger Andrew Breitbart and his friends at FOX News Channel. (Think Van Jones.)
The Obama administration most recently caved in to the right-wing propaganda machine by firing an African-American USDA official named Shirley Sherrod based on a selectively edited video that made it appear she was confessing to discriminating against a white couple that owned a farm.
In reality, she was telling the story of how working with that family to save their farm helped her to lose her racial preconceptions.
While the White House has now apologized for what happened, no apology or job offer can undo the damage that has already been done to Shirley Sherrod by people who ought to have known better. And no amount of damage control from the White House will do anything to lessen the degree to which their rapid capitulation will incentivize further scandal-mongering of this sort.
Tell President Obama to stop paying attention to rightwing propaganda outlets like FOX News and their manufactured controversies.
It took less than 24 hours for the lies to be debunked. But by that time, it was too late -- Sherrod had been forced to quit by the administration. Sherrod says she was never given a chance to tell her side of the story and says that the Obama administration was "not interested in hearing the truth."
This kind of political cowardice is not only shameful, it's also shockingly blind to the role that FOX News and bottom feeders like Andrew Breitbart play in the right-wing noise machine.
It's bad enough that we have to fight the constant smear campaigns and appeals to racial paranoia from FOX and the right-wing media. But it's completely unacceptable for the Obama administration to throw innocent public servants under the bus after giving credence to manufactured lies.
Sign our petition telling the Obama administration to stop paying attention to right-wing propaganda outlets like FOX News and their manufactured controversies.
Shirley Sherrod is just the latest in a series of officials who have been fired, demoted, or forced to step down or who have had their nomination withdrawn because the Obama administration capitulates to right-wing propaganda put out by smear merchants like FOX News.
It's bad enough that we have to fight the constant smear campaigns and appeals to racial paranoia from FOX and the right-wing media. But it's completely unacceptable for the Obama administration to give credence to fake controversies and manufactured lies.
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