Brit Hume does his best to try to gloss over Fox's role in helping Andrew Breitbart attack Shirley Sherrod with his hit piece on the NAACP. Although Fox might not have mentioned Breitbart's edited tape on the air before she was fired, as Media Matters noted, they did have it on their web site.
WALLACE: So, Brit, what do you -- what do you make of the Sherrod case? And what do you make of this argument that this is one more example of a 24/7 media culture run amok and that we're all guilty?
HUME: Well, if this wasn't so depressing, this whole episode, it would make a wonderful farce. I mean, the misinformation that has emanated from this event, beginning with the misleading videotape or portion of videotape that started it all, although it should be noted for the record that the Breitbart version of the video did contain mention of how she came to see things in a different light -- so part of the redemption story was there. It just was completely overlooked in the -- in the early going by everybody, principally the administration, which reacted to this before it was reported really anywhere outside of the blogosphere and the Web.
The misinformation then, obviously, led to her firing. But then there were all kinds of myths about how that came about. And you heard -- you heard Governor Dean here on this program this morning spouting one of the principal elements of that misinformation, which was that Fox News had been deeply involved in causing this, when Fox News, as you pointed out, Chris, hadn't even aired the woman's name until after she was forced out.
So you know, this has been depressing. Yes, it's partly the 24/7 media cycle, but the 24/7 media cycle really hadn't gotten fully cranked up until after she was -- after she was forced out.
LIASSON: Well, this was done in part out of a concern that they would be engulfed -- the administration would be engulfed by a 24/7 media cycle, and they were trying to do what they thought all smart communication shops do, which is to make a story not happen.
HUME: They got engulfed, all right.
LIASSON: Instead, this completely -- they got engulfed already. Look, every entity here who did not do their homework and practice good journalism and report the entire videotape is guilty, including Fox, who played it but not in its entirety even after she'd been fired; the NAACP, who had the videotape in their possession in their Georgia chapter, and didn't look at it before they condemned her remarks; and certainly, the administration, who fired someone without...
LIASSON: ... as they have said many times since...
WALLACE: ... like, you know, as an afterthought.
LIASSON: Yeah. They were -- they...
WALLACE: They fired their own...
WALLACE: ... employee without...
LIASSON: There's no doubt that...
WALLACE: ... doing due diligence.
LIASSON: ... of all of the actors here, they bear the highest standard because they are the administration. They were her employers. There's no doubt. And they -- as they have acknowledged and apologized profusely from the...
WALLACE: Well, yeah, but they keep saying it's all part of this media culture.
LIASSON: Look, there's no doubt...
LIASSON: That doesn't absolve them of responsibility.
WALLACE: What about the argument, Mara, that they were -- they were elected to change the cycle? They -- what was change about? What was...
LIASSON: They cannot change the cycle. They have not -- if -- I personally...
WALLACE: Well, do you think maybe not preemptively firing people would be a step...
LIASSON: That would be...
WALLACE: ... in the right direction?
LIASSON: ... a good thing. And you know what? You know, this was a sorry spectacle from A to Z. The only good thing I can think of coming out of this is from now on, hopefully, the administration, other media organizations will not take things -- take little clips from partisan Web sites and put them out as if they are the facts.
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