The only thing I have to add to the Shirley Sherrod mess is that this finally shows that this whole extreme right conservative desire to create their own news has finally crossed a line where it becomes a real social problem. I've been one of many suspecting that the lack of evidence for their world view has led to them manufacturing news to support their narrative. I've mentioned it before on my post on NASA and the New Black Panther business Fox was blathering on about earlier. These same groups are also at the heart of all that nonsense about ACORN.
While I don't think the administration can do much about this other than ignore what the far right thinks and fact check, verify, and counter their message, I do think that the media has both the responsibility and the ability to put up a fight against this. Start checking your facts, get the story straight, and go aggressively against those that would manipulate it. All ideas are not equal and should not be reported as such. Some ideas have better empirical support than others, this needs to be reflected in news stories. The mainstream media needs to aggressively act against the message that they are biased and show that it is in fact outlets such as Andrew Breitbart's that are constructing evidence to fit their biased worldview.
Our society simply can't operate in a healthy manner with this filth having real world impacts on government and allegedly (I could not confirm that Fox had in fact posted the video before Sherrod got sacked, though several articles I read claim they did post it on their website though not televise it before after the sacking, hence the allegedly) being aired on news channels that Americans trust (whether or not the news networks are worthy of that trust) to report what is actually happening in the world. We need to know we can trust the media, at least when it comes to facts. Situations like this undermine that and the media needs to get its act together to counter this.
If you haven't already seen this here is the garbage. Here is the full video, the relevant remarks are around the 17:00 minute mark. To be clear, I'm well aware that trash like this infests the dark corners of the internet and unfortunately always will. I just think a really, really, clear line has been crossed when this filth filters into mainstream media and the activists that exert influence on the government and large scale political groups. Breitbart has been an important conservative activist since the ACORN tapes and his association with this kind of manipulation and his role in publicizing it shows the lengths they are willing to go to to falsify and control the narrative in our country to force their worldview down our throats.
Very few things make me angry. This sort of activity is one of them. We need to take our media back from this influence, it's a cancer. It has also influenced our culture in more subtle ways. Look at the narrative that it is the Democrats that have moved left. More people seem to believe this than not. Compare Democratic proposals on health care over time, also compare stances on climate change over time. Do the same for Republicans. It doesn't take a lot of research to see the true direction of movement. It may still be true that the American people have moved right as a whole but this isn't the argument I usually hear.
[Update: The NY Times has an article going further into the chronology of events. I feel very strongly that this situation was possible only because a narrative has become current that the media has a liberal bias and that there is a whole other "correct" version of events that would confirm the Conservative Movement's worldview that is not being reported due to this bias, which actual evidence is thin on the ground for requiring selective editing to create the needed proof. If it wasn't for this idea of media bias and the enabling environment created by this myth this sort of event would not have been possible. I see this movement as being distinctly anti-modern, this is the medieval conception of history, where they believed that there was a truth that existed independent of the evidence and that the necessity of getting this truth out justified the creation of documentary evidence to prove it. This has no place in the modern world and I feel I have a moral duty to condemn it.]