July 26th, 2010
08:32 AM ET
8 years ago

Dean says Fox News racist for Sherrod coverage

 Dean says Fox News was racist over the way it handled the Shirley Sherrod story.

Dean says Fox News was racist over the way it handled the Shirley Sherrod story.

(CNN) – Howard Dean is charging that Fox News was not only irresponsible with their coverage of the Shirley Sherrod story, but downright racist.

Appearing on the network's Sunday show, the former Democratic National Committee chairman and onetime presidential candidate said Fox should have more thoroughly investigated the edited footage that appeared to portray Sherrod telling an NAACP crowd that she refused to help a farmer because he was white.

"I don't think you're a racist," Dean said to Fox News host Chris Wallace, "but Fox News did something that was absolutely racist. They had an obligation to find out what was really in the clip. They had been pushing a theme of black racism with this phony Black Panther crap and this business and this Sotomayor and all this other stuff."

Wallace responded that Fox did not air the footage until the USDA had already forced Sherrod to resign. Howard Kurtz, a media critic for the Washington Post and a CNN contributor, has noted this is largely true except for comments from host Bill O'Reilly, who called for Sherrod's ouster before the USDA official had formally resigned.

On his Monday show, O'Reilly praised conservative blogger Andrew Breitbart for disseminating the video and said the comments were "simply unacceptable." He added.

"Ms. Sherrod must resign immediately." While the show was tapped at 5 p.m. ET – before Sherrod resigned – it did not air until three hours later at which point she had in fact stepped down.

In an interview with CNN last week, Sherrod said she was told to resign because administration officials feared Fox host Glenn Beck would target the comments on his show later that night.

"It wasn't Fox News that cost Shirley Sherrod her job. It was the scary specter of Glenn Beck," Kurtz said.

Watch: The anatomy of a smear

Still, Dean charged Fox "didn't do your job."

"The tea party called out their racist fringe and I think the Republican Party's got to stop appealing to its racist fringe. And Fox News is what did that. You put that on," the former presidential candidate said.

"Continuing to cater to this theme of minority racism and stressing comments like this – some of which are taken out of context – does not help the country knit itself together," he added.

In a statement obtained by the website Mediaite, FOX News Senior Vice President of News Michael Clemente took aim at Dean's comments: "As we said this past week, some people such as the failed candidate Dean reflexively blame Fox for almost anything."

Filed under: Howard Dean • Popular Posts • Shirley Sherrod
soundoff (221 Responses)
  1. José

    While I agree totally with what Dean is saying, and being that I share absolutely no love for FOX News, it is my belief that we citizens of the United States can overcome this debauchery and evil that comes from FOX News. Turn It OFF! I have parentally locked FOX, FBN, and any other channel I find to be lying, distorting, or twisting the truth. MSNBC is nowhere near the same as FOX. There is no other channel that deliberately twists the truth of current events and then parades it around as truth like FOX. If there is a Devil, then he surely controls FOX. The truth intermingled with fabrications and blatant attempts to sway the watcher to Hate, Fear, Violence, and Greed – these are the telltale signs of the forces of evil. All you have to do is talk to someone who watches it regularly, and you will see the psychosis.

    July 26, 2010 09:15 am at 9:15 am |

    Dean was another one talking without knowing the facts. Didn't he learn his lesson? He spewed a bunch of lies before Chris Wallace asked him if he knew all the facts. Fox did not release the tape until after the White House had fired Sherrod. He looked like a complete incompetent.

    July 26, 2010 09:16 am at 9:16 am |
  3. bernice

    This best thing for our country is to SHUT DOWN FOX..They are trouble makers..everyone that works for them are hypocrites..If they lost their job today, they would want a job with CNN & turn Democrat immediately & Talking trash about the republicans..

    July 26, 2010 09:17 am at 9:17 am |
  4. jim

    Typical Democrat playing the race card with no facts to back up what he says.Before Fox mentioned the story on Shirley Sherrod only after the W. H and NAACP both demanded that she be fired.And now, CNN that did a fair amount of coverage on that story is covering up on the recent story that Sen.Jim Webb questions the need for affirimative actions because they are affraid of the reactions of the NAACP and don't want another over reaction by the W.H. and another stain on Obama's reputation.

    July 26, 2010 09:17 am at 9:17 am |
  5. Dan Holiday

    Funny how the liberals are accusing Fox News of being racist, when the FACTS are they did not air the video until after the Obama administration and the Dept. of Agriculture already made the decision to force Ms. Sherrod out. On top of that, the NAACP had insisted on her firing as well...again, before the airing of any video by Fox News. The libs are really trying to spin this so that people will think that Fox News is racist, when in fact it is the people in their midst (party) that are the true racist. Go figure. : )

    July 26, 2010 09:17 am at 9:17 am |
  6. The Stupid Burns

    So by Mr Dean's reasoning, Fox is racist even though they didn't play the video until AFTER Ms Sherrod had resigned? Oh, the brain twisting needed to make sense of that.

    July 26, 2010 09:21 am at 9:21 am |
  7. Willy Brown

    Fox did not cover it till AFTER the NAACP and the White House already blew their cork. Nice try Dr. Nitwit.

    July 26, 2010 09:23 am at 9:23 am |
  8. mike

    Dean is right to say Fox news are racist this was a story they were hoping would be played out until the mid term elections so there supporters would get out and vote for there tea party candidates and think that everyone is out to get them fear is the best way to get people excited for example there going to take my guns and there is always abortion issue that gets the bible thumpers going see when all else fails religion is the great selling point its is never about real solutions it is always the non economic ones that divide the voters the republicans love to slash and burn taxes but who wants there neighborhoods going down the tubes if you want to sell your house what selling points are you going to have high crime rate,bad schools and on and on

    July 26, 2010 09:24 am at 9:24 am |
  9. walleye

    Dean was just stating what everyone except the moronic baffoons that watch FOX already knew.

    July 26, 2010 09:24 am at 9:24 am |
  10. Angus McDugan

    OK... Now the word racist officially has no meaning. The liberals throw it around when they lose an argument. It's so sad that liberals resort to name calling just because they can't make a supportable point. You can almost hear the count down after the first fact start to erode their position in was was a discussion soon to become a liberal name-calling rant. The liberals have diminished what minorities have worked so hard for over the decades.

    Stop the whining and fess up when you lose.

    July 26, 2010 09:25 am at 9:25 am |
  11. Steve (the real one)

    Funny, since it was the USDA who fired her, are they racists? How about the NAACP, who quickly condemned her, are they racists? How about the President, who quickly backed the USDA, he a racist too? How about anybody who casually tosses out that word like a beach ball on a lazy Sunday afternoon at the beach. Are they racists too? Way to keep stirring the pot. liberals! You seem to enjoy labeling anybody who disagrees with Obama a racist. Wonder why we can't get past race? Ask a liberal! Be forwarned though, you just may get called a racist!

    July 26, 2010 09:26 am at 9:26 am |
  12. jp michigan

    It's no wonder Dean is not Chairman of the Democratic Party any more, he is out of touch with reality. Fox news did not run the video, NNACPP found it appalling even they didn't run the entire video, someone from the White House inform them of the video. The White House acted 'stupidly' just as Dean is now acting 'stupidly'.

    July 26, 2010 09:26 am at 9:26 am |
  13. lobo

    That's it. If you disagree with our philosophy you are a racist.

    July 26, 2010 09:27 am at 9:27 am |
  14. Proud member of Global Zero

    Mistakes were made all the way around. If people would just treat each other the way they want to be treated, the world would be a much better place.

    July 26, 2010 09:28 am at 9:28 am |
  15. Jim in Florida

    Dean is himself a blowhard and race baiter. The political left in this country keep scalling for supression of news outlets with which they have a grudge and do not agree. Hints of investigations, even Sherrod herself stated "it would be a good thing if they (biggovernment.com) were shut down".

    We all ought to be more than a little apprehensive when the left starts calling for suppression of the media.

    Of course we heard none of this when the Huffington Post reported that Palin's husband was the father of their daughter's child (to name one of a long list of lies from the left).

    Suppression of the media is alive and well in Cuba, North Korea, Iran, Venezuela and such. Is that where we want to go in this country?

    July 26, 2010 09:28 am at 9:28 am |
  16. Bet Lunsford

    What about CNN's racist reporters? What about the black bigot, Roland Martin???? Your reporters are the sorriest on the planet. Even MSNBC is beating you in ratings! And that's not saying much!

    July 26, 2010 09:28 am at 9:28 am |
  17. gt

    finally a leader who is not gutless and has ideas,,,

    July 26, 2010 09:29 am at 9:29 am |
  18. Frank

    Dean is a clown!
    Fox news is the only one that can be trusted
    when they are wrong the apologize
    when the dems are wrong they accuse of racism!

    July 26, 2010 09:34 am at 9:34 am |
  19. Carl

    Perhaps Mr. Dean needs to get his facts straight. Fox news presented the facts – ALL the facts – as they became available. Of course, Mr. Dean seems to suffer from the same problem as the rest of the Democrat leadership...he will comment on allegation, rumor, and second-hand information. He won't bother to get the real facts, just like these Democrats "act stupidly" before finding out what really happened in Cambridge, just like these Democrats decry Arizona's immigration enforcement law without reading it, just like these Democrats vote for bills and sign them into law without reading them. Apparently, our government, particularly progressive Democrats, believe facts aren't important anymore. Sorry...I disagree.

    July 26, 2010 09:35 am at 9:35 am |
  20. j

    One of the reason we do not watch Bill O'Reilly in my house or fox news

    July 26, 2010 09:35 am at 9:35 am |
  21. ATL Guy

    Fox News was working in concert with Breibart to take down the NAACP. It worked on Van Jones and on ACORN. They thought they could do the same thing to the NAACP. This is the typical Karl Rove response: don't defend your wrongs – attack your enemy with anything you get to put them on the defensive.

    July 26, 2010 09:37 am at 9:37 am |
  22. larry

    Fox news is a misnomer. It should be known as "False News"

    July 26, 2010 09:37 am at 9:37 am |
  23. SuperD

    One thing is sure. If the Democrats could do it, they would take FOX off the air. But they can't, so this is the next best thing.

    You sure wouldn't want FOX around would you Demmies? My goodness they actually report what you scoundrels are actually doing.

    Any criminal organization (Dems), would take care of that in a heartbeat. Too bad everyone is watching and FOX will report it.

    Lastly, Sherrod is by no means a Saint, she thought her racist thoughts and was using the Liberal double standard in justifying them.

    July 26, 2010 09:40 am at 9:40 am |
  24. Lou

    What a bunch of cr@p. Whenever Democrats are losing an argument like our economy is in the dumps and spending is out of control they throw the race card. Look Fox screwed up just like a bunch of other media outlets and gave credence to this idiotic story after it was out there on the web. All the blame goes to Breitbart but liberals do this kind of trashiing of people all the time so give me a break with the moral outrage. Dean and the liberal media have no credability.

    July 26, 2010 09:40 am at 9:40 am |
  25. Tom-Vermillion, Ohio

    Hmmm, I think I see a 'pattern' here. I think I'm going to do some chronological research here, 100% based on FACTS. Like the days news headlines; like who said what & when did they say it; like when did certain groups appear; what the polls are sayin'; etc. With the FACTS on the table, well take a look at 'IDEOLOGIES'. Then, we'll take a look at 20th Century History, the 'good' and the 'bad'. What effect did these 'IDEOLOGIES' have on history.? Sure looks like there is lot of data if I go all the way back to the the 2008 election. My question is, is where did all 'this' start? Could I see some agendas here? Questions, lots of questions. So much work, so little time.

    July 26, 2010 09:41 am at 9:41 am |
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