July 26th, 2010
08:32 AM ET
4 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. nick

    As we all know Fox News is the voice and the views of the Republican Party speaking the party line in lock-step to the RNC; therefore, its being racist is only a matter of course.

    July 26, 2010 09:41 am at 9:41 am |
  2. Aron

    That's because Fox news you failed to do your job, don't blame other people or put them down. Quit taking things out of context to push your political agenda, quit being a smear network.

    July 26, 2010 09:42 am at 9:42 am |
  3. Carol Myers

    I sure agree, Faux news is racist. All of their people except Shep are paid shills for the repubs.
    carol Oh.

    July 26, 2010 09:42 am at 9:42 am |
  4. CR

    Fox like the rest of the Republican echo machine cares nothing about the truth or even basic decency. If they think racism will work to their advantage they'll use it. Fox is definitely not a legitimate news organization.

    July 26, 2010 09:42 am at 9:42 am |
  5. geminitwo

    I don't think Fox News is racist. I think the liberals are trying to inject race in everything and they are trying to divide this nation. It's political people – to divide and conquer. Don't you all know this is how governments take over>

    July 26, 2010 09:43 am at 9:43 am |
  6. Bob

    Why did Howard not call the NAACP racist or the WH racist as they also had a hand in this? Probably not a good thing to call those who ACTUALLY fired her racist. Goes against the agenda. Howard is so transparent it is pathetic. Glad he never got past the primaries.

    July 26, 2010 09:43 am at 9:43 am |
  7. RB from Seattle

    This shows the desperation that the Democrats will sink to, in order to gain a few votes, as they sink in the polls. Go back under your rock, Howard.

    July 26, 2010 09:44 am at 9:44 am |
  8. Paul

    Poor Fox news getting blamed for a smear they are responsible for by not checking out the facts. However, Fox news never checks out the facts they just go with whatever is in their policitial interest.

    July 26, 2010 09:45 am at 9:45 am |
  9. Balls

    of course they're racist. when two black people fist bump, its called a "terrorist fist bump" on the network. Notice how there are no black people who have their own show on that stupid retard network? and worst of all, they say racist things like black people only vote for democrats because they have been duped. What, black poeple cant think for themselves? racist....

    July 26, 2010 09:45 am at 9:45 am |
  10. Laurie

    Fox News is an organization which pushes racism, non facts, and crazy inciteful hateful rhetoric at every chance that they get. Howard Dean is 100% correct. People whoh watch this group of "reporters" and "news commentators" are encouraged to base their opinions on these so called facts. I don't understand how anyone with a conscience can work there and I fail to understand how people watch this crap.

    July 26, 2010 09:45 am at 9:45 am |
  11. Mac Texas

    I am always surprised that anyone still thinks of FOX as a news network. They have not been a reliable source of news for many years. Unfortunately, there are people who look at what the commentators say and think it is actual fact. They think that people like Glen Beck are reporters and are giving facts. Everything that they air is irresponsible, not this one instance.

    July 26, 2010 09:46 am at 9:46 am |
  12. Ted

    Fox is a loser of a cable station and have punks like Oreiley working for them

    July 26, 2010 09:46 am at 9:46 am |
  13. Rabbi David

    You know, for people who talk so strongly AGAINST racism.Both political parties in the USA use racism as a tool to divide and rule.It is a country of AMERICANS this non sense about racism is not only absurd given the numerous laws in place and agencies to enforce them,but by continuing to linger on the issue the government and their propaganda partners in the establishment media continue to DIVIDE the country.Because IF everybody really did act like AMERICANS every last one of them would be out of a job.

    July 26, 2010 09:46 am at 9:46 am |
  14. Lynn

    Fox was literally salivating at, what they thought, was a gottcha moment. Free speech in our Country has become an excuse for smearing anyone on any subject.

    July 26, 2010 09:46 am at 9:46 am |
  15. Joel

    Fox News racist? Now who'd think that?

    July 26, 2010 09:47 am at 9:47 am |
  16. dee

    Fox News is despicable. They are NOT news.
    They have a Republican agenda.
    They have demented pundits that hate our President. They want him to fail.
    Beck and O'Reilly and Hannity are the worst. The rest are not much better.

    Their only unbiased newsman is Shepard Smith.

    July 26, 2010 09:48 am at 9:48 am |
  17. tag

    this is bull crap howard dean. the democratic party plays the race card every chance it gets......it is those people who are in the present administration who are racists.....not fox news.! we will see in november who are the racists.....

    July 26, 2010 09:48 am at 9:48 am |
  18. Randall in Torrance, CA (Disabled Navy Veteran, Retired) - It is time to put the heels of our Liberal Democratic Boots on the necks of the out-of-control Republicans

    Of course Fox News is racist. You'd have to be from another planet not to know that is the truth. Just look at the Tea Party fringe psychos. They are all white. They hate Obama because he is a Harvard lawyer and black. The the two things that identifies Fox News enthusists are: They are uneducated mostly and white. Fox News is a gang of Gestapo right-wing fringe lunatics who see the world according to their twisted ideas of hate, racismand fear.

    Obama-Biden 2012!!

    In Jesus name – Amen.

    July 26, 2010 09:48 am at 9:48 am |
  19. WeThePeopleofVirginia

    Ahh yes . . . the new Progressive mantra.

    In the past they blamed Bush.

    For the 2010 Mid-Terms it’s blame FoxNews.

    July 26, 2010 09:49 am at 9:49 am |
  20. DJK

    Nice job CNN, way to tell your readers that O'Reilly PUBLICLY APOLOGIZED TUESDAY NIGHT!!!!

    It's been a freaking week and you can't even get your story straight! I guess it's good business to smear your competition.

    July 26, 2010 09:49 am at 9:49 am |
  21. Mike

    If Howard Dean said it, it must be true.

    July 26, 2010 09:49 am at 9:49 am |
  22. Mr Joshua

    Howard, Howard, Howard,
    Stop with the race nonsense. Sherrod was fired before Fox even knew of this. The real worrisome thing is the White House was apparently afraid of this story being on Glen Beck's show. That would give everyone pause!

    July 26, 2010 09:50 am at 9:50 am |
  23. FM

    "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."
    This is a cheap shot Michael Clemente calling Dr. Dean the failed candidate. What about the failed Vice President Candidate in 2008 who joined your network!

    July 26, 2010 09:50 am at 9:50 am |
  24. thor

    Is Howard Dean calling the NAACP racist too since they had the unedited tapes and still demanded that she leave her job.O'reilly is a commentator at Fox network and isn't Fox News.

    July 26, 2010 09:51 am at 9:51 am |
  25. cjr

    You must be joking!! Fox racist – is the pope catholic ! tea party – racist – republican racist – what's the issue??

    July 26, 2010 09:51 am at 9:51 am |
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