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. brian in denver

    Faux News is anything but "fair & balanced". They are an insult to journalism & the fact that they espouse racism should come as no surprise.

    July 26, 2010 10:02 am at 10:02 am |
  2. Rob NY

    I accuse Fixed Faux news of much more than racism, I accuse them of treason against our nation.

    July 26, 2010 10:02 am at 10:02 am |
  3. America Shrugged

    While race relations should be part of our national dialogue, the news media perpetuating this racism circus are only doing it to garner ratings and to hurt the current sitting President. Glenn Beck of Fox himself has called our President a racist. They are shameful and will do and say anything to keep ratings up while at the same time, using it to hurt or vilifiy our current President.

    July 26, 2010 10:03 am at 10:03 am |
  4. DesertRed

    So why did Fox News invite Dean who, in their own words they describe as "...failed candidate Dean [who will] reflexively blame Fox for almost anything." ? I wonder if it could have had anything to do with Dean's "praise" for New Gingrich as one of the few Republicans who actually has creative ideas.

    July 26, 2010 10:03 am at 10:03 am |
  5. Layla

    Howard Dean and the Democrats are accusing everyone who speaks out against their policies racist.

    I dropped my membership in the DNC the day this man was appointed and I will not come back until these socialists are gone. They are destroying my country.

    Still waiting for those racist TEA Party pictures, Howard.

    July 26, 2010 10:03 am at 10:03 am |
  6. Alex

    Fox may not be racist, but they are certainly poor journalists. To use a video provided by an extremely biased source, without checking for full versions, is lazy and irresponsible.

    July 26, 2010 10:04 am at 10:04 am |
  7. Sam I Am

    I am shocked, SHOCKED that Fox News could be called racist. Not. They have had a clearly racist agenda for years. The Tea Party, which is in no small part in existence because of the "salesmanship" of Fox News and Glenn Beck is incredibly racist. The apple doesn't fall far from the tree. Of course, if the Obama administration were to do anything about this channel which has been developed for and by village idiots, Fox would scream racism! What an abomination of a media outlet. Murdock should be ashamed of himself.

    July 26, 2010 10:05 am at 10:05 am |
  8. BobRoss

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

    Glenn Beck said that Sherrod should NOT have been forced to resign. He said that the clip that was released needed to be put into the context of the whole video.

    July 26, 2010 10:06 am at 10:06 am |
  9. Justin

    Wow, I can't believe it, a Democrat using the race card, that's something we haven't seen all year. This will have gotten so out of hand by 2012 that politicians and liberals will be openly campaigning that if you don't vote for Obama then you're a racist...I thought Obama was supposed to improve race relations and show there is no ceiling for so called minorities, unforutanately the exact opposite has taken place.

    July 26, 2010 10:06 am at 10:06 am |
  10. K in Miami

    Is this suppose to be some sorta schock to us normal Americans....?

    Fox news has the same kind of agenda as "Rush Limbaugh, Sarah Palin, and the Tea Party".......!

    July 26, 2010 10:07 am at 10:07 am |
  11. The Double Standard

    BET is, in fact, racist... nobody seems to be bringing that up in the media. Many people, including me, don't like Fox News because they're a little too extreme at time by mixing in their own opinion to the news, but racist is a bit too far to take it. Take a look at any ONE hour of programming on BET... actually, take a look at the title of the station, and tell me that not racist. This racial double standard is getting old, the black baby boomers of this country need to drop their "we've suffered enough" propoganda and hand over the reigns to less polarized and more logical thinking younger populous.

    July 26, 2010 10:07 am at 10:07 am |
  12. Johnny DC

    Phony Black Panther crap? Yes, those militant black men outside the polling station were CGI-animated characters added in post-production by FOX. Of course they were.

    And the NAACP members who cheered on the story of a black woman sticking it to a white farmer? Those were doctored cheers and jeers, right?

    Keep talking, Dean. Keep talking.

    July 26, 2010 10:07 am at 10:07 am |
  13. Ron in california

    I hate to say it but Fox may have been slighly culpabe on this one. But so was evry organization invloved in cluding th NAACP and the White House. I would say though that if the White House is afraid of Glenn Beck...the he may be on to something. Maybe we need to pay attention to Beck.

    As far as the Tea party being Racist...well guess what Mr. Dean so is the NAACP and the Black Panther Party. Problem is you Democrats are to cowardly to call them on it.

    July 26, 2010 10:08 am at 10:08 am |
  14. snow

    Fox News followed the naacp and the White House. They were responsible for accuracy because they were the ones who condemned the woman and fired her. Fox News posted the story after this had happened. Crying racism has become a tired and worn out charge because it has been thrown out everytime some liberal cannot hold a debate because they usually lose.

    July 26, 2010 10:08 am at 10:08 am |
  15. all the news that's fit too omit

    O'Reilly mentioned Sherrod ONLY after she was already gone BY OBLAMO'S hand (about 08:50 PM) and the NAACP had already hammered her (hmmm, they HAD the whole tape, but still jumped the gun), that is not an opinion but a FACT.

    This whole thing REEKS of a setup that went awry but they still need to stick to the script in order to get votes in November and the media is more than happy to LIE as long as number one by a MILE get's knocked down a peg.

    O'Reilly apologized after the mistake, but your hero Obama DID NOT according to Sherrod, who fired her and DID NOT APOLOGIZE, the gutless fraud of a president that is who.

    July 26, 2010 10:08 am at 10:08 am |
  16. Eric in Manhattan

    Fox News racist? What a shock!

    July 26, 2010 10:09 am at 10:09 am |
  17. lisa s

    I saw Chris Wallace's interview with Howard Dean and Chris Wallace clearly had his facts right. Sherrod was fired before Fox ever aired anything about her story. The main stream media are angry about their ratings and their loss or influence

    July 26, 2010 10:09 am at 10:09 am |
  18. ramtruck2500

    Fox news did have a responsibility here to check just as if it were a source. They chose not to and who can only guess the motives behind it. i cant believe this even happened but also along with the firing was the choice not to check no matter the timing and just blow iot to the air waves. Let this be a lesson stuff thats blurped tweeted or whatever like everything else is not gospel!!!

    July 26, 2010 10:09 am at 10:09 am |
  19. GL

    Everytime I turn in to Fox News one of their commentary is bashing the President or some black group and if that is not racist then please tell me what is it. Every since President Obama became President Fox News and their commentary have been going after everybody that looks or at black in President Obama Administration. Fox News is racist and is the Arm and Talking point for the Republicans party and now they have been proving to be so after last week. Now everybody will be watching too see Fox News closely and not being so quick to believe everything these put out their. I glad this happen. Maybe we will get some peace for a while and not have to listen to all the hatful black racist stories from Fox News.

    July 26, 2010 10:09 am at 10:09 am |
  20. debbie

    Without question, they are soley responsible for the horrid actions of accusing someone without the do dilegence of research a 4th grader could plainly see. It is slanderous of court worthy action and their agenda and fear is so palpable that is is reprehensible. FOX stands for Fear Over Xenomancy.

    July 26, 2010 10:10 am at 10:10 am |
  21. hangemhi

    It is this type of reporting that exemplifies the political views of Fox News editors. The free press is powerful. This type of reporting is abuse of that power. What happened to fair and balanced? I for one will be looking at Fox news sponsors and see if I should continue purchasing items from corporations that support this type of abuse of power.

    July 26, 2010 10:10 am at 10:10 am |
  22. lisa s

    I saw Chris Wallace's interview with Howard Dean and Chris Wallace clearly had his facts right. Sherrod was fired before Fox ever aired anything about her story. The main stream media are angry about their ratings and their loss or influence .

    July 26, 2010 10:11 am at 10:11 am |
  23. Dan

    Howard Dean said something that was immediately proven to be false. Maybe the headline should read "Dean caught in another fabrication".

    July 26, 2010 10:11 am at 10:11 am |
  24. Terry B., Lexington, Ky

    You can put lipstick on a pig and call it "fair and balanced news network" however, it is still a pig....

    July 26, 2010 10:11 am at 10:11 am |
  25. jim

    i dunno if fox "news" is racist or not, but with people on there like sarah palin, they certainly are NOT "fair and balanced".

    July 26, 2010 10:12 am at 10:12 am |
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