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. Borgster

    So Fox News is racist based on its reporting of one news item? Then how many thousands of opportunities to be racist has Fox News passed up? The NAACP should know better than any other organization the dangers of stereotyping and so should Howard Dean. After all isn’t it stereotyping that leads to racism? Shame on both Mr. Dean and the NAACP.

    July 26, 2010 10:12 am at 10:12 am |
  2. Nelson, Colorado Springs Co

    Howard Dean you are almost right!!!!! but fox news preach more on dividing the country because of President Obama. Racism is still alive and well in America, Black or White or Pink Or Green or Brown!!!!!!

    July 26, 2010 10:12 am at 10:12 am |
  3. fbysea

    And that's news?

    July 26, 2010 10:13 am at 10:13 am |
  4. Dale

    I am white as sour cream and not overly sensitive to racism... but I would tend to agree. FOX news is defintely biased and racist. That is my opinion anyway.

    July 26, 2010 10:13 am at 10:13 am |
  5. buccakenji

    Sherrod was fired by the white house before Fox News ever presented this story. These Democrat, Socialist/Progressive/Marxist whackjobs are getting very annoying throwing around accusations that are totally false. Howard Dean especially is so irrelevant he is pathetic to even speak out on the value of drinking water.

    July 26, 2010 10:14 am at 10:14 am |
  6. Nick San Diego

    Anybody, paying attention, will clearly see that Fox News along with the Tea Partiers play into those with racists views.
    If our Country does;nt get passed racism of any kind ( and that also means anti Muslims) then there is no hope for our future.

    July 26, 2010 10:15 am at 10:15 am |
  7. mother and sister of a soldier

    I am sorry to say this but "racisim" has been brought to the forefront simply due to the both political sides and citizens, including our president and AG, every time someone disagrees with the WH. I am tired of those who cannot move forward and prove themselves otherwise. The burden falls on the WH to prove themselves fair and equal and not repeat the WH's earlier mistakes. Racisim is rearing its ugly head and how can it not when you see videos of the radical black panthers and our AG does not prosecute? Color of skin does not determine a good citizen. Everyone must make the effort.

    July 26, 2010 10:16 am at 10:16 am |
  8. Paul

    Really, Fox wasn't Fair or Balanced? Huh. How about that? Next he'll be saying he expects the sun to come up EVERY morning!

    July 26, 2010 10:16 am at 10:16 am |
  9. Voice Crying in the Wilderness

    Dean states the obvious-–as obvious as the sun rising in the east.

    July 26, 2010 10:17 am at 10:17 am |
  10. Jeff in TX

    Ok, so the Obama Admin could have handled it better. Yes, that horse is dead.

    What is outrageous is that somehow FOX News, Breitbart, et al, seem to have a teflon coating on this one. Public character assassination from what reputes itself to be "fair and balanced." No cred for FOX.

    Have they taken any steps to apologize to her?

    July 26, 2010 10:17 am at 10:17 am |
  11. Anonymous

    Can we please just stop this stupidity? This is simply pathetic.

    July 26, 2010 10:18 am at 10:18 am |
  12. Westside

    Pure & simple Racist fox no news

    July 26, 2010 10:19 am at 10:19 am |
  13. David-Wisconsin

    Should it even be a surprise that Fox News would be racist since it's agendas are almost always focused at negativity toward our President in whatever manner makes itself available! I would think a story is a story, but Fox News practices a story is a story only after we associated our agenda with it! Those in the Fox News ivory tower must really enjoy their God-Like Egos, but the effect is more like what you get when you spell God backwards!

    July 26, 2010 10:20 am at 10:20 am |
  14. Joshua Ludd

    Lets be clear... few if any major news outlets bother to do fact checking anymore. The difference between fox and the others is that whack jobs and liars like not-too-breitbart peddle their propaganda to fox... who dutifully get behind it.

    July 26, 2010 10:21 am at 10:21 am |
  15. Horatio

    Taking Howard Dean's lead let's just throw out blanket horrible accusations about people (and groups) and not use facts to back them up (like Fox News is racist even though they did not air this story until she was fired by the White House and CNN and MSNBC also aired it and the video at that time)...Let me try now...All Liberals are racist...All Liberals watch kiddie porn...Most Liberals are likely to rape someone...Liberals hate children and puppies...Liberals want to rule the world...Conservatives are knuckle dragging racists who eat children and subjugate all those who appose them...you are racist, he's racist, their racist, that broadcast was racist..........Does that word even mean anything anymore??? Talk about the boy who cried wolf...If everything is racist is nothing racist? I believe that whenever someone is called racist now at times like this you should respond as such, "well, I wouldn't even listen to what he says because he's obviously a rapist"...take it from JournoList (google it)...learn from the Liberal Media...it doesn't have to be true apparently; just a horrible accusation to put them on the defensive.

    July 26, 2010 10:21 am at 10:21 am |
  16. Biased

    What happened on Fox was Dean being shown not man enough to respond to Wallace asking him the same question multiple times and Dean still trying to push his racist claims. Did he belong to the journolist by any chance or is this just the theme of all liberals now to combat any criticism with crying "you must be racist"?

    July 26, 2010 10:21 am at 10:21 am |
  17. Enrique

    Fox News is a complete joke. It just baffles me that so many Americans actually believe that its a credible news source.

    July 26, 2010 10:21 am at 10:21 am |
  18. David

    Another diversion by the Democrats. In order to cover the incompetence of the administration, thay call Fox racist. Fox did not mention the Sherrod matter until after she was fired. It is no one's fault that Obama is afraid of Glenn Beck.

    July 26, 2010 10:23 am at 10:23 am |
  19. AV1

    Really dean, your liberal friends has the gov. drop the lawsuit of the panthers holding clubs at voting booths with lame excuses. It has been this way for the last 18 months with every liberal media group and you have the nerve to claim racism. It was your office that forced this lady to quit not fox news. Personally all media outlets have thier own agenda in politics which is as bad as the hollywood dummy's and thier pushing to change us like a dictatorship with Chavez like policies.

    July 26, 2010 10:23 am at 10:23 am |
  20. Maya Gibson

    How can you call Fox News racist when Ms. Sherrod resigned already before Fox News (in this case O'Reilly Factor) reported or showed the clip? NAACP and White House threw this lady under the bus, they terminated her without reviewing the entire CONTEXT of her speech...whether Breitbart knowingly or unknowingly posted the partial clip, I don't blame Fox for showing this because any unjustified comment made before knowing the entire speech they already apologized.

    July 26, 2010 10:23 am at 10:23 am |
  21. samantha

    Howard Dean ought to be ashamed of himself, get his facts straight before opening his mouth.

    July 26, 2010 10:26 am at 10:26 am |
  22. Rose

    I like Fox News. It gives me info. the 'other' side does not want me to know about. And I think its disgraceful the way people have joined on the bandwaggon to brand them something that I don't believe they are.

    July 26, 2010 10:27 am at 10:27 am |
  23. shammus

    Great reporting and standardization of racism accusations. Glad this has now become your news sites coverage pattern. A question, when CNN gets called racist for a story that someone gets offended from, will you post it for everyone to seee?

    If MSNBC or FOX runs a story about the same premise, will you happily reprint it?

    Dems are busy painting everyone unaffiliated with this horrific label, and CNN dutifully copies the slander under the insipid "We didnt say it, this guy over here said it, so it's news."

    Thank you, CNN, for allowing the racist label to be propagated in our brave new world.

    July 26, 2010 10:28 am at 10:28 am |
  24. Mark from Louisiana

    anyone who calls the issues with the black panthers "phony" can only be a racist or he has his head buried in the sand.

    July 26, 2010 10:28 am at 10:28 am |
  25. Can't we all just get along?

    Howard, Howard, Howard.... it's Fox News. It's tabloid television. It has all the credibility of the National Enquirer, the Globe and Star.

    As far as Glenn Beck goes, come on - the guy is a few fries short of a Happy Meal. Nothing he says can be taken seriously.

    What's really bad is that Fox News isn't stupid enough to be considered 'humorous' and not off-the-wall enough to be considered satire so it's just bad tabloid nonsense.

    July 26, 2010 10:29 am at 10:29 am |
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