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. Susie

    Dean is right, but at least O'Reilly sort of apologized for jumping the gun. I did love how Fox turned it all around to blame the White House after they spent 24 hours screaming "racist!" over these clips. Did it occur to anyone to check out the entire video? Particularly since Breitbart is known for this kind of crap. I think the WH is a bit too touchy over charges of favoritism...Obama needs someone who can think under pressure and respond calmly.

    July 26, 2010 10:29 am at 10:29 am |
  2. Take Responsibility

    He's upset...it shows democrats are racist. Blame FOX and republicans all you want. The proof is in the video.

    July 26, 2010 10:29 am at 10:29 am |
  3. Sandy123

    "Howard Dean is charging that Fox News was not only irresponsible with their coverage of the Shirley Sherrod story, but downright racist.?"
    Oh yeah, well Obama does make it a habit of jumping off the bridge like when he irresponsiblely called the Cambridge Officer "Stupid" for arresting Obama's friend the Pro. Gates. I don't think Muslim Barack Hussein Obama would have said as much had Officer Crowly been a black man or Pro. Gates was a white folk. Obama here sounds to be the racist! He is playing tug of war with the white people, especially when he continues to accuse them of wrong doing. Take for instance, accusing Arizona of falsely arresting a grandfather who is Mexican taking his innocent kid for ice-cream and getting arrested because he doesn't have papers to prove he is here legally. Now that is a racist remark. He is accusing innocent Americans of wrong doing. Maybe he is anti-Americans.

    July 26, 2010 10:30 am at 10:30 am |
  4. gedwards

    So by that muddled logic, the Administration is also racist for forcing her to resign.

    July 26, 2010 10:30 am at 10:30 am |
  5. Josh

    The fact that "FIX NEWS" is RACIST is nothing new. They are not a news organozation, they are PROPAGANDA right wing machine. I have seen them manupilate the news just about everyday. They do not care about the harm they have done to this country, as long as they have that loyal viewing audience that believes evrything they put out. They are mostly very ignorant and trully believe what come out of FIX NEWS.
    Oh, by the way, Shep Smith is the only reporter they have.

    July 26, 2010 10:31 am at 10:31 am |
  6. Charlie

    "When the debate is lost, slander becomes the tool of the loser."
    — Socrates

    It is obvious that the liberals, the NAACP, and Howard Dean are losing the debate with the Tea Party and republicans; There can be no other reason for this nonsense about racism except to get people all worked up without knowing the facts. As for Sherrod, let us just turn the scenario around where a white official said that about a black person. It would probably end up being a $1.25 Billion law suit.

    July 26, 2010 10:32 am at 10:32 am |
  7. MLS

    If we can't beat them or if we don't like how they report the truth, let's just call them racist and see if that sticks. Wow, the lack of shame from the hipocritical left is truly amazing...

    July 26, 2010 10:33 am at 10:33 am |
  8. Ken

    If you give a person a long enough rope, he will hang himself. And FIXED News just did. The truth does eventually come out! Not too breit, Bart!

    July 26, 2010 10:33 am at 10:33 am |
  9. Jack

    Fox News has set up the environment to boardcast before most of the story has been investigated.

    Sensationalism has been for quite awhile their mainstay.

    It is shameful that supposed grown adults act like this.

    Now, lets see if Fox can act like adults and take resonsibility for the actions.

    I really do not if your conserative, liberal or whatever; if your action are or were inappropiate; stand up and take responsibility for them!

    I am waiting Fox News!

    July 26, 2010 10:34 am at 10:34 am |
  10. jones

    o'reilly did invite her to explain what she said. She declined.

    July 26, 2010 10:34 am at 10:34 am |
  11. Chuck Anaheim, Ca

    Good job Howard, calling them out on their hate filled broadcasts.

    July 26, 2010 10:34 am at 10:34 am |
  12. nickcotter

    How about the Administration thoroughly investigating before firing Ms. Sherrod? That's the real story. Howard Dean is a fool desperately seeking relevance.

    July 26, 2010 10:35 am at 10:35 am |
  13. The Choobs

    Wallace is bending the truth considerably - Fox News may not have aired the footage on TV beofre Sherrod resigned, but foxnews.COM posted it midday last Monday – well before the White House contacted Sherrod and asked her to resign. They later removed the post on Fox...but you can read all about it on mediamatters, where they display the posted report from Fox. Again, CNN is doing shoddy work in their reporting of this issue and nnot exposing this BS (that Fox didn't air the tape until the White House made it a story). Fox "broadcasted" the video online without investigating it AT ALL - and in fact, the posting said they were seeking comment from the NAACP and the USDA...but again, they hadn't even investigated the veracity and context of the clip!

    July 26, 2010 10:35 am at 10:35 am |
  14. RB

    My quesiton is this: when did all of the other media outlets run the story? Why isn't Dean going after any media outlet that ran the story even after she resigned like he is going after Fox? In his interview when confronted with the fact that Fox News did not run the story until after she resigned his response was "it doesn't matter you shouldn't have run the clip without researching all of the information".

    July 26, 2010 10:36 am at 10:36 am |
  15. Gerry NH

    It seems if you want to make headlines now days you need to bring up the race issue. Howard Dean is just a big loser. If Fox News is racist so is the white house, NAACP and the democratic party.

    July 26, 2010 10:36 am at 10:36 am |
  16. Fred C Dobbs

    Let's not lose sight of the fact that Fox News.com posted the video on its web site long before the denunciation by the NAACP and the resignation.

    Van Jones, Acorn, "New Black Panthers" and Shirley Sherrod – non stories that have been elevated by Fox News all have black at the center piece of the "story".

    July 26, 2010 10:36 am at 10:36 am |
  17. Joy

    "Some people blame Fox for almost anything"??? This is your excuse for jumping the gun and not investigating the story for accuracy?

    July 26, 2010 10:36 am at 10:36 am |
  18. Mitch

    It would take 2 hands to count on your fingers the pertinent facts which CNN left out or put near the end of this 'news' piece. Such slanted journalism is either sophomoric or purposely biased and its deceitfulness is obvious to anyone who has followed this story. After losing Lou Dobbs, CNN has continued to sink into a commentary quagmire which purports itself to news. I watch this quagmire from the edge to avoid getting sucked into its repetition of innuendo and unsupported allegations. Like so many others, I have to depend on Fox for some balance. CNN is way off kilter anymore!

    July 26, 2010 10:37 am at 10:37 am |
  19. jack

    howard dean is a moron. no coverage should be given to his rantings.

    July 26, 2010 10:37 am at 10:37 am |
  20. ART

    I totally agree I saw O'Reilly stating the she should be fired emediately and Laura Ingram asking the question "how many other people like that are in the Obama administration"? well to answer that question, I hope alot, talk about turning the other cheek ,Sherrod is a saint and to Laura i say I have a cheek for you now pucker up and kiss it

    July 26, 2010 10:38 am at 10:38 am |
  21. Zero Hour

    Slowly but surely, the tag "racist" is losing its sting. So keep it coming, and coming, and coming. Soon it'll be a badge of honor.

    And if you think controlled opposition Fox is "racist," you ain't seen nothing yet. Buckle your seat belts.

    July 26, 2010 10:38 am at 10:38 am |
  22. sonny chapman

    Let's see, the Main Stream Media has a liberal bias but Fox is Fair & Balanced. Source: Fox News !!

    July 26, 2010 10:39 am at 10:39 am |
  23. Jasz

    Did you notice that Michael Clemente did not say Fox News wasnt racist. Why not say we are not racist and end Howard Dean's arguement immediately? I think he really helped Dean.

    Michael Clemente tsaid: "As we said this past week, some people such as the failed candidate Dean reflexively blame Fox for almost anything." Fox News and theTea Party blames Obama almost anything.

    July 26, 2010 10:39 am at 10:39 am |
  24. connie

    I wastch the program and Dean kept avoiding the stasatment that Fox did not show the clip until after she was fired. he is a joke. I believe the white house is using racism to make the conservetives look like racism so people won't vote for them in the fall. This is Chicago politics and it is a shame to use the race card and I believe Americans are pretty smart and they won't buy into this. Shamee on Obama for letting this happen and he is behind this.

    July 26, 2010 10:39 am at 10:39 am |
  25. Davaughne

    Thank You Mr. Dean...

    Finally someone speaks out about fox news... This is one main example why President Obama did not want fox news representing the white house for media reporting... Very sad on fox news and republicans especially when the rep. are trying to get more African American Votes...


    July 26, 2010 10:39 am at 10:39 am |
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