Chris Wallace Lies About Fox's History with Breitbart Video

Thanks to this diary on Daily Kos, I found out about Gov. Howard Dean's appearance on Fox News Sunday with host Chris Wallace this morning.  Dean appeared alongside Republican disgraced former Speaker of the House Newt Gingrich, and took no prisoners.  Wallace started the segment off with the premature dismissal from the USDA of Shirley Sherrod, who was fired because of a edited, out-of-context video posted by a right wing reactionary, Andrew Breitbart, accusing her of being a racist, accusation that turned out to be false when the full video was released.

(Transcript and video of full FNS available here.)

When Howard Dean got his say on the matter on FNS, he was straightforward, blunt and courageous.  He called out the coverage the clip received on Fox as "absolutely racist."  Acting to defend his employer (and probably his political soulmates), Wallace quickly jumped in with this gem.

WALLACE: I know facts are inconvenient things, but let's try to deal with the facts. The fact is that the Obama administration fired or forced Shirley Sherrod to quit before her name had ever been mentioned on Fox News Channel. Did you know that, sir?
And this:
WALLACE: Did you -- did you know that, that her name -- did you know that her -- that she was fired before her name was ever mentioned on the Fox News Channel?
Dean quickly reminded Wallace that his point was to talk about Fox's coverage of the clip, and in that, whether the coverage happened before or after her firing was irrelevant.  He also said that the clip was about to be aired on Glenn Beck when Agriculture Secretary Vilsack fired Sherrod.

Of course, Wallace would have scored a point, if he were telling the truth.  He wasn't.  Not the whole truth, at any rate.  You see, he's probably right that Breitbart's disgusting video editing was probably not on Fox News' TV channel.  However, if you consider the web site as part of Fox News Channel -- and any fair minded person would -- then you are left with only one conclusion: Wallace was lying (or at least, didn't know what he was talking about).  The video, its mention and coverage had appeared on Fox News ( prior to reports of Sherrod being fired.

Media Matters has done us all a great service by creating a timeline of coverage for this.  Here are some parts of it.
[Monday, July 19] 11:18 a.m.*: Breitbart posts Sherrod video, calls her "racist," claims "Context is everything." Breitbart posted the heavily edited video of Sherrod and falsely suggested that Sherrod discriminated against a white farmer in her capacity as the Agriculture Department's Georgia Director of Rural Development [...]

Fox News amplifies Breitbart's deceptively edited video. On July 19, reported: "Days after the NAACP clashed with Tea Party members over allegations of racism, a video has surfaced showing an Agriculture Department official regaling an NAACP audience with a story about how she withheld help to a white farmer facing bankruptcy." The article further reported that "[t]he video clip was first posted by" and that " is seeking a response from both the NAACP and the USDA." The article is no longer available on but was republished on another website.
Media Matters also published a screenshot of that report.  Here's the screenshot:

Credit: Media Matters for America.

That wasn't the only mention of Breitbart's manufactured scandal on Fox News before her resignation.
1:40 p.m. (approximately): Fox Nation accuses Sherrod of "discrimination caught on tape" before she resigned. Fox Nation linked to Breitbart's Big Government piece and posted the deceptively cropped clips of Sherrod's speech at the NAACP in a post titled, "Caught on Tape: Obama Official Discriminates Against White Farmer":

And finally, by the power of Internet magic, Fox Nation got too cute by half.
After news broke that Sherrod resigned, the post's headline was changed to read "Obama Official Resigns After Discrimination Caught on Tape":

And that's what really happened. Thanks to Media Matters, now we know the full story.

So, was Sherrod's name ever mentioned on Fox News before she was fired?  I don't know, Chris, is a part of Fox News?  There are only two right answers to this: (a) Chris Wallace doesn't know what he's talking about, or (b) he's lying.  Take your pick.

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