I’m cutting Bruce a little more slack than he did himself due to the limitations of this medium. I know from our (all all too) infrequent communications that he has been very busy with work and yet remains very eager to blog. It is no wonder he jumped on the Shirley Sherrod story. As he put it: “(My one attempt at a lame excuse is that my “window” to blog comes and goes and it just happened to open up when the Sherrod video was first going viral).”
With a more flexible schedule than he (and delighted in the distraction of blogging/internet surfing as I struggle with the outline for the next chapter of my dissertation), I have more time at my disposal to flesh out stories. (When I recognized there might be more to the story, I joined the Anchoress in wanting to see more of the story before passing judgment.)
So, Bruce’s is more than an attempt at a lame excuse. Unlike the folks in the MSM, the NAACP or the Administration, we lack staffs to assist us in looking into these matters. What he calls a “lame excuse” is in fact a very real acknowledgment of the nature of blogging.
To be sure, I would that Bruce had said something about wanting to see the rest of the video (when he first posted it). That said, as quickly as we can get thing out there, we can retract and/or apologize for them. And Bruce did that as soon as he became aware of the nature of his error.
The head of the NAACP, by contrast, who had more ready access to the full video (than did Bruce or Andrew Breitbart) (as well as to people, you know, members of the organization he heads, who attended the confab where Mrs. Sherrod spoke), doesn’t, as Ann Althouse puts it, “acknowledge this personal responsibility.” Instead he tries
. . . to shift the blame to “Fox News and Tea Party Activist Andrew Breitbart” for editing the Shirley Sherrod video to heighten an apparent confession of racism. When he saw that video, Jealous’s reaction against Sherrod was immediate. She was toxic and had to be spat out.
Seems this guy hasn’t bought the Journolist line on FoxNews and trusts their coverage enough to use as the basis for a statement. Given the resources at his disposal to investigate a charge, his rush to judgment is, well, noteworthy. Guess he was more concerned about avoiding bad press than investigating a charge of racism.
The response from the White House was no less hasty, with Jonah Goldberg suggesting the Obama team did so because they recognize the power of FoxNews:
Meanwhile, as a matter of politics, I think this episode demonstrates that this White House is a much more tightly wound outfit than it lets on in public. The rapid-response firing suggests a level of fear over Glenn Beck and Fox that speaks volumes.
And while Bruce, with fewer resources at his disposal than the NAACP or the Administration, he used the active voice in acknowledging his error, White House Press Secretary Robert Gibbs used the passive:
“A disservice was done, an apology is owed,” Gibbs said.”Mistakes were made.”
The Obama team made the mistakes, leaving us to wonder why. Were they fearful perhaps that their failure to act on this incident which quickly gained currency in conservative and conservative-friendly media might draw more attention to an absence of Administration concern for very real examples of “reverse racism”?