Krugman sums it up:
Fooled Again And Again and Again
So I don’t know if readers have been following the Shirley Sherrod affair. It goes like this: Ms. Sherrod was an Agriculture Department official; a right-wing blogger released clips of a video that purportedly showed her making racist remarks; the clips were featured big on Fox News; and the Obama administration promptly fired her.
But whaddya know, the scandal was fake. The clips were taken completely out of context. It was basically as if I said, “Some people say that violence is always the answer; they’re wrong”, Fox ran with the story “Krugman says violence is always the answer”, and the Times fired me.
What’s shocking here isn’t the behavior of the right, which was par for the course. It’s the seemingly limitless credulity of the inside-the-Beltway crowd. I mean, there’s a history here: ACORN, Climategate, Vince Foster, Whitewater, and much much more. (Someone recently reminded me that the GOP held two weeks of hearing on the Clinton Christmas card list.) When the right-wing noise machine starts promoting another alleged scandal, you shouldn’t suspect that it’s fake — you should presume that it’s fake, until further evidence becomes available.
So now Tom Vilsack, the Agriculture secretary, says that he may “reconsider”. I’d lay even odds that the Sherrod firing stands, even though it was totally unjust, because people in DC are so accustomed to cringing in the face of the right that they just don’t know how to stop.