August 24, 2010

Shirley Sherrod Rejects Return to USDA; Media Rejects Reporting Relevant Info

http://i739.photobucket.com/albums/xx40/mmatters/SherrodsThe theater of the Sherrods continues.

Earlier today, Shirley Sherrod, who, according to the current version of ruling class wisdom, was prematurely evacuated from the USDA by Director Tom Vilsack, decided not to accept an offer to return to the agency.

Instead, according to Politico’s Matt Negrin, “she hasn’t accepted the department’s offer to work there again, but that she wants ‘some type of relationship’ with it later.” We wouldn’t closure or anything, would we?

Five weeks or so have intervened since Andrew Breitbart posted a video excerpt of Sherrod’s speech at an NAACP event. (It should be noted USAactionnews.com actually posted the video earlier; though their link has been taken down, their original July 15 tweet is here.)

In that time, the establishment press has either seriously downplayed or totally ignored the several important items relating to the background and outlook of Ms. Sherrod and her husband Charles.

The earliest discovery was Shirley Sherrod was appointed to her position as Georgia Director of Rural Development on July 25, 2009. That appointment came mere days after her former co-op farm New Communities, Inc. (NCI) “won a thirteen million dollar settlement in the minority farmers law suit Pigford vs Vilsack.” This settlement included “$150,000 each to Shirley and Charles for pain and suffering.” How odd, to say the least, for a victorious plaintiff to end up working for the losing defendant.

Then, about a week after Breitbart’s video drop, another video surfaced, this time of Charles. Delivering the keynote address at a “race and law conference” at the University of Virginia School of Law, Sherrod his audience:

(To young African-Americans in the audience) “Please find a way, find a way that we can trust each other. So that our monies can work for our total liberation. … Our labor and our monies and our contracts usually end up in white folks’ hands and pockets. When will we trust our own?”

“… we must stop the white man and his Uncle Toms from stealing our elections. We must not be afraid to vote black.”

Charming.

Finally, there were the shocking accusations by black activist and Cal State professor Ron Wilkins at Counterpunch that during at least the late 1960s and early 1970s, NCI “under-paid, mistreated and fired black laborers–many of them less than 16 years of age–in the same fields of southwest Georgia where their ancestors suffered under chattel slavery.” Wilkins cited tangible, same-time evidence that NCI was struck by the United Farm Workers. An article in a September 28, 1974 UFW publication (“Children Farm Workers Strike Black Co-op”) leveled the following accusations directly at Charles Sherrod (the first word in the original is “through,” which is erroneous):

Though several of the cooperative’s funding organization’s are pressuring Charles Sherrod, the farm’s manager, to reach a settlement with the strikers, he remains unwilling to negotiate.

With so few scabs left in New Community’s (sic) fields, the UFW first strike in the southeast area (outside of Florida) may bring the first of many UFW contracts to these fields that were once harvested by slave labor.

NCI employed scab labor, and somehow that’s not worth reporting. Uh-huh.

Wilkins makes it clear that Shirley Sherrod was also heavily involved in NCI’s operations: “Shirley Sherrod was New Communities Inc. store manager during the 1970s. As such, Mrs. Sherrod was a key member of the NCI administrative team, which exploited and abused the workforce in the field.”

For this, the Sherrods and NCI deserved $13 million?

As of about 3 PM Eastern Time, a Google News search on “Sherrod Vilsack” (not in quotes; sorted in date order) returned 290 items (search results saved at my host for future reference). A search on “Sherrod Vilsack Wilkins” (not in quotes; sorted in date order) returned one result (also saved) — my August 3 Washington Examiner blog post about NCI’s alleged worker exploitation. Update: As of 6:20 p.m., the search results (sherrod vilsack; sherrod vilsack wilkins) were virtually identical.

If the non-coverage of the items raised above continues, this journalistic dereliction of duty will end up at or near the top of the list of the most disgraceful establishment press cover-ups I’ve ever seen. I’d love to be proven wrong.

Cross-posted at NewsBusters.org.

Sub-19 and Sub-5: Big Three Nets’ Drew Under 19 Million Last Week; CBS, at Under 5 Mil, Ties All-Time Low

EveningNewsLogosThey’ll have all sorts of excuses (but only if asked) about why it happened: It’s because they had a lot of guest anchors last week, it was hot, summer vacation season is still on (though lots of kids in Greater Cincinnati were already back in school by last Wednesday), cable is killing us, blah-blah, etc., etc.

But the Big Three networks won’t be able to avoid the fact that their ongoing decline reached a painful low last week of 18.82 million average viewers. Here is the graphic that appeared this morning at ABC’s lipstick-on-a-pig blog post:

Big3NetsSub19mil081610

I don’t know whether that’s an all-time low, but Kevin Allocca at Media Bistro, who hadn’t posted the full numbers as of the time of this post, has noted that one of those networks indeed scraped bottom last week:

‘CBS Evening News’ Ties All-Time Low

The network newscast ratings for last week are in and “CBS Evening News with Katie Couric” tied its all-time low in total viewers with an average of 4.89 million tuning in during the five days.

The low was set last June, when ABC also hit its own low. (Ratings records date back to the 1991-’92 season.)

It’s not unreasonable to believe that the Perky Ms. Couric’s pathetic performance might have more than a little to do with her compulsion to lecture us.

Here is how the overall numbers compare to those from one and two years ago:

This past week was down 4.8% from a year ago, and almost 14% from two years ago. NBC’s audience, which was a whisker shy of 9 million two years ago, has fallen 17.5%. Gee, do you think that might have something to do with Brian Williams’s open contempt for the Tea Party Movement?

Though the comparison isn’t apples to apples because the 2010 numbers are for a summertime week, the nets’ average audience during calendar 2005 was about 27 million. There’s little doubt their 5-year decline is in the neighborhood of 20%-25%, and possibly much more. The U.S. population grew by about 4% during that five-year period.

As Instapundit’s Glenn Reynolds might say, though usually in a more positive vein: “Faster, please.”

Cross-posted at NewsBusters.org.

Latest Pajamas Media Column (‘Obama’s Failed Recovery Summer’) Is Up

Filed under: Business Moves,Economy,Taxes & Government — Tom @ 8:12 am

It’s here.

Subheadline:

Worst economic slogan since Herbert Hoover — for what really is the worst economy since Herbert Hoover.

It will go up here at BizzyBlog on Thursday morning (link won’t work until then) after the blackout expires.

Positivity: Pro-life groups laud decision to block embryonic stem cell research

Filed under: Life-Based News,Positivity — Tom @ 7:27 am

From Washington:

Aug 23, 2010 / 06:19 pm

Pro-life groups lauded the decision of a federal court ruling on Monday which prevents the Obama administration from carrying out its embryonic stem cell research policy. One legal fund reacted by saying, the “American people should not be forced to pay for experiments – prohibited by federal law – that destroy human life.”

The ruling comes after the National Institutes of Health (NIH) issued new guidelines last year that permitted federal funding for research on stem cell lines that had already been created.

On August 23, however, a federal judge concluded that the policy likely violates a federal law known as the “Dickey/Wicker Amendment.” The amendment has been part of the annual appropriations bill for the Department of Health and Human Services every year since 1996.

The amendment bars federal funding for the creation of a human embryo for research purposes as well as for research in which a human embryo or embryos are “destroyed, discarded, or knowingly subjected to risk of injury or death.”

U.S. District Judge Royce Lamberth temporarily blocked the Obama administration on Monday from using federal dollars to fund expanded human embryonic stem cell research while a lawsuit against the NIH policy – filed last year by the Christian Medical Association (CMA) and Nightlight Christian Adoptions – proceeds.

Pro-life groups praised the ruling on Monday.

The Alliance Defense Fund, which helped represent CMA and Nightlight, saying that the “American people should not be forced to pay for experiments – prohibited by federal law – that destroy human life.”

“The court is simply enforcing an existing law passed by Congress that prevents Americans from paying another penny for needless research on human embryos,” continued ADF Senior Legal Counsel Steven H. Aden. “No one should be allowed to decide that an innocent life is worthless.”

“Experimentation on embryonic stem cells isn’t even necessary because adult stem cell research has been enormously successful,” Aden said. “In economic times like we are in now, it doesn’t make sense for the federal government to use precious taxpayer dollars for this illegal and unethical purpose.” …

Go here for the rest of the story.