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As others see it: Plenty of blame around race issue

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A Georgia woman working for the U.S. Department of Agriculture was relatively unknown a week ago. Now Shirley Sherrod is a household name across the country.

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She is also now the former director of rural development for the USDA and currently without a job after a life-long career. And who is to blame? Let us start counting.

Conservative blogger Andrew Breitbart ... first edited and posted video of Sherrod comments completely out of context. To begin with, he never contacted Sherrod to discuss her comments and instead published the comments without proper context in an admittedly specific effort to criticize the NAACP and further his own political agenda.

Then there is Fox News and its commentator Bill O'Reilly. In fact, O'Reilly kept calling for Sherrod's firing ... after she had already resigned. He later apologized for not having all the facts. Fox News continued to criticize the Obama administration more for asking for Sherrod's resignation, rather than the blogger or itself for publishing her comments out of context.

USDA Secretary Tom Vilsack and other Obama administration officials called for Sherrod's resignation and accepted it without fully knowing and understanding the full context of her comments. ... Vilsack and President Obama have now both apologized to Sherrod.

Finally, there is the 24-hour news cycle generated by the web, bloggers, cable news and network news. The demand to feed the ever-consuming news cycle left little time to learn and understand all the facts.

Everyone involved in public attacks on Sherrod are equally to blame. They should all be ashamed.

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