Wednesday, July 21, 2010
This is a rush transcript from "Hannity," July 20, 2010. This copy may not be in its final form and may be updated.
SEAN HANNITY, HOST: It was exactly one week ago when the NAACP passed a resolution condemning members of the Tea Party movement as racist. And now video has surfaced of a speaker making what appears to be racially charged remarks at an event hosted by the NAACP.
Now the woman in the video, Shirley Sherrod, abruptly resigned last night from the USDA. Now let's take a look at a longer portion of the speech. This video was just posted on the NAACP's website.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
SHIRLEY SHERROD, FORMER USDA GA. STATE DIRECTOR: That the struggle is really about poor people.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: All right. All right.
SHERROD: You know, the first time I was faced with helping a white farmer save his farm. He took a long time talking but he was trying to show me he was superior to me. I know what he was doing. But he had come to me for help.
What he didn't know, while he was taking all that time trying to show me he was superior to me, was I was trying to decide just how much help I was going to give him.
I was struggling with the fact that so many black people had lost their farmland and here I was faced with having to help a white person save their land. So I didn't give him the full force of what I could do.
I did enough so that when — so I took him to a white lawyer that we had — that had attended some of the trainings that we had provided because Chapter 12 bankruptcy had just been enacted for the family farmer.
So I figured if I take him to one of them that his own kind would take care of him. That's when it was revealed to me that the job is about poor, versus those who have. And not so much about white — it is about white and black, but it's not — you know, it opened my eyes. Because I took him to one of his own.
(END OF VIDEO CLIP)
HANNITY: Now Sherrod claims she was taken out of context and had some harsh words for the Obama White House today saying her resignation was forced and came only after several harassing phone calls from an administration official.
But Tom Vilsack, secretary of Agriculture, is not backing down. He released another statement today saying, quote, "There is zero tolerance for discrimination at USDA and we strongly condemn any active discrimination against any person."
Now in addition we are getting word from a White House official that President Obama was briefed on the circumstances behind Sherrod's removal and that he fully supports Secretary Vilsack's decision.
As for the NAACP, now they initially released a statement in which they explicitly sided with the administration saying, quote, "According to her remarks, she mistreated a white farmer in need of assistance because of his race. We are appalled by her actions... her actions were shameful."
But now the NAACP is changing its tune and blaming all of this on — who else — Fox News. Now a statement released just a short time ago says, quote, "We have come to the conclusion we were snookered by Fox News and Tea Party activist Andrew Breitbart into believing she had harmed white farmers because of racial bias."
And they go on to say, quote, "This just shows the lengths to which extremist elements will go to discredit legitimate opposition."
However, it's important to note that the Fox News Channel did not make any mention of this story yesterday on the air until after Shirley Sherrod had already lost her job after Secretary Vilsack had already drawn his own conclusions — conclusions that the president apparently agreed with.
Joining me now with reaction is the founder of BigGovernment.com, Breitbart.com, and that was the website that first posted the video, the one and only, the infamous, Andrew Breitbart.
ANDREW BREITBART, BIGGOVERNMENT.COM: Thank you, Sean.
HANNITY: All right. Serious stuff. Why don't we start at the beginning? How did you get in contact with this video and the posting? Why don't you just give us the behind-the-scene?
BREITBART: An individual in Georgia who is worried of — worried about being exposed and attacked like Joe the plumber reached out to me. And I believe — now I figured out where the e-mail was in early April of this year — to tell me about this video.
It was something that I thought was somewhat news worthy but really didn't pursue. But when I saw that the NAACP last week was going to reassert the falsehood —
BREITBART: The provable falsehood that the n-word was hurled by Tea Party people as part of a resolution to condemn the Tea Party.
BREITBART: I thought this is outrageous because the Tea Party Federation sent a letter to the Congressional Black Caucus saying they wanted to investigate it. They do not want to talk about the exculpatory evidence that shows that the n-word did not happen.
And so I told Ben Jealous of the NAACP, you want to divide this country on race? You want to keep negatively branding the Tea Party, constantly asking, are they racist, are they racist, are they racist?
That is an act of sending a message — negative branding — to the American people and to black people that these are people to be feared.
HANNITY: All right —
BREITBART: It is a technique of propaganda.
HANNITY: Hang on. Hang on. I just want get some facts on the table and then — I want your opinion on everything else associated with it. All right, but — so you have this tape since April?
BREITBART: I didn't have the tape. I had recognition that it existed.
HANNITY: It existed. OK.
BREITBART: And the man told me about it. And he tried to send it to me and it came on a disc and it didn't show up. I said this is annoying. So when the NAACP thing happened, I found his phone number, I called him up, and he sent me to — two excerpts of the video.
HANNITY: OK. And the allegation now of the left is alright, hang on a second, even though she said — and she said she harbored these views in this tape. She described how she racially discriminated against the white farmer. That's not in dispute. That's on the video. She's not disputing that.
BREITBART: And she described the white man as the other — your kind. She describes your kind.
HANNITY: She decides that he'll get help from one of his own kind and she referred him to a white lawyer. But she also said on the tape that — admits that she didn't do everything she could for him because he's white.
Now what critics are saying is well that was edited. And what she's claiming is that that was edited, that she left out the part that she had learned from this at the end of the tape which we just heard.
BREITBART: The reason why Shirley Sherrod is the story right now, not the NAACP, is because the White House which stands by the firing or the forced resignation — harassment as she said — they made the story about Shirley. They threw her under the bus.
I have not asked that she get fired. I've not asked for an investigation into her. The whole point was to show that the — for the NAACP to spend five days on national TV saying that the Tea Party is racist without any evidence when we can prove that the central argument didn't happen and the mainstream media won't play it — for them to talk about racism they should not be throwing stones in glass houses.
And what this video shows and what the NAACP affirms in their initial rebuke is not just that Shirley Sherrod, what she said was wrong, but that the audience was laughing and applauding as she described how she maltreated the white farmer.
HANNITY: Before she gets to the end of the story which is — which she's claiming puts context. But there's a —
BREITBART: Did the people in the audience know that there was going to be a point of redemption?
BREITBART: The point is that the NAACP at a dinner honoring this person is cheering on a person describing — describing a white person as the other. This is far worse than anything —
HANNITY: Let me ask you this.
BREITBART: — that has ever been alleged against the Tea Party and certainly not proved.
HANNITY: And the history of you and this Tea Party and this allegation of racism, you offered 100,000 out of pocket if there were any video or audio tapes that would prove the allegations that racial epithets were hurled at African-American congressmen and women, correct?
BREITBART: Yes. But enough about me, Sean. I'm going to get to the heart of the issue right here. Mary Francis Berry was the former chair of the U.S. Commission on Civil Rights appointed by President Carter and Clinton. This is not a conservative, OK.
This is what she said that has to do with what's going on right now and why this is not about Shirley and Andrew, this is about the NAACP and the Congressional Black Caucus and the Democratic Party: "Tainting the Tea Party movement with the charge of racism is proving to be an effective strategy for Democrats. There's no evidence that the Tea Party adherence are any more racist than other Republicans and indeed many other Americans. But getting them to spend their time purging the ranks and having candidates distance themselves should help Democrats in November, having one's opponent rebut charges of racism is far better than discussing —
HANNITY: All right. Let me ask you this last question.
BREITBART: — joblessness." This is about politics. And this is about tarring the American people and the Tea Party Movement with the false charge of racism.
HANNITY: Let me ask you a last question. How do you feel about the White House's firing of her in light of everything that we know and what we've learned? Do you think it was the right decision? And do you think, you know, what she — how do you feel in total about what she said on that tape?
Do you think it was racist? Did you want her fired?
BREITBART: I don't. I don't — I have to be honest with you. I'm agnostic on the issue because I'm invested in getting the NAACP and the Democratic Party and the Congressional Black Caucus to stop constantly calling the Tea Party racist. That's my job.
I could care less about Shirley Sherrod, to be honest with you. This is not about Shirley Sherrod.
HANNITY: All right. Breitbart, good to see you.
BREITBART: Thank you.
HANNITY: Breitbart.com. Appreciate it.
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