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Why I Didn't Rush to Condemn Shirley Sherrod

How many times have you read something like this on The Huffington Post or George Soros' Media Matters and Think Progress and the Center of American Progress:

"Glenn Beck and 'Fixed News' launch another smear campaign!"

"Glenn Beck takes Fred Noogleburger out of context!"

"Glenn Beck baselessly distorts. Glenn Beck jumps to conclusions!"

If these blogs and media outlets paid as much attention to the administration and government as they have been in trying to attack me and "Faux News," the republic would probably be much safer.

But after seeing news like we did from The Daily Caller and the JournoList, it's easy to see why no one in the media bothers asking the administration any questions.

Instead, these outlets say I'm the one jumping to conclusions and smearing and lying. There's even an attack on me going around the Internet that claims "Glenn Beck says 'you can catch diseases from blacks.'"

Yes, I said it — guilty as charged. You got me. Play the tape. I deserve to be shamed:

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

BECK: Woodrow Wilson was the president who brought Jim Crow to Washington. He not only segregated the Army, but Woodrow Wilson is the guy who segregated bathrooms, cafeterias, work areas. He justified this and he said, you know, the white government workers, we got to segregate because, you know, you can catch diseases from blacks. That's Woodrow Wilson.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

And I would have gotten away with it to if it weren't for those pesky bloggers! Those were Woodrow Wilson's words. I was talking about him and quoting him.

I happen to believe that context matters.

Robert Gibbs said today that we can all learn a lesson:

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

WHITE HOUSE PRESS SECRETARY ROBERT GIBBS: I think the lesson — one of the great lessons you take away from this is — is to ask all the questions first and to come to that full understanding.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

We have a pattern here on this show of putting things in context. Am I perfect? Nope, but we work our butts off every day to make sure that we've checked into the full context of whatever it is we are showing.

Do you know how many clips of Van Jones we could have played if we didn't care about context? But we didn't have the full speech, so we couldn't say for sure if what the short clip really meant. So we buried it.

How many people wanted to convict and lock up the Times Square Bomber? I wanted to arrange his meeting with Allah as quickly as possible, just like others did, but I seemed like the only mature adult in the room standing in the corner raising my hand, going umm, remember the Miranda rights thing?

Shirley Sherrod, is the next example. We didn't rush to condemn her. This is another seemingly "redistribution of wealth" woman — who I would bet that I vehemently disagree with on probably everything. But she asked for the rest of the tape to be heard, the farmers in the story backed her up. It was a turning point story. We defended her and said her side of the story demanded to be heard — because context matters.

That's how we do things. But not how the administration does them. Instead of taking her at her word and waiting for the rest of the video, she was chewed up and spit out, all because:

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

SHIRLEY SHERROD, FORMER USDA OFFICIAL: They want you to pull over to the side of the road and do it because you're going to be on Glenn Beck tonight.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

Wow. Really? The most powerful group of people on the planet are afraid of me?

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

JOE SCARBOROUGH, MSNBC: Give me a break. Seriously? Is that their big — if that's their biggest concern, they're screwed. They are screwed.

(CROSSTALK)

The guy with the chalkboard? I mean, seriously they’re afraid of the guy with the chalkboard? Who cries?

If they're scared of him, can we please get somebody else to help us out with Iran, 'cause we're screwed.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

By the way, I'm not just one man with a chalkboard. I'm one man with four chalkboards.

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