**UPDATED** Correction Requests: Who Watches NPR's Watchdog?

UPDATE: NPR published the following correction:


Correction Feb. 4, 2011

I stated incorrectly that Andrew Breitbart selectively edited the Shirley Sherrod video that got her fired from the US Department of Agriculture. Instead, he was involved in promoting the out-of-context video excerpts on his new sites.

The video excerpts were not out-of-context. Big Government included the footage of Shirley Sherrod discussing her racial redemption, and Breitbart himself acknowledged as much in the text that accompanied the video footage of his multi-media presentation. From the original article:
Eventually, her basic humanity informs that this white man is poor and needs help. But she decides that he should get help from "one of his own kind." She refers him to a white lawyer.

Despite the correction, the NPR Ombudsman continues her pattern of irresponsible journalism in order to smear Breitbart and his family of websites.


***

Yesterday, NPR's Ombudsman released a column entitled "NPR Blog on Planned Parenthood Sting Earns Critics," where the author's critique of her own organization quickly devolves into a two-minute hate against Andrew Breitbart. Alicia C. Shepard took the opportunity to trot out some of the left's favorite anti-Breitbart talking points. A highlight:


Breitbart posted the [ACORN] videos at biggovernment.com. ACORN, a left-leaning community services organization, subsequently was forced out of business, even though it had become clear that the videos had been heavily edited to make the actions of ACORN employees appear worse than they were.

Shepard is intentionally cryptic when she writes the "ACORN employees appear worse than they were," but she's presumably referring to the fact that the ACORN employees, who appeared to be engaging in illegal activities, were "cleared legally." It is a huge misconception that the ACORN employees were cleared because of malicious editing; they were not in violation of the law because the undercover actors didn't have criminal intent. This is all explained on page 16 in Jerry Brown's ACORN California report:
Because O’Keefe and Giles’s criminal plans were themselves a ruse, one cannot be criminally complicit in those plans. In order to be liable as an aider and abettor, the perpetrators (in this case, O’Keefe and Giles) must have actually committed the planned or underlying crime. (See CALCRIM No. 401; People v. Perez (2005) 35 Cal.4th 1219, 1225.) Similarly, conspiracy culpability would require a finding that not only the ACORN employee, but also O’Keefe and Giles (the coconspirators), intended to enter into an agreement and intended to commit the target crime of that agreement. (CALCRIM No. 415; People v. Vargas (2001) 91 Cal.App.4th 506, 551.)

In other words, there is no reason to assume the ACORN employees from O'Keefe's video exposé aren't exactly as they appeared.

Another highlight from the Ombudsman's post:
Breitbert is the man who selectively edited a video of Shirley Sherrod, a former black U.S. Agriculture Department worker, to make it appear she told the NAACP that she had intentionally discriminated against white farmers. Before anyone asked her what she really said, she was fired last summer. Many news organizations jumped on the story without checking out the entire NAACP speech.

This is the one that calls for a correction: Breitbart didn't edit the Sherrod videos. Both video clips in his original post clearly represent full, unedited excerpts of Shirley Sherrod’s speech before the NAACP. To refer to full excerpts as “selectively edited” or even “edited” is misleading and not true. (It's duly noted that while Breitbart did not have the full video of Sherrod's speech in his possession at the time he published the controversial article, the NAACP had video of Sherrod's entire speech and still condemned her after the release of Breitbart's post.) What's more, Big Government did in fact include the footage of Shirley Sherrod discussing her racial redemption, and Breitbart himself acknowledged as much in the text that accompanied the video footage of his multi-media presentation. From the original article:
Eventually, her basic humanity informs that this white man is poor and needs help. But she decides that he should get help from "one of his own kind." She refers him to a white lawyer.

Someone at NPR should attend to these issues, but if the Ombudsman herself is so concerned with taking an editorial swing at Breitbart, who at the Soros/government funded organization will address these clear violations of responsible journalism?

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