Remember when Brian Williams showcased the story of Pigford whistleblower Jimmy Dismuke’s firsthand account of fraud in the case?
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“Even if you got a potted plant, that makes you a farmer,” Dismuke recalled of the meetings he attended with Thomas Burrell, President of the Black Farmers and Agriculture Association. “I thought that was pretty odd because I was really a farmer. I didn’t know that was the easy way you could farm and get money!”
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Or do you remember the “60 Minutes” special on the Pigford fraud and the loss of attention to real discrimination due to those who smelled a payout?
What about CBS’s special report on how one USDA employee discussed 700 fraudulent claims that he personally witnessed?
Lawyers were churning applications. My name starts turning up on documents as someone who denied someone services. Trouble was those people were hundreds of miles away. I think there was something like 700 forms filed with my name on them–it was outrageous. I had never heard of any of them. I discovered that my name had been put on leaflets, which charges that I was a racist, and people just put my name on Pigford applications. I finally had to get black farmers to vouch for me. They all said I treated everyone fairly, which is what I tried to do.
Remember when Rachel Maddow got all tough and bipartisan when asking NBFA head John Boyd to explain his letter to President Obama saying, in short: “We got you elected so pay up [with Pigford]?”
Do you recall that bit New York Times exposé wherein the murders associated with the Pigford case were discussed?
What about the White House Press Corps asking President Obama if he knew how racked with fraud Pigford had become? Remember when the media grilled Shirley Sherrod and asked her what her involvement was with Pigford and if this was the reason Tom Vilsack fired her so quickly, to keep this story from getting out and upsetting the apple cart that was to be its passage?
Remember Lawerence O’Donnell’s segment asking who exactly is getting paid and who lobbied for whom?
No, you can’t remember because it never happened. Why? Because as Dismuke says, none of this was made public due to political purposes. Our embarrassment of a national press are guilty of dereliction of duty. The watchdogs for the people invested not in first-class reporting to ensure their longevity in an era where the Internet is changing how news is done, but rather they invested in Barack Obama, tying all their hopes, their dreams, their credibility, to him. If he fails, they fail, and they know it.
More is said over Sarah Palin stunning a halibut than of the massive amounts of cash lawyers are pocketing from the get-rich-quick Pigford deal. It was also a boon for Shirley Sherrod; she and her husband Charles Sherrod (of “stop the white man and his Uncle Tom from stealing our elections” fame) of course pocketed the biggest piece of the settlement – $13 million, way more than the predetermined $50,000 per farmer – for themselves (and Sherrod got her job at the USDA out of it). Andrew Breitbart accidentally stumbled upon the story of the year in showing the racist audience’s reaction to Sherrod’s speech in that now-famous NAACP video; the USDA flipped that anyone might be looking at her and getting too close to what was really going on with the Pigford suit, so they sacked her, drawing even more attention to her and themselves – and they deflected further inquiry by painting the man who published the video as a racist. They knew that as long as there was a white boogeyman on which to pin an offense, no one would go snooping into Pigford, Sherrod’s connection, and the link to Barack Obama.
And it would’ve worked, too, had it not been for Andrew Breitbart and those pesky kids at Big Government researching Pigford and compiling their findings.
“They were trying to show that my intention was to get Pigford defunded,” Breitbart told The Daily Caller. “And, I had never heard of Pigford, so for the last four and half months, all I’ve been doing is eating, breathing, sleeping Pigford, researching Pigford, finding whistleblowers who are hiding in plain sight who have been wanting to tell the story of how this was rigged.”
Breitbart since has embarked on a mission to expose Pigford for the outrageous fraud he and others have found it to be, namely how 400 black farmers in a class action suit ballooned to over 90,000 claimants when even one of the most energetic advocates for Pigford, John Boyd, founder of the National Black Farmers Association, has admitted that there are only 18,000 black farmers in the country.
It should strike you as odd that Big Government was the only media entity that actually reached out to the original black farmers to get their take – likely because the media wouldn’t have been too happy with that they had to say, as evident with Dismuke, above. His written account is powerful:
Pigford is the biggest rip-off this country has ever known, and there are lots of people in positions of power that know it. Politicians are using it to buy votes. Trial lawyers are using it to get rich.
I personally know of people who have no connection to farming at all who got Pigford checks. People with potted plants in their apartments claimed to be farmers and got paid. I saw an instance where eight Pigford checks went to one house. There are drug addicts and pushers who have received payments who have never farmed a day in their life.
There was discrimination at the US Department of Agriculture. It needed to be dealt with. I was suing the USDA before Timothy Pigford even filed suit. I wrote to attorney Al Pires, who eventually filed a class action lawsuit against the USDA, but he saw that there wasn’t going to be a huge amount of money for him. So he passed. What he did find was a way to work a scam from inside the Star City, Arkansas USDA office by paying a USDA employee to process claimants. This employee would take from $5,000 to $25,000 for each successful Pigford claim. Pires was in this totally for the money. He’s made far more money than any black farmer.
Remember the media reporting on Dismuke’s discrimination before Timothy Pigford? It didn’t happen.
The media canonized Shirley Sherrod and made her the face of discrimination while Dismuke’s actual discrimination was ignored. Irony. Or is it?
Personally, I would love to see the Senior Fellows over at the Soros-funded Media Matters to call Dismuke a “racist” for his testimony like they’ve called Rep. Steve King (R-IA), Rep. Michele Bachmann, Andrew Breitbart, and others. I’d love for these trust-fund socialists to pretentiously condescend to tell Dismuke his business; Dismuke, a good man who’s made his living off the land by hard work, a man who embodies the image of a strong, resilient, self-sufficient America.
They can’t which is why they ignore him. It’s been over 24 hours and I’ve still yet to see a peep about Dismuke on Media Matters:
I’ve yet to see a single mention of Dismuke or any of the above on any network broadcast or website. Not a single media outlet even had to do the heavy lifting; the person they crucified (or balllessly went along with, hastily, for status quo retention) did all the heavy lifting. Were media not so prejudiced against black Americans who speak honestly, this could have been a real Edward R. Murrow award for somebody.
That’s what leftist slacktivist media outlets do: they’re for civil rights until they realize that the biggest civil rights offenses come, ironically, from the very ideology they promote. Instead of taking a principled stand against they offenses, they clam up. They go out of their way to not write about it, even if it’s a top story in the blogosphere. Instead, they’ll write ridiculous missives about a semantics war with a Fox News head or whether or not Bristol Palin’s Facebook page is ghostwritten because she used a word they had to look up.
We witnessed it most recently with the wave of violence against conservative women these past two years. I’m still waiting for Eric Boehlert to stop obsessing over Andrew Breitbart long enough to pen a column about the injustice to Kelly Owens, or why Kenneth Gladney still hasn’t seen inside a courtroom for his case which was conveniently delayed until after the election.
Where was the media on Pigford?
This is the sort of story for which the media was created to cover. The actual offense of discrimination was obscured. The real victims were trampled by lawyers chasing payouts and folks who hadn’t farmed a day in their lives but heard Sherrod promising a $50k check.
President Obama signed this legislation into effect on Wednesday. We can only hope that with the new congress next month that hearings and investigations will result in the defunding of the many documented fraudulent claims.
There was no vetting of the claims, no investigation into legitimacy. The administration, in fettered by the checks and balance of the media, now non-existent, signed a documented fraudulent settlement with complete freedom. And with this, the journalism profession exhales its last, a dying breath.
Thankfully, from its ashes rises the citizenry to take over where mainstream media has failed.