From Gates to Sherrod – The Obama Jerk and his Knee

Posted on July 21, 2010

When will it end – the knee jerk reactions of this administration?  It ‘s bad enough that the nation as a whole seems prone to it but leadership is leadership and Barack needs to lead us to righteousness’ way not into temptation.

Due process is something for which Obama has never had time.  During his first press conference, he took a question about the incident at his friend, Professor Gates’, home in Cambridge, MA.  The police had been called by someone seeing what turned out to be the Professor himself trying to break into his own house.  Tempers and confusion ruled the day and the Professor was arrested.

The President acknowledged that all of the facts were not in and then proceeded to say that the Cambridge police acted “stupidly.”  Further, he gave us an overview of the history between black men and the police in the US.  He never formally apologized when it was revealed both parties were officially at fault.

When the video of USDA official Shirley Sherrod first aired, the President agreed with his Secretary of Agriculture, Tom Vilsack, that Ms Sherrod’s “resignation” (under pressure) should be accepted.  Apparently no questions were asked of Vilsack about his sources or any checking he had done and no request to confirm the circumstances surrounding the video. Instead there was was a bold and selfish attempt to bypass consideration of anything other than PR and to sweep racism on the part of a black off the national stage asap.

Now the world and the White House know that the video of Ms. Sherrod had been edited and that her true message had been obliterated and a racist message remained.

But hold. It gets better.  Ms. Sherrod was in the CNN studios watching a monitor as Press Secretary Gibbs was holding a press briefing this afternoon on her status. Gibbs kept saying that the Secretary of Agriculture was trying to reach Ms. Sherrod to apologize and to discuss future possibilities.  Finally, a journalist at the White House put an end to this spectacle and  informed Gibbs that the woman of the hour was watching the proceedings from the CNN studios.

Looking back, in a matter of moments yesterday, a good woman’s hard-won reputation was obliterated within a few short moments. But the image of our ability to communicate effectively in this nation was also obliterated.  Today, it became a farce. The CNN host said to Sherrod during Gibbs’ briefing that the moment the Secretary of Agriculture called, he would be put right through.  CNN orchestrating the apology like a wedding planner?  This is the outer reaches of where news should go – making news – creating the circumstances.  Would you call CNN to speak with Ms. Sherrod? As for Ms. Sherrod, she should have left the studio and phoned the Agriculture Department.

So after this primary school display of behavior on the part of the central characters in this drama, we all need to do a lot of thinking about where we are headed and who should be leading us there.  Off a cliff seems to be the general direction unless President Obama and his administration can stop with the knee jerk reactions and lead not react.  The press is not running the country. President Obama is. Oh, and it’s not George Bush’s fault either.

©On My Watch…the writings of SamHenry.  Registration Pending.


HotAir – Video: Gibbs apologizes to Sherrod