Fox News host Glenn Beck has received quite a bit of praise for his restraint regarding the Shirley Sherrod case. When many other conservative commentators were condemning her, Beck was defending her, arguing that the brief video clip that cost her her job was taken out of context. As a result Beck was praised this morning by the New York Times editorial page:
The administration’s haste to fire Ms. Sherrod was unfair and unseemly. She told of how an agriculture under secretary phoned her to demand she resign instantly via her BlackBerry. The official anxiously cited the likelihood the furor would “be on Glenn Beck tonight.”
By the time the conservative commentator took up the issue, the full transcript of the speech was out and Mr. Beck was citing Ms. Sherrod – but as a victim of administration recklessness. This time, he was right.
Meanwhile, fellow Fox news host Bill O’Reilly apologized to Sherrod for how he presented her case:
On Wednesday, he said he should have gotten the full story first. “I owe Ms. Sherrod an apology for not doing my homework, for not putting her remarks into the proper context,” he said on “The O’Reilly Factor,” adding that his own words had been taken out of context by critics in the past. “I well understand the need for honest reporting.”
The LA Times Matea Gold also writes about how the news arm of Fox News handled the incident:
Michael Clemente, senior vice president of news editorial, said the network’s news programs reported the story with caution. “When I heard about this Monday morning and saw it on Breitbart’s website, I said, ‘OK, could be a story, let’s check it out,’ ” Clemente said. “We did the normal fact-finding we would do on any story.”
At an afternoon editorial meeting Monday, Clemente urged the staff to first get the facts and obtain comment from Sherrod before going on air, according to internal notes from the meeting that were provided to The Times. “Let’s make sure we do this right,” he said.
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