Monday, July 26, 2010

The Notorious I.O.W.A.

I'm not sure many people outside the state realize that Iowa has been prominently in the news recently. It all started with some conservative blogger Andrew Breitbart posting a small clip supposedly showing Shirley Miller Sherrod making a racist statement. Fox News picked it up and ran with this doing the usual "fair and balanced" reporting. This got to the desk of the Secretary of Agriculture, Shirley Sherrod's ultimate boss who fired her. The NCAAP also immediately condemed Sherrod for said clip. No one evidently thought to take ANYTHING Fox News said with a grain of salt.

As we all now know, Sherrod was relating a story that happened twenty years ago when she was still fuming over the father's death at the hands of a white farmer. Ultimately the video went on to explain how she learned that this wasn't about black or white but was about poor people. The everyone backtracked, except of course Fox News and the initial blogger, and the Secretary of Agriculture apologized and offered her a different job from the one she had.

So how does Iowa play into this? The Secretary of Agriculture is none other than former Iowa Governor Tom Vilsack who was raised by foster parents just twenty miles down the road from me. He was governor for two terms here in Iowa but gained national notice by launching the first and ultimately the shortest election bid for the 2008 presidency of the United States with a run that lasted less than three months before he realized that nobody knew who the heck he was. That is fortunate for us Iowans as had he gotten farther onto the national stage, Iowa would have been the butt of many jokes.

I'm also a little disappointed in how Sherrod has handled this situation. She demanded apologies all the way up to the president even though he had nothing to do with the ordeal. All the while she went on and on to whoever would listen about how she didn't want her job back and when offered a job created specifically to appease her, she said she would think about it and to my knowledge, is still thinking about it. To me, she appeared a bit pompous like Henry Louis Gates Jr., though not on the pompous ass level he got too. I don't think anyone can top that.


R. Sherman said...

The Sherrod deal is truly strange, and I'm not sure what my thoughts are. I guess we're not really "post-racial," yet.

BTW, I hope you weren't affected by the dam break in eastern Iowa.


Vince said...

I would have honestly thought that her realisation in the 80s was one hell of a lot more forgiving.
Ones Dad having being killed is one thing. When that State actively worked to protect his killer, another.
And if I may comment at all, this has vastly more to do with a black President and his re-election. Ask the Spooners. She did her job as any. Then went the extra yard, or mile.
Talk about a double-barrelled shit storm for both political parties, where they are seen as savage fools.

Ed said...

R. Sherman - I used to believe that we would become "post-racial" by natural progression as folks from racist times died off. I no longer feel that is the case. It will always be here. I do think it will continue to half a half-life so perhaps as my daughter becomes of age, it will be half as common in society.

The dam broke in east-central Iowa in a different drainage than my home in the Des Moines river drainage. Lots of houses flooded but no casualties that I've heard of so we are fortunate.

Vince - Since Obama isn't up for re-election yet and the American public has such a very short memory, I don't think this is about his election though I would concede that it has a lot to do with our upcoming mid-term elections this fall. I've never liked FOX News because they are forever doing stuff like this and in the end, I hope this is a wakeup call for those who do follow them.

Bone said...

Every time I hear that slogan, I cannot help but think of Inigo Montoya in The Princess Bride.

Fair and balanced? You keep using that phrase. I do not think it means what you think it means.

Bone said...

Oh, and good for Iowa! I know I'm always excited anytime Alabama makes the news.

Like a few weeks ago, we had a couple from my home county on Wife Swap.

Vince said...

True, about Obama. But there are many many many people that were about to vote other. When on seeing all of this went 'shit'.

TC said...

Here I thought you were in the news for rain...

Ed said...

Bone - I suspect "Fair and Balance" means "to suit our political agenda and thus skewed."

Vince - I'm not sure I follow you when you say, "vote other."

TC - We actually are for that too. A privately owned dam was breached flooding several towns downstream. Our governor is now calling for taxpayer dollars to rebuild it into a state of the art hydroelectric dam that at best would provide electricity enough for perhaps less than a dozen homes since the "head" is very shallow.

Vince said...

The two political parties in the US are neck and neck. So small changes can have profound effects. This neat bit of propaganda was at first working against Obama and by extension the Democrats. But then they -the Dems- reacted to this to quickly and back stabbed one of their own. Only to now via the Spooners and anyone that has had any contact with the woman have to eat their words and actions. And this went for both parties, for people will see that she was a pawn for both.
However in that very nasty world, I suspect both parties see things as even steven.

PhilippinesPhil said...

Ah, another FNC hater. I hadn't realized that about you.

You got this one wrong Ed. FNC never ran it as news until AFTER Sherrod had already been hounded out of her job by the Obama people. They saw the clip and decided to preempt the furor that they SUPPOSED FNC would kick up. How is that for just the opposite of "fair and balanced?"

And she didn't "supposedly" make racist remarks, she MADE racist remarks; although 'supposedly' blacks CAN'T make racist remarks because they are black, or so they claim. She was telling a parable of her own life but notice she STILL said " I sent him to HIS OWN KIND.." (a white lawyer). She's a woman with a chip on her shoulder; perhaps she has cause to have it, her dad was killed by a white man, but then so do a lot of us (I was routinely beat up by blacks in several schools that i attended). So what.

And you know Sherrod and her husband have already made HUGE bucks, something like $400,000 by suing the USDA for not loaning money to her own farm back in the 80s. Don't be surprised if she doesn't sue someone over this whole fiasco as well. Whoever she sues, it WON'T be FNC, since pretty much everything you and she accused them of didn't happen.

Ed said...

Phil - Yeah they didn't "run" the news until after she was fired but they certainly "taped" the show before she was fired and let it be known to government officials that it was going to be airing shortly.

You are correct that she did make racist remarks and not supposedly as I miswrote. Still, the racist remarks were taken out of context and after listening to the clip, I see nothing newsworthy, UNLESS I have an agenda and want to excerpt the exact part that FNC did.

PhilippinesPhil said...

lol... You've been reading too much Huffington. Fox News BAAAADDDDDD!