At the moment, I’d rather pass my time browsing the Web by searching for stories and photos of Chelsea’s wedding, so ably written up by Ani, but I did run across these stories today and am interested in your reactions:
CNN’s Anderson Cooper has issued an apology for not pressing Shirley Sherrod on her allegations against Andrew Breitbart, the journalist who released the edited tape of Sherrod’s speech. From NewsBusters’ post, “Mea Culpa 360: CNN Anchor Says He Was Wrong to Let Shirley Sherrod Smear of Andrew Breitbart Go Unchallenged.”
On Thursday’s Anderson Cooper 360, anchor Anderson Cooper faulted himself for not pressing Shirley Sherrod when she appeared on the show back on July 22 and claimed that conservative Andrew Breitbart was a “vicious” racist who “would like to get us stuck back in the times of slavery.”
Cooper now says he should have challenged Sherrod to support such an inflammatory charge with facts: “I believe in admitting my mistakes….I didn’t challenge her that night and I should have.” …
This brings back memories. Bad memories. Remember the accusations against all of us who dared criticize Barack Obama and his qualifications to be president? Inevitably — invariably — we’d get slapped with the word “racist.” Which makes intelligent, rational discussion virtually impossible. Just ask Bill Clinton (but not today!).
Here is Cooper’s “mea culpa”:
COOPER: I interviewed Shirley Sherrod last Thursday. And in the course of that interview, I failed to do something that I should have. I believe in admitting my mistakes. I looked at the interview again today, and Ms. Sherrod said during that interview that she thought Mr. Breitbart was a racist. She said, quote, “I think he would like to get us stuck back in the times of slavery.” She went on to say she believed his opposition to President Obama was based on racism. Now, she, of course, is free to believe whatever she wants, but I didn’t challenge her that night and I should have.
I don’t want anyone on my show to get away with saying things which cannot be supported by facts. I should have challenged her on what facts she believes supports that accusation. That’s my job, and I didn’t do it very well in that interview, and I’m sorry about it. If I get a chance to talk to her again, I will.
Newsbusters has posted the video and transcript of the interview.
Then there’s Maxine Waters, about whom Reverend Amy has written recently, who has joined Rep. Charles Rangel in facing ethics charges for, reports the L.A. Times, helping OneUnited Bank get “$12 million in bailout funds” and arranging a meeting “between officials of the bank, other minority-owned financial institutions and Treasury Department representatives.” The problem? Rep. Waters’ husband has been a stockholder, director and member of the board of OneUnited. Here’s the kicker: Maxine is insisting on a trial rather than accept a reprimand. Reports The Hill:
This compounds House Democrats’ troubles because it means that two lawmakers from the caucus, both of whom are also members of the Congressional Black Caucus, could face back-to-back public ethics trials immediately before the midterm elections.
By the way: Democratic lawmakers are going ahead with plans for a big birthday bash for Rep. Charles Rangel, reports The Hill in “Dem leaders, donors to hold Rangel birthday bash at The Plaza“:
Democratic leaders and major party donors plan to hold a lavish 80th birthday gala for Rep. Charles Rangel (D-N.Y.) at The Plaza Hotel in Manhattan next month, despite 13 ethics charges pending against the veteran lawmaker.
Lobbyists and other party donors received invitations this week to join Sens. Charles Schumer (D-N.Y.) and Kirsten Gillibrand (D-N.Y.) and New York Gov. David Paterson (D) at one of New York’s finest hotels to celebrate Rangel’s birthday. …
I’ve heard a lot, too much in fact, about Charlie Rangel’s woes lately. There are a couple points that Charles Krauthammer and others have mentioned that are good to remember: Rangel served his country admirably as a soldier and, despite his many “errors” in his tax reporting, is not a particularly wealthy man, compared to many other members of Congress in Washington, D.C.
Barack Obama? He’s only too eager to get Charlie off the list of issues facing Democrats:
President Obama gave Rangel a nudge toward retirement Friday.
Obama said the ethics charges against Rangel were “very troubling.”
“He’s somebody who’s at the end of his career,” Obama said in a CBS Evening News interview. “I’m sure that what he wants is to be able to end his career with dignity. And my hope is that happens.”
Charlie, if Obama tells you that you’re at “the end” of your career, take the hint.
What else is going on?