When Online Journalism Goes Really Bad

Most of you have already seen the video of former USDA employee Shirley Sherrod "racist" remarks before a NAACP gathering earlier this year. Sherrod was fired as soon as the video came to light by way of the conservative blogger Andrew Beitbert. The problem with the above video is that it was shorten to just show the most controversial bits. Although it has been revealed only after Sherrod was fired that the video didn't show the full explanation of her feelings towards white farmers, Beitbert has yet to apologize.

This brings up questions again about online journalism and the "urgency of now" theory, where the news has to get out first, and accuracy and fairness come later. But I would argue that, while that is a common problem in journalism today, I don't think that was entirely the case here.

My question is why would anyone listen to Beitbert in the first place? He has a history of bad journalism. Please remember he was "allegedly" behind the ACORN video and Sen. Mary Landreau wiretapping controversies. He even admitted he received the Sherrod video unedited and posted it without tracking down the original.

I am sure this will be a hot topic at a certain conference I am attending this week...

BTW, if you want to see the full Sherrod video:



Shh...Reading in Progress: Summer Edition

As usual, here is my quarterly reading list. This time, I'm going old school with all the "recyclables."

Infidel: My Life by Ayaan Hirsi Ali

The Botany of Desire: A Plant's-Eye View of the World by Michael Pollan

Every Light in the House Burnin' by Andrea Levy

Assata: An Autobiography by Assata Shakur and Angela Davis

The Hungered One by Ed Bullins

The No. 1 Ladies Detective Agency, The Good Husband of Zebra Drive and The Miracle at Speedy Motors by Alexander McCall Smith

Black Power: Three Books from Exile: Black Power; The Color Curtain; and White Man, Listen! by Richard Wright

I am sure the list will grow after attending the Harlem Book Fair next week.