Rachel Maddow went after Fox News Tuesday night for its role in propagating the Shirley Sherrod story, but she also criticized the White House for continuing to fall for the network's stunts.
After showing repeated instance of Fox News anchors pushing the idea that Sherrod was a racist based on an out-of-context excerpt of a speech she gave to the NAACP earlier this year, Maddow laid into the network.
"This is what Fox News does, this is how they are different from other news organizations," Maddow said. "This is why the White House argued months ago that Fox should be treated as a media organization but not as a normal news organization, because they don't treat news the way a normal news organization treats news. Just like the fake ACORN controversy, Fox News knows that it has a role in this dance....
"Fox does what Fox does, that is dog bites man, that is not interesting. What is interesting about this story is that the Obama administration inexplicably keeps falling for it."
Blasting the White House and Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack for requesting Sherrod's resignation based on a false (or at least out-of-context) story, Maddow said:
Dear White House, dear administration: believing conservative spin about what's so wrong with you and then giving into that spin is not an effective defense against that spin. Just buying it and apologizing for it, and doing whatever they want you to do doesn't make the problem of them lying about you go away. In fact, it makes it worse...
The huge tide of negative publicity that followed these video tapes and the coverage they got on Fox wall-to-wall was a dishonest political stunt that bears no resemblance to journalism and no resemblance to the actual facts of what happened. But it worked. Means be damned, in the end it worked.