Chuck Todd works for the same network that employs the likes of MSNBC's Rachel Maddow, Chris Matthews and Keith Olbermann, liberal propagandists all, yet it's doubtful Todd would ever call them that, however he did attach that "p" word to one Andrew Breitbart. During a segment, on Friday's Today show, headlined: "White House Distractions, Sherrod Story Lingers with Lawsuit Plans" Todd relayed that the former USDA official is "preparing to file a lawsuit against the conservative propagandist who started this whole mess." After Today co-anchor Ann Curry teased his report, Todd began his story by claiming the Sherrod "mess," was getting in the way of the President promoting his agenda:
CHUCK TODD: Well look the White House would love nothing more than the Shirley Sherrod story to fade into the background. But as the President prepares to head to Michigan today, to highlight the relative health of the American auto industry the Sherrod story still doesn't have an ending. She's yet to give the administration an answer about that new job offer that was made to her and more importantly she's preparing to file a lawsuit against the conservative propagandist who started this whole mess.
The following is Todd's full report as it was aired on the July 30 Today show:
ANN CURRY: Shirley Sherrod, that USDA official who was forced to resign after appearing to make racially charged comments in a video posted online, is now planning to sue the blogger who posted it. NBC's chief White House correspondent Chuck Todd is at the White House with more on this story. Chuck, good morning.
[On screen headline: "White House Distractions, Sherrod Story Lingers With Lawsuit Plans"]
CHUCK TODD: Good morning, Ann. Well look the White House would love nothing more than the Shirley Sherrod story to fade into the background. But as the President prepares to head to Michigan today, to highlight the relative health of the American auto industry the Sherrod story still doesn't have an ending. She's yet to give the administration an answer about that new job offer that was made to her and more importantly she's preparing to file a lawsuit against the conservative propagandist who started this whole mess.
BARACK OBAMA: She deserves better than what happened last week.
TODD: Before a major civil rights group Thursday, President Obama sounded his most conciliatory notes yet about Shirley Sherrod. The USDA official who, in the span of a few days last week, was first forced to resign then offered a new job.
SHIRLEY SHERROD: The first time I was faced with having to help a white farmer save his farm he, he took a long time talking-
TODD: All after comments she made at an NAACP dinner which were edited, then posted on the Internet.
SHERROD: I didn't give him the full force of what I could do.
TODD: On ABC's The View, the President blasted the cable news industry for fueling the story.
OBAMA: A 24/7 media cycle that's always looking for controversy and oftentimes doesn't get to the facts first, generated a phony controversy.
TODD: And in San Diego, during a panel discussion led by NBC's Mara Schiavocampo, Sherrod revealed plans to file a lawsuit against conservative activist Andrew Breitbart, who first posted the edited clips.
SHERROD: He'll definitely hear from me.
MARA SCHIAVOCAMPO: And just to follow up on that there have been reports that you are considering a lawsuit. Have you decided whether you are gonna pursue that action?
SHERROD: I will definitely do it. I will definitely do it.
SCHIAVOCAMPO: So you're definitely going to sue?
SHERROD: I will definitely sue. Yes.
TODD: There is no actual lawsuit yet, and Breitbart won't comment until he sees one. But last week he defended the videos he put out under the heading "NAACP bigotry in their ranks."
ANDREW BREITBART: I think that the clip, as it exists, proved precisely the news point that needed to be made.
TODD: Sherrod was offered her job back or the new job only after the full speech was released, showing she was really telling a story about overcoming her own prejudices.
CHUCK TOBIN, MEDIA ATTORNEY: What he's going to have to show, is that at the time he put it out, he didn't know it was false or he himself didn't edit it into a false or misleading way.
TODD: Sherrod's been one distraction for a White House dealing with several. On Capitol Hill, Thursday, a House panel presented 13 ethics charges against Charlie Rangel, New York's longtime Democratic congressman.
REP. CHARLES RANGEL: And even though they're serious charges, I'm prepared to prove that the only thing I've ever happened in my 50 years of public service is service. That's what I've done.
TODD: And as for the President today, he travels to Michigan. Look, nothing's been tougher for him to sell than the government bailouts. But the bailout of the auto industry may have turned a corner. He's going to factories for Chrysler and GM today, Ford next week to show the American people, he says, that the American auto industry is back, Matt.