Hey, it's been a long day with all this Sherrod stuff.  So let's kick back and enjoy some—unintentional—humor, courtesy Ed Schultz.  On his MSNBC show this evening, Ed advised Dems not to go on Fox News because they'll "beat you up."  Schultz then unleashed a torrent of venom on Andrew Breitbart, saying among—many—other things that Breitbart is a "nutjob" who "makes me sick."

But Schultz began the show by whining because—ready?—Breitbart wouldn't come on Ed's show.

Operator, oh could you help me place this call?
You see the number on the matchbook is old and faded.  Jim Croce, 'Operator,' 1972

The Obama administration, the folks that want to run our health care and who knows how much else of our economy and our lives, can't get a simple phone call through to one of its former officials.

In this afternoon's press conference, White House press secretary Robert Gibbs repeatedly said that the Obama administration, through the person of its Agriculture Secretary, has tried but failed to have a phone conversation with Shirley Sherrod, the USDA official it forced out yesterday.

On Wednesday's Today show, Matt Lauer, Ann Curry and Savannah Guthrie left the impression that Fox News's criticism of Shirley Sherrod was the reason she lost her job at the Agriculture Department, with Lauer, in his interview with Sherrod, charging: "I don't know who to blame here, Miss Sherrod. I mean the, the, the activist who put forward this garbage in the first place has an agenda. We shouldn't be surprised by that. The cable news network that, that played this garbage on and on and talked about it, has an agenda. We shouldn't be surprised by that." But Lauer and NBC News, itself, revealed they have their own agenda, by failing to report, as the MRC's Rich Noyes pointed out, that Fox News didn't mention the Sherrod story until she had already left her job.

However, that didn't stop Curry from claiming, in the 8am half hour news brief, that: "After the video was used to vilify her on Fox television, she lost her job," and Guthrie advancing the NAACP's notion, in her piece, that they had been "snookered" by Fox News.

The following is a complete transcript of Guthrie's set-up piece followed by Lauer's interview with Sherrod as they were aired on the July 21 Today show:

On Wednesday’s Fox & Friends, co-host Steve Doocy took strong exception to the NAACP’s claim it was “snookered” by Fox News into denouncing former Agriculture Department official Shirley Sherrod based on excerpts of a speech she delivered at a dinner in March.

“There’s a timeline problem,” Doocy pointed out, noting that the NAACP had on Monday night denounced Sherrod as “shameful,” the same day that she was pressured to quit her job (she says by the White House). But Fox News never mentioned the story until after Sherrod had quit. “So for anybody to say that Fox News pressured her out, that is simply a lie,” Doocy asserted.

Managing Editor's Note:  Earlier today, Media Research Center President Brent Bozell demanded that the media cover the explosive video footage of an NAACP banquet speaker admitting her racist views and abuse of power that led to her resignation as a Department of Agriculture official yesterday.

The USDA employee that was forced to resign Monday as a result of racist comments she made at an NAACP gathering in March has blamed Fox News and the Tea Party for her inability to convince her employers of her innocence.

As NewsBusters reported Tuesday, Shirley Sherrod, the USDA's Rural Development director for the state of Georgia, delivered a racism-laden address at the NAACP's 20th Annual Freedom Fund Banquet back on March 27.

On CNN's "American Morning" Tuesday, after Sherrod said that the video published by Big Government didn't accurately depict what really happened, host John Roberts asked, "When the U.S. Department of Agriculture came to you and said you have to step down, why didn't you just say, wait a minute, you don't know the full story?"

Sherrod amazingly answered, "I did say that, but they, for some reason, the stuff that Fox and the Tea Party does is scaring the administration" (video follows with transcript and commentary):

On Monday, Andrew Breitbart, on his blog Big Government, revealed video of a Department of Agriculture official making racially charged comments at an NAACP meeting in March. While the media were quick to jump on the civil rights organization accusing the tea party of racism last week, they have failed to provide any coverage of this controversy.

The comments were made by the USDA's Georgia Director of Rural Development Shirley Sherrod at a NAACP Freedom Fund dinner in Georgia on March 27. As the video clearly shows, Sherrod's description of discriminating against white farmers was well received by the audience. The comments stirred so much controversy that Sherrod resigned Monday night and Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack was forced to issue a statement on the matter: "“There is zero tolerance for discrimination at USDA, and I strongly condemn any act of discrimination against any person.”

As NewsBusters' Noel Sheppard earlier reported, none of the network evening news broadcasts touched the story on Monday . On Tuesday, the CBS Early Show, NBC's Today, and ABC's Good Morning America were all silent on the controversy and resignation. However, all three morning shows did manage to focus on a recent verbal gaffe made by Sarah Palin.

It's pretty hard—even for media liberals—to defend a guy in paramilitary duds swinging a billy club outside a polling site, or a government official bragging about having declined to do everything in her power to help someone because of the white color of his skin.  So on today's Morning Joe, Margaret Carlson, Norah O'Donnell and Mike Barnicle were obliged to engage in a modicum of hand-wringing over the incidents.  But once having discharged that duty, the trio set about doing what libs do best: finding ways to minimize the matters and excuse the MSM's failure to cover them.

To be sure, Carlson did call the statement by the USDA official "hateful" and said one should be "ashamed." And Norah O'Donnell and Mike Barnicle agreed with Joe Scarborough that the MSM can fairly be criticized for undercovering these stories.

But then the three started their excuse-a-thon:

Despite all the attention given to last week's National Association for the Advancement of Colored People's resolution against the Tea Party, all three broadcast evening news programs completely ignored Monday's revelations of racist comments made at one of the civil rights organization's meetings in March.

At 8:18 AM Monday, Big Government reported that on March 27, Shirley Sherrod, the USDA's Rural Development director for the state of Georgia, delivered a racism-laden address at the NAACP's 20th Annual Freedom Fund Banquet. 

Here's a taste of what the so-called news divisions at ABC, CBS, and NBC ignored Monday (video follows with partial transcript and commentary):