Van Jones discusses Shirley Sherrod's ousting
“I understand how Shirley Sherrod, the Agriculture Department official who was forced to resign last week, must have felt.”
“But the way we were treated is strikingly similar, and it reveals a lot about the venal nature of Washington politics in the Internet era. In my case, the media rushed to judgment so quickly that I was never able to make clear that the group put my name on its Web site without my permission. The group finally admitted that it never had my signature, but by then it was too late.”
“The victims aren’t just government employees — the public as well is hurt. The imperative to immediately and constantly churn out news on even the most minor bit of controversy leads news organizations, and partisans posing as news organizations, to cross the line from responsible reporting to dangerous rumor-mongering.”
“We have to understand that no one can be defined by a single photograph, open-mike gaffe or sound bite. Not even our greatest leaders could have survived if they had to be taken to task for every poorly conceived utterance or youthful demonstration of immature political views. When it comes to politics in the age of Facebook, the killer app to stop the “gotcha” bullies won’t be a technological one — it will be a wiser, more forgiving culture.”
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