Emails Prove Sherrod Axing Too Hasty
Panicked officials didn't wait to get full story
By Rob Quinn,  Newser Staff
Posted Oct 8, 2010 5:49 AM CDT
Ousted Agriculture Department employee Shirley Sherrod listens during a panel discussion at the National Association of Black Journalists Annual Convention.   (AP Photo/Gregory Bull, File)

(Newser) – Obama administration officials didn't bother to get all the facts before forcing Shirley Sherrod out of her Agriculture Department job, internal emails obtained by the Los Angeles Times show. After learning that a video that painted her as a racist had surfaced, officials moved swiftly to can Sherrod in time to beat the news cycle—without having seen the video in its entirety. A senior White House official emailed the USDA to thank them for their "great efforts" in quickly stopping the story from gaining "traction."

Sherrod's apparently racist remarks were later shown to be part of a speech stressing the importance of racist healing. Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack was warned that Sherrod said the remarks were taken out of context and offered to provide a full copy of the speech, but he didn't wait to see it, the emails show. But the emails don't show whether the order to dismiss Sherrod came from the White House, which later apologized to Sherrod. Click here for more on the Shirley Sherrod saga.