I just want to say I am sympathetic concerning Mrs. Shirley Sherrod and the firestorm she found herself in this week. This is a woman who was fired when her bosses didn't believe her and didn't bother to look at the entire speech she had given back in the spring before condemning her.
The entire episode made me cringe. Here is a woman who found her reputation and career trashed by an edited version of a snippet of a speech she gave in the spring about her own epiphany about helping other people.
When the speech in its entirety finally got to the airwaves and there was a boat load of apologizing going on, I kept hearing the voices of my journalism instructors in my head. From the time I was in junior high to my college days, each one of my instructors and advisors said a news reporter reports the facts and the news story isn't reported until all the facts have been checked and re-checked. A reporter reports and the reader has to make a decision based on the facts.
I wonder what the instructors, rest their souls, would think now with the 24/7 news. I wonder what they would think about the mishmash of news, editorials, features all being wrapped up into a 30 second sound byte or internet news blip.
Perhaps a lesson that was reinforced for me this week is to research and read multiple sources and don't believe everything that is posted as the gospel truth. It reinforces for me that there are still people in this world that will go to any extreme to get their 'truth' out regards of who it tramples and there are people who buy into the trash without checking out the facts.
Mrs. Sherrod seemed to have a strength and dignity in each of the interviews I watched despite everything that had transpired. I hope she is able to find some semblance of peace in her career and private life. But this is one of those stories that will continue to be spoken and written about for quite awhile.