Former House Speaker Newt Gingrich slammed the Obama administration’s firing of a USDA official today as a panicky response that shows they’re not prepared for the big issues facing the nation.
“If the Obama administration is this afraid of Glenn Beck, how do they deal with the Iranians?” Gingrich asked on “Fox News Sunday.” News accounts this week depicted the firing of USDA official Shirley Sherrod as an effort by the administration to avoid being criticized by Beck.
The quip came during an exchange with former Democratic National Committee Chairman Howard Dean, who accused Fox News of promoting racism.
“Let’s just be blunt about this … I think Fox News did something that was absolutely racist,” Dean charged, referring to the firing of Sherrod after a tape emerged that appeared to show her endorsing the racist treatment of a white farmer.
The opposite turned out to be true – Sherrod helped the white farmer and spoke openly about her own racial issues. She was offered a new job by the Obama administration after the news story turned out to be the sensation of the week.
“Fox News was not blameless during this,” Dean said. “You played it up.”
But host Chris Wallace shot back, “I know facts are inconvenient things, but let’s deal with the facts.” They include that Fox News did not play the clip or mention her name before the Obama administration forced Sherrod on Monday to step down, he said, according to The Hill.
Dean said the clip was about to run on Glenn Beck’s program on Fox, “which is what the administration was afraid of.”