Posted by: sistermom1 | July 22, 2010

Shirley Sherrod

I do not often comment on current events in this blog — what’s the point when so many others already have so much to say?  But given what’s been happening over the past few days, I have to share that I feel like the crazy people are winning.

After spending 25 years as a headhunter/executive recruiter, I have observed and participated in hundreds of back-room discussions about executive hiring/firing decisions.  Most of these have ended up being strong, positive decisions for the corporate entity, and were made giving much respect to the employee/potential hire.  It is very rare that I have ever seen or heard of a decision like the one we have witnessed in recent news coverage of the USDA/Shirley Sherrod controversy.  I won’t sum up the mess here, except to say that anyone who would accept a video clip shown on any Fox station without checking it for its completeness (or at least its veracity) is beyond foolish.  This goes for the viewieng public, the NAACP and the Obama administration staff.

I am deeply sorry about what is going on – it seems grossly inappropriate for us outsiders to be “in” on this type of discussion — it is a discussion that should always be conducted offline – never in full view of anyone, and NEVER in reaction to anything that is so deeply biased and ill–informed as Fox News has consistently proven themselves to be.

What does any of this have to do with me?  At first I thought nothing, but as I hear more and more from various news sources, blogs, and public opinion, I am thinking about the things I have said speaking in front of groups over the years — the things I have said when I felt comfortable and “at home” with groups of people who I thought would “get” me — and what if someone took an edited sample of things that I said to a group like that?  Or worse,  made a hiring/firing decision based on it?  Talk about unfair and unprofessional…  Fox News should be more than ashamed — but I know they won’t be – they will just stay quiet until things die down and they target the next person.  I hope that people remember this — that the NAACP and the Obama administration (and by extension, the American people) got “snookered” by a manipulative, biased and unprincipled “news” organization that does not appear to value factual reporting.  The NAACP and the leadership of the USDA should also be ashamed — and their back-pedalling would be laughable if Shirley Sherrod’s professional reputation were not on the line…

It’s more than a shame that Shirley Sherrod has been targeted in this way.  Being in this kind of position as a senior executive in a major organization is as difficult a position as I could ever imagine.  In this 24-hour news cycle, combined with the intrusive nature of the internet, there is much more out there to be concerned about that may be used against you in a future time.  Sherrod has remained classy and above the fray and I congratulate her on how she is handling this 15 minutes of fame/infamy. 

I never thought I would look forward to Lindsey Lohan’s newsworthiness….


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