Former Agriculture Department official Shirley Sherrod announced Thursday that she intends to sue Andrew Breitbart for posting a misleading video of Sherrod that ended up costing her job.
Sherrod made the announcement at the National Association of Black Journalists conference in San Diego. “I will definitely do it,” she said.
Sherrod lost her job last week after Breitbart posted a clip of a video on one of his conservative sites that appeared to show Sherrod telling an NAACP conference that she did not lend her “full force” in helping a white farmer.
The full video, though, showed Sherrod had actually been speaking about how she had gotten over the racially motivated killing of her father after helping the first white farmer who had solicited her aid.
Before the full video came out, however, Sherrod was fired by the Department of Agriculture over what it thought was a racist remark.
Sherrod has been offered a new job with the department, and the White House has apologized to her, but Sherrod has not yet indicated whether she will take the job.
Sherrod has shown she still has hard feelings against Breitbart, however, accusing him last week of stoking racists to attack her.
“I knew it was racism when it happened to me,” she said.
Sherrod also blamed Fox News, which posted a story on Brietbart’s video on its website, for pushing the story.
“It was not all media. It was Fox,” she said. “I don’t want to be interviewed by Fox. I refuse to be interviewed by Fox.”
Breitbart did not immediately respond to a request for comment. He has not apologized for posting the misleading video, arguing that the incident was “not about Shirley Sherrod” and was instead about the NAACP’s accusation that the tea party has employed “racist tactics.”
“Andrew Breitbart is going to be fine. He’s done nothing wrong,” said Brent Bozell, president of the conservative Media Research Center. “I wonder if Ms. Sherrod, who is such a champion of transparency, will publicly disclose who is putting her up to this. And I also hope this champion of honesty will stop lying about Fox News. I’m also waiting for Ms. Sherrod to publicly apologize for accusing anyone opposed to nationalized health care of being racist. Last time I checked, that was more than half the country.”
Earlier, President Barack Obama called the firing a “bogus controversy.”
“She deserves better than what happened last week,” Obama told the National Urban League. “When a bogus controversy based on selective and deceiving excerpts led to her forced resignation, now, many are to blame for the reaction and overreaction that followed these comments, including my own administration.”