President Obama called Shirley Sherrod on Thursday to apologize for her abrupt firing from her post at the Department of Agriculture. Sherrod was forced out of her job on Monday shortly after a right-wing website run by Andrew Breitbart ran a video clip that was deceptively edited to make it appear that she was racist toward white farmers. In an interview on ABC News, Obama accused Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack and the media of rushing to judgment on the video.
President Obama: He jumped the gun, partly because we now live in this media culture where something goes up on YouTube or a blog, and everybody scrambles. And I’ve told my team and I told my agencies that we have to make sure that we’re focusing on doing the right thing instead of what looks to be politically necessary at that very moment. We have to take our time and think these issues through."