Shark-Jumping Anderson Cooper Style

Just before her beatification, Shirley Sherrod jumped the shark.

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On Thursday, CNN’s Anderson Cooper let the embattled former USDA director talk for an hour. Bad idea. It was bad for CNN, bad for viewers, and really bad for Sherrod, who lost her mind on the air. This is what she said:

I think he’d [Andrew Breitbart would] like to get us stuck back in the times of slavery, That’s where I think he’d like to see all black people end up again.

The sad tale gets sadder.

If Anderson Cooper’s purpose was to expose Sherrod as a bitter, racial, crank, then he did yeoman’s work.  In that one hour special of All Shirley, All The Time, Cooper didn’t just knock Sherrod off of her pedestal—a pedestal I helped place her on—he hit her in the head with it. 

But the destruction of Shirley Sherrod was not Cooper’s intent, I’m sure.  He hoped to canonize the woman. It’s a comedy of errors all around. Sherrod’s media performance was so terrible she was banned form the Sunday talk shows. If we ever hear from her again, it will be after intense media coaching from the best the DNC has to offer.  But no coaching or make-up will cover her seething anger toward everything that doesn’t hand her cash.

In the end, Andrew Breitbart—the man who broke the story—got it just about right. He said all along that Sherrod hadn’t gotten past race. 

Jonah Goldberg said Shirley Sherrod owes Breitbart an apology. I agree. But don’t hold your breath.