White House Spokesperson Robert Gibbs told reporters that he apologized for the administration's rush to judgment in the forced resignation of Shirley Sherrod. USDA Secretary Tom Vilsak will also be apologizing to Georgia's first Director of Rural Development and discussing what steps might be taken to rectify the situation.
Sherrod has told reporters that she might not return to the Department of Agriculture.
"Decisions were made on what we knew at that time, the secretary of agriculture made that decision," Gibbs told reporters during a question and answer session broadcast from the White House. "I think everybody has to go back, we will continue to go back over the last 48 hours. How did we not ask the right questions, how did you (the media) not ask the right questions?"
The conservative, tea party website Biggovernment.com lead by activist Andrew Breitbart originally posted the edited video that appeared to show Sherrod saying she "dragged her feet" in helping a White farmer save his land. What the posting did not show was that the story took place 24 years ago and illustrated how Sherrod realized she was wrong in thinking that race should affect the way she helped farmers.
Ironically, Breitbart's post begins with the line "Context is everything."
In posting the original story of the forced resignation, The Skanner News listened to more than just the sentences that conservatives say is proof of her racism. In listening to several more minutes of the speech, it is apparent that Sherrod's words were indeed taken out of context.
Gibbs said this is an example of a "teachable" moment on race. And what exactly did everyone learn? He said that people should not be so quick to rush to judgment in a decision that affects someone's reputation, career and livelihood.
There is no word yet whether Sherrod is planning a lawsuit.
Read the NAACP's remarks after they viewed the entire video.