Politics

Breitbart’s New Conspiracy Theory: The ‘Purported’ Farmer’s Wife Is A Plant

Two white farmers who were supposedly discriminated against by former USDA official Shirley Sherrod spoke out on her behalf yesterday, saying “no way in the world” is she racist.

But last night, the right-wing blogger who instigated this faux controversy questioned the white farmers’ honesty and repeated his false racist charges. In interviews with the Atlanta Journal-Constitution and CNN, the Iron City, GA couple Roger and Eloise Spooner described Sherrod as a “friend for life” and a “good person” who helped save their farm. Speaking with CNN’s John King, right-wing provocateur Andrew Breitbart challenged Eloise Spooner’s “purported” story, accusing King of trusting Sherrod “that the ‘farmer’s wife’ is the farmer’s wife”:

You tell me as a reporter how CNN put on a person today who purported to be the farmer’s wife? What did you do to find out whether or not that was the actual farmer’s wife? I mean, if you’re going to accuse me of a falsehood, tell me where you’ve confirmed that had this incident happened 24 years ago. […]

You’re going off of her word that the farmer’s wife is the farmer’s wife?

Watch it (full interview, part one and part two):

Of course, CNN wasn’t just going off Shirley Sherrod’s word, but also the word of Eloise and Roger Spooner themselves. Just for the record, if the “purported” Spooners are a hoax, they’re a quite involved one:

— Atlanta Journal-Constitution reporter Marcus Garner confirmed to ThinkProgress that the paper independently found Eloise Spooner for her interview.

— Eloise and Roger H. Spooner are listed in the Iron City, GA phone book.

— The Spooners’ 62nd wedding anniversary, according to a blog post of the Owner-Operator Independent Drivers Association, was celebrated at the 2009 Tennessee Truck Show.

— Roger Spooner has been cited in “mainstream” news reports, including a 2002 Associated Press story in the Lexis-Nexis database, claiming to be a “survivor” of the USS Yorktown at anniversaries of the Battle of Midway, which purportedly happened in 1942.

— In a 2009 article, USS Yorktown survivor Roger Spooner claimed to have “discharge papers” from the Navy in his “wallet.”

In his desperation to defend his ugly tactics, Breitbart is resorting to dragging an innocent family’s name through the mud.