Fox News host Glenn Beck blasted White House press secretary Robert Gibbs on his program Wednesday after Gibbs suggested the media is complicit in the firing of Shirley Sherrod from the USDA because racially charged statements that were taken out of context.
In his press briefing Wednesday, Gibbs said: "I think this is a fair way to put it. Members of this administration, members of the media, members of different political factions on both sides of this have all made determinations and judgments without a full set of facts. I think that is — that is wholly and completely accurate. I think, without a doubt, Ms. Sherrod is owed an apology. I would do so, certainly, on behalf of this administration."
Beck's blunt response to Gibbs: "Rob — may I call you Rob, or do you prefer Bobbie? Bobbie, don't try to spread the blame. I didn't fire her. You did. Nobody here at Fox News fired her. You did. Yeah. Without the facts."
When interviewed by CNN Tuesday, Sherrod said the White House had "harassed" her to resign immediately because the controversy was "going to be on Glenn Beck tonight."
The White House has denied involvement, although it said it later approved Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack's decision to pressure Sherrod to resign.
The administration backtracked on Sherrod Wednesday, as it became clear the full context of her remarks appeared to urge racial reconciliation.
Beck suggested on his program Wednesday that the administration is trying to blame Fox News for the Sherrod controversy.
"I keep hearing from the White House and everybody else that Fox News isn't a real news network, it's practically the cartoon network. Really? So then how were you snookered by the cartoon network? … Is it possible maybe you want people to walk away and say, 'See, you can't trust Fox News. It's the Fix News channel. Is it possible?"
Vilsack personally apologized to Sherrod on Wednesday and invited her to return to the Agriculture Department.
She asked for time to consider the offer.
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