Surely - There is More to Talk About Than Shirley

Real Estate Agent with The Buyers' Counsel

newsSurely - There is More to Talk About Than  Shirley 

For the past few days the air waves and print media have been dominated by a story about former United States Department of Agriculture director, Shirley Sherrod, who was erroneously forced to resign.  

After a heavily edited video of her giving an address in March to an NAACP meeting was posted on a blogger's website a controversy broke out and began to snowball.  In her remarks, Ms. Sherrod described her own attitude when a white farmer sought her help with his farm which was about to be foreclosed on.  Taken completely out of context those remarks were construed to be racist. 

Eventually, the complete, unedited version of the video was aired and showed her true disposition.  But, more importantly, the actual farmer that she helped came forward to speak on her behalf.  As a result, Shirley Sherrod has received numerous apologies from conservative talk show hosts, the people responsible for her job loss as well as President Obama. 

It is great that this miscarriage of judgment has been put to right. However, the incident has completely overtaken the news media at the cost of all other events right now. 

What else is has been happening besides the Shirley controversy? 

On Wednesday, the President signed into law the biggest rewrite of financial regulations since the Great Depression.  This is a two thousand three hundred page bill that actually promises to protect the average American. 

Congress has agreed to create a Consumer financial Protection Bureau that the Federal Reserve will pay for.  It will come at a budget of around five hundred million dollars a year.

Since one of the goals is to prevent home buyers from getting larger loans than they can pay for, this bill could have a direct affect on the housing market.  Some people are of the opinion that this legislation will actually make it harder for individuals to obtain financing.

Following years of banking deregulation, banks are now scheduled to have hundreds of new rules written and tougher enforcement of those that are currently in place.  President Obama has also vowed that there will be no more tax-funded financial bailouts.

This was important legislation that is not really being talked about in the shadow of the Shirley Sherrod story.

Of course, things could be worse.  We could still be focusing on Mel Gibson's rant or Lindsey Lohan's legal problems.

Copyright 2010 "Surely - There is More to Talk About Than Shirley"

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Shelley Rowton
Move To Realty - Austin, TX
ABR, RSPS - (512) 507-5779 MoveToRealty of Austin

All I can really say is "Amen!"  The media really lacks creativity and seems to pick one story to focus on, instead of going out and getting us all of the news.

Jul 22, 2010 09:55 PM #1
Joan Whitebook
BHG The Masiello Group - Nashua, NH
Consumer Focused Real Estate Services

It is amazing what happens in a given day with the news cycle.  It also is amazing to me how people believe that WHATEVER they read on the internet is true.  I see so much garbage... One thing about the internet is vs. traditional publications is that there is not fact checking.... there is not checking on a 2d source... It is published and POOF it is taken as true.  Just because you google it, doesn't mean what you find is fact!

Jul 22, 2010 09:56 PM #2
Bret Nida
Era Teachers Inc - Reston, VA

Very creative title! It got my attention and I laughed out loud!

"Since one of the goals is to prevent home buyers from getting larger loans than they can pay for, this bill could have a direct affect on the housing market.  Some people are of the opinion that this legislation will actually make it harder for individuals to obtain financing"

What your take on this bill? Are you for or against?  

Jul 22, 2010 10:06 PM #3
Nick T Pappas
Assoc. Broker/Broker ABR, CRS, SFR, e-Pro, @Homes Realty Group, Huntsville AL - Huntsville, AL
Madison & Huntsville Alabama Real Estate Resource

Claudette, first of all it amazes me what the news media considers news worthy.  I'm not talking about Shirley, but stories like Lindsey Lohan going into rehab or the continuing Michael Jackson saga or as you also mentioned poor Mel's troubles.  The news seems to be more about sensationalizm and beating us all to death with it.

Jul 22, 2010 10:34 PM #4
Claudette Millette
The Buyers' Counsel - Ashland, MA
Buyer, Broker - Metrowest Mass


You are so right about that. And, this week they are definitely stuck on Shirley.


Absolutely, you cannot just rely on Goggling once.  You have to check several sources to get a true reading on a subject.  Particularly since bloggers and writers often tend to put their own slant on a story.


Glad you liked it.

Since I have only read a few articles on the bill and not the exact wording I can't say for sure what my take is on it. I think we were woefully in need of some regulations being put back into banking.  But, of course, I am a little concerned about any further tightening on credit since it could hurt the housing market. 


Shirley was definitely news worthy - it's just that they are beating that story to death.

The other stories?  I must admit that Mel's rant(s) were pretty outrageous. 



Jul 22, 2010 10:48 PM #5
Jim Hale
Eugene Oregon's Best Home Search Website

Okay -

Let's talk about Charlie Rangel instead. 

Shirley did nothing to warrant calls for her resignation from the President, the Department, the NAACP, the Congressional Black Caucus....or anyone at FOX.

But Rangel has done plenty to warrant his resignation.  Where are all those eager voices on him?  Except at FOX.

Democratic indignation appears to be highly inconsistent, don't you think?



Unfortunately, so does that of the R's.

Jul 23, 2010 06:03 AM #6
Claudette Millette
The Buyers' Counsel - Ashland, MA
Buyer, Broker - Metrowest Mass

Hi, Jim:

I tend not to get into political rants. I know only a little about Charlie Rangel's problems. I have to do more reading on that and I think more will surface in days to come.  However, I hear what you are saying about unfair news coverage. 

Jul 23, 2010 07:12 AM #7
Kathryn Acciari
RE/MAX Professional Associates, with offices in Sturbridge, Charlton, Auburn, Spencer, and Shrewsbury - Sturbridge, MA
Realtor - Sturbridge MA Real Estate

This is a great post, Claudette.  An edited video can create false impressions.  How often do we see edited interviews in the news? Every day.  I'm all for the new bill, but it's unfortunate that Americans can not seem to save themselves from themselves without a 2000-page bill.   "Can I reallly afford this house?  No."  Should be as simple as that.

"And, don't call me Shirley!"


Jul 23, 2010 07:38 AM #8
Craig Rutman
Helping people in transition - Cary, NC
Raleigh, Cary, Apex area Realtor

Personally, I felt that this was a non story that partisan cable news stations used to promote their positions.

Jul 23, 2010 11:46 AM #9
Elizabeth Bolton
RE/MAX Destiny Real Estate Cambridge, MA - Cambridge, MA
Cambridge MA Realtor

Hi Claudette ~ Ha! I thought this was going to be another one of your excellent historical / local interest posts about the town of Shirley.  I actually think this fiasco is very important with all sorts of things to be said about it and learned from it.  Far better that it gets some coverage - though in most cases the coverage is far too superficial - than to have to listen (before I zap it with my clicker) to one more thing about Mel Gibson, Lindsey Lohan, or the most recent car that crashed into a house.


Jul 23, 2010 02:03 PM #10
Claudette Millette
The Buyers' Counsel - Ashland, MA
Buyer, Broker - Metrowest Mass


I certainly hope that this new bill helps some of the problems that we have been having. I agree with you - people should be able to not get in over their heads without a huge piece of legislation forcing them not to.

Surely, you have to be of certain vintage to appreciate the line, "Don't call me Shirley." (I'm glad you got it.)


Partisan is correct - first the conservatives were all over this lady for a perceived insensitivity which was completely blown out of proportion.  Then the administration had to back pedal on the entire firing episode.  However, it really has gone on ad nauseum when other stories of importance are being neglected.


Ah - I could have written about the town of Shirley.  I sold a house there about fifteen years ago.

The Shirley Sherrod story was of significance and it showed how a rush to judgment could have completely ruined a person who has been doing some very good work.  That racial hot button was pushed too quickly.

Hold tightly to the clicker because I think more is coming on Mel & Lindsey.




Jul 23, 2010 10:52 PM #11
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