July 29, 2010 4:51 pm ET
by Joe Strupp
Now that Shirley Sherrod has said she plans to sue blogger Andrew Breitbart for posting an edited video of her comments that he claimed indicated racism, the question arises as to whether she has a case.
At least three attorneys experienced in defamation and libel tell Media Matters for America that she could well win.
“Most certainly she does have a case,” said Attorney Deborah Drooz of Brownstein, Hyatt, Farber, Schreck in Los Angeles, which has handled such cases for Martha Stewart and Aretha Franklin. “What Mr. Breitbart did was to create the false appearance that Ms. Sherrod was a racist. He used that to further his conservative agenda. He deprived the viewer of the ability to decide for himself what Ms. Sherrod said.”
Drooz added, “If he knew that this was only an excerpt, he published it with the knowledge that there was something else. To publish something that created the impression without investigating further, that is acting with reckless disregard for the truth.”