Can Sherrod sue?
Possibly. If someone purposely distorts a video to cast false aspersions on you, that’s a form of defamation and other tortious conduct that’s probably actionable. As a practical matter, it’s probably difficult to prove damages (if she is offered her job back). Beyond that, Breitbart is claiming it wasn’t him but his “source” who did the editing, and you’d probably have to have a fight over whether he can conceal the source’s identity under some sort of shield law. But there’s little question that she was defamed and injured through wrongful and likely actionable conduct.
I think there could be claims against Breitbart either way because, as I said, I think it was clear even from the video in edited form that she was making the opposite point of the one he claimed she was making. That’s a form of recklessness that could be actionable even if he wasn’t the one who did the editing.
Finally, I think it’d be worth it to sue him just to uncover his “source” who did the editing. “Journalists” are supposed to expose their “sources” if they use the journalist to perpetrate a fraud.
Beyond suing that creep Breitbart- which of course should be done, bankrupt the jackass- this is a great time for the White House to strip Fox of their “media” status, because they aren’t one, not in the sense that the rest of the organizations who fill the press room are. Fox is an advocacy group for the military-industrial complex (if we can steal a phrase from DDE), the top 1% of Americans, and their corrupt enablers in Washington. To allow them the access granted to legitimate news organizations- who are, make no mistake, worthless in terms serving the public interest, is an insult to even the meager standards of journalistic integrity.
Stripping news organization status from Fox would do them no harm, in fact, they would champion it 24/7, since experience shows that pampered, rich white people like nothing better than wrapping themselves in the cloak of victim hood. But it would send a clear signal to the reality-based among us that no, Fox “News” is not legitimate, and there is no reason to allow them to masquerade as such while refusing to believe in the concept of journalistic ethics is absurd.
Fox News has, as we all do, the freedom of speech assured us in our Constitution. No one is saying that Fox News should be outlawed, or banned, or prevented in any way from broadcasting pretty much whatever they want to say.
But we the people are under no obligation to merit them, or their racist, slanderous propaganda any sort of legitimacy. They have the right to exist, just as we have the right to not take them seriously. But we can no longer afford to allow them to be treated as something they are not.