Extensive media coverage of the excerpted videos, various parties' comments, and later corrections when the full story was discovered, exacerbated the affair. The event brought to the forefront current debates regarding racism in the United States, cable news reporting, ideological websites on the internet, and decisions made by President Barack Obama's administration.
The Obama administration apologized to Sherrod, and offered her a full-time, high-level internal advocacy position with the USDA, which she ultimately declined. In 2011, Sherrod initiated a libel lawsuit against Breitbart and co-defendant Larry O'Connor for defamation. Their attorney filed for dismissal two months later on First Amendment grounds. In February 2012, defendants' motion for dismissal under the anti-SLAPP law was denied and subsequently appealed to the U.S. District Court for the D.C. Circuit.