The controversy surrounding the firing of U.S. Department of Agriculture official Shirley Sherrod attracted widespread attention from the news media last week and was the dominant story on cable news networks. The public, however, showed modest interest in the Sherrod affair and, as has been the case since early May, the oil leak in the Gulf of Mexico was by far the public's most closely followed news story.
Moreover, as many Americans say the news media gave the Sherrod story too much coverage (34%) as the right amount of coverage (34%); just 22% say the story received too little coverage. Sherrod was fired from her USDA position after a conservative blogger posted edited video of comments she made about race.
Read the full report, Sherrod Case Draws Heavy Coverage, Modest Interest on the Pew Research Center for the People & the Press' Web site.