National Association of Black Journalists Convention Chair, Elise Durham, was informed by Republican National Committee Chairman Michael Steele's advance team earlier that Michael Steele was canceling his panel discussion scheduled for 4:00 p.m. today because of food poisoning.
The RNC statement reads, "While traveling out West the Chairman came down with a bad case of food poisoning. He is disappointed to miss the opportunity to take part in this valuable dialogue and looks forward to engaging with NABJ in the very near future."
Steele was scheduled to appear at NABJ one day after former USDA Regional Rural Director Shirley Sherrod indicated that she will take legal action against conservative blogger Andrew Breitbart, who she said caused her to lose her job. Sherrod, who appeared before hundreds of journalists at the NABJ Convention yesterday, was forced to resign after Breitbart posted a video excerpt of a speech she gave to the NAACP and accused her being a racist.
Steele is scheduled to appear at a RNC fundraiser with Breitbart in California next month.
When asked by Durham if there was any relationship between his cancellation and the fundraiser, Special Assistant to the Chairman, Joey Smith, said, "We don't comment on our finance events and never have."