Friday, May 23, 2008

Assassination Fever

2nd update: As I mentioned earlier, below, as someone who routinely mixes up words in speech, I'm somewhat forgiving when people say the wrong thing, even with the Obama-Osama stuff. It's odd that certain networks seem inclined to have on people who commit this error more frequently. But how is this an error? And doesn't suggesting that the killing of a presidential candidate would be a good thing enough to bring a visit from the Secret Service?

Earlier: Would everyone--ex-presidential candidates, newspapers, etc. STOP it with the Barack Obama and assassination-by-gun comments and "artwork"?

What was Mike Huckabee trying to say? His apology doesn't explain it at all and no one appears to have asked him, at last at this statement:

It seems legit, to me, to report on fears that are circulating about Obama's safety--some of the liberal political web sites I read were angry when The New York Times wrote about it a while back but it's reality. People are worried about his safety, just as many people feared for Ted Kennedy's safety when he still aspired to be president. (Not to mention that disgusting radio guy who played music from the Dead Kennedys in the background of news about Ted's cancer.)

And there's a nugget of newsworthiness in the story from the weekly linked above that reports on investigations of nutjobs who are making increasing noise about what they'd like to see happen to Obama. Seems to me that now is the time to err on the side of caution and stop going for the "edgy" art at the expense of common @#@# sense.

UPDATE. Didn't we just agree to say nothing further about assassinations? Really, now, Hillary. There are times when the prize is not worth the diminution of the person. So many times, what she or her underlings have said on the campaign trail have often almost made sense at the same time they've managed to offend. (And I could see myself blurting out something akin to what she said, under the circumstances, meaning to stress the timetable.) But, really? Is that what was going on here? Obama fans see a pattern. Given the other assassination-comment miscues or not-miscues during this campaign, it's tough to see how a professional, seasoned candidate would want to mention RFK's murder. Anyone alive at the time must certainly remember the horror and the sick feeling, the dread, that accompanied the news of his shooting. Not another. Not JFK and then Dr. King and then Bobby. Greg Mitchell writes about watching RFK's last speech and then realizing something was horribly wrong before hearing the news that Kennedy had been shot. (My own memory is of waking up to a clock-radio alarm, getting ready for school and wondering why people were talking about Kennedy being shot, thinking they were talking about JFK. And then discovering the sickening, crushing news that there'd been yet another assassination attempt.)

It is not something to be used as a signpost on a campaign trail.

As a marbled-mouthed person, I tend to be inclined to forgive a lot of goofy things said on the marathon we call a campaign. And I have complained, professionally and privately, about the obvious sexism that has infected some political coverage. But there are limits, a point where things said can no longer be seen as just mistakes.

Oh, and here's a vaguely related link, a look at how the
fake "Obama is a Muslim" garbage got started. Hint, it's not because a bunch of ignorant voters were sittin' around the kitchen table and came up with it. Think Swift Boat types.

And, just for the record, in the primary I did not vote for Obama. Or Hillary.

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