Monday, September 21, 2009

Preparing for When Someone Shoots at Obama

Secret Service Secrets: Obama Threats Up 400 Percent
A new book by Newsmax Chief Washington Correspondent Ronald Kessler features startling revelations about current and former U.S. presidents, including Barack Obama.

"In the President's Secret Service: Behind the Scenes With Agents in the Line of Fire and the Presidents They Protect," released Tuesday, discloses that threats against the president have increased dramatically — by a staggering 400 percent since Obama entered the White House.

Photos from Tea Parties in Modesto .

I'm quoting NewsMax, a rightwing news source so I can say, "Even the very conservative publication NewsMax admits the increase in threats to President Obama have increased 400 percent over previous Presidents."

I've been thinking about how to organize our media response for the next violent attack directed at one of our political leaders. Sadly nobody is doing this, and someone should, because the right wing has a strategy after every shooting. What is it?

After ever shooting the right wing media people get on the air and say, "Let's not politicize this!" (as they politicize it).

Then they scream, "The Gun Grabbers are going to try and take our guns!"

They will be quick to point out that all their violent rhetoric directed toward liberals and Democrats means nothing and liberals said the exact same thing about Bush! They will pretend that showing up with a weapon at a Presidential appearance is exactly the same as wearing a t-shirt against the war. They will say, "I don't know what Nancy Pelosi is talking about! Swastikas? At the tea parties?" They will just deny the reality of what they said and work to avoid any responsibility.

And mostly the media will buy it. As my friend David Neiwert from Crooks and Liars and Orcinus said in his excellent essay:

And what we know from experience about volatile, unstable actors like them is that they can be readily induced into violent action by hateful rhetoric that demonizes and dehumanizes other people. And thanks to human nature and those same freedoms, we will certainly always have fearmongering demagogues among us. But the purveyors of such profoundly irresponsible rhetoric need to be called on it -- especially when they hold the nation's media megaphones.

Then last Friday Brian Sussman and "Officer Vic" on KSFO were mocking Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi when she got choked up about violent rhetoric. She said:

"We are a free country, and this balance between freedom and safety is one that we have to carefully balance," Pelosi began. Then out of nowhere, startling the reporters gathered at her weekly press conference, she almost instantly teared up as she recalled the unnamed events long ago in San Francisco.
"I saw this, myself, in the late '70s in San Francisco," she said. This kind of rhetoric was very frightening, and it created a climate in which violence took place."

I told Greg Sargent at the Washington Post for me it's not a question of if, but when someone gets off a shot at the President or a high ranking political figure. And at that point the right wing media in all its forms will do what they always do, pretend that they have nothing to do with it. But they will always bear the moral and ethical culpability involved in their irresponsible speech.


Blogger Interrobang said...

One thing certainly seems to be true -- the Left has all the good graphic designers.

11:16 AM  
Blogger Jim said...

Spocko, either people are responsible for their own actions or they are not. You can't say that taking a shot at Obama is a crime if you are unwilling to admit that simply making statements about Obama's abilities, performance or political stance. From your quote from Dave Neiwert "experience about volatile, unstable actors like them " So the theory is to make sure you limit speech as to not upset people who are considered "unstable"? You can't limit speech based on fringes.

4:10 PM  
Blogger (O)CT(O)PUS said...

In Germany, free speech is not unlimited as it is in the USA. One cannot spout anti-Semitic sentiments, deny the Holocaust, or chant Nazi slogans in the streets. A reasonable curtailment considering the historical record.

In the USA, incitement constitutes a reasonable curb on free speech, but there is a steep legal hurdle to overcome in establishing causality.

None of these comments answer Spocko's question. What would I do when the bullets fly? Leave the country, probably. Go to Canada or Europe. I have been giving this serious consideration lately. Yes, that is how cynical and pessimistic I feel about the future stability of this country.

6:09 AM  
Blogger sunny said...

a 400% increase?
-are you sure the same metric is being used for this president as for others? meaning, what constitutes a threat? could it be something as simple as bob from redneckville left a youtube comment: 'obama is an asshole' !!*threat* *threat*!!
-would it surprise you if the obama administration (axelrod, emmanuel and co.) were content with lowering the bar on what is considered a threat so they could magnify the perceived vulnerability of and compassion for the president?
-"how to organize our media response" -- who are you exactly that you organize the media? LOL. that's kind of funny. that doesn't smack of media bias at all. noop.
-who exactly was the last u.s. president who was shot? what party did he belong to again? (-Rrrr)
-should we lock up jodie foster for her indirect role in regan's assassination attempt? true, she didn't ask hinkley to do it, but i suspect if we probe her soul we'd find she wanted reagan dead. ergo, she would have "moral and ethical culpability" as the self-righteous amongst us are so prone to drone on and on about.
-you must admit at some point there is a degree of hypocrisy with regards to how those on the left voiced their objections and anger to the previous presidency. make no mistake: if you are ideologically committed to a party, then you're all a part of the same hypocrisy.
-"the nation's media megaphones."-- you do realize the mainstream television media is ideologically left, yes?
-Swastika's at Tea Parties. You do realize the most frequently photographed obama as Hitler sign was part of the LaRouche Pac, right? (evidence, if you're into that kind of thing: Oh, and Larouche Pac means...uh, well, left-Left.
-Truth of the matter is no one is going to assassinate your precious, and if there are any "redneck" Klan members considering it who are reading this, then let me encourage you not to. Why? because i don't want to see obama's hope face on a guevara-style t-shirt over the next 50 years. he doesn't deserve one. he does not deserve to be lionized as something he isn't, ala Marilyn Monroe, or a symbol of some nebulous promise, ala James Dean. the guy is an inexperienced social liberal with policy ideas more appropriate for another country. wait it out a few years, then elect someone else. in the mean time, clean your sheets and get some more tats.

11:07 AM  
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4:46 PM  
Blogger Metro said...

Sunny, you're so far out to lunch you're not, in fact, in for any meal whatsoever.

I'd fisk your drivel, but it ain't worth it if you have a mind capable of believing that Jodie Foster wanted Reagan Dead and somehow psychicly transmitted that to Hinckley.

You're even crazier if you think that's on the same level as, for example, a WorldNet Daily columnist suggesting a coup.

Hell, assasination plots against Obama have already been foiled. How many US-based GW Bush plots, hatched by "lefties" did the Secret Service foil? In the whole eight years you folks were saddled with the imbecile? One, if we're being charitable.

You're an equivocationalist and a liar, or possibly crazy. You argue in bad faith, and you're precisely why people screaming about "death panels" at the FOX news rallies are taken seriously rather than laughed out of the room.

Because enough of them are stupid, and desperate, and enabled enough to do this sort of thing:

And it's people like you, who claim that it's not really happening, and if it is it isn't serious, and if it is then the Democrats did the same exact thing, who enable these crazies.

12:52 AM  

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