Thursday, October 16, 2008

One more point about "Springerfication"

I took off on Rev. Wikstrom's post because of his admittedly nifty term, "Springerfication"; but a lot of pundits and bloggers have written much the same thing. Orcinus , in his post "The hate also rises" quotes ""Kill him!" proposed one man in the audience.", and Reverend Gary Kowalski says, "With extremist rhetoric like that directed at the Senator, is it any wonder that the crowds at Republic rallies have recently been yelling “Kill him” and “Off with his head?”". I can understand why they were moved to write what they did- that's pretty horrific.

Except, according to the Secret Service , it never happened.

"Agent Bill Slavoski said he was in the audience, along with an undisclosed number of additional secret service agents and other law enforcement officers and not one heard the comment.
“I was baffled,” he said after reading the report in Wednesday’s Times-Tribune.
He said the agency conducted an investigation Wednesday, after seeing the story, and could not find one person to corroborate the allegation other than Singleton.
Slavoski said more than 20 non-security agents were interviewed Wednesday, from news media to ordinary citizens in attendance at the rally for the Republican vice presidential candidate held at the Riverfront Sports Complex. He said Singleton was the only one to say he heard someone yell “kill him.”"

Of course, the complete lack of corroboration didn't stop the Scranton Times-Tribune from running the story, or ABC, The Associated Press, The Washington Monthly and MSNBC’s Countdown with Keith Olbermann from repeating it. They didn't need corroboration; it fit completely with their mental image of what kind of people Republicans are.

That is why I've been writing against the demonization of your opposition. The ready acceptance of the worst in your opponents leads to the kind of cynicism that causes people to believe all is lost and withdraw from the system. It leads to dark thoughts, despair, and depression. I have come over the years to believe that cynicism is humankind's greatest enemy.


Chalicechick said...

(((Except, according to the Secret Service , it never happened.)))

All you've really shown is that if it did happen in Pennsylvania, the secret service didn't hear it.
The fact that 20 McCain supporters say they didn't hear it doesn't mean much.

Maybe it didn't happen in Pennsylvania, but it sure sounds like it happend in New Mexico:

I'd say "kill him!" and "terrorist!" are quite audible on the tape.

I'm not saying that people don't sometimes hear things incorrectly, but saying "it never happened" seems a little strong.


Joel Monka said...

I stand corrected. It didn't happen in the Palin rally as reported, but evidently it did in a McCain rally.

But McCain's words didn't elicit that response. A lone nut can attach himself to any words, no matter their meaning. Might as well blame the Beatles for the "Helter Skelter" killings, or blame Senator Obama for the vandalism of various Republican headquarters. I'll still stand behind my final paragraph.