Letters to the Editor

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SHOOTING: Stand up to violent commenters

Letter by Adam C. Hoff, Gig Harbor on Jan. 31, 2011 at 11:07 am with 47 Comments »
January 31, 2011 11:07 am

Re: “America must chill the rhetoric of political rage” (editorial, 1-14).

There have been multiple tweets on the Internet wishing death for Sarah Palin: “Ugh! All the wrong people get shot. Why can’t this kind of thing happen at a Sarah Palin event?”

That tweet is the one that definitely bothered me the most. Why would somebody say such a thing? Encouraging people to murder somebody is just as bad as murdering them yourself.

We can’t make such comments illegal due to freedom of speech, but we should find a way to deter people from spreading such hate messages. People must stand up and tell them they are wrong. If enough people verbalize how bad the hate is, maybe the messages will stop. Better yet, if people stop listening eventually the hate messages might stop completely.

I admit, I may not be a fan of President Obama, but that doesn’t mean I want him dead. He is another human, being and no human deserves to die for decisions and actions I might disagree with. This same principle applies for everyone. Chill with the comments.

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Leave a comment Comments → 47
  1. ” Why would somebody say such a thing?”

    I suppose, Adam, because they know they can get away with it.
    It’s perfectly ok for an avowed left winger to joke about a sports celeb ‘knocking up’ the underage daughter of Palin, and then when the obvious is pointed out other avowed leftists excuse it by saying…
    ‘Just to remind the humor-impaired: comedy rarely is inoffensive to all.’ or some other dismissive variation.

  2. Zillahboy says:

    Excellent letter Adam.

  3. A lot of hateful stuff passes for comedy on “the left” as if the comedy is a sufficient mask for stuff that’s every bit as toxic as anything coming straight at us from the right.

    Cloaking garbage in humor works quite well for the unschooled.

  4. No one whine like a rightwing male.

  5. harleyrider1 says:

    As long as we all agree with “who”; as long as we all agree “that” is not hateful; as long as we all agree what’s “the right thing”; etc.

    We live in a Country founded on freedoms. Some of us served in the military; others have served here at home to continue that way of life. Recognize there will always be evil people, angry people, and “you”. Recognize that has always been a fact. Fast, modern communication has brought these singular voices to the forefront. Publicity and the sale of news keeps them there and underlines, perhaps even emphasizes to them that they can be famous by their actions.

    300+million people in our Country are good people. Don’t tell them what they can say. Don’t presume to speak for them. We’re Americans. We can speak for ourselves.

  6. commoncents says:

    Was going to post but Sozo says it all… the “right” and “left” are completely interchangeable. It’s always considered “humor” when it’s coming from OUR side…thing is? It’s really not funny!

    Best thing to do is marginalize those who use such tactics.

  7. sharkie69 says:

    “It’s perfectly ok for an avowed left winger to joke about a sports celeb ‘knocking up’ the underage daughter of Palin”

    Anyone in their right mind knows that the joke was pointed at the previously knocked up daughter that Palin paraded across the country saying “look at me, I’m supermom”

  8. sharkie69 says:

    As long as we have right wingers support Glenn Beck’s statement about choking Michael Moore do death, the Right will never comprehend the error of their ways.

  9. beerBoy says:

    Anyone in their right mind

    Unfortunately, there are more than a few who are Right minded who aren’t in their right minds…..

  10. beerBoy says:

    But yes……threats of violence are not funny – no matter who is the imagined victim.

    And yes, the huge increase in death threats made to President Obama compared to those that were made to President Bush should give pause to those who claim an equivalence to both sides.

  11. whatIdo says:

    Not sure where you get your assertion from B. It would be interesting to know.
    .
    So that makes it ok then, huh sharkie…

  12. rr98411 says:

    “U.S. Secret Service Director Mark Sullivan dismissed published reports that the level of death threats against President Obama are four times greater than typical threat levels against recent presidents — claiming the current volume of threats is comparable to that under George W. Bush and Bill Clinton.

    “It’s not [a] 400 percent [increase],” Sullivan said during a heated exchange with Delegate Eleanor Holmes Norton (D-D.C.), who suggested the service needed additional agents to protect the first African-American president.

    “I’m not sure where that number comes from,” he said, adding that the number of threats against Obama “are the same level as it has been [against] the last two presidents.”…”

    Not claiming any equivalance. Let’s just make sure we all start from the same ballpark…

  13. menopaws says:

    Threats of violence don’t belong in the public venue…….right or left…….I do believe that some political commentators, on both sides, use the inflammatory language to boost their ratings. That is both cynical and dangerous and the networks involved should not allow that kind of behavior…….but, in our capitalist: anything for a buck society–conscience and integrity always come in last……..While I am sorry about threats towards Ms. Palin–she herself needs to temper her language and realize the problems facing this country are NOT all about her……..Phrases like “blood libel” invite the kind of response she received and playing the “victim” is getting real old for me. I raised my daughter to take responsibility for her words and actions and not whine and make excuses. Ms. Palin never seemed to learn that to be treated as an equal, you must behave with the character and dignity required to be taken seriously. You don’t throw out incendiary phrases and then whine when you get an incendiary response. I am sorry it happened but she needs to take some time and reflect on her own language.

  14. Based on your rules of conduct menopaws, our president has not always behaved presidentially when folks have criticized him. Would you agree?
    In that regard, GWB has shown far more maturity than President O.

  15. “While I am sorry about threats towards Ms. Palin–she herself needs to temper her language and realize the problems facing this country are NOT all about her……..Phrases like “blood libel” invite the kind of response she received and playing the “victim” is getting real old for me.”

    you know… it’s probably the way she dresses…

    The question I have is why do people respond to a particular comment she made, instead of commenting on her statement in total. Have you read/heard any comment of the statement in total?

    I just laid one here… which one are you going to focus on?

    Focus on the totally of the statement in context

  16. Pumps his fist “Feels good!”

  17. Not gonna share your source for the false claim you made earlier?

  18. eagle_beak says:

    thank you for your letter Mr. Hoff. i especially agree with the part where you encourage the not listening, to the hate and violent messages. and i also agree that it is a good thing to speak up against that kind of speech when we hear it.

    God bless America and help us keep our country great!

  19. beerBoy says:

    google it – there are many sources. But CNN is one.

  20. beerBoy says:

    Asked about the concerns, Special Agent Edwin Donovan, a Secret Service spokesman, said that though “there is no doubt the protection mission has grown,’’ the agency can still fulfill both its missions.

    http://www.boston.com/news/nation/washington/articles/2009/10/18/secret_service_under_strain_as_leaders_face_more_threats/

  21. beerBoy says:

    The United States Secret Service has just released information that shows a strong correlation between a rise in potential and actual death threats against the president and remarks made by Sarah Palin, John McCain’s former vice presidential running mate.

    http://www.rollingout.com/insiderohome/ro-today/10576-secret-service-connect-sarah-palin-to-death-threats-increase-against-obama.html

  22. beerBoy says:

    According to a new book U.S. President Barack Obama is the target of over 30 potential threats per day. The book also claims the the Secret Service who protects the president and his family are over-stretched and under-resourced.
    Ronald Kessler, the author of the new book “In the President’s Secret Service” says budget cuts are so deep and “culture change” is so pervasive that the Secret Service is putting the President’s life at risk due to agents having to cut so many corners reports

    The Secret Service denies Kessler’s allegations.

    Read more: http://www.digitaljournal.com/article/277160#ixzz1CkqGjcuC

  23. beerBoy says:

    Your “gotcha” moment wasn’t so hotcha…..but that is what you do.

  24. rr98411 says:

    I tend to look at a Congressional report/testimony presented by a Director of an agency as a “source.” CNN as a source is questionable to me but OK, let’s go there…

    The Telegraph article was based on a guy trying to sell a book… does that not give you pause? He made some serious charges against the agency – pencil whipping some training forms… hmmm.

    Your quote of SA Donovan was in reference to “both” its mission of protection and financial investigation. This seem to be the theme of the story:

    “If there were an evaluation of the service’s two missions, it might be determined that it is ineffective . . . to conduct its protection mission and investigate financial crimes,’’ according to a internal report issued in August by the Congressional Research Service.”

    The RollingOut link about a “strong correlation” was not made by the Secret Service but by Stratfor Global Intelligence. The question I have – was it really Sarah Palin or just timing… it was towards the end of October 2008 and the writing on the wall was that it appeared that Obama was going to win. I need to see the Stratfor report, they have a good reputation and I am not sure of the RollingOut writer’s interpretation of the report.

    Keesler – again, he is selling a book…

    Again, just want us all to be in the same ballpark…

  25. Hey bBoy, I am disappointed that you dropped out of another conversation where I provided ample evidence of homicidal commentary directed at Bush, Chenye, et. al. I wasn’t surprised that Judas dropped out because that’s what he does, but I WAS surprised at you.

  26. It was the “healing society” letter on 1/26 bBoy in wich I provided a couple of movie reviews and commentary showing the left-wing taking great pleasure in them; depictions of “heroes” killing villains designed to resemble conservative leaders in the USA.

    Judas insisted there were no liberal columnists/pundits participating in the nastiness and what I provided clearly showed otherwise.

    You kind of copped out by saying it was a long and circuitous response, which I admit it was, but I had to put it all in the proper context.

    Anyway, I really want you to be big enough to acknowledge that the crap that passes for “art” and humor in Hollywood is easily as toxic as that which Limbaugh throws around.

  27. whatIdo says:

    It wasn’t a “gotcha”… it was simply a chance for you to show the rest of us how you apply a dual standard when it comes to ‘facts’ and ‘sources’.

    I only visit the dailykos when it is linked by others
    Submitted by beerBoy on October 21, 2008 – 11:33am.
    How often do you visit the freerepublic? Or the worldnetdaily?

    worldnetdaily?!!?!
    Submitted by beerBoy on October 29, 2008 – 8:30am.
    c’mon now iamjimm – I don’t cite the dailykos nor moveon.org (I don’t even visit their sites) – could you try a little harder to find believable sources?

    How can one attempt to have a rational discussion with individuals who insist upon believing complete fabrications based in fear and hysteria?
    (the huge increase in death threats made to President Obama)

    When there is a Barry Soetoro assasination movie released, get back with us.

  28. beerBoy says:

    Huh?

    The Telegraph, the Boston Globe, CNN.

    How are these sites equivalent to Huffpo, or freerepublic?

    Ronald Borek Kessler is an American journalist and author of 18 non-fiction books. He is chief Washington, D.C. correspondent of the conservative news and commentary website Newsmax.com.

    So….You cite one source who disputes the claims. He is in a position of authority but he also is not disinterested in affecting perceptions about his agency. His quote may be truthful…..but it may not be.

  29. beerBoy says:

    sozo – you will get no argument from me regarding the depraved level of what passes for entertainment in our culture.

  30. beerBoy says:

    When there is a Barry Soetoro assasination movie released, get back with us.

    Citing credible sources about actual death threats don’t impress you but a fiction produced in Europe does…….what a strange little man.

  31. rr98411 says:

    “Huh?”
    Not sure what you are referring to…

    “The Telegraph, the Boston Globe, CNN. How are these sites equivalent to Huffpo, or freerepublic?”
    Again, not too sure where we are going here but my view of the media is less about bias and more about how bad they have become at their job. I have found some good pieces on HuffPo…. Biased… oh yeah but it was actually a good piece from the point of view from the writer. I then go look for other good pieces – well thought out and put together that may contrast the HuffPo piece. Together I get a view of the issue that I hope is well rounded and grounded.

    “Ronald Borek Kessler is an American journalist and author of 18 non-fiction books. He is chief Washington, D.C. correspondent of the conservative news and commentary website Newsmax.com.”
    So what… it falls under the category of “What have you done for me lately, baby” I have seen a writer who is still introduced as a Pulitzer prize winner…. 20 years ago. Most days he is average in his view. Some days he sucks, struggling to provide a point of view consistent with his bias that still makes sense… sorry it doesn’t. A few days, he is really good. The only difference between you (we) and this author is that he chose to research and write a book, we choose to research and write comments in blogs… difference in scale but not in fundamental skill. You put in the time for research and analysis of a subject, follow fundamental rules for sound writting and you too can write a credible article for an established organization.

    “So….You cite one source who disputes the claims. He is in a position of authority but he also is not disinterested in affecting perceptions about his agency.. “
    That one source IS the claim. He is the Director of the agency in question. This author disputes the claims. At this point the Director has more credibility as he can go to jail for lying to Congress. The author just writes a crappy book, loses money and gets laughed at.

    “His quote may be truthful…..but it may not be”
    True, the question is did the author (Keesler) prove the Director a liar?

  32. beerBoy says:

    Your question is anachronistic as the book was written before the Director made his statements. The question is, by his assertions unsupported by any hard data, did the Director prove Keesler to be a liar?

    Keesler may have been incorrect in his assertion but I am not naive enough to assume that he was wrong based solely upon the assertion put forth by one man.

    But, more to the point, even if Keesler’s assertion is proven to be incorrect is is a huge rhetorical leap to make the claim that those who have cited this information that, until recently, had not been challenged are somehow grasping at completely unfounded partisan rumors. As my citations have demonstrated, several reputable news organizations accepted this assertion as factual.

  33. JudasEscargot says:

    “sozo says:
    February 1, 2011 at 5:25 pm
    Hey bBoy, I am disappointed that you dropped out of another conversation where I provided ample evidence of homicidal commentary directed at Bush, Chenye, et. al. I wasn’t surprised that Judas dropped out because that’s what he does, but I WAS surprised at you. ”

    some of us have a job to do, sozo

  34. JudasEscargot says:

    “When there is a Barry Soetoro assasination movie released, get back with us.”

    I’m sure it wouldn’t sell, other than to people that think our president was born in Kenya.

    As to the assasignation film about Bush – it was made in Europe. Complain about the right source.

  35. JudasEscargot says:

    “Ronald Borek Kessler is an American journalist and author of 18 non-fiction books. He is chief Washington, D.C. correspondent of the conservative news and commentary website Newsmax.com.”

    Just so that I’m sure….isn’t Newmax the media that bought thousands of Palin’s book and gave them away with subscriptions?

  36. rr98411 says:

    “As my citations have demonstrated, several reputable news organizations accepted this assertion as factual.”

    Factual… actually they don’t. They tend to use the classic disclaimer “Some say…” “It is being reported that….” “A new book (report, study) claims that….”

    “The Secret Service sucks eggs” so says the author of a new book titled “Rotten Eggs, Limp Bacon, Soggy Toast and the Secret Service”

    “BeerBoy questions the validity of The Telegraph, Boston Globe and CNN, so says a posting on the preeminent Tacoma News Tribune world renowned opinion blog…. film at eleven…”

    See, I can do it too…. it’s fun twisting words and manipulating the masses… yeah me!

  37. Judas – I sometimes forget to post the obvious so, thanks for reminding sozo that I do have a life outside of this virtual community.

  38. Now now bBoy, you have ample time to address whatever you feel like addressing on this site, as does Judas. You can use your “job” as an excuse if you like, but the number of posts on these threads from both of you illustrates my point.

    Besides isn’t what you do for a living and what you do here all about the same?

  39. beerBoy says:

    sozo – I apologize if you somehow feel neglected by me. I’m assuming that that is where the snarky response is coming from.

    This platform is not the most user-friendly. There is no easy way to track discussions – unlike other sites where one receives notification when one has responses to posts – to assume that you, or anyone else, has not received a response has to be due to willful neglect rather than just not being on the internet at that time or not checking thoroughly all of the various threads that one has commented upon seems like a cheap trick to try to “win” an argument by claiming that the other person is chickening out. This is a tactic that isn’t any less distasteful when I see folks from the left do it as when I see the right do it.

  40. I hear you bBoy, and as I said, I was merely disappointed, not feeling neglected.

    I know there are certain people who will walk away when they get what they demanded and have no response, but that is not normally your style.

    I read and give serious thought to your posts most of the time unless you happen to be in a “snarky” place.

    It was Judas who asked for the stuff I provided and never returned to check it out. He had to “work.”

  41. “several reputable news organizations accepted this assertion as factual.”

    Kooky, “several reputable news organizations accepted” Dan Rather’s fraudulent story “as factual” too.

  42. “actual death threats” (as if there were none before ‘Him’), and in light of the left hyperbolically claiming hateful, violence inciting rhetoric from the right, makes your dismissal of an assaination movie of a sitting president… well… “willfully ignorant”.

    “The pot keeps seeing his reflection in all the shiny kettles…… ” B

  43. Wow whatyoudo……you really have a burr in your saddle today. It seems you systematically went to every thread that I have commented on to write something snarky in response – even if it didn’t really related to what I wrote.

  44. whatIdo says:

    LOL… “systematically” . You sound paranoid. “every”?

    I happen to find this forum quite simple to navigate.
    In fact, with only being able to spend a little time here I save the thread address to a word document named by the date (usually encompassing several days). I simply put the cursor over the formatted link, hold control, and left click.

  45. beerBoy says:

    A: What is the modus operandi of an obsessed cyberstalker?

  46. whatIdo says:

    You’re such a paranoid victim.

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