Read this story and just think about the assumptions behind the statement made by a Texas college Republican leader:
Hours after Pennsylvania State Police arrested a 21-year-old Idaho man for allegedly firing a semi-automatic rifle at the White House, the top student official for the College Republicans at the University of Texas tweeted that the idea of assassinating President Obama was “tempting.”
At 2:29 p.m. ET, UT’s Lauren E. Pierce wrote: “Y’all as tempting as it may be, don’t shoot Obama. We need him to go down in history as the WORST president we’ve EVER had! #2012.”
Pierce, the president of the College Republicans at UT Austin, told ABC News the comment was a “joke” and that the “whole [shooting incident] was stupid.” Giggling, she said that an attempted assassination would “only make the situation worse.”
“Insofar as she’s a representative [of the College Republicans], maybe it shouldn’t be said, but she’s made a positive statement in a way, ” said Cassie Wright, the group’s vice president.
“I don’t really see anything wrong with it,” Wright added. “It’s just a personal comment, not representative of any group. Just freedom of speech, you know?”
Public Relations Director Spencer Raley had no comment.
The assumption here is that it is a “given” that it might cross some peoples minds even jokingly that because they don’t like someone who’s a member of another party that they person need to be murdered. It’s the context. The “given”…the assumption...that those who read it will think it’s funny.
On the other hand, tweets like this might generate an offer to host a talk show.
Joe Gandelman is a former fulltime journalist who freelanced in India, Spain, Bangladesh and Cypress writing for publications such as the Christian Science Monitor and Newsweek. He also did radio reports from Madrid for NPR’s All Things Considered. He has worked on two U.S. newspapers and quit the news biz in 1990 to go into entertainment. He also has written for The Week and several online publications, did a column for Cagle Cartoons Syndicate and has appeared on CNN.