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April 14, 2004
Hate Speech From the Left

Florida Democrats in St. Petersburg have spent too much time in the fever swamps. They ran an ad in a weekly newspaper calling for the assassination of Donald Rumsfeld, prompting outrage from Republicans and -- to their credit -- demands for an apology from the John Kerry campaign (via Drudge):

The ad, appearing in last Thursday's edition of the Gabber, a weekly paper covering the Pinellas County community of Gulfport, included a lengthy criticism of the Bush administration's handling of the war in Iraq and then singled out Rumsfeld.

"And then there's Rumsfeld who said of Iraq 'We have our good days and our bad days.' We should put this S.O.B. up against a wall and say 'This is one of our bad days,' and pull the trigger," the ad read under a banner "St. Petersburg Democratic Club."

It won't be long before the increasingly irresponsible mouthfoaming coming from what are considered mainstream sources -- such as regional Democratic groups as this -- will inspire real violence against government officials. What if someone had actually gone out yesterday and shot Secretary Rumsfeld? Would the St. Petersburg Democrats Club have run another full-page ad celebrating his murder?

When contacted, the newspaper offered this poor excuse for accepting the ad in the first place:

Ken Reichart, editor and publisher of the Gabber, with a circulation of 13,000, said the club paid $175 for the ad and has advertised in the newspaper periodically for the past two years. He considered not running the ad but chose to publish it because he felt the reference to Rumsfeld was a "figure of speech."

"I didn't get the visual of Ken Steinke, the author of the ad, standing in front of Rumsfeld with an Uzi. I got the picture of the parent saying 'Boy, I want to kill my kid.' It's just a figure of speech."

Judgment like this underscores the reason Steinke runs a small weekly rag instead of anything significant. I doubt this will serve as an entre to a professorship at the Columbia School of Journalism any time soon.

Sphere It Digg! View blog reactions
Posted by Ed Morrissey at April 14, 2004 7:46 AM

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