Long live the horse’s behind!

How far does freedom of speech go in America? Far enough that you can compare the president to a Horse's behind horse's behind. But not so far that you can call for his untimely death.

The Warren Pennsylvania Times-Observer (http://www.timesobserver.com) published an ad today calling for the assassination of President Barack Obama.

The text of the small classified ad reads, "May Obama follow in the footsteps of Lincoln, Garfield, McKinley and Kennedy!" There is no other text and it has no attribution. [Link]

The newspaper employee who accepted the ad didn't realize the implication, having apparently slept through history class.

A person from Warren placed the ad, which apparently alludes to the wish that President Obama meet an untimely end by linking him with four assassinated presidents. The ad representative didn't make the connection among the four other presidents mentioned and mistakenly allowed the ad to run.

Upon realizing the mistake early Thursday morning, the ad was immediately discontinued and the identity of the person who placed the ad was turned over to Warren City Police as per newspaper policy. The local police department forwarded the information to federal authorities, as per department policy.

The Times Observer apologizes for the oversight. [Link]

I'm confused. Shouldn''t they be apologizing for the lack of oversight?

I wonder what would have happened if the classified ad had read: "May Obama follow in the footsteps of Roosevelt, Coolidge, Harding and Johnson."

A person from Warren placed the ad, which apparently alludes to the wish that President Obama meet an untimely end by linking him with four presidents who suffered heart attacks. The ad representative didn't make the connection among the four other presidents mentioned, mistakenly allowed the ad to run, and is now the former ad representative.

Upon realizing the mistake early Thursday morning, the ad was immediately discontinued and the identity of the person who placed the ad was turned over to Warren City Police as per newspaper policy. The local police department forwarded the information to federal authorities, as per department policy. Federal authorities forwarded the information to the Secret Service, as per federal policy. Secret Service forwarded the information to President Obama, as per Secret Service policy. Obama forwarded the information to his wife, as per Obama policy.

The Times Observer apologizes for the oversight/lack of oversight.

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If you enjoyed this piece, you'll love Melvin's novel Bala Takes the Plunge, available in North America through Amazon.com and McNallyRobinson.com You can also find it at major bookstores in India and Sri Lanka or online at FlipKart, IndiaPlaza, FriendsofBooks or other sites. A number of readers have written reviews of the novel. An excerpt of the novel can be read here.

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