Friday, May 29, 2009

When evil meets ignorance

For a killer time, call 723-1400.

That's the way it is in little Warren, Pa., where someone following in the spiritual footsteps of John Wilkes Booth, Charles J. Guiteau, Leon Frank Czolgosz and Lee Harvey Oswald can connect with someone following in the intellectual footsteps of Forrest Gump. Who'd a thunk it?

Probably lots of people . . . but that's not important now.

OBVIOUSLY, 723-1400 is the number for Idiots 'R' Us -- and we all know what great fun the devil can have with a useful idiot. Like getting them to place a personal ad calling for the president's assassination.

Personal ad? You mean 723-1400 is the number for the local. . . .

Yep, the local newspaper. In Warren, I guess The Times Observer is where the village idiot lives, according to
this ABC News report.
A classified ad which ran yesterday in a Pennsylvania newspaper -– which appears to call for the assassination for President Obama -– was pulled today.

The ad, which ran in the classified section of The Warren Times Observer, connects Mr. Obama, the first African-American president, with four previous presidents who have been assassinated and reads, “May Obama follow in the steps of Lincoln, Garfield, McKinley and Kennedy!"


Today, the newspaper issued an apology, calling it an “errant classified personal ad.”

“The ad representative didn't make the connection among the four other presidents mentioned and mistakenly allowed the ad to run,” the newspaper’s statement says. “The Times Observer apologizes for the oversight.”
THAT'S A COSTLY "disconnect." Technically, the northwest Pennsylvania newspaper -- depending upon whether the ad is judged to be a legitimate threat against the president -- could be an accessory to a felony.

Threatening "to take the life of, to kidnap, or to inflict bodily harm upon the President of the United States, the President-elect, the Vice President or other officer next in the order of succession to the office of President of the United States, or the Vice President-elect"
is a violation of the U.S. criminal code.

It's a good thing the
paper's publisher came clean to the Keystone Progress blog . . . after calling the cops. Turn in a wingnut; save your own butt.

Keystone Progress called the Times-Observer for comment and got a return call from John T. Elchert, the paper’s publisher. Mr. Elchert was extremely apologetic and wanted to make it clear that the ad did not reflect the paper’s policy.

“It is unfortunate that it made it to press,” said Elchert. “The person who took the ad didn’t recognize the significance of the names. We cancelled the ad and turned the information over to the authorities.”

Mr. Elchert said that he contacted the local police who were forwarding the information to federal authorities.
THERE'S SOMETHING ELSE Elchert needs to do, though.

Let's assume it's true that "the person who took the ad" really didn't grasp what the thing was getting at. It's disturbing, but probable, that someone could be so mind-numbingly dumb and still get a job somewhere.

And that's what the publisher needs to rectify. Any employee who's ignorant enough to get you in this much trouble (and get you this much bad publicity) shouldn't have been hired in the first place.

Elchert can't undo the damage resulting from what happened on both ends of 723-1400. But he sure as hell can undo the original mistake -- the one who inputted the ad instead of calling the authorities.

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