Weekly Standard Blog: No One Ever Said ‘Kill Him’ About Obama

Weekly Standard Blog

No One Ever Said ‘Kill Him’ About Obama

A look back at the original language used by Palin at the rally in question makes it nearly impossible for the exclamation to be misunderstood as an attack on Obama unless you happen to be a MSM member just dying to think the worst of the Right.

Here’s the original account from the Washington Post of the Florida rally by Dana Milbank:

“And, according to the New York Times, he was a domestic terrorist and part of a group that, quote, ‘launched a campaign of bombings that would target the Pentagon and our U.S. Capitol,'” she continued. 

“Boooo!” the crowd repeated.

“Kill him!” proposed one man in the audience.


The subject of Palin’s sentence is never in doubt. It’s William Ayers, not Barack Obama. Predictably, the story of the man who allegedly yelled “kill him” about Barack Obama has found its way into an AP story, and then found its way into a thousand iterations of the story of the McCain-Palin rage McCain and Palin are allegedly inciting.

If someone had wanted to yell “kill him” about Obama, he would likely have yelled it in response to Palin’s preceding sentence:

“Now it turns out, one of his earliest supporters is a man named Bill Ayers,” Palin said. 

“Boooo!” said the crowd.


At least then, there would have been a chance it could have been directed at Obama, as both Obama and Ayers are present in Palin’s sentence.

But the liberal media, which has at times ignored and at times applauded as high art the assassination fetishism of the last eight years on the Left, is now projecting it onto all McCain-Palin supporters, using several outbursts and one decidedly misinterpreted “kill him” as their hook.

Best case, they’re betraying a deep misunderstanding of conservatives. In the worst cases, a deep desire to think and broadcast the worst about them, even when it’s unrepresentative or untrue. I was in the McCain-Palin mob yesterday at a rally in Wilmington, N.C., and it was filled with small businessmen fearing an Obama tax increase, Army and Marine wives yelling twice as loud to stand in for their husbands fighting overseas, smiling 20-something women with “Read my lipstick” buttons.

The only nastiness I heard during the day was an outburst, apparently provoked by Obama supporters who wandered into the crowd outside just as I had to leave. I was too far away to hear the exact exchange, so I couldn’t write it up—although clearly such limitations don’t limit the MSMers who repeat the “kill him” myth— but others were closer and able to report on the friendly, tolerant rhetoric of the Left,whose members were calling McCain a “murderer.”

The conservative response, as reported by a local newspaper, was tame, reminding the protesters that McCain had fought for their right to dissent and throwing off a more colorful, “Free speech for freaks.”

Elsewhere, I saw three older men speaking with a gesticulating protester who was ranting about the evils of the two-party system and capitalism and every other lefty canard you could imagine. They patiently listened, tried to teach her a little bit about how the real world works in between her soliloquies, and she remained the only one yelling throughout the entire exchange.

The media will never report about the fringe members and hateful activities of lefty rallies. Upside-down flags at pro-immigration rallies are studiously ignored. Rampant violence, black supremacy messages, anti-Semitism, and anti-Americanism are watercolored in MSM features as the young, sexy, drive of the counter-culture, reignited in a younger generation and pushed to its breaking point by a Republican president and the injustice of war. “Sarah Palin is a ****” t-shirts never become part of a meme about the “angry,” “mob-like” tendencies of Obama supporters.

I get that. But is it too much to ask that, if the media is going to unfairly magnify and broadcast isolated incidents, that the incidents actually have happened?


4 Responses

  1. I think there was confusion from a rally where, when the speaker (Palin? or McCain) mentioned *William Ayers* and what he did, someone actually did say “Kill him” – that was about Ayers, not Obama. I think in these other cases, they are almost entirely talking about Ayers. There are some hotheads in any bunch, so it doesn’t prove a whole lot anyway.

  2. A couple of issues here. I agree it is impossible to say that the “kill him” reference was to Obama due to the context, and the simple fact that only the person who said it knows what its intent was – there is no way of proving otherwise. However, I’d like to point out that this same argument must be applied to the “lipstick on a pig” controversy that was so heavily stirred by the right wing media outlets not long ago. Again, context shows otherwise, and intent is impossible to prove, therefore of no use.

    Also, in regards to the “Palin is a c***” shirts – there are a number of people who have been watching the misogynistic overtones of the campaign season with a very careful eye, and a number of them have recently spoken out on why they will not bring attention to this one. The fact of the matter is, the woman who is now showing up at McCain rallies with her friends wearing these shirts has been selling them since Palin was announced, and there is a very high likelyhood that her rabble-rousing is little more than an attempt to gain major media attention and get some free press to drum up sales. While it is disgusting that anyone would use misogyny and such tasteless remarks to turn a profit, giving it media attention in any way other than to say “look what this person is doing to make a profit…it’s disgusting” does not help the matter. It would, I think, be proper of Sen. Obama to release a statement to that affect, saying the he finds the remarks unacceptable, and finds the profit from such activities even more outrageous. But any further attention will, unfortunately, likely do more benefit to the perpetrator than it will harm, especially since the woman who created the shirts has already invoked the “I am a woman, so this can’t be misogynistic” defense.

  3. […] The Weekly Standard explains that nobody shouted ‘kill him’ about Obama at Palin rally…. […]

  4. Oh, well, if they were just calling for the death of someone *else*, that’s all right then. Dang the liberal media for misreporting that.

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