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Air Assassination By: Ben Johnson
FrontPageMagazine.com | Thursday, April 28, 2005

Frustrated by six years’ of steady reversals at the polls, the hardcore Left decided this week to foment a real coup de état: they want George W. Bush dead.

The Drudge Report has reported left-wing Air America Radio aired a spot on Monday threatening to assassinate President Bush for trying to reform Social Security. Network yacker Randi Rhodes played the following “humorous” radio drop during her afternoon drive show:


A spoiled child is telling us our Social Security isn’t safe anymore, so he is going to fix it for us. Well, here’s your answer, you ungrateful whelp: [audio sound of 4 gunshots being fired.] Just try it, you little bastard. [audio of gun being cocked].


Rhodes then giggled when the spot finished playing. Upon hearing a transcript, White House spokesman Scott McClellan reportedly called the incident “very inappropriate and over the line.”


This Wednesday, Rhodes offered a leftist apology – an expression of regret, all the while denying personal culpability and stating any wrongdoing is dwarfed by the sheer evil embodied by her political opponents [Click here to listen to part of Wednesday’s program.] She said:


If [the Secret Service] had to take two seconds out of their day to look into me, I apologize for that...But where is the apology when [conservatives] threaten judges from the Senate floor or from the House floor? Or where’s the investigation into Ann Coulter’s mouth?


The most recent cover of Time seemed more interested in investigating other parts of Coulter.


Despite Rhodes’ continual disavowal of such humor, this was (at least) her second death threat “joke” in as many years. Last May, Rhodes suggested the solution to the Bush administration could be found in The Godfather: Like Fredo, somebody ought to take him out fishing and [sound of gunfire].” (The network also stated Donald Rumsfeld “ought to be tortured.” Those kidders!)


It seems appropriate that such desperation should issue from the pits of Air America. Last month, the HBO documentary Left of the Dial revealed the network’s utter bankruptcy, morally as well as financially. This ratings disaster has steadily lost market share in its home market of New York City, and even appealing to its core audience’s basest instincts can’t seem to revitalize it. (These are the footsteps Al Gore wants to follow into the media age?)


However, the entire Left has been in a roar for the blood of the American people’s chosen candidate since before his historic re-election. Last fall, Charlie Brooker in the British leftist newspaper Guardian asked, “John Wilkes Booth, Lee Harvey Oswald, John Hinckley Jr. – where are you now that we need you?” As I said last October in my article “Euro-Socialists Say: Assassinate Bush,” so-called “peace activists”:


carried signs spouting such loving slogans as, “Bush is the disease. Death is the cure”; and “We Support Our Troops, When They Shoot their Officers.” These fanatics regularly call Bush the new Hitler – and their more insightful followers may have deduced that no one would have shed a tear if Hitler had been assassinated in 1933. Yet it appears no one on the Left has denounced this call-to-arms.


The most extreme “Clinton-haters,” putatively people such as Coulter and R. Emmett Tyrell, never joked about assassinating the adulterer-in-chief. The media (again) demonized Jesse Helms after quoting him out-of-context in 1994, when he said, “Mr. Clinton better watch out if he comes down here. He better have a bodyguard.” [1] Forget death threats, the Left went ballistic when Rep. Dan Burton called President Clinton a “scumbag” at the height of Zippergate.


The irony is this latest incitement to regicide comes even as leftists (including Rhodes) claim conservatives “openly threaten sitting judges.” The Left has revived the anti-center/right blood libel after Senate Republicans called on the full chamber to do its constitutional duty and hold a floor vote on President Bush’s judicial nominees. Left-wingers desperately wish to bottle these judges up, because the judiciary is the one branch of government where their discredited philosophy still holds sway. (Not coincidentally, it is also the unelected branch.) The threat of “losing” their tenuous grasp on the Supreme Court at some point in the next four years looms menacingly. With the implosion of “mainstream” media, its audience ever eroded by cable networks like Fox News, talk radio, and internet sources like FrontPage Magazine all the traditional institutions of leftist dominance seem crumbling beneath the weight of – choice. (And this is one case in which the Left does not endorse “choice on earth.”) What’s next, an Academic Bill of Rights to pry their death-grip off of academia?


Among those who have commented on Air America’s recently broadcast death wish, most have equated their vitriol with that of “conservative talk radio.” This is an injustice to conservatives, who seem to recognize the few examples of inappropriate behavior from their own media representatives. When MSNBC cancelled Michael Savage’s short-lived TV show after he barked that a homosexual caller should “get AIDS and die,” several conservative writers supported the network’s action. However, NPR political star Nina Totenberg shills on at taxpayer expense, despite the fact that she wished Jesse Helms would contract AIDS and publicly hoped Gen. Jerry Boykin “is not long for this world.”


When not talking about sending the president of the United States a 44-caliber message, the Left is actively committing acts of violence against conservative speakers like David Horowitz, William Kristol, Ann Coulter, and Pat Buchanan. (Following Kristol’s assault at Earlham College, an Indymedia partisan wrote, “If Kristol had got what he deserved, it would not have been a pie.”)


Rhodes did not even offer her apology, such as it was, until two days after faux pas, and then only after the internet brought her under national scrutiny. This gives conservatives additional evidence that the hard-Left places nothing, including human life, above the realization of its political agenda – and that nothing inspires the lamest of leftist apologies except incontrovertible proof and international publicity of malfeasance. As if we needed it.




1. Since it’s so rarely stated, Helms prefaced his oft-quoted statement with a story about a recently defeated Southern sheriff who “had this big fella with him, about 6 foot 7 and 270 pounds. Somebody asked, ‘Who’s that?’ The sheriff answered, ‘Anybody who can’t get more votes than I did better have a bodyguard.’”

Ben Johnson is Managing Editor of FrontPage Magazine and co-author, with David Horowitz, of the book Party of Defeat. He is also the author of the books Teresa Heinz Kerry's Radical Gifts (2009) and 57 Varieties of Radical Causes: Teresa Heinz Kerry's Charitable Giving (2004).

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