Dana Milbank and a bunch of others have made a whole lot of stew out of one oyster — that someone at a rally shouted “kill him” about, variously Barack Obama or William Ayers. The story has been whipped up pretty good: there have been supposedly-serious suggestions that Palin and McCain could be prosecuted for incitement to violence, and a rididculous hoard of other people followed it up.
The only problem? It was a bad oyster to start with.
SCRANTON – The agent in charge of the Secret Service field office in Scranton said allegations that someone yelled “kill him” when presidential hopeful Barack Obama’s name was mentioned during Tuesday’s Sarah Palin rally are unfounded.
The Scranton Times-Tribune first reported the alleged incident on its Web site Tuesday and then again in its print edition Wednesday. The first story, written by reporter David Singleton, appeared with allegations that while congressional candidate Chris Hackett was addressing the crowd and mentioned Obama’s name a man in the audience shouted “kill him.”
News organizations including ABC, The Associated Press, The Washington Monthly and MSNBC’s Countdown with Keith Olbermann reported the claim, with most attributing the allegations to the Times-Tribune story.
Agent Bill Slavoski said he was in the audience, along with an undisclosed number of additional secret service agents and other law enforcement officers and not one heard the comment.
“I was baffled,” he said after reading the report in Wednesday’s Times-Tribune.
He said the agency conducted an investigation Wednesday, after seeing the story, and could not find one person to corroborate the allegation other than Singleton.
In other news, while we hear about violent Republicans that can’t be found, there are a number of violent threats and attacks that we don’t seem to hear much about.