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Talking points: Secret Service investigates Facebook poll – updated

UPDATE: The investigation finished, and a kid was behind the poll.

ORIGINAL ENTRY: This headline caught my attention this morning: “Secret Service probing Facebook poll on Obama.” Here’s the first paragraph:

WASHINGTON (AP) — The U.S. Secret Service is investigating an online survey that asked whether people thought President Barack Obama should be assassinated, officials said Monday.

What do you think: Is this poll question OK? Offensive? Should it have been reviewed? Is it worthy of investigating as a threat?


Responses to "Talking points: Secret Service investigates Facebook poll – updated"

Heather says:

OF COURSE it’s offensive and worth investigating. No matter what your political leanings are, talk of assassinating a U.S. president is not okay.

Mike Oz says:


marcel says:

I have to agree with the lovely, Heather.

Stephen says:

Good question, Kathy. I wonder if the first amendment comes into play?

I’m always against any discussion of such kind. Much as I wanted to punch President George Dubya Bush in the mouth, talk of assassination is never called for…heck, I make sure to still call him ‘President’ even tho I hated the guy.

There’s no call for such talk, such surveys, or even throwing shoes at someone who holds such an office.

But it will be interesting to see what comes of this.

S. Ryan says:

Doesn’t strike me as bright but merely asking a question I don’t think is against the law. Nobody is making a threat, at least as the question is posed.

Whether the people that answer ‘Yes’ have intent to go through with their ‘vote’ is another matter.

That’s probably what is under investigation.

Abel E. Jimenez says:

This is not to be commended whatsoever, on the flip side don’t forget there was a book called HOW TO ASSASSINATE GEORGE W. BUSH. This just goes with the territory on being the leader of the free world. The only thing I get a kick out of is the outrage by the same groups who condoned the book on how to off Mr. Bush.

kevikev says:

This is pretty lame. I hate all that other junk on facebook anyways…like farmville, what dog do you resemble, yada, yada, yada.

The person who started this one should get pimp slapped!

Lindsey says:

Whether that was supposed to be a joke or not, that is incredibly offensive. I think it’s worth investigating. Just a thought…it may not be against the law, but if you’re seriously trying to poll people into seeing if anyone dare assassinate the President, maybe it would serve you better to join the Secret Service rather than have them investigate you.

Donald Munro says:

This is quite possibly the most asinine comment ever left in the history of the Beehive. How you managed to work George W. Bush into the discussion is beyond me.

Jeff says:

Seems like a good way for the FBI to set up a watch list. We can’t stop people thinking about it. We can’t stop them talking about it. We can sure watch them more closely once they answer the poll.

Chris Brown says:

Its a shame of what this country have come to god bless us all and may the lord protect us..

Kristin says:

You gotta admit though, the video of the shoe throwing was pretty funny. I think I watched it on repeat like a million times, and laughed my ass off.

*clears throat* But, of course, you’re right, totally uncalled for.

George (Duke) says:

I cant stand OBAMA but this kind of crap is not cool. Besides….to quote the KINKS “Who’ll Be the Next In Line”…Biden and then Pelosi…Gawd help us.

Mr. Incognito says:

It’s America… The world is cut into many little white and black pieces, Christian and Muslim!

Dislike, dislike, dislike…

Stephen says:

Donald, are you serious?

I actually think this is a fair and balanced comment.

If there’s actually a book by that title and the Secret Service didn’t investigate that, what impetus would they have to investigate this, a facebook poll.

Sorry, but I agree with Abel’s comment and think it absolutely has merit in this discussion.

Chris R says:

After spending a fair amount of time in discussion groups, I forget sometimes that there are normal conservatives out there. (quite a few crazy dems I might add).

Who would be so stupid to post something like this?

Dave says:

Didn’t seem to draw too much (if any) attention when Bush was president. Can you spell HYPOCRITES???? If it was ok for Bush, it should be ok for Obama.

Renee Westa-Lusk says:

I absolutely agree with the Secret Service’s Investigation of any type of comments or actions that could be a threat to a U.S. President. The Secret Service’s number one job is to protect our President and other U.S. elected officials.

It is unconscionable for any media outlet to resort to such low standards to increase participation by their readership.

Donald Munro says:

Stephen, here’s why I think Mr. Jimenez’s comment was asinine: He immediately injected partisanship into a discussion about presidential assassination. A frustrating thing about the Internet is the way that half-truths and inaccuracies get replicated and transmitted. You do it yourself with your own comment. Mr. Jimenez never said that the Secret Service didn’t investigate a book with the title “How to Assassinate George W. Bush.” (Do you honestly think that the Secret Service would NOT have looked into such a title?) When you restated Jimenez’s position, you added your own assumption. You read the item quickly, you pontificated quickly, and, bingo, you introduced another inaccuracy into the discussion.

By the way, I made a perfunctory Google/Bing search and found absolutely no mention of a book titled “How to Assassinate George W. Bush.” What I did find was a 2004 novel titled “Checkpoint” by Nicholson Baker in which a fictional character advocated killing the president — and who was attempted to be dissuaded from this act by another character. It was a controversial book, yes, but it certainly didn’t have the same title or subject matter implied by Mr. Jimenez. And, like I said, a published work such as this certainly would have drawn the attention of the Secret Service.

An interesting side note: Another Beehive commenter got onto the partisan bandwagon, too. Dave writes: “Didn’t seem to draw too much (if any) attention when Bush was president. Can you spell HYPOCRITES???? If it was ok for Bush, it should be ok for Obama.” Stephen, do you think that comment “absolutely has merit in this discussion” as well?

Donald Munro says:

OK, mdub, good find on the book title. I’d argue that it’s obviously a work of political satire, but that doesn’t really matter — the issue is why Mr. Jimenez felt he had to bring up Bush in the first place, thereby injecting partisanship into the whole discussion.

wet towel says:

What has to be considered is, we’re at a different time of social history.

We now have an African American President.
-some folks hate him just for that.

-That has gotten severely turbo-charged by the fact that we’re in an era AFTER an administration that successfully welded ‘Republican/Christan/White/Conservative’ together, and,
-now that we have two factors removed from that alchemy (Rep/White)
–the last two (even if Obama was a conservative) are also being painted as ‘no longer happening / under threat / in need of restoration.’

—It’s been so deeply ingrained as ‘the only decent govt. was what Bush signified’ (something he rode on for 8 years, –and his father prior,) and how THAT’s now a religious standard (rooted in untouchable illogic,) which makes it worse.

A president like Obama, simply based upon his race, really is at higher risk than someone who would ‘continue’ the trend of the previous administrations,(without the programming of the previous adminstration.)

People on both sides have backed off of ‘reason,’ are embracing an increasing fury, –and very little of it deals with fact,
(or even ‘sound’ religious understanding, for that matter.)

So you can’t look at our present presidency and say
‘…well, folks said stuff about Bush, and nobody freaked out.’

We’re in a much different (and honestly) unstable world now,
-and will be for some time.

mdub420 says:

I found something on the ‘net. A book titled “The Assassination of George W. Bush: A Love Story” and a movie made by the British called “Death of a President”.

The book is about a secret service agent in love with Laura Bush who ultimately conjures up an idea that saving the world, and possibly himself, would be to kill George Bush.

The movie is about Bush being assassinated by a suspect terrorist and Dick Cheney takes over to push his agenda of going after Al Queda and legalizing the Patriot Act, possibly to inflict pain and misery on all the citizens of the US.

Donald, calm down. Politics is nothing to get all crazy about. Obama and congress do not care about you, Abel, Stephen, Dave, or the Beehive. They care about money and power. That goes for both Repubs and Democrats. There’s no reason to go after Abel and call his comment asinine. we all should get together and have a big group hug. leave the politics to the soulless people. we are better than that here at the beehive. can i get an amen!!!!

edhawke says:

Another sad thing, and a holdover from the Bush Admin, is that these searches to find the title of a book probably triggered Patriot Act inquiries of their own. If the NSA hasn’t stopped the surveillance.

Rod says:

Stephen you are a bonehead, that’s right a bonehead, and maybe a relative. Doesn’t mean I’m a bonehead….I didn’t vote for Obamacide. Donald was right about how liberals always seem to fit Bush into any subject matter because he is sooooo loved. Anyone who creates a poll on yay or nay on assasination of anyone is criminal.