I awoke yesterday to a very disturbing, in fact horrifying, news report that said President Obama had been assassinated. My first reaction was, as expected, NOOOOO! Then as I investigated further I had to consider the source. It was connected to Fox News.
I am all for Independence Day, let me first say but I have to be honest and say “I am more of a Juneteenth kinda guy”. Nonetheless, as I prepared to do the hot dogs and fireworks thing I found out that an anonymous hacker spent Monday morning breaking into a Fox News Twitter account posting fake reports of a presidential assassination.
The prank tweets, six in total, included gory (and entirely bogus) details: two shots at an Iowa restaurant, hitting the president in the pelvis and neck, etc. Fox News apparently struggled for a few hours to regain control of its Twitter account. In the afternoon, it managed to remove the prank tweets and issued a statement on its Web site saying it “regrets any distress the false tweets may have created.”
Adam Peck, a writer for Think, relayed instant messages he exchanged with a person claiming to represent Script Kiddies in the wee hours of the morning right after the hack. One message said, “Fox News was selected because we figured their security would be just as much of a joke as their reporting.” I do however agree with the statement that the reporting on Fox is a joke but it is not a joke to prank the death of the president. Later, I read a report that said the prank was distasteful. I beg to differ.
The Secret Service said it is launching an investigation, given the graphic and serious contents of the prank tweets. “We are investigating and will be conducting the appropriate follow-up,” said spokesman George Ogilvie. Very good – NO GREAT!!! However, many people today obviously have forgotten the horrible history of assassinations experienced in America’s not too distant past.
I am old enough to remember the horrors resulting from the assassination of the four little black girls in the Birmingham church, Dr. King, the Kennedy’s, Medger Evers, Emmitt Till, the three freedom fighters killed down in Mississippi, and what seemed like an endless stream of murder. The wretchedness of this prank is unconscionable. Therefore, I will take this opportunity to remind you that we are living in trying times and all is not what it seems. We are still in grave danger as a people.
Maybe those who so vehemently despise our president and people who look like him should Google the riots of April 1968 and the aftermath of the King assassination. God forbid such an event should happen but it would spark a similar episode on a global scale.
And that’s my Thought Provoking Perspective!