Conffederate
Confederate

August 07, 2008

Selective Editing?

A man has be arrested for making threats against Barack Obama.

Notice any difference in how the story is told, however?

CNN's version:

A man is being held in Florida on charges he threatened to assassinate Democratic presidential candidate Barack Obama, according to court documents.

An affidavit filed by a Secret Service agent in U.S. District Court claims that Raymond Hunter Geisel, of Marathon, Florida, threatened to "kill, kidnap and cause bodily harm upon a major candidate for president of the United States, that is, Senator Barack Obama."

The affidavit says Geisel made the threats while attending a bail bondsman training class in Miami.

During an interview with the Secret Service, Geisel denied threatening Obama, but told agents that "if he wanted to kill Senator Obama he would simply shoot him with a sniper rifle."

He later said that comment was a joke, the agent said in the document.

AP's version:

A man who authorities said was keeping weapons and military-style gear in his hotel room and car appeared in court Thursday on charges he threatened to assassinate Democratic presidential candidate Barack Obama.

Raymond Hunter Geisel, 22, was arrested by the Secret Service on Saturday in Miami and was ordered held at Miami's downtown detention center without bail Thursday by a federal magistrate.

A Secret Service affidavit charges that Geisel made the threat during a training class for bail bondsmen in Miami in late July. According to someone else in the 48-member class, Geisel allegedly referred to Obama with a racial epithet and continued, "If he gets elected, I'll assassinate him myself."

Obama was most recently in Florida on Aug. 1-2 but did not visit the South Florida area.

Another person in the class quoted Geisel as saying that "he hated George W. Bush and that he wanted to put a bullet in the president's head," according to the Secret Service.

Geisel denied in a written statement to a Secret Service agent that he ever made those threats, and the documents don't indicate that he ever took steps to carry out any assassination. He was charged only with threatening Obama, the presumptive Democratic nominee, but not for any threat against President Bush.

Geisel's court-appointed attorney declined comment.

In the interview with a Secret Service agent, Geisel said "if he wanted to kill Senator Obama he simply would shoot him with a sniper rifle, but then he claimed that he was just joking," according to court documents.

A search of Geisel's 1998 Ford Explorer and hotel room in Miami uncovered a loaded 9mm handgun, knives, dozens of rounds of ammunition including armor-piercing types, body armor, military-style fatigues and a machete. The SUV was wired with flashing red and yellow emergency lights.

Geisel told the Secret Service he was originally from Bangor, Maine, and had been living recently in a houseboat in the Florida Keys town of Marathon, according to court documents. He said he used the handgun for training for the bail bondsman class, had the knives for protection and used the machete to cut brush in Maine.

In the affidavit, the Secret Service said Geisel told agents that he suffered from psychiatric problems including post-traumatic stress disorder, but he couldn't provide the names of any facilities where he sought treatment.

Sorry, AP, I don't want to get sued, but need the whole thing for comparative purposes.

The suspect also hated President Bush and is quoted as wanting to put a bullet in his head, so he's an equal opportunity assassination fantasist.

Why CNN didn't think that detail was newsworthy?

CBS 4's hack editing job was even worse, cutting the Bush reference out of the middle of the story but overlooking the reference in the last line:

Federal authorities in Florida are holding a man accused of threatening to assassinate Democratic presidential candidate Barack Obama.

The man, Raymond Hunter Geisel, was ordered held without bail at a Thursday court hearing.

The Secret Service says Geisel made the threat while training to be a bail bondsman in Miami in late July. A search of Geisel's SUV and hotel room uncovered a loaded handgun, knives, dozens of rounds on ammunition, boy armor, and a machete. The SUV was also wired with emergency lights.

Geisel claims he's originally from Bangor, Maine. He said he made no threat against either Obama or the president.

I can only speculate as to why the media would remove the threat against Bush in these accounts. Is it because it is harder to portray Obama as the victim when he isn't the only one threatened, or just harder to sell the meme that the offender is probably a murderous racist when he threatens a white president as well?

Update: Updated to include AP's story. Will remove it if they ask.

Update: Interesting. After two hours of commenters blaming ignorant/racists/morons/Republicans/Hillary Clinton fans/Southerners/rednecks/anti-black/Fox News/Rush Limbaugh and white people in general, CNN shut down comments on their story at 6:45 PM, just two minutes after "hollowpoint" posted:

While he wasn't arrested for it, the racist nutjob also said that he'd like to put a bullet in Bush's headů yet CNN doesn't feel that was relevent enough to include on their blog story? The extra two sentences would've taken up too many bytes?

Or was it that CNN wanted to portray the nutjob in question as a "typical" right wing racist who wanted to kill Obama? Letting your partisan mask slip a bit are you, CNN?

Given the nature of this election, don't even try to make the excuse that it wasn't relevant, or that the story as presented doesn't create a false impression of the man arrested.

Sometime later—perhaps the 8:19PM update now showing—CNN finally posted the entire story, including the threats made by the suspect against President Bush.

After 3-4 hours of letting half-truths percolate to establish the narrative, CNN then they filled in the rest of the story, after the damage was done.

They could have posted the correct story, the entire story, before 4:00 PM. CNN posted only part of the story, allowing paranoia, biases, and dark fantasies to fester. All of these raging emotions would have been muted, if not eliminated, if it was revealed what CNN know for the beginning, which was the fact that Bush was also a target of Geisel's rage.

CNN significantly altered a story to play upon people's fears.

That cannot lightly be excused.

Update: Curiouser and curiouser... you can still access the original URL of the CNN story at:
http://politicalticker.blogs.cnn.com/2008/08/07/breaking-man-held-for-obama-assassination-threat/

Interestingly enough, however, if you go to the CNN Political Ticker and scroll down, the exact same story now has this URL:

http://politicalticker.blogs.cnn.com/2008/08/08/new-details-man-held-for-alleged-obama-assassination-threat/

Perhaps most telling however, is that all the comments associated from the previous story—the racially-tinged, poltically motivated anger they helped generate with their selective editing"have not been ported over to the new URL.

The whitewash continues... and then gets worse.

Posted by Confederate Yankee at August 7, 2008 04:00 PM
Comments

So is it just me, but I'm not worried that he has knives, a loaded gun, a bullet proof vest, or ammo... anyone catch that yeah he was in a bail bondsman class- have you ever watched or heard what they have to deal with in a day? All of that stuff is needed! It's interesting to see that you can be arrested purely on someone elses word. So what if a crazy X-girlfriend makes something like that up? Do you get questioned and tried? I don't know how many leftists I've seen write worse threats on-line and never have any issues... Hope the truth of the matter comes out.

I also hope we find out just why the media was only referencing the threat to Obama, when a threat to a sitting president is worse in my opinion. There is a difference between a candidate and the actual thing when it comes to importance to me.

Posted by: Scott at August 7, 2008 04:47 PM

Hmm...could it be that the only reference to President Bush was a quote from someone else in the class? That he was only charged with threatening Sen. Obama, and no charges were brought against him about threatening President Bush?

If the liberal media were trying to make someone out to be a racist monster, wouldn't the news outlets have included "Geisel allegedly referred to Obama with a racial epithet and continued, "If he gets elected, I'll assassinate him myself." Doesn't that make their case stronger?

Posted by: DSB at August 7, 2008 04:53 PM

Riiight DSB. This classmate's account:

According to someone else in the 48-member class, Geisel allegedly referred to Obama with a racial epithet and continued, "If he gets elected, I'll assassinate him myself."

Is altogether more relevant than this one's:

Another person in the class quoted Geisel as saying that "he hated George W. Bush and that he wanted to put a bullet in the president's head," according to the Secret Service.

Posted by: krakatoa at August 7, 2008 05:02 PM

and perhaps saying "if he wanted to kill Senator Obama he simply would shoot him with a sniper rifle, but then he claimed that he was just joking," to the secret service was not the best thing to do.

But of course, I don't really know the facts of the case, only the AP's reporting of it.

And again, if the "Obamamedia" were trying to push the notion that the offender is "probably a murderous racist," why did they leave out "Geisel allegedly referred to Obama with a racial epithet and continued, 'If he gets elected, I'll assassinate him myself.'"? Sure would make their case stronger.

Also, if they actually charged him based on the reporting of someone in his bail-bondsman class (which I'm beginning to doubt more and more,) and he said that about Bush too, you'd think the secret service would have charged him with that as well, unless...

ZOMG, THE SECRET SERVICE IS IN THE TANK FOR OBAMA!

Posted by: DSB at August 7, 2008 05:11 PM

I guess the important question to ask is: why did they feel the need to totally re-write the AP feed and edit out so many details? Were they concerned with bandwidth or storage space? Both? If not, why selectively delete information? Any brilliant insights, DSB?

And what's this "questionable content" chicanery? I had to edit this post multiple times to get it to submit, but there were was no profanity, etc.

Posted by: ECM at August 7, 2008 05:32 PM

ECM, I had the same problem. Once I took out C*N*N I was able to post.

Anyway, neither news outlet re-wrote the AP news feed. They had their own reporters covering the story in each news outlet. If they did quote the AP, they'd have to credit the AP in the beginning, which neither did. And as CY knows all too well, quoting AP stories at length makes the AP mad!

So there's your "brilliant insights." Neither C*N*N nor that other one quoted from the AP. Problem solved, crisis averted.

Posted by: DSB at August 7, 2008 05:42 PM

People talk about assassinating Bush all the time. It isn't news.;)

Posted by: Grey Fox at August 7, 2008 07:23 PM

It could be that AP has met its match in terms of distorting the news. That is quite an accomplishment.

Posted by: Purple Avenger at August 7, 2008 09:07 PM

The MSM is approaching the "wag the dog" state of news in this campaign coverage. The main difference is that the public is the dog and the MSM are the waggers, or should I say wankers.

Posted by: sammy small at August 7, 2008 09:46 PM

Read, listen or Watch the Lame Stream Media only for the comedy that is sure to show up.

Posted by: Scrapiron at August 7, 2008 10:42 PM

You're reading WAAAAAAAAY too much into this.

CNN probably just rushed the story with preliminary details, while AP followed with a more complete story as details surfaced afterwards.

You're paranoid about the corporate media. Yes, they're wankers, but that's because they're lazy and incompetent.

Posted by: jasperjava at August 7, 2008 11:52 PM

Oh come on jasperjava, are you really going to sit there and tell me that the MSM isn't in the tank for Obama?

Jim C

Posted by: Jim C at August 8, 2008 12:35 AM

Nice job!

Good thing someone is paying attention.

Little wonder they are referred to as the LameStream Media. They will probably get all frowny-faced because AP slipped up and mentioned the part about GWB. Someone was not marching in lockstep.

Thank You, keep it up!

Posted by: mrpetep at August 8, 2008 06:16 AM

The most likely candidate to assassinate Obama would be a muslim extremist. We know that being an apostate is punishable by death. How would the media cover that one?

Posted by: Capitalist Infidel at August 8, 2008 07:59 AM

I hope I don't be arrested on the way home today.

Posted by: toyboat at August 8, 2008 08:12 AM

The answer to this conundrum is staring anyone with two brain cells in the face - Threats against Bush aren't news, both because they're relatively common and accepted by the PC crowd, and because of rampant BDS.
Threats against Obama ARE news because he's the darling of the media, and their great hope for the future.
And the reason to exclude the Bush threat is that it couldn't be turned into a racist event if Bush was threatened as well - White guy threatening to assinate Obama = racist. White guy threatening to assinate Obama AND Bush = simple whackjob.

Posted by: Cappmann at August 8, 2008 09:50 AM

All assassination threats are relevant. The US has a history of shooting it's presidents and presidential contenders.

Bush is more important at this time than the Messiah Obama because he is the president.

CNN's methods are what is not news.

Posted by: John V at August 8, 2008 10:33 AM

All assassination threats are relevant. The US has a history of shooting it's presidents and presidential contenders.

Bush is more important at this time than the Messiah Obama because he is the president.

Posted by: John V at August 8, 2008 10:34 AM

The answer is clear... the C*N*N reporter didn't get any quotes from the students. He or she sent in a short version of the story based on what they were told by the Secret Service. The AP reporter did a more complete story probably because they weren't under time constraints.

Posted by: Tom at August 8, 2008 11:18 AM

No, Tom. An earlier 5 paragraph AP version of the story was the very first report posted, and it contained this important fact.

Nice try.

Posted by: Confederate Yankee at August 8, 2008 11:35 AM

I should have been taking notes all these years. I am sure I have heard Bush threatened with assasination at least a dozen times and that does not count open media. From now on, ANY threat of violence against a Secret Service protectee will get reported promptly by Yours Truly. I hope they will take this stuff seriously but across the board, not on a partisan basis.

Posted by: megapotamus at August 8, 2008 12:37 PM

"No, Tom. An earlier 5 paragraph AP version of the story was the very first report posted, and it contained this important fact."

Go back and read the C-N-N story. None of the student quotes are in the C-N-N story. All it means is that the AP reporter got more information than the C-N-N reporter. All that means is that the AP reporter did a better job, not that the C-N-N reporter hid facts. You might also ask the Secret Service why they didn't charge the guy with threatening Bush. Or do you think the Secret Service secretly supports Obama?

Posted by: Tom at August 8, 2008 02:39 PM

Tom, did you call with the Secret Service in Miami to find out what infomration they released to who, or did I?

Posted by: Confederate Yankee at August 8, 2008 02:46 PM

Actually that wasn't the first AP story. This was:

MIAMI (AP) - A Miami man appeared in court there today on charges that he threatened to assassinate Democratic presidential candidate Barack Obama.

Authorities say the suspect, 22-year-old Raymond Hunter Geisel, was keeping weapons and military-style gear in his hotel room and car.

Geisel was arrested by the Secret Service on Saturday in Miami and was ordered held without bond today.

A Secret Service affidavit charges that Geisel made the threat during a training class for bail bondsmen in Miami in late July.

Obama was most recently in Florida last week, but did not visit the South Florida area.

Copyright 2008 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

Posted by: Tom at August 8, 2008 03:14 PM

Got a URL and time on that, Tom? Google News shows the version I posted as being the oldest they recorded, and I know when I first caught the story when it was less than an hour-young, this version was live, as were the CNN ad CBS-4 accounts.

Posted by: Confederate Yankee at August 8, 2008 03:36 PM

So the guy was a Ron Paul voter.

So what?

Posted by: heat sink at August 8, 2008 11:25 PM

CNN posted a link to the SS (sarc) affidavit. You folks should have read that, too. Agree with Scott: Seems like a bail bondsman's class would require most of the items mentioned. Also the SS agent has Black Talon ammo as "armor piercing" when it is an older defensive hollow point easily fragmented by drywall or other construction materials. Something stinks here and I think it's the informant.

Posted by: Caststeel at August 9, 2008 05:53 PM

Will all the things that have been said and let go about George Bush I find it inexcusable they molested this guy. If it is ok to say what has been said about Bush in regards assassination why is it all of a sudden not ok with Barrack Obama?

In reality my impression is this story was ginned up to say Obama was assassination worthy. Just as the fainting women were ginned up to try and make Obama look desirable this makes him appear important. That is Assassination worthy.

The press. FULL of pinheads. What's worse they think they are smarter than the rest of us.

Posted by: Fred X at August 10, 2008 11:18 AM

Agree with Catsteel. Informant probably is embellishing.

And OJ is off in the corner saying "if I done it" LOL ... excuse the nonseq but the grammatical structure of OJ's "if I done it" just cracks me up.

Posted by: Fred X at August 10, 2008 11:22 AM

hello,

Posted by: renghator at August 12, 2008 01:11 AM