August 08, 2008

Hiding the Body

It was bad enough yesterday when CNN and CBS-4 selectively edited the story about the arrest of Raymond Hunter Geisel, a man who had made threats again both Barack Obama and President George W. Bush.

Associated Press journalist Curt Anderson had one of the first accounts, if not the very first account of the arrest, posted online yesterday mid-afternoon, and it clearly noted both Obama and Bush had been threatened (my bold below).

A man is being held in Florida by federal authorities on charges of threatening to assassinate Democratic presidential candidate Barack Obama.

Raymond Hunter Geisel was ordered held without bail Thursday at a brief court hearing.

The Secret Service says Geisel made the threat during a training class for bail bondsmen in Miami in late July. Another tipster said Geisel also threatened President Bush.

A search of Geisel's SUV and hotel room uncovered a loaded handgun, knives, dozens of rounds of ammunition, body armor and a machete. The SUV was wired with emergency lights.

Geisel told the Secret Service he was originally from Bangor, Maine. He contended he made no threat against either Obama or the president.

It was this story that CBS-4 doctored in their original report. They rewrote the lede sentence, but otherwise copied Anderson's account word-for-word, with the pointed removal of the key sentence in the middle paragraph, "Another tipster said Geisel also threatened President Bush."

CBS-4 removed that sentence, and moved the following paragraph up to cover the gap. Contacted this morning for comment, CBS-4 has thus far declined to provide a response explaining why they doctored the article.

CNN had the same information as the AP and CBS-4, and like CBS-4, they chose to edit out references to Bush, even though they were far more competent in their doctoring of the story, leaving behind no "tells." Their version of the doctored story stayed online for 2-4 hours before being updated, well after the damage was done.

But even after finally posting the full story after being called out by one of their commenters (and shutting down the comments section 2 minutes later), CNN wasn't quite done with their attempt to generate political and racial tensions. Now, they're now busily trying to cover their tracks.

This morning you can still access the original URL of the CNN story at:

You'll only likely to get there via a direct link from a blogger, however.

If you go to the CNN Political Ticker and scroll down, the exact same story (text and headline are identical, with a link to the SS affidavit now added in the third paragraph of the replacement) now has this URL:

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

CNN altered their original story to gin up outrage against someone they helped to portray as a "typical" racist right-winger, instead of the equal opportunity, anti-authority whackjob the more complete AP story and the very Secret Service affidavits CNN obtained seemed to indicate.

They doctored the story, and by swapping out the URLs and hiding the contents, they're attempting to play a very subtle game of hiding the evidence of the paranoia and anger they helped manufacture by shifting to a new, comment-free URL on the CNN Political Ticker Web site, while still maintaining the old URL with the comments, perhaps in hopes that those bloggers and journalists who have already linked to the primary URL won't catch up with their sleight of hand.

CNN edited out the threats against President Bush to help build on fears in the African American community and among the political left that an intolerant, racist white conservative may attempt to assassinate Barack Obama, and now they've attempted to cover up the fear they helped stoke by moving the comments generated out of public view, while attempting to deceive the bloggers who linked to the original story by leaving online, but hidden.

It didn't work, and CNN has a lot to answer for.

Posted by Confederate Yankee at August 8, 2008 02:30 PM

The editing of America's reality never stops, does it?

Always cutting corners, making ellipses -- heck, making up stuff.

Was it AP that claimed only it has the right to photshop its own pictures?

We know the polls re the public's trust of the President is very low, but not as low as our trust of Congress. Would you happen to know if the trust assigned to the press even shows on the chart?

I have long since gotten into the habit of trying to find the "real" story when I see something in the MSM. Not to mention all the stories that don't show up at all.

This week's "National Review" has a report on the fact that the MSM is deaf, dumb, and blind (oops, how un-PC of me) when it comes to the scandal re John Edwards.

Not that I give a fig for the guy; but the defeaning silence -- the story originated in the Enquirer so they can't go there, dontcha know -- is a story in itself. This giant hurdle didn't stop them when it was Rush Limbaugh's drug problems that the Enquirer chose to run.

Funny about that.

Posted by: Dymphna at August 8, 2008 01:46 PM

I just saw the story on my windows vista sidebar and got a pic of it- it says "Man Held for threat on Obama's life
A man who authorities said was keeping weapons and military gear in his hotel room and car appeared in court Thursday on charges he threatened to assassinate the Democratic presidential candidate."

How convenient- they make it sound like he's some random guy who geared up to take him out- rather than the fact that he was a bail-bondsman in training and that gear was part of his future livelihood...


Posted by: Scott at August 8, 2008 01:49 PM

Haven't we always been at war with Eastasia?

Posted by: Skip at August 8, 2008 02:54 PM

Yes, Scott, those machetes come in real handy when you're a bail bondsman.

Posted by: Tom at August 8, 2008 03:06 PM

The comments on the original story fell into three categories...

1/ Hillary was behind it.
2/ The "Repugs" were behind it.
3/ He was a racist REDNECK and it makes total sense that it happened in Florida.

I love that liberal attitude where anytime a person injures/dislikes/insults a person of a different race it has to be because of racism and they are therefore a hick or a redneck.

Don't get me wrong the guy appears to be a complete idiot, but how on Earth are his threats against the current President less newsworthy than those made against a candidate?!?

Posted by: Casey at August 8, 2008 04:53 PM

Why do you think C*N*N* has anything to answer for? This is who they are, this is what they do. Their answer would be "of course we did this to try and elect Obama." Well, maybe not to our face but it's what they do.

Posted by: Capitalist Infidel at August 8, 2008 07:21 PM

We have always been at war with Oceania.

Posted by: nick at August 8, 2008 10:01 PM

As almost always the case, it's not what they report, it's what they DON'T Report.

If some supposedly biased conservative media outlet reported ONLY that President Bush was threatened, should we do like the "other side" does, and have our blogs flaming with angry denunciations of this guy (Geisel) as a black racist, who hates any "cracker" in power?

Should this be our "exhibit A" to denounce all reasonable (even if we disagree) liberal and/or minority journalists/columnists as obvious "haters," "Nazis," and "Neolibs" who are obviously inciting such violent "racists" as Geisel?

Posted by: WhitemoonG at August 9, 2008 07:59 AM

But...but....FAUX NEWS is in Chimpy McBushalibertons pocket! Its the fascist right wing media doing...

oh I give up. There is really no way I could possibly think like a liberal.

Posted by: Spectreman at August 9, 2008 10:12 AM

Spectreman ... thinking like a classical liberal is quite feasible.

Thinking like a Leftist is an oxymoron.

Posted by: Rich Casebolt at August 9, 2008 12:45 PM

"Yes, Scott, those machetes come in real handy when you're a bail bondsman."

Once again, someone fails to actually research before he posts. You will find in the original report that he also worked in the bush a good bit, and those axes and machetes were used for that purpose.

He is a wacko and we will see what happens to him.

Posted by: Matt at August 9, 2008 03:17 PM