USA Today suspends columnist Glenn Reynolds for one month

USA Today suspends columnist Glenn Reynolds for one month

Postby admin » Wed Dec 28, 2016 6:30 am

USA Today suspends columnist Glenn Reynolds for one month
by Kelsey Sutton
09/22/16

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USA Today has suspended the column of a conservative commentator for one month after he called for drivers to “run … down” demonstrators protesting police shootings in Charlotte, North Carolina Wednesday night.

"USA TODAY expects its columnists to provide thoughtful, reasoned contributions to the national conversation, on all platforms," Bill Sternberg, the editorial page editor of USA Today, said in a statement to POLITICO. "Glenn Reynolds’ Run them down' tweet, in response to a news report about protesters in Charlotte stopping traffic and surrounding vehicles, was a violation of that standard and can be interpreted as an incitement to violence. Reynolds, a law professor at the University of Tennessee who writes twice a week for USA TODAY, has apologized. His column has been suspended for one month."

Reynolds was briefly suspended from Twitter late Wednesday after he sent the tweet in question. “Run them down,” Reynolds wrote in the tweet, which linked to a news story about demonstrators who had stopped traffic on a Charlotte highway.

The tweet was criticized as promoting violence against the demonstrators, who are protesting the deaths of black people at the hands of police after police in North Carolina shot and killed Keith Lamont Scott earlier this week. Some of those protests have turned violent, and North Carolina Gov. Pat McCrory called for a state of emergency Wednesday night.

Reynolds defended his tweet on his personal blog, and he accused Twitter of being “out to silence voices it disagrees with or something.” Reynolds’ Twitter account was reinstated under the condition that he delete the tweet, he said Thursday.

In a statement on USA Today's website, Reynolds apologized for the tweet and said that the comment had been misconstrued.

"What I meant is that drivers who feel their lives are in danger from a violent mob should not stop their vehicles," he wrote. "...My tweet should have said, 'Keep driving,' or 'Don’t stop.'"

"I have always supported peaceful protests, speaking out against police militarization and excessive police violence in my USA TODAY columns, on my website and on Twitter itself," he added. "I understand why people misunderstood my tweet and regret that I was not clearer."
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Re: USA Today suspends columnist Glenn Reynolds for one mont

Postby admin » Wed Dec 28, 2016 6:41 am

Glenn Reynolds’ ‘run them down’ tweet is protected speech, University of Tennessee rules
By Jessica Chasmar
The Washington Times
September 27, 2016

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Conservative writer and University of Tennessee law professor Glenn Reynolds will not face disciplinary action for a controversial tweet about the Charlotte rioters, the school announced Tuesday.

The law school started investigating Mr. Reynolds last week after he tweeted from his popular @Instapundit account that people driving in Charlotte should plow through protesters who try to stop their cars.

“Run them down,” the now-deleted tweet read.

Melanie Wilson, UT’s law school dean, said she met with Mr. Reynolds and consulted with university leadership and General Counsel before making her decision.

“As a lawyer and a law school dean, I know that gathering information and upholding the principles of due process are absolutely necessary in a situation like this,” she said in a statement. “In short, no disciplinary action will be taken against Professor Reynolds. The tweet was an exercise of his First Amendment rights. Nevertheless, the tweet offended many members of our community and beyond, and I understand the hurt and frustration they feel.”

Mr. Reynolds also issued an apology Tuesday, saying he didn’t mean to suggest people should run down protesters on purpose.
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Re: USA Today suspends columnist Glenn Reynolds for one mont

Postby admin » Wed Dec 28, 2016 6:45 am

Glenn Reynolds Should Not Be Disciplined
by Henry Farrell
September 23, 2016

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Glenn Reynolds is a piece of work. Much of his blogging is in the ambiguous borderland between right wing hackery and active depravity. Even so, I was disturbed to see this in Inside Higher Ed:

The University of Tennessee at Knoxville says it’s investigating a law professor’s tweet suggesting that motorists “run down” protesters blocking traffic following a fatal police shooting in Charlotte, N.C. The professor, a popular blogger with the Twitter handle @Instapundit, says he hasn’t been contacted by the university directly … On Thursday, Melanie D. Wilson, dean of Tennessee’s College of Law, posted a statement to the university website saying that she was “aware of the remarks” and of the “serious and legitimate concerns expressed by members of the [law college] family and the University of Tennessee community, as well as concerned citizens across the country.”Wilson said Reynolds’s comments “do not reflect my views and opinions, nor do they reflect the values of the college and university,” and that she, administrators and faculty members are “investigating this matter.”


The reason is straightforward. As Chris, Alex Gourevitch and Corey have argued at length, the lack of job security across much of the US means that employers can threaten your job to discipline you for things they don’t like, including punishing activities that have nothing to do with one’s employment. I don’t like Reynolds being investigated for a tweet that doesn’t have anything obvious to do with his employment as a law professor. If he were to be punished for it, it would be seriously problematic.

To be clear – this is not a matter of academic freedom. Reynolds isn’t, as far as I can tell, acting as a scholar when he blogs or tweets, and I don’t think anyone with two braincells to rub together could mistake his blogging and tweeting for scholarship. It’s opinionating – often extremely nasty opinionating in my opinion – but that’s it. Unless Reynolds puts it down as part of his employment activity in his annual report, I can’t see how it’s connected to his role at the University of Tennessee, and even if he did, it would seem to me a stretch.

The real issue is broader and more straightforward – people should not be punished on the job for stuff they do off it. Unless there is evidence that Reynolds is biased against black people or people with different politics in the classroom, I don’t see how his tweeting or blogging, however nasty, is relevant. I understand that Reynolds has been suspended for a month from his op-ed column at USA Today – here there is arguably more of a case, given that they are both forms of opinionating but it’s a case that I’m still skeptical of. I can’t help but think that USA Today knew exactly what they were getting when they hired him – he hasn’t changed much over the years. It seems to me a bit rich that they should be getting skittish now.

It could be argued that Reynolds was using the tweet to incite other people to commit violence. For sure, Reynolds has been eager to accuse others of advocating violence in the past, including his ridiculous claim that Erik Loomis was using “eliminationist rhetoric” for saying that he would like to see Wayne LaPierre’s “head on a stick.” Yet this doesn’t seem to me like direct incitement (although it’s closer than Loomis’s metaphor) – it’s more plausibly a nasty way of saying that he doesn’t particularly care about the lives of the black protestors, and personally wouldn’t be perturbed if they got hurt or killed. That says some very unpleasant things about Glenn Reynolds (who I believe is, rather surprisingly, the son of a genuine civil rights activist), but it doesn’t say that he is specifically trying to encourage people to kill others.

Finally, there’s a temptation to see this as just deserts. After all, Reynolds helped start the ball rolling on the Erik Loomis affair, and despite his angry protestations that he “never called for Prof. Erik Loomis to be fired,” seemed very happy to approvingly quote a correspondent arguing that “at a minimum, some people at URI should occasionally monitor [Loomis’s] class or question his students to find out whether he brings anywhere close to that amount of venom to discussions with students who disagree with him.”

The temptation ought to be vigorously resisted. Glenn Reynolds may be a despicable and mendacious hypocrite but again, this doesn’t change the facts of the case – we shouldn’t use people’s jobs and livelihoods to punish them for things they do in their personal lives that aren’t connected to their jobs.

I can’t imagine that Reynolds will be particularly enthused by this intervention – it certainly hasn’t been written in a fashion calculated to please him. Furthermore, he detests me personally (given what he is, I’d be worried if he didn’t; to misquote someone much better than me, I welcome his hatred). Even so, I specifically and strongly urge the University of Tennessee to drop this investigation. There is an important general principle of employers not punishing people for what they do off the job, which needs to be defended, and to the greatest extent possible, extended. That Reynolds, both in his personal conduct and political beliefs isn’t committed to this principle, is entirely and completely irrelevant.

Henry Farrell is an associate professor of political science and international affairs at George Washington University.
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Re: USA Today suspends columnist Glenn Reynolds for one mont

Postby admin » Wed Dec 28, 2016 7:11 am

Instapundit's "Run Them Down" Tweet Sparks Investigation Glenn Reynolds is Baffled?
by aurabass
Sep 23, 2016

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The University of Tennessee announced that Law Professor Glenn Reynold’s “RUN THEM DOWN” tweet has initiated a review. UT College of Law Dean Melanie D. Wilson called Reynold’s statement an “irresponsible use of his platform” and the concerns coming into the University from students, staff, and citizens all across the country “serious and legitimate”.

UT College of Law Dean Melanie D. Wilson said in a statement Thursday morning that she and university administrators are investigating the matter, calling Reynold’s post an “irresponsible use of his platform.”

“The university is committed to academic freedom, freedom of speech, and diverse viewpoints, all of which are important for an institution of higher education and the free exchange of ideas,” she wrote. “My colleagues and I in the university’s leadership support peaceful disobedience and all forms of free speech, but we do not support violence or language that encourages violence.”

She called the concerns about the tweet from students and staff, along with those from citizens across the country, “serious and legitimate.”

Chancellor Jimmy Cheek released a statement about an hour later supporting Wilson and her comments.

“Wilson’s statement about the faculty member’s social media post reinforces the university’s commitment to fostering a civil and inclusive learning environment,” he said in a news release.


SALON MAGAZINE offers the pithiest view of the INSTAPUNDIT’s problems:

It is a truth universally acknowledged that the biggest bullies, the ones fondest of meaningless phrases like “social justice warriors” and “special snowflake,” have the tenderest sensibilities when their own behavior is challenged or held accountable. So when Twitter actually stepped up and briefly suspended the account of Instapundit’s Glenn Reynolds — a man Wonkette has singled out for his distinctive “rank stupidity and willful ignorance” — there were howls of protest. It must be sooooo harrrrrrd to be soooo oppressed when you make violent, inflammatory comments!

Twitter’s administration, which has come under increasing demands this year to do better in taming its deluge of abusive, violent commentary, issued a temporary suspension of Reynolds’ Instapundit account.

It sounds like the enforcement wasn’t handled with the greatest finesse. “I saw it was suspended and didn’t know why,” Reynolds told the News Sentinel on Thursday. He admitted, “Yes, that was my post. It was brief, since it was Twitter, but blocking highways is dangerous and I don’t think people should stop for a mob, especially when it’s been violent.”


The SALON response to Mr. Reynold’s quote? “Yes, and nothing says that you’re concerned about violence like suggesting protestors be mowed down.” The entire Salon take is a great read. The final closeout is particularly direct:

Guess what? People who aren’t psychopaths “disagree with” vehicular homicide. Saying, “Run them down” is not an opinion. It’s not “debate.” It’s a command. And it takes a particularly shoddy, cowardly individual to say garbage like that and then have the gall to be offended about a slap on the wrist and the arrogance to blatantly lie about the intention. And if you change your mind about giving Twitter all that precious “free content” of yours, Reynolds, I’m sure Twitter will somehow manage just fine.


A diary entry last night concerned Glenn Reynolds relationship with his father, a well-loved liberal leader of the Religious Studies Dept. at UT who helped organize the student protest when Richard Nixon chose to visit a Billy Graham Crusade at Neyland Stadium just a few weeks after the Kent State massacre. Dr. Charles Reynolds was arrested with many others for “disrupting a religious service” when approx 700 students with “THOU SHALT NOT KILL” signs attempted a peaceful protest as the Crusade podium was filled with Republican Candidates from across the state. Sen Albert Gore Sr. was in Knoxville but was not invited to attend. The Nixon visit was blatantly political as were his remarks.

Back in May 2010 I shared a story on Daily Kos about the 40th anniversary of Richard Nixon’s visit to a Billy Graham Crusade held in Neyland Stadium on the UT Campus —40 YEAR FLASHBACK That diary linked to the 1970 PROTEST & ACTIVISM at UT — 40 YEARS ON website where Dr. Charles Reynolds figures prominently in the story.

Garry Wills — Pulitzer Prize-winning author of Lincoln at Gettysburg wrote the most detailed account of the protest in 1970 organized by Dr. Reynolds. HOW NIXON USED THE MEDIA AND BILLY GRAHAM TO RAP TO THE STUDENTS AT TENNESSEE. subtitled Jesus Wept

A long way from son Glenn’s “protest”.

Image
INSTAPUNDIT TWEET — RUN THEM DOWN

But back to Glenn:

Conservative USA Today columnist and University of Tennessee law professor Glenn Reynolds caused an uproar on Twitter when he urged motorists to drive over protesters blocking a highway in North Carolina.

“Run them down,” Reynolds, who also produces the Instapundit website, tweeted late Wednesday with an image of the protesters on I-277.


You can read the Huffington Post story on Glenn Reynolds and his tweet here

Glenn Reynolds has issued an ‘apology’ of sorts saying he meant that only drivers in fear for their lives while surrounded by protesters should “keep driving” or “don’t stop”. I guess his fingers slipped on the keyboard as he typed “RUN THEM DOWN”instead.
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Re: USA Today suspends columnist Glenn Reynolds for one mont

Postby admin » Wed Dec 28, 2016 7:16 am

“Run them down”: Glenn Reynolds baffled at brief Twitter ban over inflammatory Charlotte protesters tweet: The USA Today columnist received a digital slap on the wrist for suggesting violence against demonstrators
by Mary Elizabeth Williams
September 22, 2016

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Image
"Run them down": Glenn Reynolds baffled at brief Twitter ban over inflammatory Charlotte protesters tweet
Glenn Reynolds (Credit: Wikimedia)


It is a truth universally acknowledged that the biggest bullies, the ones fondest of meaningless phrases like “social justice warriors” and “special snowflake,” have the tenderest sensibilities when their own behavior is challenged or held accountable. So when Twitter actually stepped up and briefly suspended the account of Instapundit’s Glenn Reynolds — a man Wonkette has singled out for his distinctive “rank stupidity and willful ignorance” — there were howls of protest. It must be sooooo harrrrrrd to be soooo oppressed when you make violent, inflammatory comments!

On Wednesday night, Reynolds — creator of the blog Instapundit, a University of Tennessee law professor and conservative USA Today and News Sentinel contributor who earlier this year fancifully wrote a column called “Putin for president 2016″ — had a hot take on demonstrators walking along Interstate 277. Earlier this week, the shooting death of 43-year-old Keith Lamont Scott by an African-American police officer set off a wave of protests and violence. So Reynolds, following the action on Twitter, linked to a WBTV News report and photograph of the protestors who were backing up traffic and suggested,”Run them down.”

The social-media response was quick and much of it justly appalled, with multiple people asking on Twitter for a response from the University of Tennessee and USA Today. But in the meantime, Twitter’s administration, which has come under increasing demands this year to do better in taming its deluge of abusive, violent commentary, issued a temporary suspension of Reynolds’ Instapundit account.

It sounds like the enforcement wasn’t handled with the greatest finesse. “I saw it was suspended and didn’t know why,” Reynolds told the News Sentinel on Thursday. He admitted, “Yes, that was my post. It was brief, since it was Twitter, but blocking highways is dangerous and I don’t think people should stop for a mob, especially when it’s been violent.”

Yes, and nothing says that you’re concerned about violence like suggesting protestors be mowed down.

In a post on Instapundit, Reynolds initially fretted, “Can’t imagine why they’d do that, except that it seems to be happening to a lot of people for no obvious reason. It’s as if, despite assurances to the contrary, Twitter is out to silence voices it disagrees with or something.”

He later edited his post to explain, “If Twitter doesn’t like me, I’m happy to stop providing them with free content. . . . I don’t even know that this is why I was suspended, as I’ve heard nothing from Twitter at all. They tell users and investors that they don’t censor, but they seem awfully quick to suspend people on one side of the debate.”

And he said, “Erik Wemple of The Washington Post emails that ‘Keep driving’ would have been a better formulation of what I was trying to say. . . . I’ve had over 580,000 tweets, and they can’t all be perfect.”

Aw, you guys are great. Reynolds didn’t, by the way, express any regret. Instead, on Hugh Hewitt’s show Thursday morning, he said, “I have to say I don’t apologize for the sentiment.”

By Thursday morning, Reynolds was already enjoying his liberty again after his eyeblink of a detention, bragging on Twitter that the company “has unblocked my account on condition of deleting the offending tweet. I’ve done so, but it’s here” and linking to it on Twitchy.

His Twitter supporters had already been hard at work hand-wringing over the “whoohoo censorship!” of the “free-speech advocate and well-known Conservative.” And in a lengthy defense on Reason, editor Nick Gillespie argued, “Whatever you think of the tastefulness of his suggestion regarding the protesters in Charlotte, the idea that he is seriously inciting any sort of actual or real threat is risible.” He added, “So, as with the banning of Milo Yiannopoulis, the alt-right Breitbart editor, we’re not talking about classic censorship here in which the government clamps down on speech it finds offensive or subversive.”

I don’t know why at this point anything is shocking any more, but behold the white dudes who insist that you can use your platform with 65,000 followers to demand that protestors be run down and hey, man, that’s free speech. That’s just something that the uptight squares at Twitter might “disagree with.”

Guess what? People who aren’t psychopaths “disagree with” vehicular homicide. Saying, “Run them down” is not an opinion. It’s not “debate.” It’s a command. And it takes a particularly shoddy, cowardly individual to say garbage like that and then have the gall to be offended about a slap on the wrist and the arrogance to blatantly lie about the intention. And if you change your mind about giving Twitter all that precious “free content” of yours, Reynolds, I’m sure Twitter will somehow manage just fine.

Mary Elizabeth Williams is a staff writer for Salon and the author of "A Series of Catastrophes & Miracles."
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Re: USA Today suspends columnist Glenn Reynolds for one mont

Postby admin » Wed Dec 28, 2016 8:18 am

Wrong Colors: Larry Elder explains why it’s “not news” when “Unarmed White Teen Killed by Cop; Two White Cops Killed by Blacks.”
by Glenn Harlan Reynolds
August 13, 2015

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The media enthusiastically remind us that it’s the first anniversary of the death of Ferguson’s Michael Brown, a death that spawned the so-called Black Lives Matter movement.

In a September speech at the United Nations, President Barack Obama said, “The world also took notice of the small American city of Ferguson, Missouri — where a young man was killed, and a community was divided.”

Never mind that both a grand jury and the federal Department of Justice exonerated the officer who shot and killed Brown. Never mind that neither the physical evidence nor eyewitness testimony corroborated the assertions that Brown had his hands up or that he said, “Don’t shoot.” . . .

The media enthusiastically remind us that it’s the first anniversary of the death of Ferguson’s Michael Brown, a death that spawned the so-called Black Lives Matter movement.

In a September speech at the United Nations, President Barack Obama said, “The world also took notice of the small American city of Ferguson, Missouri — where a young man was killed, and a community was divided.” . . .

In just the last two weeks, two cops, who happened to be white, were killed by two suspects, who happened to be black. And an unarmed white teen was killed by a cop.

In Tennessee, Memphis police Officer Sean Bolton approached an illegally parked car, apparently interrupting a drug deal that was taking place inside. The car’s passenger got out, engaged Bolton in a physical struggle and shot the officer multiple times. Bolton, a 33-year-old Marine vet who served in Iraq, died at the hospital. . . .In Louisiana, Shreveport Officer Thomas LaValley was dispatched to investigate a potential prowler, an armed man reportedly threatening a family member inside a house. When LaValley arrived, he was shot multiple times, and pronounced dead at the hospital. . . .

In South Carolina, an unarmed teenager was shot and killed by a cop. Zachary Hammond, 19, was out on a first date when he was fatally shot by a Seneca police officer during a drug bust. . . .The Hammond family wonders why so little national attention has been focused on their son’s death. “It’s sad, but I think the reason is, unfortunately, the media and our government officials have treated the death of an unarmed white teenager differently than they would have if this were a death of an unarmed black teen,” said Eric Bland, the family’s attorney.


We all know that it’s #BlackLivesMatter, with the emphasis being on black. It’s an overtly racist movement, focusing on police killings of blacks, not any other race, and without regard to any actual statistical data or evidence in particular cases. Instead of shunning such overt racism in 2015, top Democrats are embracing it, and Republicans are trying to stay as quiet as possible, lest the racist ire be directed toward them, as it was recently with Bernie Sanders.

#BlackLivesMatter is racially divisive at a time when this country desperately needs unity, and its votaries have on blinders about the biggest problem of all in the black community: black-on-black murder. The only candidate who seems to have the courage to acknowledge this is Ben Carson. So far, the Black Lives Matter movement has left Dr. Carson alone, presumably because of his race. How typical of them. Perhaps they are also afraid that a thoughtful, fact-based response by a black Republican candidate might take away some of the momentum of their self-righteous, divisive, racist indignation?
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Re: USA Today suspends columnist Glenn Reynolds for one mont

Postby admin » Sat Dec 31, 2016 9:19 pm

True Threats v. Protected Speech, Post-Election Edition
by Ken White
November 16, 2016

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So. Thank goodness everyone seems to be going about this really calmly.

Dateline: Rutgers. Kevin Allred, a professor of Beyoncé Studies, is not taking recent news philosophically. In the course of a rant he offers these:

Kevin Allred
‏@KevinAllred
if i see any Trump bumper stickers on the road today, my brakes will go out and i'll run you off the road.
7:35 AM - 9 Nov 2016


Kevin Allred
‏@KevinAllred
“Will the 2nd amendment be as cool when I buy a gun and start shooting at random white people or no…?”
11:20 PM - 9 Nov 2016


Days later, the NYPD shows up at his home and hauls him off to Bellvue for a psychiatric evaluation.

Analysis of when law enforcement can detain you and forcibly commit you for psychiatric evaluation is complicated and beyond the scope of this post. Let's look at the easier question: were those tweets illegal threats, or protected by the First Amendment?

The answer: they're probably protected speech. Remember, only "true threats" are outside the scope of First Amendment protection. A statement is only a "true threat" if a reasonable person would interpret the words, in their context, as an expression of actual intent to do harm. In addition, the speaker must either intend that the words be taken as a statement of intent to do harm, or at least must be reckless about whether or not they would be interpreted that way (that's still a bit up in the air, legally).

Here, the context is a tweet rant by a Rutgers professor. The Second Amendment tweet is part of a rant about gun control, and the bumper sticker tweet is part of an attack of intellectual and emotional incontinence about Trump. Neither threatens a specific target and both sound figurative and hyperbolic. So: the government probably can't satisfy the objective test (that a reasonable person would read these as sincere threats), let alone the subjective test (what he intended). It's likely protected by the First Amendment. Legally.

Practically, this sort of thing will get you arrested, if someone happens to catch a cop's attention with it. Stuff that is far more clearly satirical results in arrest and prosecution all of the time. Usually the people arrested are a lot less privileged than a Rutgers professor, and it's much easier to be arrested if you say something mean about police officers. But these tweets were close enough to the line (especially read out of context, as cops tend to read such things in the heat of the moment) that an arrest isn't surprising. You might even wind up having to take a case like this to trial if you get charged. Allred's threatening to sue — but if it's on the theory that his speech was protected, he'll probably lose, because the speech is close enough to the line that the cops are likely protected by qualified immunity even if a judge agrees that the tweets were only hyperbole.

I think that the tweets should be protected, embedded as they are in a figurative expression of rage. But Allred's an asshole. If I were one of his co-workers, or students, I would be a little worried about being around him, because I wouldn't be sure that these are hyperbole. If I were his employer, I'd spend the whole day dealing with the fallout and trying to weigh risk and liability and the fears of other employees.

(The flip side is that far worse stuff gets said online all the time without anyone taking action — because law enforcement is arbitrary and capricious.)

Dateline: San Diego. Matt Harrigan, founder of PacketSled, is nonplussed:

Matt Harrigan
I'm going to kill the president. Elect.

***

Matt Harrigan
Bring it secret service.

***

Matt Harrigan
Nope, getting a sniper rifle and perching myself where it counts. Find a bedroom in the whitehouse that suits you motherfucker. I'll find you

***

Matt Harrigan
In no uncertain terms, fuck you America. Seriously. Fuck off.

***

Matt Harrigan
Bring it.


This ends with Harrigan resigning his position and, I suspect, waiting for a visit from the Secret Service.

This, too, was likely protected speech. As I explained in 2012 when jackasses were incensed over Obama's reelection, threats against a President or President-elect are subject to a true threats analysis as well. Under the federal statute prohibiting such threats, there are two questions: (1) would the statement be understood by people hearing or reading it in context as a serious expression of an intent to kill or injure the official? and (2) did the defendant intend that the statement be understood as a threat?

Here, Harrigan was talking to Facebook followers, and the statements were part of a stream of rage. Despite the fact that he offered details about how he would kill President-Elect Trump, given the context and audience reasonable people probably wouldn't take this as a genuine statement of intent to do harm, and it would be difficult to prove he meant it that way. People familiar with the context would likely interpret it as the venting of someone who is accustomed to getting his way suddenly being thwarted. Therefore it's likely protected by the First Amendment, and because it's part of hyperbole, ought to be. But it's damned close to the line.

Once again, this sort of outburst gets people arrested all the time. Sometimes it gets people charged. Sometimes it results in convictions. Harrigan is well-positioned to skate because he's an affluent white techbro on Facebook. If you're a disturbed jobless nobody or a prisoner, you may get convicted, even though objective analysis ought to suggest that your rant is even more impotent and unlikely than Harrigan's. "Reasonable person" analysis tends to discredit threats from people like Harrigan and Allred and credit threats from people who are offensively dark, poor, incarcerated, or unbalanced in a way that does not lead to tenure. That's the way the system works. Sorry, no refunds.
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Re: USA Today suspends columnist Glenn Reynolds for one mont

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Car Hits Crowd After White Nationalist Rally in Charlottesville Ends in Violence
by Sheryl Gay Stolberg and Brian M. Rosenthal
New York Times
August 12, 2017

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The governor of Virginia declared a state of emergency in Charlottesville on Saturday as white nationalists clashed with counterprotesters for the second day in a row over a plan to remove the statue of a Confederate general from a city park. At one point, a car plowed into a crowd of counterprotesters, and city officials said there was at least one death and multiple injuries. By AINARA TIEFENTHÄLER on Publish Date August 12, 2017. Photo by Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images.

CHARLOTTESVILLE, Va. — The city of Charlottesville was engulfed by violence on Saturday as white nationalists and counterprotesters clashed in one of the bloodiest fights to date over the removal of Confederate monuments across the South.

White nationalists had long planned a demonstration over the city’s decision to remove a statue of Robert E. Lee. But the rally quickly exploded into racial taunting, shoving and outright brawling, prompting the governor to declare a state of emergency and the National Guard to join the police in clearing the area.

Those skirmishes mostly resulted in cuts and bruises. But after the rally at a city park was dispersed, a car bearing Ohio license plates plowed into a crowd near the city’s downtown mall killing a 32-year-old woman. Some 34 others were injured; at least 19 in the car crash, according to a spokeswoman for the University of Virginia Medical Center. Several witnesses and video of the scene suggested that the crash might have been intentional.

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A car slammed into a group of counterprotesters after a rally by white nationalists on Saturday in Charlottesville, Va. killing at least one and injuring at least 19. Credit Ryan M. Kelly/The Daily Progress, via Associated Press

Col. Martin Kumer, the superintendent of the Albemarle-Charlottesville Regional Jail, confirmed Saturday evening that an Ohio man, James Alex Fields Jr., 20, of Maumee, had been arrested and charged with second-degree murder, three counts of malicious wounding and failing to stop at the scene of a crash that resulted in a death. But the authorities declined to say publicly that Mr. Fields was the driver of the car that plowed into the crowd.

Later in the day, a Virginia State Police helicopter crashed near a golf course and burst into flames, leaving at least two people dead. The helicopter appeared to have been monitoring the protests.

Witnesses to the crash said a gray sports car accelerated into a crowd of counterdemonstrators, who were moving jubilantly near the mall after the white nationalists had left, hurling at least two people in the air.

“It was probably the scariest thing I’ve ever seen in my life,” said Robert Armengol, who was at the scene reporting for a podcast he hosts with students at the University of Virginia. “After that it was pandemonium. The car hit reverse and sped and everybody who was up the street in my direction started running.”

The planned rally was promoted as “Unite the Right” and both its organizers and critics said they expected it to be one of the largest gathering of white nationalists in recent times, attracting groups like the Ku Klux Klan and neo-Nazis and movement leaders like David Duke and Richard Spencer.

Many of these groups have felt emboldened since the election of Donald J. Trump as president. Mr. Duke, a former imperial wizard of the Ku Klux Klan, told reporters on Saturday that the protesters were “going to fulfill the promises of Donald Trump” to “take our country back.”

Saturday afternoon, President Trump, speaking at the start of a veterans’ event at his golf club in Bedminister, N.J., again addressed what he described as “the terrible events unfolding in Charlottesville, Virginia.”

In his comments, President Trump condemned the bloody protests, but he did not specifically criticize the white nationalist rally and its neo-Nazi slogans beyond blaming “hatred, bigotry and violence on many sides.”

“It’s been going on for a long time in our country, it’s not Donald Trump, it’s not Barack Obama,” said Mr. Trump, adding that he had been in contact with Virginia officials. After calling for the “swift restoration of law and order,” he offered a call for unity among Americans of “all races, creeds and colors.”

The president came under criticism from some who said he had not responded strongly enough against racism and that he failed to condemn the white nationalists groups by name who were behind the rally.

Among the critics was the mayor of Charlottesville, Mike Signer. “I do hope that he looks himself in the mirror and thinks very deeply about who he consorted with during his campaign,” he said.

The turmoil in Charlottesville began with a march Friday night by white nationalists on the campus of the University of Virginia and escalated Saturday morning as demonstrators from both sides gathered in and around the park. Waving Confederate flags, chanting Nazi-era slogans, wearing helmets and carrying shields, the white nationalists converged on the Lee statue inside the park and began chanting phrases like “You will not replace us” and “Jews will not replace us.”

Hundreds of counterprotesters — religious leaders, Black Lives Matter activists and anti-fascist groups known as “antifa” — quickly surrounded the park, singing spirituals, chanting and carrying their own signs.

The morning started peacefully, with the white nationalists gathering in McIntire Park, outside downtown, and the counterdemonstrators — including Cornel R. West, the Harvard University professor and political activist — gathering at the First Baptist Church, a historically African-American church here. Professor West, who addressed the group at a sunrise prayer service, said he had come “bearing witness to love and justice in the face of white supremacy.”

At McIntire Park, the white nationalists waved Confederate flags and other banners. As a photographer took pictures, one of them, who gave his name only as Ted because he said he might want to run for political office some day, said he was from Missouri, and added, “I’m tired of seeing white people pushed around.”

But by 11 a.m., after both sides had made their way to Emancipation Park, the scene had exploded into taunting, shoving and outright brawling.

Barricades encircling the park and separating the two sides began to come down, and the police temporarily retreated. People were seen clubbing one another in the streets, and pepper spray filled the air. One of the white nationalists left the park bleeding, his head wrapped in gauze.

Declaring the gathering an unlawful assembly, the police had cleared the area before noon, and the Virginia National Guard arrived as officers began arresting some who remained. But fears lingered that the altercation would start again nearby, as demonstrators dispersed in smaller groups.

Within an hour, politicians, including Gov. Terry McAuliffe, a Democrat, and the House speaker, Paul D. Ryan of Wisconsin, a Republican, had condemned the violence.

The first public response from the White House came from the first lady, Melania Trump, who wrote on Twitter: “Our country encourages freedom of speech, but let’s communicate w/o hate in our hearts. No good comes from violence.”

Attorney General Jeff Sessions said Justice Department agents would support local and state officials in an investigation of Saturday’s events.

“This kind of violence is totally contrary to American values and can never be tolerated,” Mr. Sessions said in a statement.

Former President Barack Obama responded to the violence sending three tweets with a quote from Nelson Mandela: “No one is born hating another person because of the color of his skin or his background or his religion... People must learn to hate, and if they can learn to hate, they can be taught to love... For love comes more naturally to the human heart than the opposite.”

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After the rally was dispersed, its organizer, Jason Kessler, who calls himself a “white advocate,” complained in an interview that his group had been “forced into a very chaotic situation.” He added, “The police were supposed to be there protecting us and they stood down.”

Both Mr. Kessler and Spencer, a prominent white nationalist who was to speak on Saturday, are graduates of the University of Virginia. In an online video, titled “a message to Charlottesville,’’ Mr. Spencer vowed to return to the college town.

“You think that we’re going to back down to this kind of behavior to you and your little provincial town? No,’’ he said. “We are going to make Charlottesville the center of the universe.”

The Charlottesville street fights were the latest in a series of tense dramas unfolding across the United States over plans to remove statues and other historical markers of the Confederacy. The battles have been intensified by the election of Mr. Trump, who enjoys fervent support from white nationalists.

In New Orleans, tempers flared this spring when four Confederate-era monuments were taken down. Hundreds of far-right and liberal protesters squared off, with occasional bouts of violence, under a statue of General Robert E. Lee. There were fisticuffs and a lot of shouting, but nothing like the violence seen in Charlottesville.

In St. Louis, workers removed a confederate monument from Forest Park in June, ending a long drawn-out battle over its fate. In Frederick, Md., a bust of Roger Taney, the Supreme Court justice who wrote the notorious “Dred Scott” decision denying blacks citizenship, was removed in May from its spot near City Hall.

Here in Charlottesville, Saturday’s protest was the culmination of a year and a half of debate over the fate of the Lee statue. A movement to remove it began when an African-American high school student here started a petition. The City Council voted 3 to 2 in April to sell it, but a judge issued an injunction temporarily stopping the move.

The city had been bracing for a sea of demonstrators, and on Friday night, hundreds of them, carrying lit torches, marched on the picturesque grounds of the University of Virginia, founded in 1819 by Thomas Jefferson.

Many of the white nationalist protesters carried campaign signs for Mr. Trump.

University officials said one person was arrested and charged Friday night with assault and disorderly conduct, and several others were injured. Among those hurt was a university police officer injured while making the arrest, the school said in a statement.

Teresa A. Sullivan, the president of the university, strongly condemned the Friday demonstration in a statement, calling it “disturbing and unacceptable.”

Still, officials allowed the Saturday protest to go on — until the injuries began piling up.

The city of Charlottesville declared a state of emergency around 11 a.m., citing an “imminent threat of civil disturbance, unrest, potential injury to persons, and destruction of public and personal property.”

Governor McAuliffe followed with his own declaration an hour later.

“It is now clear that public safety cannot be safeguarded without additional powers, and that the mostly-out-of-state protesters have come to Virginia to endanger our citizens and property,” he said in a statement. “I am disgusted by the hatred, bigotry and violence these protesters have brought to our state over the past 24 hours.”

The Republican candidate for governor in Virginia, Ed Gillespie, issued his own statement denouncing the protests as “vile hate” that has “no place in our Commonwealth.”

Mr. Ryan agreed. “The views fueling the spectacle in Charlottesville are repugnant,” he said on Twitter. “Let it only serve to unite Americans against this kind of vile bigotry.”

Correction: August 12, 2017
An earlier version of this article misstated the age of a man arrested after the Charlottesville rally. James Alex Fields Jr. is 20, not 32.

Sheryl Gay Stolberg reported from Charlottesville, and Brian M. Rosenthal from New York. Hawes Spencer contributed reporting from Charlottesville.
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