Archive for October 17th, 2008

Scranton death threat against Obama unsupported

Req: E, N

A Secret Service investigation has yet to identify a source to support allegations that someone yelled “kill him” when Democratic presidential nominee Barack Obama’s name was mentioned at a Sarah Palin rally in Scranton this week.

Charges that someone had made the death threat during Tuesday’s rally originally appeared in an article by Dave Singleton of the Scranton Times-Tribune.

Although no other media outlet initially reported hearing the threat, Singleton’s story quickly became  international news, even prompting a rant by liberal commentator Keith Olbermann of MSNBC. The Calgary Sun tied it to Rep. John Murtha’s remark that Pennsylvania was a “racist state.”

The report also prompted an investigation by the Scranton office of the Secret Service, which interviewed more than 20 members of the media and others who attended the event, according to an article in The Times Leader. Singleton was the only one who reported hearing the death threat, though he could not give a description of the man he claimed made the remark.

Times-Tribune Managing Editor Lawrence K. Beaupre said that the newspaper stands by its story: “He heard what he heard. He reported what he heard.”

This blog is maintained by Dr. Matthew M. Reavy as a service to journalism students at the University of Scranton.



October 2008
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