Log in

No account? Create an account

Previous Entry | Next Entry


Posted by Steve Outing 12:42:37 PM
Watch What You Say When Blogging
From the world of personal blogging comes a word of caution about what you write. On her LiveJournal blog, "Anniesj" recently wrote some quite nasty things about President George W. Bush (since removed). Annie writes: "We laughed, we ranted, we all said some things. I thought it was a fairly harmless (and rather obvious) attempt at humor in the face of annoyance, and while a couple of people were offended, as is typical behavior from me, I saw something shiny and forgot about it, thinking that the whole thing was over and done and nothing else would come of what I said."

It wasn't over. One evening this week, a Secret Service agent showed up at her mother's door in South Carolina "to talk to me about what I said about the president, as what I said could apparently be misconstrued as a threat to his life." While the agent quickly determined that she was no threat, it clearly spooked the amateur blogger.

The agent told her that the reason she was investigated was because the FBI received a report about her blog post.

I wonder if the Secret Service also sent an agent to visit the columnist for London's The Guardian newspaper, who wrote (and later apologized for) this about President Bush: "John Wilkes-Booth, Lee Harvey Oswald, John Hinckley Jr, where are you now that we need you?"


( 4 comments — Leave a comment )
Oct. 30th, 2004 06:41 pm (UTC)
I would hope, if I was president, that even if it sounded like total bull- my secret service would investigate a report about something potentially threatening written by a citizen. Let's think about this:

1. Agent "Steve The Sensitive Guy" probably wasn't at work that afternoon, so he couldn't show the other agents how to get online and check someone's live journal.

2. Assuming she was most likely turned in by someone who doesn't like her, they probably didn't even specify what "threats" were made.

3. When they spoke to her, there was no action taken. She volunterily removed the post. If they were violating the rights of citizens, she would be in federal prison.

I'm not one to defend Bush, see my claim that he's an idiot, but I know plenty of people just from working at fair who should be on some sort of watch list. The kind of people who throw buckets of pig blood on someone who's wearing FAKE fur. Non of them have been visited. So I wonder what this chick said that got the SS at her doorstep? Nothing innocent, I'd imagine.

And the 'reliable' source of publication on the matter is "The Poynter Institute, a school for journalists that also practices journalism." and their statement on the accuracy of articles: "We do our best to make sure that everything we publish is true. This ranges from the relatively easily-confirmed, e.g. the spelling of names, to the nuanced and more debatable, e.g., characterizations of various political initiatives."

But I don't see any interviews or statements made by the Secret Service. I would think someone going for accuracy would at least TRY to get something from the other side of the story? A phone call to the FBI maybe? They're not that hard to contact.

Even just "We tried to confirm this with the FBI, but they have not contacted us back" would be nice. But they just took this person at their word, and didn't bother to check the sources. I could go post in my journal that I was attacked by Bigfoot, and a park ranger from Nevada saw the whole thing. Wouldn't you ask the park ranger if I was lying?

And she has an FBI file now? Everyone has an FBI file. I probably have an FBI file from the time my school guidance office forced me to "have a talk with them" because I was wearing a velvet black dress coat to class. (On a day we were supposed to dress up for presentations.) So I wouldn't worry too much.
Oct. 30th, 2004 07:02 pm (UTC)
"So I wonder what this chick said that got the SS at her doorstep? Nothing innocent, I'd imagine."

While I did not get to see the original post, she supposedly said something along the lines of wishing god would kill Bush.

I'm not so sure I believe the whole thing...but whatever. A lot of blogs have recently been reported as 'watched by Big Brother.' *shrug*
Oct. 31st, 2004 02:20 am (UTC)
Great, a religious nut and murderous. Just kidding. ;P
Oct. 30th, 2004 10:34 pm (UTC)
Oh, I'm not really pointing this twords sympathyzing with her at all, it was up for an entirley other reason... It was re-enforcing a statement I made that calling someone a traitor to the country etc etc, even in a LJ comments area, was a bad thing because you neer know what is being read by people who may take it seriously.

You gotta understand that I'm very glad someone approached her from the FBI... And that I agree with you. :)
( 4 comments — Leave a comment )



Latest Month

September 2012

Page Summary

Powered by LiveJournal.com
Designed by Ideacodes