It is illegal to threaten the president of the United States, but former one-term Republican Illinois representative and outspoken tea party-backed talk show host Joe Walsh seemed unaware.
Crew.com dubbed Walsh one of the most corrupt politicians for being a deadbeat dad, owing more than $100,000 in back child-support payments. He claimed he was too broke to pay his child support, while loaning his campaign for representative over $35,000.
Walsh’s deleted tweet said:
‘3 Dallas Cops killed, 7 wounded
This is now war. Watch out Obama.
Watch out black lives matter punks.
Real America is coming after you.’
His tweet called for a race war against President Obama and the Black Live Matter movement. But Walsh must have realized he was committing a crime, because he immediately deleted the tweet. Afterward, New York Times reporter Matthew Rosenberg discovered the tweet and pressed others to retweet it. The damaging tweet went viral.
a former congressman just threatened to kill the president pic.twitter.com/uJ1c0AhSp1
— drew olanoff (@yoda) July 8, 2016
After deleting the damaging tweet, Walsh went on the defensive. Obviously, Walsh was instigating violence against not only the president but also the Black Lives Matter movement. He blames both for the Dallas massacre.
After finding out that his action was illegal, the talk show host tried to withdraw his message of violence.
He was on CNN later Friday trying to reinvent his message. He told Don Lemon he really hadn’t wanted to delete his tweet-gone-viral, but Twitter force him to do so:
‘Twitter said the only way you’ll open your account is if we get rid of that tweet.’
Twitter spokesman Nu Wexler referred to Twitter’s policy, which states:
‘Users may not make threats of violence or promote violence, including threatening or promoting terrorism.’
So, Lemon asked him is his first twitter was accurate:
‘Yeah. Oh, absolutely, because I stand by what I meant, Don. I didn’t intend to say everybody go threaten Barack Obama or incite violence against Barack Obama.’
‘I don’t know of a sane person that would do that. That’s not what I meant, Don.’
Walsh claimed he was “pissed off” and “there really is a war on our cops:”
‘The last couple of years, Barack Obama has done nothing but hate on cops. Accusing cops of being bad and racist.’
Walsh was angry that President Obama said minorities are more likely to be pulled over, searched, or shot at by police. But in fact, even Barack Obama has had trouble getting a cab before he became president.
‘But that’s not accusing cops of being racist. He’s actually pointing out a fact there is systemic racism in this country and there are police departments that need to be reformed.’
Walsh insisted upon his own interpretation:
‘He said cops were racist. Think about this.’
‘When he said there’s systemic racism in the police department after the Minneapolis shooting, he’s telling people on the streets that police officers are racist.’
‘Now, maybe you and I can make that distinction, but when people on the street hear the President of the United States time after time say that there is racism in police departments all over the country, man, that kind of hating leads to what you got in Dallas.’
Using his radio show as a weapon, Walsh stoked the flames of resentment festering within white listeners. He uses selective memory and bent interpretations of events and should be held responsible.
A court can impose penalties, ranging from misdemeanor to felony offense, on someone convicted of making criminal threats. The penalties range from up to a year in prison, fines well over $10,000, or probation.
With talk shows inciting violence, when will they be prosecuted for yelling “Fire!” in a crowded movie theater and face the consequences?
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