On November 2, the entire civilised world will be praying, praying Bush loses. And Sod's law dictates he'll probably win, thereby disproving the existence of God once and for all. The world will endure four more years of idiocy, arrogance and unwarranted bloodshed, with no benevolent deity to watch over and save us. John Wilkes Booth, Lee Harvey Oswald, John Hinckley Jr - where are you now that we need you?
- Charlie Brooker, The Guardian, 23.10.04
Really I don't know what all the fuss is about, do you? John Hinckley Junior did not kill Ronald Reagan, and we all know that Lee Harvey Oswald did not kill John F Kennedy (who, in any case, was a Democrat). Surely not even at Fox "News" do they really think any Charlie Brooker afficionado would go out and do the deed on GWB, even if he could get within ten kilometres of him?
The quote above comes from the final paragraph of Brooker's weekly, and generally flipped out, TV preview in last Saturday's edition of the Grauniad. It's the fact that those paragons of American society looking out for Left Wing Bias Everywhere spotted it on the web that caused such a stir. Such a stir that the Guardian actually pulled the original article from its website. (It has been reproduced here and no doubt many other places.) In its place they left this apology, of sorts.
It's a pity that The Guardian withdrew the complete article from the web, but also good that they didn't completely abandon him.
Although flippant and tasteless, his closing comments were intended as an ironic joke, not as a call to action - an intention he believed regular readers of his humorous column would understand.
As I've heard Bill O'Reilly on Fox "News" say, "Hey that was satire! My viewers know that."
This query of the Guardian's archive brings up a list of Brooker's earlier columns for them.
All I will say is that it is a pity The Chaser's lift-out guide to assassinating President Bush, published before his Australian visit last year, is not on line.
What does Leon Czolgosz have to do with all this? Read Wikipedia's entry on the man who shot President William McKinley in 1901.
(Footnote of the bleeding obvious: I do not advocate the taking of human life under any circumstances, assassination or otherwise. I think Charlie Brooker and/or his Guardian sub would have been better served to have removed the last sentence of his article, but I defend their right to publish it. - Rick.)