Despite the huge media hubub that it's caused, the U.S. Secret Service is formally denying an allegation from a Pennsylvania newspaper that an attendee at a Republican rally shouted out "kill him" in reference to Democratic presidential candidate Barack Obama.
"We have yet to find someone to back up the story," agent Bill Slavoski told the Wilkes-Barre Times Leader. "We had people all over and we have yet to find anyone who said they heard it."
The alleged remark was first reported by David Singleton, a writer for the Scranton Times-Tribune newspaper. Singleton remains the sole person claiming he heard the offensive words:
Agent Bill Slavoski said he was in the audience, along with an undisclosed number of additional secret service agents and other law enforcement officers and not one heard the comment.
“I was baffled,” he said after reading the report in Wednesday’s Times-Tribune.
He said the agency conducted an investigation Wednesday, after seeing the story, and could not find one person to corroborate the allegation other than Singleton.
Slavoski said more than 20 non-security agents were interviewed Wednesday, from news media to ordinary citizens in attendance at the rally for the Republican vice presidential candidate held at the Riverfront Sports Complex. He said Singleton was the only one to say he heard someone yell “kill him.”
Despite his lonely status (the Secret Service considers the matter "closed"), Singleton stands by his story although he does admit that he has no description of the person he claims uttered the phrase.
Singleton's editor, Jeff Sonderman, is striking a rather CBSish pose on the affair, defending his reporter in astonishingly confident language:
"We stand by the story. The facts reported are true and that's really all there is."
Who wants to bet that the LSM which earlier jumped all over the original story will be as quick to report this denial?
Don't all raise your hands.
Update 2:55. This is the second of two "kill him" reports we've seen. Like this one, the first is all hype and no substance.
While the first "kill him" comment has been confirmed by multiple individuals, as Patrick Frey pointed out on the 14th, this remark was directed toward far left former terrorist Bill Ayers, not toward Obama.
Both of these stories are false. There is not one cofirmed report of a person at a Republican rally shouting "kill him" in reference to Barack Obama.
If you have time, feel free to drop a line to Snopes.com and tell them the facts about this. This inaccurate story deserves to be corrected.