As you may have heard already, another in-the-works plot against Barack Obama's life was foiled. (Hey cops, where were you when Jessica Tandy was murdered?) We've already seen the photo of a spooky skinhead teenager with a Swastika tattoo and Kevlar vest, brandishing a rifle, because it's been thoughtfully published by every single news source in America, including Backstage Magazine. I realize when this kind of image rears its head, our news media has a responsibility to publish it--preferably in color, as large as possible, and beneath a headline written in that type face that looks like the letters are dripping vampire blood--but I can't help but think there's something really irresponsible about the way this story was run.
I'm not talking about the fact that this is the sort of incendiary news that
could make some on-the-fence voters think twice about voting for a Presidential candidate they worry might be targeted for assassination. Or the possibility that this kind of story could give other, less creative types a similar idea. No, I just think it was incredibly irresponsible of our national news media to sit for several days on this important detail from the story:
"Both individuals stated that they would dress in all-white tuxedos and wear top hats during the assassination attempt..."
WHITE TUXEDOS AND TOP HATS??!!?? Why wasn't this mentioned the moment this story broke? Why wasn't this the headline in every single article, and the intro in every single TV news package? So many possibilities. The mind reels:
- WOULD-BE ASSASSINS PLANNED TO GO OUT 'IN STYLE'
- HEIL HALSTON!
- BAD GUYS WEAR WHITE
- DRESSED TO KILL
- A WHITE POWER TIE AFFAIR
- (FLAK) JACKET REQUIRED
- ASSASSINATION PLOT? FANCY THAT!
- TOP HATS, TAILS, AND A HIGH-POWERED RIFLE
- DOOMSDAY DANDIES
- PROM KING KILLERS (alternately, DOMINICAN WEDDING ATTENDANT KILLERS)
- DO YOU HAVE ANY GREY POUPON AND BULLETS?
- TWO JACKASSES SMOKE WEED AND ACTUALLY TALK ABOUT WEARING TOP HATS TO KILL PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE
Everything you need to know about that story--the psychology of the criminals, the level of planning that went into this plot, the likelihood of its success--is right there in that statement. (from The L.A. Times) And, as if you now needed more proof that these guys were probably not going to get around to pulling off their idiotic killing spree, how about this? According to this article, the teens were also planning on wearing their white tuxedos and top hats while driving very fast in their car (presumably on the same road as Barack Obama?) and then shooting at Senator Obama from their car windows. In top hats. While blasting Taco's "Puttin' On The Ritz" from their car stereo. (OK, I made up that last part. OR DID I?)
Also, it's possible this incident might have raised some local suspicion:
On Oct. 22, the men bought food, rope and two ski masks from a Wal-Mart in Brownsville, Tenn.
(Fellas, every criminal worth his salt knows if you're going to buy a pair of ski masks and rope, split up. One guy buys the rope, another guy buys the ski masks. You don't want to send both of those items down the Wal-Mart conveyor belt at the same time. It's like buying condoms and chloroform. At least throw some stuff in there to get them off the scent, like Twizzlers or a duck call. Truly a bush league mistake.)
This is one of those rare instances where I wish the would-be perpetrators had just a tiny bit more time to work on their assassination plot before being caught. I'm not suggesting they should have kicked off their crime spree. I just wish they'd had time to rent their tuxedos and top hats and taken a few photos. Besides being just fantastic, I think it would give the American public a more accurate understanding of exactly how viable this assassination threat was if, instead of seeing a giant photo of a muscular skinhead in a bulletproof vest, we saw this: