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Shocking Fox News video: Guest chuckles over killing Osama, Obama

Does this Fox News contributor, Liz Trotta, really suggest what it sounds like she suggests -- the assassination of both Osama bin Laden and Barack Obama? And then laughs!

Where is the outrage?  And the apology?

(UPDATE: Finally, it came and abject it was. (See below, a good ways into the tape.)

(UPDATE TO THE UPDATE: Over at WakeUp America, Susan makes a powerful point. Jeffrey Feldman of HuffingtonPost has a strong denunciation of the Trotta gaffe and a call for greater broadcast scrutiny and care about such language because the public does not want it. Though as of late Monday he had not posted Trotta's apology.

(Yet, on the same HuffPost site there's an apparently satirical piece by Guy Saperstein quoting a hopefully fictitious Clinton campaign strategy memo saying, "Assassination is still on the table, but it is still only one of many possibilities." This is funny stuff on one page but legitimate outrage on another?

(And does anyone remember outrage a while back when Sen. Ted Kennedy called the Illinois senator Osama bin Laden?)

--Andrew Malcolm

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How can someone say something like this when there are thousands of lunatics who don't need more "creativity." Fox should not let this individual set foot on its network never again.

This is an example of how dangerous the Huckabee joke and the Clinton comment is: It puts it out there, and it allows troglodytes like this woman to go on networks and make jokes about it so it seems like no big deal. Then, God knows what will happen next. For once, Don and Andrew, I agree with you: Where is the outrage?

People are truly showing who they are during this Presidential Primary. Running for President requires one to be 35 years old and a U. S. citizen. When people harbor or have prejudicial beliefs regarding race, gender, or any other topic, they will verbally let someone know about it. If the USA cannot conquer its racial divide, why is the military in Iraq trying to make them do something that the USA cannot do? Race and ethnicity will always matter.

Shame on Fox, even bigger shame on Hillery Clinton. There can be no excuse for linking assasination to any of our candidates for President. If the FCC can fine a company using the public airways for using a four letter word why can't the FCC fine fox for this outrageous behavior. Liz Trotta should not be allowed back on any public airways and Hillery Clinton should retire from the race. If the people of New York really thought about Hillery's actions this campaign they would do the country a favor and vote her out of office.

This is why the heinous act Senator Clinton invoked should not be dismissed so easily.

Please contact Howard Dean ([email protected]) and Nancy Pelosi ( to let them know how you feel. You can also go to this website and lobby the Uncommitted Superdelegates in each state (

Please take action.

That was worth a spit-take.

Calling for assassination of a presidential candidate is a crime. So is inciting violence over the airways.

Liza Trotta should be arrested and Fox News should have its license yanked.

So should Rush Limbaugh, who publicly called for riots at the Democratic Convention.

Once again...FAUX NEWS shows its true colors. A network based on promoting fear and hate for ratings.

That's pretty damned disgusting. She's evil. She deserves to 1) have the Secret Service directly in HER face - as does FOX "News", who encourages this type of talk; and 2) to be out of a job. She's not fit to be called a "journalist", but at least she's been caught crawling out from under her rock.

Liz Trotta's apology sounded no more sincere than Hillary Clinton's.

I don't really think an apology alone cuts it in this case. She showed shocking lack of judgment at the very least.

I hope that some of those offended by this kind of joke you made, don't take is seriously. Ma'm I don't think this is the kind of attention you would like to get into. It's dangerous you know!

Who cares??

Few weeks ago the Clinton campaign was into the silly season,such as poor white will not vote for a black man. Now it has taken a new low, such as She is still in the race because Obama could be assasinated like RFK. The reason RFK campaign in June was because he did not enter the race until March after President Johnson would not seek relection. Her husband did not have a serious opponent after March, so this claim make no sense. I would not wish death on anyone. The remaining voters need to end this madness by voting for the nominee Obama to give him the pledged delegates to reach 2025.

This is a non-issue. The only outrage comes from the Barack Hussein Obama apologists. In other words, the 90% of the mainstream media that support and will be voting for Mr. Obama in Nov'08. For the the other 70% of the American population, this is a non-issue.

Well, Andrew, that was a real apology...completely unreserved.

What do you want? The donning of a hairshirt? Self-flagellation with a cat o' nine tails?

It is clear that Trotta was making an aside that was personal. She was straying from her commentary and using the first-person plural (...both if "we" could.) to distinguish the remark from her references to Clinton. Otherwise Trotta would have said "she" and likely would not have laughed gleefully at the notion.

And this is not the first time Fox Newsies have threatend violence against Democrats. More here:

Thank You. I watched that interview live and couldn't believe the host didn't say more than, "....tell us how you really feel."
My three children would be a better host and least they know the difference between right and wrong.

There is nothing ambiguous here. Liz Trotta is calling for the assassination ("knock off") of both Osama and Obama. Fox News is giving the world a preview of the hate-fueled tactics they will use to cover the general election.

There is no outrage. Nothing to be angry about. Senator Clinton's comment were exaggerated by Senator Obama's supporter's. I'm sorry no matter how hard you try, no one is going to cram down voting for the Illinois Senator down my throat. No matter how you twist it. It's over. When it comes time for general election I will not vote for him. How big of him not to hold it against her. I bet he's just eating this up.
Senator Obama wants to make friends with the enemy. Where is the outrage in this?

Wow it is amazing to me that in 2008 the suggestion by
Clinton, and jokes by the fox guess, that a Black political
candidate may be asssinated, is even being uttered publicly. Just goes to show that white America is starting to show it's true colors.

Apology??? Are you kidding...this woman should be fired and the FCC should fine Fox News heavily....

When are we going to stop this horrible stuff? Whether emanating from the Left or Right, hate-speech must end. Ms. Trotta should be fired immediately.

Liz Trotta is not just a Fox "News" guest, she is an employee. This, in my opinion, makes her reprehensible statements reflect even worse on the network.

Is it not a slip of the tongue? After all Osama and Obama are so close that the names could be exchanged. I know one should be very careful, but sometimes the excitemnet of being in front of a camera can render one's clear thinking obfuscated...
[email protected]

Where do I begin?

First: Clinton did not say in her original statement that RFK was still campaigning in June. She said he was "assassinated in June". Big difference. Classic Clintonspeak, trying to twist words.

Second: That was as weak an apology by this Liz Trotta Troll as I've ever seen. She said it'd be OK with her if Obama was shot. That's THREE ASSASSINATION comments in less than 10 days, and this one was on a (reportedly) major news network. Forget the FCC. Where's the Secret Service???

The usual "apology" includes "if I have offended you." Trotta's was no different and was as insincere as a pedophile in church. I complained to the FCC and to Fox, not that it'll do a fat lot of good. She should be excoriated in the mainstream media.

The bottom line is that she lumped Barack Obama in with Osama bin Laden and then said how great it would be if both of them were killed. That goes way beyond a "lame attempt at humor" and while I'm sure she is absolutely sincere in wishing that she hadn't said it, the fact remains that she did, and nothing she said in that "apology" explains or excuses it.

Section 879 of Title 18 prohibits knowing and willful threats to kill, kidnap, or inflict bodily harm against the following categories of persons who are protected by the United States Secret Service:

1. Members of the immediate family of the President;

2. Members of the immediate family of the Vice President;

3. Former Presidents;

4. Members of the immediate family of a former President;

5. Major candidates for the Office of President and Vice President;

6. Spouses of major candidates for the Office of President and Vice President within 120 days of the general Presidential election; and

7. Immediate families of the President-elect and Vice President-elect.

The purpose of this statute is to prohibit threats against former Presidents and other Secret Service protectees not covered by the Presidential threat statute, 18 U.S.C. § 871, or the protection of foreign officials statute, 18 U.S.C. § 112. This gives the Secret Service the legal basis for investigating and prosecuting threats against all categories of persons authorized to be protected under 18 U.S.C. § 3056 and Public Law No. 90-331, 82 Stat. 170, as amended, and who are in fact being protected by the Secret Service. Sections 115 and 351 of Title 18 may provide a basis for criminal prosecution for threats to government and former government officials and their immediate families which may or may not be covered by sections 871 or 879. See United States v. Raymar, 876 F.2d 383, 389-390, (5th Cir.), cert. denied, 493 U.S. 870 (1989).

A prosecution under 18 U.S.C. § 879 would not only require proof that the statement could reasonably be perceived as a threat but would also require some evidence that the maker intended the statement to be a threat. Objective circumstances would bear upon the proof of both subjective intent and objective perceptions. For example, if a person were serving a term of life imprisonment without the possibility of parole and therefore objectively could not be perceived as presently able to effect a threat to kill a protectee next week, this circumstance should bear upon whether a communication by the person would be considered as "knowingly and willfully" made. H.R. Rep. No. 725, 97th Cong., 2d Sess. 4 (1982), reprinted in 1982 U.S. Code Cong. and Adm. News 2624, 2626.

The application of 18 U.S.C. § 879 was significantly altered in 1994 by restrictions placed upon the Secret Service's authority to provide protection for Former Presidents who did not serve as President prior to January 1, 1997, their spouses, and minor children. Section 3056(a)(3) of Title 18, generally restricts protection to a period of 10 years from the date such former President leaves office rather than for life; and to a one year period for the spouse when the President dies in office or within one year after leaving office, with spousal protection to terminate upon remarriage or divorce from, or death of, a former President, rather than solely upon remarriage. Subsection (a)(4) restricts protection of children of a former President who are under 16 years of age to the shorter of a maximum period of 10 years or upon the child becoming 16 years of age.

Anything you say with a smirk on your face, and with a bunch of chuckling at the end, doesn't count as an apology in my book.

But what do you expect? It's Fox News. That's why I don't, and never will, watch their network. I get enough right-wing propaganda from the REAL media.

Not to excuse the original statement, but it seemed more off-the-wall than mean or nasty in the three-minute clip:

What's she going to say, she meant it? She's only sorry she was caught saying it and laughing. She should be fired. And the Secret Service should arrest her for inciting such a horrible idea.

Fox is getting more and more ridiculous

Fox News is GUTTER. I watched this video, but my television hasn't been on the fox news channel in over 5 years. Not for even 1 second.

It's unfortunate that Hillary's statements could be so misinterpreted as to bring forth the comments of such a person. Only an enemy agent would 'jokingly' hope that assassination is what's needed to end the candidacy of someone they didn't favor. I am shocked and ashamed for this person.

It is shameful some of our good friends on the "right" feel as they can "joke" about senator Obama in such a disgusting way. I would love to hear their feigned outrage if someone joked that way about president Bush.

She should be fired right now, the problem is that the FOX news cult loves those who hate others, and therefore she won't be fired. In fact, she probably will ultimately be rewarded for her terrible actions, which is incredibly unfortunate.

This is not news. Another case of desperate Obama supporting "reporters" trying to create news out of nothing. Move along.

I hate Fox, but let's not blow this out of proportion. If video games don't cause violence, I doubt her comment will actually instigate an assassination attempt on a presidential candidate.

No one - I mean no one should make these kinds of statements, In jest or not it is not appropriate. This woman was just as 'prepared' as was Hillary. Shame on both of them.

What astounds me, is that in the full interview she's bashing Clinton for being a race-baiter, and being an idiot for referencing the assassination of Kennedy -

then turns around and dances on the third rail herself.

I'd almost give her a mulligan and think she had said "Well both if she could" - instead of "we", but she called him "Osama", and the host had NO qualms about what she said "Tell us how you really feel"....

Which means she probably says things enough like this that the reporter just replied with sarcasm.

Just scary.

Too late, this woman should be fired, and apologize to Michelle and Barack Obama. They have daughters, and this is not funny!! Shame on Fox News, I already called some of the sponsors and demanded they do not have business with this horrific news network.

Ms Trotta's comments reflect the lack of decency and
vile appeal to the worst in people that Fox News and
other "pundits" exploit. Isn't it time that we demand
civility and decency in public discourse?


This is in violation of U.S. Code, Title 18, Part 1 Section 879 Section 3056 (a) (6): She should be fined.
I have also filed a complaint with the FCC against FOX News.. It's time soneone stopped what they determine to be
objective reporting. At this point everyone can see this is nothing more than race baiting in its worst form.

To those who think it's no big deal to refer to Obama as Osama and joke about killing him .... you should be out raising money to help your losing candidate pay off her debts. Then go get your McCain 08 shirts pressed and cleaned since you are the same babies who will vote the opposite of your morals just to spite someone ... assuming you had morals to begin with.

That apology was completely insincere. She was trying not to laugh again. Honestly, why doesn't the FCC get up in arms about this? Fox ought to fire her.

Note to Get Real:

You are really drinking the Clinton hogwash aren't you? Senator Obama had ABSOLUTELY NOTHING to do with the comments that came out of CLINTON'S mouth and now Fox News. I thought his response was classy and not a single one of his surrogates have attacked Sen. Clinton one single time. REPUTABLE news reporters were shocked at this. I bet if it was directed at Sen. Clinton you Clintonistas would be marching in the streets demanding that reporter be fired. And now......... I suppose you are going to hold Sen. Obama or his supporters responsible for a wacked-out Bill Clinton claiming a coverup regarding votes as he did yesterday. I seriously think both the Clinton's need a looooooooong rest.

Senator Obama's supporters have absolutely nothing to do with forcing Clinton or Trotta to say what they did. Why don't they take responsibility for it? And now that teacher who utter Clinton's words in a CLASSROOM and was investigated by the Secret Service and lost her job; that Sen. Obama or his supporters are responsible for that too? You are nuts just like the Clintons.

This is reprehensible! This woman is absolutely disgusting. She should be utterly ashamed of herself. What has happened to our country? I am so ashamed of what was once a wonderful place to live, at least that is what I thought. Now it is full of vipers who have flushed the good name and good heart of our country down the tubes. Fox News is full of liars and pinheads who are wreaking havoc on this country and the world.

I can't wait to be watching Fox "News" when President Obama is inaugurated.

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About the Columnist
A veteran foreign and national correspondent, Andrew Malcolm has served on the L.A. Times Editorial Board and was a Pulitzer finalist in 2004. He is the author of 10 nonfiction books and father of four. Read more.
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