CNN’s GUT CHECK for September 14, 2012
Obama: Americans laid down lives 'in service to us all'
September 14th, 2012
05:10 PM ET
6 years ago

CNN’s GUT CHECK for September 14, 2012

CNN's GUT CHECK | for September 14, 2012 | 5 p.m.
n. a pause to assess the state, progress or condition of the political news cycle

BREAKING: SOURCE: TENTATIVE DEAL REACHED IN CHICAGO TEACHER STRIKE A tentative deal has been reached in the dispute between the Chicago Teachers Union and the city's school board, a source with detailed knowledge of the strike negotiations said Friday. Students could be back in the classroom as soon as Monday, according to the source. – Katherine Wojtecki

– 3 killed in protests at U.S. Embassy in Tunis

(Answer below)
Who is Leon Czolgosz and why was he important on this day in history?

MARK (@PrestonCNN) & MICHELLE (@MJaconiCNN)
What caught our eye today in politics

On Fridays we like to reach out to learn from our readers and dip into our Rolodex of professionals to learn from their expertise. Today, we explore the tug of war between free speech and hate speech in the YouTube age.

John Voll, Professor of Islamic history and associate director of the Prince Alwaleed bin Talal Center for Muslim-Christian Understanding at Georgetown University

“I start with the feeling that in dealing with free speech, we have set up a series of categories where there are different attitudes toward free speech and one of the interesting categories that is defined in modern ways is religion. In modernization, secularization and so on, we have tended to view religion as a private, personal, individual thing- the individual can do anything in terms of religion.

“And yet there are other categories where we don’t recognize individual expression. One of those is pornography – but sex Is a personal thing.

“But for public media, films for example that show pedophilia should not be allowed. And the reason that is, that even though everyone should be able to express themselves, overt pedophilia films encourage extremists, and encourage pedophiles. Showing child porn on You Tube arouses and encourages bad people. …

“I tend to think this kind of dimension has to enter into what we can say about religion. In particular we have gone thru these type of things with hate … as sometimes as being dangerous in the same way that showing child pornography creates dangerous situations for children.

“I view this movie in much the same kind of way. … We have some kind of responsibility. We should be very, very careful to opening the door to encouraging the nut cases.”

John Watson, Professor of Communication Law and Journalism Ethics at American University

“The concept of hate speech changes with time and with the size of the audience. The change is not always in the same direction, the smaller the audience, generally the easier it is to decide what is hate speech. …

“Similarly if you are wiring for just one culture, it is easy to identify what is hateful speech. But if you are communicating with the world, which is what you do whenever you go on the Internet, the potential for engaging in hate speech increases exponentially. But simultaneously, the likelihood that you will suffer any consequences diminishes exponentially.

“If you have a world portal, which is what YouTube is, there is virtually nothing you can say that will not offend someone on planet Earth. Only the most mundane acts of communication would be fine. In some parts of the world, if I say ‘everyone woman is equal to every man,’ that is heresy. …

“For YouTube in this case, the pragmatic response is to take it down wherever it is causing the harmful effects. The reality is that if you don't take it down everywhere, you haven’t taken it down anywhere. Once this cat is out of the bag, you can’t put it back.

“As a legal adviser, I would say take it down everywhere that it is going to cause a problem… but there is a moral response to this, a legal response to this and a media response to this. But they are not necessarily all the same. Being guided solely by the law is immoral.”

Eric Goldman, Professor of Law and Director of the High Tech Law Institute, Santa Clara University

“User-generated content (UGC) websites can establish their own ‘acceptable content’ policies however they see fit. Indeed, Congress has legally insulated websites for defining and enforcing their own content standards. See 47 USC 230(c)(2). …

“My bigger concern is that YouTube is selectively blocking the content based on the viewer's geography. I understand why YouTube does this (to avoid a site-wide blockage in the country) but it reminds us of the Internet's fragility. The Internet could be a ‘global’ medium from a technological perspective, but we are artificially imposing geographic borders nevertheless, and the imposition of geographic borders onto a borderless network devolves the Internet into a group of similar–but still different–"Internets." Worse, geography-based content blocks are trivially easy to avoid.”

the LEDE
Did you miss it?

Leading CNNPolitics: Battleground polls: Is Romney's path to the White House now more difficult?
One week past the conventions, a flood of polls have been released in crucial battleground states in the race for the White House. And some of them paint a picture that looks more favorable to President Barack Obama than to Republican nominee Mitt Romney. The polls do have some things in common. They're all of the smaller pool of likely voters and all were conducted after the close of last week's Democratic National Convention in Charlotte, North Carolina. – Paul Steinhauser

Leading Drudge: 'Full-Blown Crisis'
The State Department has gone into full-blown crisis mode, organizing a round-the-clock effort to coordinate the U.S. government's response to the expanding attacks on U.S. embassies in the Middle East and North Africa. – Josh Rogin

Leading HuffPo: What The Hell Do I Mean? Mitt To Making Sense: Drop Dead
In an interview with ABC News Thursday evening, Republican presidential nominee Mitt Romney suggested that, after all was said and done, the Obama administration concluded that his criticism of their handling of yesterday's embassy attacks was valid. “What I said was exactly the same conclusion the White House reached, which was that the statement was inappropriate. That’s why they backed away from it as well,” Romney told George Stephanopoulos. – Sam Stein

Leading Politico: Obama II: Team of insiders
Obama has put little personal time into sketching out what a second-term team would look like, and some decisions hinge very much on the outcome of the congressional elections. But behind the scenes, top officials are doing a lot of the sketching for him as a flood of top administration players — Hillary Clinton, Tim Geithner, David Plouffe and others — are planning quick exits, even if the boss wins. – Mike Allen Jim Vandehei

Leading The New York Times: Fossil Fuel Industry Ads Dominate TV Campaign
When Barack Obama first ran for president, being green was so popular that oil companies like Chevron were boasting about their commitment to renewable energy, and his Republican opponent, John McCain, supported action on global warming. – Eric Lipton and Clifford Krauss

The political bites of the day

- Sports analogies galore -
REP. PAUL RYAN IN A SPEECH AT THE VALUES VOTER SUMMIT IN WASHINGTON, D.C.: “Lately, the president has also been trying out sports comparisons. He compares the fourth year of his term to the fourth quarter of a basketball game. You can expect more of this, because if there's one thing that the man can do, it's talk a good game. Only problem is the clock is running out and he still hasn't put any points on the board.”

- Not an ally, no money for you -
REP. PETER KING (R-NEW YORK) ON CAPITOL HILL: “Egypt is not acting like an ally. This is my own conclusion – is that Egypt is not acting like an ally. And if it does not act like an ally it should not continue to get over a billion dollars in military aid.”

- Bloomberg defends soda ban, cites economics -
NEW YORK MAYOR MICHAEL BLOOMBERG AT AN EVENT IN NEW YORK CITY: “The trends are alarming. The number of people that are dying from the affects of being overweight, diabetes and cancer and heart disease and joint problems, it's going to bankrupt the country. We estimate the costs to treat obesity in New York City currently is $4 billion for the city and roughly $150 billion for the country.”

What stopped us in 140 characters or less

Domenico Montanaro (@DomenicoNBC)
Obama to campaign in Wisconsin

Chad Pergram (@ChadPergram)
Colleague John Brandt reports McCain is calling Libya events a terrorist attack. "It was a terrorist attack carried out by terrorists."

Neil King (@NKingofDC)
Remember when 2008 was all about foreign policy until it was all about the economy & how 2012 was all about the economy until...?

Tasha Diakides (@TashaCNN)
Richard Williamson, a Romney foreign policy adviser: “For the first time since Jimmy Carter, we’ve had an American ambassador assassinated.”

Karen Tumulty (@ktumulty)
Watching ceremony at Andrews. Not since those awful days around 9/11 has "America the Beautiful" sounded so sad.

Jim Acosta (@jimacostacnn)
Ann Romney told Kelly Ripa she walked in on George W Bush getting massage at WH. Later W tells her ‘I look pretty good, don’t I.’ h/t pool

Los Angeles Times (@latimes)
In wake of Fukushima disaster, Japan to end nuclear power by 2030s


On this day in 1901, President William McKinley died from wounds sustained when he was shot by Leon Czolgosz at the Pan-American Exposition in Buffalo, New York.

McKinley survived more than a week after being shot in the abdomen twice by Czolgosz on September 6, 2012. The shooting occurred when McKinley was standing in a receiving line at the exposition. According to historic accounts of the assassination, Czolgosz stood in line with a revolver in his pocket. Once he reached the front of the line, McKinley extended his hand, Czolgosz slapped it away and then shot McKinley twice.

The crowd around the president immediately began to beat Czolgosz. According to reports, McKinley said, “Go easy on him boys. He could not have known.”

Czolgosz was executed on October 29, 1901. His last words, “I killed the President because he was the enemy of the good people – the good working people. I am not sorry for my crime.”

(why aren’t you in it)

Of course Jonathan Gormley (@JonathanGormley) would be the first to correctly answer the question that had to do with someone from Ohio. Have a good weekend, everyone.

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Tips or comments? Send them to Michelle; send complaints to Preston, because he is already in a bad mood. We also want to give a shout out to Dan Merica, who runs our Twitter account @gutCheckCNN and enriches this product every single day.

Filed under: 2012 • CNN's Gut Check
soundoff (53 Responses)
  1. NVa Native

    Our President is a great American. All those who slander him with their lies and the ignorance of their bigotry are not.

    September 14, 2012 05:15 pm at 5:15 pm |
  2. Marie MD

    This is so terribly sad. The death of four Americans has been turned into a hate Obama circus by the bully bishop's campaign. That's how bad he needs to be president. It's disgusting!!! It's immoral and anyone who still believes this twit deserves anything except his mansion eith car elevators is a complete brainless fool!
    On one hand we have an Ambassador who loved his job and loved the culture and people he so wanted to help rebuild their country. Lybians also died teeing to defend them.
    On the other hand we have a disgusting human being who is trying tom change history as it happens. First by speaking without knowing what was going on and during the attack on our Embassy then turning all his failures around in the last 48 hours to blame the President, and in turn, US!!!

    September 14, 2012 05:18 pm at 5:18 pm |
  3. porchhound

    "The suit coat draped casually across the vacant chair in the oval office belied the threat lurking just outside the door ...unread intell reports lay in a pile on his was bad news probably but it was always bad news these days. No problem though for the would-be inhabitant of this hallowed room....for it wasn't the office or its furnishings that compelled him to occasionally visit this chamber. No, it was his reflection smiling back at him in the pane of glass overlooking the nation he had lead to destruction....mission accomplished!"

    September 14, 2012 05:19 pm at 5:19 pm |
  4. JT

    Obama is like the President on Mars Attacks, welcoming the aliens with opening arms in diplomacy as they shoot him.

    September 14, 2012 05:25 pm at 5:25 pm |
  5. Lynda/Minnesota

    The weight of the world is on this man's shoulders and those within his own country seek to destroy him. Sad day for America all around.

    September 14, 2012 05:36 pm at 5:36 pm |
  6. Woman In California

    @ Marie MD

    My sentiments exactly. Well said.

    September 14, 2012 05:40 pm at 5:40 pm |
  7. Woman In California

    And for those imbeciles, who stated the president was campaigning in Nevada instead of governing, let me try and explain this to you. As president, it is part of his job to keep the spirits UP of the American people and most importantly, not to let our enemies EVER "think" they have defeated and gotten the best of us in anyway, and for that, I say thank you Mr. President, for your steady approach and intelligence in guiding this country through the most difficult period of my lifetime.

    Obama/Biden 2012

    September 14, 2012 05:46 pm at 5:46 pm |
  8. Joan

    It was ironic today that while the President and Sec. Clinton were taking part in a sombre and heart breaking ceremony when the bodies of the four slain Americans returned to the US, Mitt Romney was ranting at a campaign rally. Wouldn't it have been nice if Romney had delayed the rally for a couple of hours so that he and the people there could watch the service? After all it was a service honouring American heroes and was not a political event. Also, shouldn't all of the leaders and media in the countries where protests are taking place tell their citizens the truth. Shouldn't they tell them that the film was made by a bigoted radical and that it was not representative of the American government and people? They need to know that. Also, when is the film maker going to be completey investigated? It should be made public who he associated with, where he worked, was he an activist, who supported him in the making of the film and what political party he is associated with? Since he did have ties with the crazy Florida pastor who was a member of the radical right, then maybe he was too. The American people should be told the truth about all of these things.

    September 14, 2012 05:52 pm at 5:52 pm |
  9. Sniffit

    "The weight of the world is on this man's shoulders and those within his own country seek to destroy him. Sad day for America all around."

    The burdens we carry willingly with hope for the future are the lightest of all.


    September 14, 2012 06:12 pm at 6:12 pm |
  10. Gurgyl


    September 14, 2012 06:26 pm at 6:26 pm |
  11. pkrbkr

    Lynda and Woman in CA, you said it all! Thank you!

    September 14, 2012 06:41 pm at 6:41 pm |
  12. Michael

    Mutt Robme and Lyin Ryan are political pretenders, consevative hacks, and not ready for prime time! CNN, stop proping up these two wing nuts, American people know what your doing trying to make this election cycle close! CNN, where is your reporting on Sam Bacile, Pastor Terry Jones of Gainesville, Fla, Morris Sadek, a conservative Coptic Christian in the U.S. whose behind the film which is responsible for deaths of Americans! I hope ths repuglican party does not influence your reporting on these extremist! These conservative extremist will start World War III and blame President Obama, how is that possible when we supposedly have a 24 hour news cycle to report these facts! Letting GOP reinvent this into a freedom of speech forum is disegenious, manipulative, dishonest and deceptive! THE REAL PEOPLE RESPONSIBLE FOR 4 AMERICANS KILLED IS CHRISTIAN CONSERVATIVE EXTREMIST IDEOLOGY AND CONSERVATIVES WHO UPHOLD THEIR INCENDIARY RHETORIC!

    September 14, 2012 06:44 pm at 6:44 pm |
  13. Thomas

    @Marie MD

    Sad but true ,

    Thanks for your senserity !

    September 14, 2012 06:50 pm at 6:50 pm |
  14. Wake up People!

    This is a sad day and Willard the tax evading rat shows his true colors.

    OTOH, I love seeing pictures of our POTUS and SOS. They seem to have a genuine, mutual respect for one another.

    OBAMA 2012!

    September 14, 2012 07:07 pm at 7:07 pm |
  15. OCCaVoter

    to porchhound: you are a pathetic human being that calls yourself an American?
    to jt: very unamerican for you to describe our men in uniform and the President to a movie.

    September 14, 2012 07:11 pm at 7:11 pm |
  16. OCCaVoter

    Obama is comin back out swinging with his might. This is just the begining.

    September 14, 2012 07:13 pm at 7:13 pm |
  17. Malory Archer

    "The suit coat draped casually across the vacant chair in the oval office belied the threat lurking just outside the door ...unread intell reports lay in a pile on his was bad news probably but it was always bad news these days. No problem though for the would-be inhabitant of this hallowed room....for it wasn't the office or its furnishings that compelled him to occasionally visit this chamber. No, it was his reflection smiling back at him in the pane of glass overlooking the nation he had lead to destruction....mission accomplished!"


    Thanks for reminding us of the eight year reign of error that ended January 20, 2009! Too many Americans have short memories and need to be reminded lest they condemn us to repeat the past.

    September 14, 2012 07:19 pm at 7:19 pm |
  18. GI Joe

    While we were mourning our losses, the republicans were having a "family values hate-fest". SHAME ON THE REPUBLICANS. THEY ARE UN-AMERICAN.

    September 14, 2012 07:26 pm at 7:26 pm |
  19. Pete

    Again ,my thoughts and prayers go out to the families of the ambassador and his staffers killed senselessly in Libya.God Bless you all and God Bless America!!
    I'm also glad this teachers strike has been taken care of,kids need teachers and we need educated kids,thanks to all those teachers!!

    September 14, 2012 07:32 pm at 7:32 pm |
  20. NVa Native

    I voted for Ronald Reagan....Mitt Romney – you are no Ronald Reagan. Not even on (or from?) the same planet.

    September 14, 2012 07:35 pm at 7:35 pm |
  21. Gurgyl

    Hillary, you are just wonderful. We love you so dearly. Please be ready for 2016 to run the show.

    September 14, 2012 07:56 pm at 7:56 pm |
  22. clark

    Romney is a disgrace definitely not fit to be Commander in Chief. F*****@$$WIPE!!

    September 14, 2012 08:06 pm at 8:06 pm |
  23. o

    Mitt the twit and Lyin Ryan wish they could be leaders instead they are sorry wastes of skin.

    September 14, 2012 08:15 pm at 8:15 pm |
  24. Jello

    Marie MD - very well put. Agree 100%. Willard won't win. But, the question is - why is he running? To check something off on a list? Surely he's not about helping the majority.

    September 14, 2012 08:26 pm at 8:26 pm |
  25. Bullcrap

    What a load of crap this is. The only reason Obama and Hillary are there is because it is THEIR FAULT these people are dead. While this poor helpless ambassador was being abused and murdered in the street, Obama was asleep. What a pathetic loser. Can't wait until these pretenders are out of office.

    September 14, 2012 08:44 pm at 8:44 pm |
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