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. Nola Miller

    I have decided to stop fighting the haters and bullies that each and everyday spew their venom toward President Obama. Yes I have decided that the best way to deal with the likes of you is to just ignore each of you. By ignoring you I give you no power.

    September 14, 2012 08:52 pm at 8:52 pm |
  2. Jello

    I love our President - and this picture of Hillary and he. I am so sorry for the families that lost loved ones.

    September 14, 2012 09:00 pm at 9:00 pm |
  3. ThinkAgain: Mittens 'n' Munster are Liars

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

    Yeah, right, tell that to Osama bin Laden and all the al Qaeda operatives that have been taken out on President Obama's order.

    September 14, 2012 09:07 pm at 9:07 pm |
  4. CBR

    The President and Secretary of State led a short memorial service for the four Americans. They were eloquent and they spoke from the heart. Both are absolutely correct in stating that an attack on religion, any religion is just plain wrong. If is very sad that some think that terrorism and this religion go hand in hand. They do not and it is unfair and wrong for people to make that assumption.

    We have heard about the attacks on religion in the USA. Those who talk about this are also the same people who would accuse the President of apologizing for this video that is so unjust. First they blamed this on a man who was supposed to be an Israeli. Turns out he is a militant Christian. Think about the Nazi plans for religions and how they had scapegoats for everything. Are we forgetting that once one group is gone, the predator will go after another group and another group until only those that have the same traits will be living.

    September 14, 2012 09:08 pm at 9:08 pm |
  5. ThinkAgain: Mittens 'n' Munster are Liars

    God bless President Obama and Secretary of State Clinton. What horrible responsibilities that come with their jobs, which they handle with such dignity and grace.

    September 14, 2012 09:08 pm at 9:08 pm |
  6. ThinkAgain: Mittens 'n' Munster are Liars

    @porchhound: Good description of GW!

    September 14, 2012 09:10 pm at 9:10 pm |
  7. GI Joe

    We love our President and our Secretary of State.

    So many radicals in the U.S. are stirring up trouble all over the world and causing the unrest. It's a shame some people have rights ----- just saying.

    September 14, 2012 09:44 pm at 9:44 pm |
  8. bruno sako

    it is a very sad day.

    September 14, 2012 09:52 pm at 9:52 pm |
  9. Larry in Houston

    ironic photo – too bad that they weren't the Team – instead of the one who is the gaff maker. If they were the Team, there wouldn't be any polls to worry about – it would be a grand slam. and he wouldn't have to go around & waste his time to campaign.

    September 14, 2012 09:54 pm at 9:54 pm |
  10. you have got to be kidding---you voted for obama

    Disgusting that they would use this tragedy as a photo op.

    September 14, 2012 10:17 pm at 10:17 pm |
  11. Sorensen

    Watching Obama and Clinton should make americans proud of their country. What class.

    September 14, 2012 10:22 pm at 10:22 pm |
  12. Anonymous

    Why is there nothing on CNN about the EPA Che Guevara email?

    September 14, 2012 10:29 pm at 10:29 pm |
  13. Warren

    Each day I see Romney or Ryan is a sader day... Their lies are so bad that I can not see anyone wanting to vote for him. You can look at their faces and see them lying and thinking they are pulling fast ones on the American people. Romney keeps making remarks like the full force of our military (war) and him wanting to give 2.6 trillion more to the military than what they asked for tells us, He plans to start a war if elected. Ryan, says he is a good Catholic. Does good Catholics go by the 10 commandments? Thall shall not LIE.... Thall shall not Steal, Thall shall not bare faulse witness.... I do not consider him a good Catholic nor a good person. Romney was a religious leader for the Mormans... Lying everytime he turns around... Hate to see his judgement day! I can not vote for liars that think they are better than everyone else. These crooks just too much.....

    September 14, 2012 10:45 pm at 10:45 pm |
  14. Warren

    @ Joan....

    He is most likely tied to the Koch Brothers.... That would be Tea Party & the Tea Party is running the Republicans... It's sad that all the commercials out and things they put out about Obama are slurs of Obama and put downs to Muslims.....Doing what they do, can cost lives but they dont care as long as they get elected..... Americas' Politics have became a sad event in America. We will never get truths from the corrupt government.!

    September 14, 2012 10:51 pm at 10:51 pm |
  15. PaMom

    This president is too arrogant to understand his inadequacies as president. As a community organizer and a freshman senator who was absent most of the time, he thinks he is more qualified on foreign affairs than Mitt Romney. I guess he learned it all at Acorn.. At this moment, even Jimmy Carter has a higher rating than him. I blame this administration for the deaths of these people. Obama is all knowing...he doesn't have to attend intel briefings or hear from advisors. How dare he not fortify embassy's during 9/11 anniversary! He had intel. He just deemed it inactionable. How dare he ignore Isreal? How dare he think there is time to deal with Iran? He is an imposter and I have never disapproved of a president like him. I believe there will be protests if he is re-elected or not. The man is the great divider. I am a white female, prochoice and not a racist. I just believe in this country, the opportunity everyone of us has to succeed (it is your choice) and support the people defending us. May Obama be a one term president.

    September 14, 2012 10:54 pm at 10:54 pm |
  16. Warren

    Funny thing is Romney & RYan say Obama will only lie during the debates...... The big liars so far has been Romney and Lying Ryan........ Seriously look at their facial expressions as they talk.... Facial gives away their untruthfulness....

    September 14, 2012 10:55 pm at 10:55 pm |
  17. Warren

    Each day I see Romney or Ryan is a sader day... Their lies are so bad that I can not see anyone wanting to vote for him. You can look at their faces and see them lying and thinking they are pulling fast ones on the American people. Romney keeps making remarks like the full force of our military (war) and him wanting to give 2.6 trillion more to the military than what they asked for tells us, He plans to start a war if elected. Ryan, says he is a good Catholic. Does good Catholics go by the 10 commandments? Thall shall not LIE.... Thall shall not Steal, Thall shall not bare faulse witness.... I do not consider him a good Catholic nor a good person. Romney was a religious leader for the Mormans... Lying everytime he turns around... Hate to see his judgement day! I can not vote for liars that think they are better than everyone else. These crooks just too much.....

    September 14, 2012 11:01 pm at 11:01 pm |
  18. Observer

    Thank you Hillary and Obama for such dignity, May God rest the souls of the fallen Ambassador, and the 3 Marines in eternal peace.

    September 14, 2012 11:14 pm at 11:14 pm |
  19. Sue

    It would be nice if the republican candidates for the highest US jobs would stop pandering to the Islamic radicals by promoting their videos in an attempt to slander the sitting president. This amateurish piece of film was made by a man who hates Muslim, backed up by a hate-mongering 'so-called' Christian, which romney and ryan are using as a tool to advance themselves. Ironic since romney is a follower of a self-styled preacher who led his followers out to the middle of Utah to continue his practicing polygamy and baptizing the dead. Guess romney thinks he's just as 'special' as Joseph Smith and Brigham Young, the rules of society don't pertain to them.

    September 14, 2012 11:26 pm at 11:26 pm |
  20. rosie

    It is a sad day someone lost a love one and the people are talking and not praying for those whom they loved this is. A sad day

    September 14, 2012 11:27 pm at 11:27 pm |
  21. DENNA

    I watched the ceremony when the remains of those four brave Americans came home. It would have been nice if Romney had been watching when President Obama and Secretary of State Hillary Clinton were honoring these our fallen hero, It would have been nice if Romney had kept his stupid pie hole shut for one moment.

    September 14, 2012 11:49 pm at 11:49 pm |
  22. Thinking Texan

    Thugga Dement and Lyan Ryan, sticking their BS into the Chicago's business like they know what is going on.

    What they can't figure out is that the teachers are not the enemy. Much of it boils down to not being taken for granted.

    And we know taking people for granted is way of life in Republistan, they got the flippocrite oath to abide by.

    September 14, 2012 11:53 pm at 11:53 pm |
  23. J.V.Hodgson

    This is the lowest of the low saying he thinks the president will lie before he has even spoken
    Give me a break how can you justify that in any moral way except overl stupid interprtetation fo freedom speech ala the silly islamic film in this case tha kind of anticipatory you lie is not a vote winner.
    Bye bye mitt i just lost any leaning towards voting for you.

    September 15, 2012 12:36 am at 12:36 am |
  24. Thomasqng

    Best wishes from , , , ,

    September 15, 2012 12:39 am at 12:39 am |
  25. Anonymous

    @ porchhound: if there's any such thing as reincarnation, you'll be born in the most uncivilised corner of the Middle East next. You live in the U.S., yet are able to cough up the trash you have posted here about the POTUS; you really deserve to be out there throwing stones. How sad.

    September 15, 2012 05:59 am at 5:59 am |
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