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
8 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. andy

    Great photo of the President and Secretary Clinton. Glad they are at the helm but sad she is leaving no matter what happens in November. God bless America; especially those who lost their lives in Libya this week.

    September 15, 2012 06:20 am at 6:20 am |
  2. Indy

    You either stand up for your country and your freedom by standing tall with the President or you assault your freedom,your country and your President by blaming him. If you let a President take blame for what terrorists have done to your people and property you are siding with the terrorists.Mitt Romney stood right beside the terrorists by shaming his country with a pre mature speech where he stated that the American Government had sympathy for the terrorists. To Mitts followers he said the President had sympathy for the terrorists but to the rest of the world he said very loud and clear that the US government had sympathy for the terrorists.The Government to the rest of the world means the people. When attacked or at war you stand up for your country and your President no matter what party they are from. Mitt Romney made a massive mistake by shooting first and he mocked every American by doing exactly what the terrorists wanted with his speech while the country was under attack.

    September 15, 2012 07:16 am at 7:16 am |
  3. GI Joe

    In Eastern PA, parts of VA, and FL, some republican political groups are writing elderly people telling them to send their driver's licenses back to THEM because their doctors have determined them too old to drive.

    If you get one of those letters, IT IS A REPUBLICAN SCAM. Do NOT SEND YOUR DRIVER'S LICENSE TO ANYONE. It is your ID to vote. Voter suppression is alive and, sadly, thriving. If you know an elderly person, warn them. They are vulnerable.

    September 15, 2012 10:31 am at 10:31 am |
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