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
9 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









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: CNN's Gut Check
soundoff (9 Responses)
  1. Sniffit

    "At this point in his campaign even Mitt Romney has no idea what he believes anymore."

    Aaaah, the forever conundrum of a nihilist.

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

    This bears repeating...and CNN needs to provide an explanation of why they refuse to report it, because it IS a big deal that Mittens had the gall to do this:

    "Why focus on this interview instead of the interview this morning with Stephanopoulos in which Mittens SAID THE EXACT SAME THING AS THE EGYPT EMBASSY SAID THAT HE CRITICIZED? The only difference: when the embassy said it, the attacks hadn't actually happened yet, so Mittens was lying when he said that it was the first response Obama had to the attacks. Now, however, the attacks have happened, and yet Mittens has essentially said the same thing the embassy said. This is what is called HYPOCRISY and CHUTZPAH. Here, compare the two:

    Embassy (before attacks): "The Embassy of the United States in Cairo condemns the continuing efforts by misguided individuals to hurt the religious feelings of Muslims — as we condemn efforts to offend believers of all religions. Today, the 11th anniversary of the September 11, 2001 terrorist attacks on the United States, Americans are honoring our patriots and those who serve our nation as the fitting response to the enemies of democracy. Respect for religious beliefs is a cornerstone of American democracy. We firmly reject the actions by those who abuse the universal right of free speech to hurt the religious beliefs of others."

    Mittens (after attacks...both the protestors and his own): "Well, I haven’t seen the film. I don’t intend to see it. I you know, I think it’s dispiriting sometimes to see some of the awful things people say. And the idea of using something that some people consider sacred and then parading that out a negative way is simply inappropriate and wrong. And I wish people wouldn’t do it. Of course, we have a First Amendment. And under the First Amendment, people are allowed to do what they feel they want to do. They have the right to do that, but it’s not right to do things that are of the nature of what was done by, apparently this film. ""

    September 14, 2012 05:16 pm at 5:16 pm |
  3. kayla

    now this is the PRESIDENT.

    September 14, 2012 05:39 pm at 5:39 pm |
  4. GI Joe

    Mitt wants to bomb fellow human beings that are struggling in a newly democratic country. It takes time.

    Shame on Mitt Romney. He is inhuman and inhumane.

    Early voting in 24 days in some states.

    Obama/Biden 2012

    Because, Ann Romney, IT IS NOT YOUR TURN MITT.

    September 14, 2012 05:44 pm at 5:44 pm |
  5. pkrbkr

    So proud of our President! So ashamed of the people who are attacking him during this time.

    September 14, 2012 06:38 pm at 6:38 pm |
  6. Chelopez54


    Obama-Biden 21012

    September 14, 2012 07:21 pm at 7:21 pm |
  7. Chelopez54

    I watched for the first time of my life (58 years) the Republican Convention. I have a beloved cousin who asked me to check out Romney. I did. I came- I saw- My vote- OBAMA-BIDEN – 2012. I gave him the opportunity to change my vote- HE DID NOT! I LOVE MY COUSIN- WOULD DO ANYHTING FOR HIM- BUT... In my home – I vote Obama!!!!!

    September 14, 2012 07:25 pm at 7:25 pm |
  8. kathy/Minnesota

    He did what a President does.....LEAD, and Sec.Clinton was in perfect form, this made me proud to be an american, and I can only imagine how grateful the families were for their loved ones to be honored, with the RESPECT they deserve.

    September 15, 2012 09:34 am at 9:34 am |
  9. GI Joe

    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
    Was he totally nekkid?

    TMI - TOO MUCH ICK FACTOR. How did she get unfettered access to all parts of the White House???????

    September 15, 2012 09:41 am at 9:41 am |