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Sunday, July 15, 2007

Ohio Blogger Who Loves Michael Moore: Wants CNN's Larry King Murdered

CINCINNTI (TDB) -- An Ohio blog appears to be advocating the murder of CNN talk show host Larry King because the cable news network is having a dust up with filmmaker/activist Michael Moore over the accuracy of Moore's move, Sicko. The blog may have opened the door to a legal question: Is it a crime in Ohio to post threatening statements on the Internet?

Four years ago, lawmakers took steps to include threats transmitted over the Internet in the criminal code.

Moore's movie depicts the flaws in the American health care system. Critics contend the picture presented in Sicko is unjust -- and so the debate rages. However, the blog took things to a detestable level but putting a target on King's head under a headline saying he must die. Ironic defense of Michael Moore, who made the movie Bowling for Columbine to state his disgust of easily accessible guns and gun violence.

Perhaps the Larry King Must Die blog post was a joke, a very sick joke, a joke that abused the First Amendment right of free speech. Calling for a person's execution over a purely political dispute -- over a movie review -- smacks of Fatwa. Advocating the death of people who transgress personal or cultural standards is the stuff of Dark Age Inquisitors, Nazis and skinheads, the Muslim Brotherhood and Hezbollah. It does not belong in the Ohiosphere.

That said, the death threat against Larry King quite possibly could be seen as a criminal act. Ohio has a statute, 2903.211, that criminalizes menacing by stalking. It says that no person should cause another to believe they will be subject to physical harm or mental distress. The law makes it clear that threats posted on the Internet can be prosecuted.

"No person, though the use of any electronic method of remotely transferring information, including but not limited to. any computer network, computer program, or computer system, shall post a message with purpose to urge or incite another to commit a violation of . . .this section.

"Whoever violates this section is guilty of menacing by stalking."

Up until now, most cases have grown out of domestic disputes. However, there have been suggestions it could be invoked to prosecute people who harass celebrities and political figures. Larry King's reaction to the blog post is unknown. He couldn't be reached for comment.

For the record, in addition to the headline with the target on King's head, the blogger wrote:

"As many of you know I'm moving to NYC this month, and I'll tell you I'm scared...if I run into Larry King in a dark alley I fear I will pummel him until his heart stops beating. He's so busy loving himself and his 50 years of intriguing interviews, that he seems completely oblivious to what's happening on his show. The man should really be put to sleep."


  1. From Bob at the comments there:


    I went a tad overboard with the title/image. Honestly, my beef if not with Howard the Duck (Larry King).

    For the record, I would not really pummel him.


    Then a title/image change would seem appropriate. After all, not everyone scrolls down to the umpteenth comment.

  2. Greetings,
    This is Robert from The Chief Source (author of the post in question).

    I've posted a reply to this piece at our site ( if anyone's interested.

  3. Bellweather:

    I have been reading and blogging on the Chiefsouce for a few years.

    You should know that the author of the Larry King post did not literally mean that as it was taken by this blog.

  4. Junk like that are a big problem on the internet. I think the relative anonymity leads to a false sense of bravado. I see people frequently posting stuff on the internet that there is no way they would say face to face. We'd all be better off thinking "What would Mom think of this?" before posting.

    Having said that, it is somewhat amusing to see someone from the other side of the political spectrum upset with CNN. :-)

  5. Robert of Chief Source --

    I guess the humor went right over my head because I didn't think it was funny to say someone should die, or be executed, or targeted with a bullseye on their face because they disagreed or had issues with Michael Moore. Maybe you could call them ill-informed, or reactionary. But to say they should die? That is Imusism -- a word I think I just coined -- that means a statement intended to inflame but not really meant to be offensive.

    Who else do you think should die? Lieberman? Cheney? John Kerry? The head of the Cleveland Clinic? The President? The Pope? Is your standard anyone you disagree with you can say that they should die or be put to death -- but that, hey, can't you see I'm just kidding . . .

    Satire, I think, is more difficult.

    C'mon man. You blew it. Do you really want a bullseye target on Larry King, on anybody for that matter, because you disagree with with what they say. What if that target was on MLK Jr.'s head on a skinhead website? It would be racist at worse, stupid at best.

    Or should it be okay because, as you maintain, Mr. King of CNN is afflicted from something akin to Alzheimers disease? If someone is disabled mentally, we should have sympathy and compassion, and realize what they are saying is unconnected from reality. Should we really joke that it is o.k to advocate for the extermination of the addled?

    Your criticism of King was exuberant, and perhaps deserved. Your way of expressing it was reprehensible. You should take down the post of the target on his head and apologize sincerely. And you should hope, and pray, that no one who is mentally unstable sees that and opens fire.

    After all, as they say, the road to hell is paved with good intentions.

  6. This is Robert from The Chief Source.
    I have posted a reply at our blog.
    I invite all Bellwether readers to check out our open forum.

  7. Again. This is Robert from The Chief Source. I have posted a rebuttal that I think might interest your readers (see the bottom of the comments section).