One would think that making jokes about assassinating a presidential candidate would be one joke too far for any self-respecting columnist of any stripe.
But apparently for one New York Times columnist, it was fair game. And being that he’s employed by “The Gray Lady,” it probably won’t surprise you which candidate this columnist thought it would be funny to kill.
Times columnist Ross Douthat took to Twitter to post his “good news” jibe about killing a candidate by posting a link to a movie clip showing the attempted assassination of a political candidate in a 1983 film based on Stephen King’s novel Dead Zone.
So, who did Douthat think it would be funny to see assassinated? I’m sure you already guessed…
Above we’ve posted a screenshot of Douthat’s tweet because after the outrage ensued, Douthat thought better of his attempt at humor and deleted it.
But the Internet is forever.
Interestingly, the story of Douthat’s tweet is mysteriously absent in the media and only a few conservative outlets are reporting it.
The clip features actor Martin Sheen as Senator Greg Stillson giving a speech before a group of supporters. But in the balcony, lurks an assassin played by Christopher Walken, aiming a rifle with the hope of killing Stillson. Walken’s character has a premonition that Stillson will become president and then launch World War III, killing billions. So Walken’s character tries to assassinate Stillson before the war comes about.
Here is the clip as posted to Youtube:
So who is Ross Douthat?
Douthat is touted as the “conservative” columnist for the Times — and compared to the rest of the slate, some would say that’s true.
But Douthat is one of those who has lined up against Trump. Earlier this year, for instance, he penned a piece titled “The Way To Stop Trump.” In another piece, Douthat insisted he “can’t learn to love Trump.”
In the latter piece, Douthat essentially says Trump is both uncouth and unrestrained. In essence, he posits Trump is so politically uncouth that he’ll continue to double down on things despite a lack of political will for them and would “almost certainly involve a significant degradation of the unwritten restraints on presidential conduct.”
Whomever Douthat supports, many respondents on twitter were not amused by his little joke about killing Trump.
@DouthatNYT if someone at News Corp did this tweet in 08 about Obama, you’d be first to want that person fired and declare News Corp racist.
— Matt (@LLMax00) February 25, 2016
— P.T. Carlo (@PTcarlo) February 25, 2016
@DouthatNYT are you freaking serious? Imagine if you made this joke about President Obama. What is wrong with you, dude?
— Eddie (@BasementOnaHill) February 25, 2016
Just when I thought NYTimes could not sink any lower…
— RT (@rtoh) February 25, 2016
Earlier today, Douthat tweeted an apology for the assassination joke.
A lot readers were offended by my Trump/”Dead Zone” joke from yesterday. I can see why, and I’ve deleted the tweet. Apologies.
— Ross Douthat (@DouthatNYT) February 25, 2016