Penn. Paper Didn’t Know Lincoln, Garfield, McKinley, and JFK Were Assassinated?

-By Warner Todd Huston

This little report is interesting in a few ways, but the most important is that it seems to show that the publishers of at least one American newspaper are wholly ignorant of American history. It seems that early last week the Warren Times Observer of Warren, Pennsylvania published an ad that basically expressed a desire to see President Barack Obama assassinated and they didn’t even know it.

The small town paper published an ad that read as follows: “May Obama follow in the steps of Lincoln, Garfield, McKinley and Kennedy!” Sadly, the paper’s editors completely missed the salient fact that all these historical presidents — except for Obama — were assassinated in office!

By Friday, the paper printed an apology and told the AP that it had turned over all relevant info to the Secret Service.

This incident does not speak well for the historical education of the folks that run the Warren Times Observer, for sure. Unfortunately, this historical ignorance raises the suspicion that the entire newspaper industry suffers from the same fate.

Of course, some, trying to sound “reasonable,” will say that the paper cannot be responsible for the failure of the ad department. To which I say… really? Are the editors and publishers not responsible for what gets printed? Further, are we to excuse the historical illiteracy of the ad department just because they are in the ad department? No American should be excused for not recognizing the connotation that this ad raised regardless of what “department” they work in. I find the protests that I am being too harsh on the ad department a laughable charge.

Yes, it is a damning commentary on the end product of our schools if even the employees of a newspaper — an entity that is supposed to be one of the informers of the nation — are so ignorant of history that this obvious, less than thinly veiled threat to Obama’s life so easily flew over their heads.

And this is not even to mention the sad fact that an American would wish for the assassination of a president enough to place such an ad in the first place!

Yes, it’s a sad commentary all around.

Warner Todd Huston is a Chicago based freelance writer, has been writing opinion editorials and social criticism since early 2001 and is featured on many websites such as,, Human Events Magazine,,, New Media Journal, Men’s News Daily and the New Media Alliance among many, many others. Additionally, he has been a frequent guest on talk-radio programs to discuss his opinion editorials and current events and is currently the co-host of “Life, Liberty, and the Pursuit of Conservatism” heard on BlogTalkRadio. He has also written for several history magazines and appears in the new book “Americans on Politics, Policy and Pop Culture” which can be purchased on He is also the owner and operator of Feel free to contact him with any comments or questions : EMAIL Warner Todd Huston

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