A kid can post some joke in poor taste on Facebook and go to jail for “terrorism.” Or, someone can do Google searches for pressure cookers and backpacks and get a visit from a terrorism task force and have his house searched. But when a politician does these sorts of things, it’s no big deal. Everyone “knows” it was a joke.
Maine Governor Paul LePage made a joke about blowing up a news media building, and as far as I know, he didn’t get visited by the cops, interrogated by the feds or go to jail for making terroristic threats. It was all just frivolous banter, typical of politician-media rivalries. The Bangor Daily News, one of the Governor’s “targets,” reported:
“Gov. Paul LePage, who has long derided the state’s journalists, targeted the Portland Press Herald Friday morning when he climbed into the cockpit of a fighter jet simulator in North Berwick. As he strapped into the F-35 Lightning II demonstrator machine, set up for attendees of Pratt & Whitney’s annual employee appreciation day, Maine’s Republican governor joked to a nearby Lockheed Martin Corp. guide: ‘I want to find the Press Herald building and blow it up.’… Television station WMTW reporter Paul Merrill later asked LePage if he had any targets. The governor said: The Portland Press Herald and the Bangor Daily News.”
On Twitter, the Governor defended himself, saying, “Threatened? It was a joke, folks.” Now, I’m not taking the media’s side or saying that something should be done about this governor. Perhaps his silly remarks weren’t the best idea, especially for a governor, but it was obviously a joke. I don’t think anyone took his “threat” seriously.
Just like, I don’t think anyone took Justin Carter’s Facebook comments seriously either. If you remember, he was the Texas teen who made some sarcastic comments about shooting up a school full of kids. In context, it was a joke. A bad joke. But he went to jail on “terrorism” charges and got beat up big time while he was in prison. He was released recently when an anonymous rich guy bailed him out on a $500,000 bond.
So why should politicians get passes? If anyone else dared to say anything about blowing up any building, that person would get a visit from the police, be interrogated, have his house and car searched, have to submit to a psych evaluation and possibly go to jail. When a governor does it, it’s no big deal.