SUNBURY, Pa. (AP) — A newspaper apologized Thursday for publishing a letter to the editor that suggested President Barack Obama should be executed.
In an editorial headlined “We bungled the Obama attack letter,” the newspaper said editors should have deleted two paragraphs that it said were “inescapably an incitement to have the chief executive of our government executed.”
The letter-writer criticized Obama’s handling of the situation in Iraq, lamented the Islamic State group’s takeover of Ramadi, and asked whether it was not time to rise up against the administration.
“I think the appropriate, and politically correct, term is regime change. Forgive me for being blunt, but throughout history this has previously been accompanied by execution by guillotine, firing squad, public hanging.
“I have absolutely no reason to expect that current practice should be any different,” the writer said in a letter published on Memorial Day.
The Daily Item said readers have reacted strongly to the letter, and that it embraces their calls for a higher standard for civil discourse.
“We did something we shouldn’t have and the readers who called us on it deserve accountability,” the newspaper said.
The newspaper said it reviews letters for offensive language and personal attacks, but in the case of the letter on Obama, “no bells went off.”
“The Daily Item apologizes for our failure to catch and remove the inappropriate paragraphs in the letter directed at President Obama. We will strive to do better in the future,” its editorial concluded.
Sunbury is about 40 miles north of the state capital of Harrisburg.
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