Michael Grunwald, Senior National Correspondent for TIME Magazine, spent much of last night trying to find the mythical delete from internet button that many before him have sought out so desperately. At 7:25 P.M. on Saturday, Grunwald offered his opinion on how the United States should solve the problem of Julian Assange and his antagonizing position toward the U.S. Here's the tweet:
Looking beyond the fact that Julian Assange, founder of Wikileaks and Australian citizen, has never been convicted (or charged) with a crime under United States law, Grunwald's use of the phrase "take out" more appropriately describes a Mafia-style hit than a killing necessitated and justified in the defense of national security.
Grunwald has since deleted the tweet and, to his credit, sent out multiple apologies in which he emphasizes how dumb the tweet was. However, he has failed to yet apologize for the tweet's actual content. To be honest, it would be easier to have respect for him if he didn't delete it and instead defended his reasons for wanting to kill Assange. If you're going to keep it real, then keep it real. And the real fact is that some people just favor authoritarian solutions to their problems, even if that means killing people.
Grunwald is a decorated reporter and has even written an entire book defending Obama's stimulus package, calling it the "New New Deal". Looking at his contributions on Time's website, it seems that he takes defending Obama's policies more seriously than Obama actually does. Now, while most progressives I know don't favor drone strikes and take a practical approach to criticizing and supporting Obama, party loyalists such as Grunwald can really damage Democrats' reputation, much in the way that social conservatives do for the right. On the other hand, Grunwald could just really like drone strikes and government secrecy.
The bottom line is no one likes fascists.