A look back at the original language used by Palin at the rally in question makes it nearly impossible for the exclamation to be misunderstood as an attack on Obama unless you happen to be a MSM member just dying to think the worst of the Right.
Here's the original account from the Washington Post of the Florida rally by Dana Milbank:
"And, according to the New York Times, he was a domestic terrorist and part of a group that, quote, 'launched a campaign of bombings that would target the Pentagon and our U.S. Capitol,'" she continued.
"Boooo!" the crowd repeated.
"Kill him!" proposed one man in the audience.
The subject of Palin's sentence is never in doubt. It's William Ayers, not Barack Obama. Predictably, the story of the man who allegedly yelled "kill him" about Barack Obama has found its way into an AP story, and then found its way into a thousand iterations of the story of the McCain-Palin rage McCain and Palin are allegedly inciting.
If someone had wanted to yell "kill him" about Obama, he would likely have yelled it in response to Palin's preceding sentence:
"Now it turns out, one of his earliest supporters is a man named Bill Ayers," Palin said.
"Boooo!" said the crowd.
At least then, there would have been a chance it could have been directed at Obama, as both Obama and Ayers are present in Palin's sentence.
But the liberal media, which has at times ignored and at times applauded as high art the assassination fetishism of the last eight years on the Left, is now projecting it onto all McCain-Palin supporters, using several outbursts and one decidedly misinterpreted "kill him" as their hook.
Best case, they're betraying a deep misunderstanding of conservatives. In the worst cases, a deep desire to think and broadcast the worst about them, even when it's unrepresentative or untrue. I was in the McCain-Palin mob yesterday at a rally in Wilmington, N.C., and it was filled with small businessmen fearing an Obama tax increase, Army and Marine wives yelling twice as loud to stand in for their husbands fighting overseas, smiling 20-something women with "Read my lipstick" buttons.
The only nastiness I heard during the day was an outburst, apparently provoked by Obama supporters who wandered into the crowd outside just as I had to leave. I was too far away to hear the exact exchange, so I couldn't write it up-although clearly such limitations don't limit the MSMers who repeat the "kill him" myth-but others were closer and able to report on the friendly, tolerant rhetoric of the Left, whose members were calling McCain a "murderer."
The conservative response, as reported by a local newspaper, was tame, reminding the protesters that McCain had fought for their right to dissent and throwing off a more colorful, "Free speech for freaks."
Elsewhere, I saw three older men speaking with a gesticulating protester who was ranting about the evils of the two-party system and capitalism and every other lefty canard you could imagine. They patiently listened, tried to teach her a little bit about how the real world works in between her soliloquies, and she remained the only one yelling throughout the entire exchange.
The media will never report about the fringe members and hateful activities of lefty rallies. Upside-down flags at pro-immigration rallies are studiously ignored. Rampant violence, black supremacy messages, anti-Semitism, and anti-Americanism are watercolored in MSM features as the young, sexy, drive of the counter-culture, reignited in a younger generation and pushed to its breaking point by a Republican president and the injustice of war. "Sarah Palin is a ****" t-shirts never become part of a meme about the "angry," "mob-like" tendencies of Obama supporters.
I get that. But is it too much to ask that, if the media is going to unfairly magnify and broadcast isolated incidents, that the incidents actually have happened?