On the very same day the Secret Service intercepted a bomb en route to former president Barack Obama, The New York Times published a short story involving the assassination of President Donald Trump. To make matters worse, the story involves Trump being assassinated — with the help of a Secret Service agent.
As the horrific news of bomb threats broke on Wednesday, a New York Times reader tweeted at novelist Zoë Sharp, the author of the assassination fiction, saying her story brought “much needed relief!” Sharp responded, “Thanks, Polly, that was my aim in writing it.”
Sharp’s story, “How It Ends,” focuses on a Russian assassin hired to kill the president. In the fantasy, Trump’s “collusion” with Russia leads even Fox News to turn on him, with a former Trump voter saying, “They’re saying the Russkies put him up to it.”
As the assassin prepares to take the hit, he watches “the slow grind toward impeachment.”
A contact tells the assassin, “When it comes out that he was handpicked at the highest possible level, our great nation will be the laughingstock of the world. He must be silenced.”
Naturally, Zoë Sharp throws in a reference to the Russian washing his behind with a bar of soap that “had the hotel name stamped into both sides.”
When the assassin finally gets his chance, the gun misfires. Then comes perhaps the most absurd part of the entire story.
The Secret Service agent at the president’s shoulder hear the click, spun into a crouch. He registered the scene instantly, drawing his own weapon with razor-edge reflexes.
The Russian tasted failure. He closed his eyes and waited to pay the cost.
It did not come.
He opened his eyes. The Secret Service agent stood before him, presenting his Glock, butt first.
“Here,” the agent said politely. “Use mine. …”
Tara McKelvey, a BBC News White House reporter, called this conclusion to the story “dark and hilarious.” She added, “I know the Secret Service agents who travel with the president, though, and I doubt they’ll be amused.”
The end of the story, as described by @authorzoesharp, is dark and hilarious. I know the Secret Service agents who travel with the president, though, and I doubt they’ll be amused. https://t.co/N1iGbQ3bcF
— Tara McKelvey (@Tara_Mckelvey) October 23, 2018
While the Secret Service had its share of scandals under Obama, the very suggestion that an agent would do the exact opposite of his job is fundamentally offensive.
Furthermore, as more evidence comes out about the 2016 election, the Russian “collusion” story has become less plausible, not more likely.
Most importantly, America’s civility is in crisis. President Donald Trump has called for protesters at his rallies to get roughed up, and praised a congressman who beat up a reporter. Meanwhile, Democrats like Hillary Clinton, Maxine Waters, Eric Holder, and Cory Booker actively encourage protesters to harass Republicans and their families in restaurants, at gas stations, and elsewhere.
Long before the bomb threats against Barack Obama, Hillary Clinton, and George Soros earlier this week, a shooter targeted the Republican practice for the congressional baseball game last year. He nearly killed Rep. Steve Scalise (R-La.). Shane Mekeland, a Republican candidate for Minnesota’s state House, blamed Democrats like Clinton for inspiring the incivility that led a man to punch him out of nowhere, leaving him with a concussion and the inability to campaign outside without getting a headache.
Even so, The New York Times published a fantasy about assassinating the president of the United States — a short story that provided “relief” for some.
Follow the author of this article on Twitter at @Tyler2ONeil.