Have you been paying attention to this week's controversy over The New York Times' report on the Obama adminstration's secret counterterrorism "Kill List"?
David Sirota has been. In fact, the author, radio-show host, Salon.com contributor and syndicated newspaper columnist decided to protest the Kill List with a bit of conceptual media jujitsu. He and his radio colleagues used the "We the People" online petition system to ask the president to establish a "Do Not Kill" list.
The "We the People" system is , of course, part of the Obama administration's efforts to appear more responsive and connected and cyber-savvy. (The White House has even posted a cute little YouTube how-to video, complete with zippy zylophone soundtrack, to encourage citizens to create petitions.)
There's been plenty of outrage over the "Kill List" -- which apparently can be used even against American citizens -- from both the left and the right, but the simple petition Sirota and his colleagues created uses calm language and a couple measured leaps to make its point.
Here it is :
We petition the Obama Administration to:
Create a Do Not Kill List
The New York Times reports that President Obama has created an official "kill list" that he uses to personally order the assassination of American citizens. Considering that the government already has a "Do Not Call" list and a "No Fly" list, we hereby request that the White House create a "Do Not Kill" list in which American citizens can sign up to avoid being put on the president's "kill list" and therefore avoid being executed without indictment, judge, jury, trial or due process of law.
That's it. That's the whole petition, which has been live for less than 24 hours. You can sign on to it right here. (You'll need a whitehouse.gov log-in, which you can create in literally seconds; the registration system only asks for your name and email address -- and, optionally, your zip code.)
Current Obama administration policy is that if any petition gets 25,000 signatures, the White House will issue an official response.
Now that should be an interesting media moment.
Simon Dumenco is the "Media Guy" media columnist for Advertising Age. Follow him on Twitter @simondumenco.