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Man Charged With Making Threats to Boston Globe, Calling Paper 'Enemy of the People'
Written by <a href="index.php?option=com_comprofiler&task=userProfile&user=49021"><span class="small">Jorge L. Ortiz, USA TODAY</span></a>   
Friday, 31 August 2018 08:17

Ortiz writes: "A California man was arrested and charged Thursday with making violent threats to Boston Globe employees, calling the newspaper the 'enemy of the people,' the U.S. Attorney's office for Massachusetts said."

Robert Chain left the Los Angeles courthouse after being released on bail on Thursday. His wife, attorney Betsy Staszek Chain, is by his side. (photo: Mark Ralston/Getty)
Robert Chain left the Los Angeles courthouse after being released on bail on Thursday. His wife, attorney Betsy Staszek Chain, is by his side. (photo: Mark Ralston/Getty)


Man Charged With Making Threats to Boston Globe, Calling Paper 'Enemy of the People'

By Jorge L. Ortiz, USA TODAY

31 August 18

 

California man was arrested and charged Thursday with making violent threats to Boston Globe employees, calling the newspaper the "enemy of the people," the U.S. Attorney’s office for Massachusetts said.

Robert D. Chain, 68, of Encino, California, was charged with one count of making threatening communications in interstate commerce, which carries a maximum sentence of five years in prison. He is scheduled to appear in federal court in Los Angeles Thursday and be transferred to Boston at a future time.

Court documents say Chain made about 14 threatening calls between Aug. 10-22, in reaction to the Globe’s efforts to organize a coordinated response from newspapers across the country to President Trump’s repeated attacks on the media.

In those calls, Chain allegedly referred to the Globe as “the enemy of the people’’ and threatened to kill its employees. Trump has often used that phrase in lambasting the news media.

According to the criminal complaint, the caller said, "As long as you keep attacking the President, the duly elected President of the United States, in the continuation of your treasonous and seditious acts, I will continue to threats, harass, and annoy the Boston Globe, owned by the New York Times, the other fake news."

The Globe said more than 400 news outlets joined the coordinated campaign, including the New York Times, Dallas Morning News, Chicago Sun-Times, Philadelphia Inquirer and Denver Post, writing editorials in support of freedom of the press and decrying Trump’s references to the press as “fake news.’’

The day the mass editorials published on Aug. 16, authorities say Chain called the Globe’s newsroom and threatened to shoot its employees in the head “later today, at 4 o’clock.’’ Boston police responded by stationing personnel outside the Globe’s offices.

“Everyone has a right to express their opinion, but threatening to kill people takes it over the line and will not be tolerated,” Harold H. Shaw, Special Agent in Charge of the FBI’s Boston Division, said in a statement. “Today’s arrest of Robert Chain should serve a warning to others, that making threats is not a prank, it’s a federal crime.’’

The arrest comes two months after a disgruntled reader killed five and wounded two others in a shooting at the offices of the Capital Gazette in Annapolis, Maryland. Jarrod Ramos, 38, was charged with 23 counts in connection with that attack.

Globe spokeswoman Jane Bowman issued a statement thanking authorities for responding to the threats, protecting the newspaper’s employees and following up on the case.

“We couldn’t have asked for a stronger response,’’ she said. “While it was unsettling for many of our staffers to be threatened in such a way, nobody – really, nobody – let it get in the way of the important work of this institution.’’

Trump’s condemnations of the press have become a common part of his speeches and rallies, and at some of them his supporters have directed invectives and obscene gestures at the media section.

In announcing Thursday’s arrest, U.S. Attorney Andrew Lelling said, “In a time of increasing political polarization, and amid the increasing incidence of mass shootings, members of the public must police their own political rhetoric. Or we will.”

Chain said in 2013 that he hadn’t worked in more than 20 years and suffered from health problems, according to court documents filed in a civil case brought against him by the U.S. government over unpaid student loans.

Chain said in a declaration filed in the case that he hadn’t worked since 1989 and was receiving Social Security benefits.

He said he had a heart attack in 2005 and had continuing health issues.


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Comments   

A note of caution regarding our comment sections:

For months a stream of media reports have warned of coordinated propaganda efforts targeting political websites based in the U.S., particularly in the run-up to the 2016 presidential election.

We too were alarmed at the patterns we were, and still are, seeing. It is clear that the provocateurs are far more savvy, disciplined, and purposeful than anything we have ever experienced before.

It is also clear that we still have elements of the same activity in our article discussion forums at this time.

We have hosted and encouraged reader expression since the turn of the century. The comments of our readers are the most vibrant, best-used interactive feature at Reader Supported News. Accordingly, we are strongly resistant to interrupting those services.

It is, however, important to note that in all likelihood hardened operatives are attempting to shape the dialog our community seeks to engage in.

Adapt and overcome.

Marc Ash
Founder, Reader Supported News

 
+6 # BetaTheta 2018-08-31 11:10
The Comet Ping Pong Pizza gunman. Oath Keepers training vigilantes. This guy, etc etc. And Trump is bloviating about “violent leftists?”
 
 
+1 # rivervalley 2018-08-31 16:57
bloviating specifically to create vigulantes like this guy to prove his point.
 
 
0 # Anne Frank 2018-08-31 13:41
In the present era of censorship, it is a relief to see that despite RSN's misleading headline it still is permissible to call a publication an "enemy of the people." Threatening to kill its employees is not, and should have been the subject of the headline.
 
 
0 # conniejo 2018-09-02 22:25
???
 
 
0 # Kootenay Coyote 2018-08-31 15:39
Chain: Just another of Trump’s may catspaws. The ape gets the chestnut, the cat gets burned.