MEDIA
10/01/2014 09:19 am ET Updated Oct 01, 2014

Politico Piece Says Obama's Assassination Might Be Only Thing That Could Improve Secret Service

US President Barack Obama listens while Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi makes a statement to the press after a meeting in
US President Barack Obama listens while Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi makes a statement to the press after a meeting in the Oval Office of the White House September 30, 2014 in Washington, DC. Obama met with the newly elected Modi during his first trip to the United States as Prime Minister. AFP PHOTO/Brendan SMIALOWSKI (Photo credit should read BRENDAN SMIALOWSKI/AFP/Getty Images)

A new piece in Politico Magazine has some readers turning their heads and going, 'wait, did they really just say that?'

The article, written by former Washington Post and Wall Street Journal reporter Ronald Kessler, addressed the growing criticisms of the US Secret Service in recent weeks. But the part that's raising eyebrows comes at the very last paragraph:

"Agents tell me it’s a miracle an assassination has not already occurred," Kessler wrote. "Sadly, given Obama’s colossal lack of management judgment, that calamity may be the only catalyst that will reform the Secret Service."

So wait, the only way to improve the Secret Service would be if Obama was assassinated? And if that did happen, it'd be Obama's own fault for not fixing things in the first place?

Salon called the article a "sickening piece." Talking Points Memo called it a "bizarre" statement and wondered "what the Politico editors were thinking."

Other readers had similar reactions:

UPDATE: Politico later removed the line in question and inserted an editor's note, stressing that the critiques of the last paragraph "couldn't be further from the truth."

Read the full note below (h/t: Peter Maass):

Editor’s note: Some readers have misinterpreted the original last line of Kessler’s article as somehow suggesting that the president should be held responsible in the event of his own assassination. That couldn't be further from the truth, and we’re sorry if anyone interpreted Kessler’s meaning in any other way.

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