A Philadelphia blogger is behind a Facebook page calling for the death of Republican presidential candidate Mitt Romney and another page supporting two alleged cop killers.
The page calling for violence against Romney garnered 27 "likes" and remained up for 17 days before coming down on Monday, according to the Washington Free Beacon. It and another page targeting Romney's vice presidential pick, Paul Ryan, was created by blogger Joshua Scott Albert, who drew the attention of the Secret Service, according to a spokesman.
"We are aware of it and we are taking appropriate investigative steps," Secret Service spokesman Ed Donovan told FoxNews.com.
Donovan said Albert could potentially face prosecution, if the page is deemed more than an ill-advised lark.
"People have a right to free speech, but we have to determine what their intent is," Donovan said.
Albert, a former restaurant worker, also created an "I Support Chancier McFarland & Rafael Jones" Facebook page, according to the Philadelphia Daily News. McFarland and Jones allegedly gunned down Philadelphia Police Officer Moses Walker Jr. on Aug. 18 during an attempted robbery.
Investigators say the two men followed Walker, then pulled a gun and announced a robbery. Walker drew his weapon and was shot three times.
The page, which was removed on Sunday and depicted mutilated images of police officer's bodies, outraged Fraternal Order of Police Lodge 5 President John McNesby.
"It's disgusting," McNesby told the newspaper Sunday. "He's a little punk. He's going to get his day."
Commissioner Charles Ramsey said of Albert: "He's a pitiful, insignificant individual."
Albert, who became infamous as the creator of the Staph Meal blog, which criticized the restaurant industry, confirmed he created the page as a little side project of the food blog.
"I'm showing support for these two men," Albert said of McFarland and Jones, adding that they have not yet gotten their day in court.
Asked if he was supporting that Philadelphia cops get killed, he said: "It can appear that way.
"Sure, why not?" he added. "Why not? I don't mind.
"I would never do it [kill a police officer]," he said.
Albert said that he created the page as "social commentary" and not to gain fame. He said he wondered why it took cops only a few days to identify the alleged killers of Walker when the city has "so many unsolved murders."
McNesby said that he talked with District Attorney Seth Williams on Saturday, and that Williams' office will look into whether it could charge Albert with harassment or terroristic threats.
McNesby said he tried to contact Facebook to get the page taken down, and another page, "Remove The Cop Killers Support Page," drew more than 10,000 followers Sunday before Albert's page was removed.
"The page is DOWN!" the anti-Albert page proclaimed about 6 p.m.
This Guy Doesn’t Really Want to Kill Mitt Romney or Cops
"I do have plans for more PC, user-friendly projects."
Staphmeal blogger Joshua Scott Albert, who came to notoriety in Philadelphia for saying nasty, generally unintelligent and sometimes anti-Semitic things about restaurants and their owners, has popped up again. Just days ago, Albert created the Facebook page “I Support Chancier McFarland & Rafael Jones,” the two accused of murdering Philadelphia Police Officer Moses Walker Jr.
By Sunday, a petition page called “Remove the Cop Killers Support Page” drew more than 10,000 “likes” (Albert’s anti-cop page had fewer than 100), and Facebook deleted Albert’s. Last night, just after the Daily News revealed that Albert had also started a “Kill Mitt Romney” page and that the Secret Service was aware of his activity, I tracked him down in what he claims was “remote New England” to find out why he just can’t go away. For good.
You started your “career” by attacking Philadelphia restaurateurs. Now you’ve moved on to offering support for cop killers and calling for the death of Mitt Romney. You’re just another ranting idiot on the Internet. Why not just go away?
First of all, I have to be very specific about what is off and what is on the record. So I’d like to start with what is off the record.
No. I don’t want to get background information from you or have an off-the-record conversation. If you have something to say, it’s on the record. I want to have an on-the-record conversation. I’m not going off the record with you.
[Pause] OK. This all happened solely by accident. I saw on the Philadelphia Police Department Facebook page that they had caught one of the guys. I was reading through the response from the public, and it was absurd.
Profoundly ignorant statements. Blatant racism. Some men that I was chatting with said I should create a Facebook page for the two guys. Merely as a joke. I don’t really want anyone to go and kill cops.
But why is cop killing something to be joking about? You’re not the one going out on the street, putting yourself in harm’s way.
Yeah and they are protecting my right to say that stuff. It was just a joke. It’s a parody.
I don’t see it as a parody at all. What is it parodying?
It’s more making fun of the situation. People are murdered every day and this cop’s murder gets all the attention.
Are you happy with the outcome?
No. This is not the press I want. Jesus. I don’t want to be looked at as someone like this. I don’t want to keep going down that road. It was a good little burst of 30,000 hits today. But I don’t want the 30,000 hits to be generated from this.
So if you truly didn’t want to generate all of this negative attention for yourself, why did you do it at all?
Because I didn’t think it was going to blow up like it did. I thought Fox would do its little thing and then it would die down. I have already drafted a letter explaining myself. I was going to delete the page and then finish drafting an explanation, a heart-to-heart with my readers explaining the situation. The fact that this is getting so much attention, reading all the comments, this is the worst. People were calling for me to be murdered and killed and stuff about my family. They were calling for me to be murdered because I made a joke website supporting two people who allegedly killed the police officer, a police officer who I am hearing may have been murdered because he was gay. That so many people jumped on it is fascinating to me. They are calling for murder [because] of a website.
There are reports that District Attorney Seth Williams is looking into the possibility of filing charges against you. Have you spoken with an attorney?
No. I know that I’ve done nothing illegal. I am completely conscious of that. I have not made any threats. I would not make any threats. And I genuinely don’t want Mitt Romney to be assassinated. That page hasn’t gone national, has it? No one else has reported on it, have they? … I hope he gets elected so I have something to make fun of. And no, that’s not me endorsing Mitt Romney.
So, again, I ask you. Why don’t you just go away?
I enjoy the humor aspect of me being able to say all this. But in all honesty, I am living in a remote area in New England. I mean remote. There is no cell phone reception. And I want to give Staphmeal a break. I have no interest, no new information coming in. I am sick of dealing with it all.
You already had difficulties finding work after your identity as the Staphmeal blogger broke. Clearly you know that future bosses, the families of future spouses, etc. will Google the name Joshua Scott Albert, and when they do, they probably won’t like what they see.
If someone doesn’t have the decency to talk to me and ask me about this, then that’s on them. My friends who are close to me know that what I write on the Internet is not a direct representation of who I am. If anyone was to make a judgment, if a place wouldn’t hire me because of something like that, I wouldn’t want to work for him.
Did you ever think, gee, what if I put my time and energy into handing out sandwiches to the homeless?
Not handing out sandwiches. Not really my style. I don’t like getting dirty. I do have plans for more PC, user-friendly projects. Being the villain is not exciting anymore. Not at all. It wears on me. It’s legitimately not a direct representation of myself. It’s just something that I feel the need to portray.
You once told me that you needed to get sober, that you had substance abuse issues. Are you sober today?
Yeah, I am sober as shit. I may have a beer every once in a while, but for the most part, I’ve cut out my drinking. I am in a much better place mentally than I was then. I was in a transient stage then. But I did not have a substance abuse problem. I thought that I did. But then I realized what people with substance abuse problems really look like.
So what’s next?
I’m gone. I head west in November. I’m gone. I’m pretty much winding down the website.
Nah. You just can’t stop yourself.
No. At this point, I have no … I’m done. Trust me on this.