Saturday, July 14, 2012

Newest Obama Campaign Death: Alex Okrent

The bizarre death coincidences associated with President Barack Obama's campaign continue. On Friday the 13th of July, Alex Okrent (pictured above), a 29-year-old vet of two of Obama's earlier runs, died suddenly.  He reportedly "collapsed" at Obama's Chicago campaign headquarters, according to media outlets, including the Chicago Sun-Times, USA Today, and the Huffington Post. Okrent was an employee of the campaign's paid media department.

After he collapsed, Chicago paramedics were first called to the Obama headquarters in the Prudential Building, and then Okrent was taken to Northwestern Memorial Hospital where he was pronounced dead.

"Obama was campaigning in southern Virginia this afternoon, when he learned about Okrent's death," according to USA Today.

Traveling in Virginia on Friday, Obama called Okrent's family to express condolences. The president later spoke with other campaign staffers in a conference call.
Alex's father, Mike Okrent, (on July 14th) spoke to the media, telling them that his son died of a "heart attack."

The name “Okrent” sounds unfamiliar, but there is one famous individual linked to the media who shares that same last name with Alex Okrent.

Editor and writer Daniel Okrent, still living, was born April 2, 1948, in Detroit, Michigan. He is best known for having served as the first public editor of The New York Times, and as the inventor in 1979, of Rotisserie League Baseball (the best-known form of fantasy baseball) and the sabermetric "WHIP" ("walks plus hits per inning pitched”).

Daniel Okrent is also known for coining "Okrent's Law" during his tenure as a comment he made about his new job. It states: "The pursuit of balance can create imbalance because sometimes something is true," referring to the phenomenon of the press providing legitimacy to fringe or minority viewpoints in an effort to appear even-handed. (This is one of the underlying organizing guidelines to be found in Aaron Sorkin's new fictional news program detailed in HBO's Newsroom.)

Is the media-involved Alex Okrent, from Evanston, Illinois, distantly related to the media-aware Daniel Okrent?
Apparently not. Here's Mr. Alexander Okrent official obituary:
Alex S.Okrent, 29, beloved son of Michael Okrent and Lynn Pollack; loving brother of Abby Okrent; cherished grandson of Susan Okrent, the late Samuel Okrent, the late Marion and the late Alexander Pollack; dear nephew, cousin, friend and colleague of many. Service Monday, 11 a.m. at the Jewish Reconstructionist Congregation, 303 Dodge Ave., Evanston, IL 60202. Interment Memorial Park. In lieu of flowers, memorials in his memory to The Obama for America CampaignACLU, or JRC would be appreciated. Arrangements by Chicago Jewish Funerals -Skokie Chapel.  
Late on 13 July, the Huffington Post noted that Republican candidate Mitt Romney tweeted his condolences Friday evening, saying:
Mitt Romney

Ann & I were deeply saddened to learn of the death of Alex Okrent. Prayers are with Alex’s loved ones and the entire Obama campaign team.
Then top Obama advisor David Axelrod tweeted back to Romney:
David Axelrod

 Thank you, governor. Alex was a beloved member of our team. It's been a very emotional day.

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