Who hasn't uttered something untoward at some point? Something that, if the words are taken literally, contain an ominous meaning.
Balbulican raises a good point. Perhaps Flanagan was speaking in outrageous exaggeration.
But, I don't think so. Despite his scramble to retract his statement the following day, I believe that has more to do with external pressure more than his conscience. He certainly didn't explain himself thoroughly enough nor offer enough contrition to satisfy me. He attempted to pour too little water on a fire of his own making.
I've watched the CBC video several times. Flanagan's statement would indeed appear to be an outrage fueled outburst. At first.
He was offered an opportunity during that interview to quell things and leave the interview with his assassination call removed. He didn't do that, however. This academic, the supposed mentor of a younger generation, who knows the power of the word, declined the offer to mitigate his words and chose instead to reiterate his desire to "disappear" the subject of his now so-called joke.
On the other hand, I don't take anything Flanagan says too seriously. In the bazaars in which I travel he is considered not a joker, but a joke.
Post corrected to link to Balbulican.