John Wayne, not John Wayne Gacy: During her six-plus years in Congress, Michele Bachmann has made a bunch of foolish flubs. She has also made a lot of significant and sulfurous political statements.
If you want to mock her pointless flubs, there are plenty to choose from. But last Wednesday night, Rachel Maddow made a dumb mistake, even as she tried to tell us about Bachmann's dumb mistakes.
Rachel was letting us have some fun at the other tribe’s expense. As she did, she managed to offer this oft-corrected howler:
MADDOW (5/29/13): On the left here, that is Oscar-winning, beloved American film icon John Wayne. On the right there, that is serial killer John Wayne Gacy, who was convicted of killing more than 30 people throughout the 1970s in Chicago.As a courtesy, we’ll ascribe Maddow’s error to bad staff work.
John Wayne Gacy, the one on the right, he’s the serial killer. And he’s the one from Waterloo, Iowa:
BACHMANN (videotape): What I want them to know, just like John Wayne was from Waterloo, Iowa, that’s the kind of spirit I have, too.
MADDOW: There’s a very important difference between John Wayne Gacy and John Wayne. But still, you’d think it might matter more to Waterloo than anybody else.
That videotaped statement by Bachmann dates from June 2011. As became clear rather quickly, there’s no reason to think that Bachmann confused John Wayne with John Wayne Gacy.
In fact, John Wayne’s parents lived in Waterloo, Iowa—Bachmann’s home town—during the early years of their marriage. They moved to Winterset, Iowa before their famous son was born.
Bachmann was wrong about Wayne’s birthplace. But there was never any sign that she was actually thinking of John Wayne Gacy.
None of this was worth talking about, not even in real time. It was especially sad to see Our Own Rhodes Scholar wasting our time with this bullshit last week—and getting the oft-corrected story wrong, even as she rolled her eyes about how dumb Bachmann is.
This recalls the inexcusable blunder the Washington Post made in 1999 on the day Dan Quayle announced he was running for president. For our fullest review of that truly horrible groaner, see THE DAILY HOWLER, 4/13/05.
Serious liberals should be appalled to see Maddow clowning around in this way, even as Fox continued to drive our prevailing scandal framework. On the brighter side, Maddow is paid a very large salary for entertaining us liberals this ways.
We can all feel glad about that fact—glad for the imaginary friend who hustles our keisters each night.