For better or worse, youth will be served!


The Smithsonian meets the press pool:
Last Saturday morning, the Washington Post reported a horrible set of groaners.

The groaners appear in a $50 picture book about Donald J. Trump. At the time, the book was on sale at the Museum of Natural History, a branch of the Smithsonian.

Oops. According to the Post's Ian Shapira, the photograph-laden book contains a supply of "false assertions," or howlers:
SHAPIRA (1/21/17): The Trump book, which is heavy on photos and pullout memorabilia and bears the words "Make America Great Again" on its cover, contains a series of false assertions:

On Trump's years of challenging of President Obama's birthplace and citizenship: "Donald Trump took the fall for what should have been the fault of Hillary Clinton, whose campaign first propagated the misinformation about President Obama."

On the Russian hacking of the Democratic National Committee's computers: No proof it was the Russians, the book maintains, despite the intelligence community's assessment that the evidence against the Russians is overwhelming. "The Clinton campaign desperately claimed that Russia hacked the DNC and that Putin was trying to influence the American election. This was a strange maneuver on their part. ... Outside her most loyal supporters, the tactic flopped and most Americans were able to see through this blatant manipulation to distract them from the ugly truth."

On Trump's surprise victory on Nov. 8: "Sweeping" and "decisive." Clinton only won the popular vote by 200,000 ballots, the book says—although her edge was actually almost 3 million.

On Trump's history of charitable giving: The new president "is a kind-hearted philanthropist and humanitarian," according to the book, although he went years without contributing any money to his own charitable foundation.
In an update to his report, Shapira says the book has been removed from sale.

Who managed to write this ridiculous book? According to Shapira, the author is Brandon Christopher Hall, "a 25-year-old from Atlanta." In an interview with Shapira, Hall said "he voted for the Green Party's Jill Stein and described himself as a former supporter of Sen. Bernie Sanders." (That makes him one of ours.)

Everybody makes mistakes. Needless to say, this includes people of various ages.

Still, when we read Shapira's report, we couldn't help thinking of Time magazine's Zeke Miller, who made a now-famous mistake on Inauguration Day.

Miller's now-famous groaning mistake involved the bust of Dr. King—the now-famous bust of Dr. King which didn't get removed from the Oval Office. Last Friday, Miller reported that the bust had been removed. He made this claim in a press pool report he authored from the White House.

Everybody makes mistakes, Miller included. That said, his groaner served as the latest pretext for the claim that the Washington press corps is out to get Donald J. Trump.

Everybody makes mistakes; Miller's became an instant classic. In this morning's New York Times, Jim Rutenberg helps place this groaner in context. He spoke with Ari Fleischer, the former Bush press secretary:
RUTENBERG (1/23/17): The Trump team’s emotions were raw over the weekend, Mr. Fleischer noted, after a mistaken pool report was sent to the rest of the White House press corps, claiming that Mr. Trump had removed a bust of the Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. from the Oval Office. Zeke Miller, the Time magazine journalist who had written the report, quickly corrected it and apologized when the White House alerted him to the error.

“It rightly leaves the people inside feeling that ‘reporters were opposed to us all along for being racist and the first thing they did was imply we were,’” Mr. Fleischer said.
Indeed. For ourselves, we'll take a wild guess. The fact that Miller's mistaken perception painted Trump as a racist helps explain why Miller made this mistake in the first place. It also explains why Miller should have been especially careful before he sent his mistaken claim to the rest of the press.

Everybody makes mistakes. That said, who is Zeke Miller?

It turns out that Miller is in his sixth year out of Yale. Presumably, his relative youth is saving Time some money in labor costs. His relative youth may also explain why he was foolish enough to make this foolish mistake, which served the crackpot partisan ends of Donald J. Trump and them.

Everybody makes mistakes, including people who recently went to Yale and may turn out to be fantastic journalists. That said, we're often amazed by the youth of the modern press corps.

On the bright side, youth comes relatively cheap. Still, we've often wondered about the possible down side to this smart money move.

A 25-year-old wrote that groaner-laden book. Subsequently, a kid from Yale made a now-famous mistake which painted Trump in a familiar way.

In fairness, everyone makes mistakes. But people upset by the rise of Donald J. Trump need to start getting angry about the various practices which have helped fuel his rise.

These recent mistakes were made by players Over Here, by players on Our Own team. Miller's groaner is the type of mistake our self-impressed team very much enjoys. Hall's mistakes may have come from one of our tribe's brainwashed legion of Hillary haters.

Fleischer explained why Miller's mistake made people mad. Miller's mistake was very dumb, and groaningly predictable to boot.

Did his mistake make people mad? We can't exactly say we blame them. Will the day ever come when Our Team starts getting mad about these gong shows too?


  1. "groaningly predictable to boot.'

    If the bust WAS gone, it would have been an important story. The guy explained how the mistake happened, and apologized. SpiceBoy accepted apology, then decided to use the mistake as propaganda.

    I wouldn't describe the incident as "predictable."

    1. Very true. Miller tweeted out an apology to the Pool and Spicer within an hour of making the error. Spicer accepted the apology in reply to Miller's tweet. It was water under the bridge until Trump lost his mind because the press reported on his lightly attended inaugural.

    2. "If the bust WAS gone, it would have been an important story." I disagree. who really cares if the bust was there or not. its a waste of time, a distraction. reporters should be discussing what the new president and congress are doing in terms of policy...if this reporter wasn't focusing on BS, there wouldn't be a mistake to be yelling about on the trump side...

    3. The administration can now call every unflattering Trump report "Just another MLK bust lie".

    4. It wasn't lightly attended. Google the CNN gigapixel. Once again,the mainstream media can't help but lie.

  2. It's not easy to explain the mistake about the MLK bust, without resort to anti-Trump bigotry. If true, this would have been a very important story. So, why didn't Miller look more carefully? Probably, Miller was so biased against Trump that he thought removal of the MLK statue would be expected behavior. His inadequate look around the Oval Office seemed to confirm his prejudice.

    And, why didn't Miller check with someone? Even if the statue wasn't there, it might have been out for cleaning or moved to another important spot in the White House. As Bob points out, Miller should have been extra careful on a story that reflected so badly on Donald Trump. I think he would have been extra careful, if he had a story that reflected equally badly on Barack Obama.

    1. Maybe the bust was moved and then returned when someone realized how it would look to remove it.

      With Donald Trump removing stuff from webpages and undoing executive orders and firing people, it is understandable that someone would consider this yet another facelift type of change made by the incoming President and his staff. The curtains were changed. Obama's rug was removed. Why not his favorite sculpture?

    2. " . . . anti-Trump bigotry"


      It's hilarious to watch you whine about poor, picked-on Donald.

  3. "So, why didn't Miller look more carefully?'

    He explained his mistake. You are talking about motive which is not provable.

  4. "Fleischer explained why Miller's mistake made people mad.'

    The same dude who lied us into Iraq, killing thousands of innocents. Are we to believe him again about anything?

  5. I don't think it matters that someone like Miller gave Trump's people a little propaganda fodder. As the example of the book shows, they will make up whatever story they want to tell, whether we help them or not.

    It is wrong to let these people be liars about everything while simultaneously asserting that our side must be clean as a whistle, even to the point that someone cannot make a mistake without being excoriated BY OUR SIDE (Somerby is one of ours, until he changes his voter registration to support Sanders more fully).

  6. The first question in my mind was; Did Trump remove it or did Obama take it with him? Miller thought he had a huge gotcha only it bit him in the ass. The media has no complaints coming when they had Trump the whip he uses to beat them.

    This whole thing reminds me of when the WH spokesman talked about the youth and inexperience of the press and how easily they were manipulated and fooled.

    1. "or did Obama take it with him?'

      One of the stupidest things I've ever read. Congrats!

  7. Spicer was asked about Miller's apology and said Miller only apologized to the press not the WH.

  8. talking about crowds and busts only serves to distract from the real issues and problems facing the country, and what the new president and congress are doing with their time in office. I personally don't care if the crowd was larger or smaller or if the bust was moved or not. we should keep our eye on the ball and fight the important battles...

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