Your Daily Howler keeps getting results!


Except in the matter of Trump: Incomparably, your Daily Howler keeps churning out those results.

This morning, the Washington Post was featuring Alyssa Rosenberg's column on the front page of its web site. Above the column itself, a witty new headline says this:

‘I Need A New Butt!’ belongs in schools. No buts about it.

Skillfully, we decided to check—and sure enough! Someone has corrected the explicit error we cited in yesterday's report. As a result, the column now starts like this:

ROSENBERG (3/16/22): The latest round of the renewed culture war over books in schools might well be the silliest yet.

Toby Price, an assistant principal in Byram, Miss., was fired this month for reading “I Need a New Butt!” to a group of second-graders. His superintendent, Delesicia Martin, said he’d caused “unnecessary embarrassment.” With all due respect, she ought to butt out—and rediscover the purpose of children’s books.

The column now chastises the yahoos in Byram, not Byrum! For what it's worth, the AP report to which Rosenberg links still hasn't made the correction.

How did we know it was Byram, not Byrum? Simple! We decided to do the background work. Impressively, we tried to make sure that we knew what we were talking about.

Rosenberg still thinks the latest culture war has broken out in Byram. We think that view is unhelpful and amazingly silly. But at least her column correctly cites the name of the town where the warfare has broken out!

Our tribe loves this particular culture war, in which we enjoy ourselves by scolding the rubes of the South. We also seem to love the Storyline which surfaced again last night, this time on The Last Word.

Lawrence was interviewing Francis Fukuyama, a prominent public intellectual who famously announced "the end of history" when the Soviet Union broke up. Fukuyama has published a new essay in which he predicts that Russia "is heading for an outright defeat in Ukraine."

For all we know, he may be right! Barring horrendous consequences of some kind, we'd love to see that happen.

We can't link you to the transcript of last night's program; MSNBC hasn't posted one yet. But as the conversation proceeded, Fukuyama brought the analysts right out of their beanbag chairs, oddly saying this:

FUKUYAMA (3/16/22): A real Russian defeat is going to have big reverberations all over the world and largely, I think, in a positive sense, because over the past several years you've had the rise of populist leaders, like Viktor Orban in Hungary, who have been very close to Putin and had praised him. And I'd say we've got one in the United States, you know, our former president, who thought Putin was a genius and to this very day can't think of anything negative to say about him. And so the political ramifications of a Russian setback are going to be global.

In our view, Trump established himself as Putin's puppet during his years in the White House. But you have to slice the lunch meat amazingly thin to keep saying, as so many have done, that right up to this very day, Trump "can't think of anything negative to say about Putin."

You have to slice the baloney amazingly thin to keep making that statement. But as we've noted, people have repeated that statement over and over again.

The script is being recited each day. It's a script our tribe seems to like so much that even your Howler can't stop it!

For the record, we checked: For the record, we checked.

Back on February 26, Trump said that Mr. Putin's war was an "atrocity" and an "assault on humanity." On March 2, he said it was "a holocaust." On March 10, he said it was an "attack on humanity."

With those statements in mind, we checked. We clicked back through The Last Word's transcripts up through Tuesday night. None of those comments have ever been mentioned on Lawrence O'Donnell's program. 

Viewers of Lawrence's TV program haven't been told that Donald J. Trump made those statements. Last night, up jumped Fukuyama with a familiar, more pleasing bit of script.

People like Lawrence are sometimes inclined to parcel the information you get. We rail about this when Putin does it, may employ the same skills Over Here.


  1. At this point this one is best left to Groucho...
    "I'm fighting for this woman's honor, which is probably more than She ever did." Except in Trump case we would make that "certainly." And by the by, since Trump was our first President who casually, if bombastically, threatened other Countries with nuclear destruction, can we be sure he even considers a holocaust a bad thing?
    Trump is, by the way, now claiming Putin has "changed." As if he could change anymore than President Trump himself. He'll be back to "genius" soon enough.
    We should also take note of Bob's lack of interest in the ghastly Barr interviews. Bob would no
    doubt insist Barr is a hero for jumping ship at the last minute. See Empty Wheel on this one.....

  2. "In our view, Trump established himself as Putin's puppet during his years in the White House. "

    "Trump established himself as Putin's puppet", dear Bob?

    It sounds like you aren't joking, dear Bob, is it right? Or is this sarcasm, sarcasm so exquisite that is extremely difficult, almost impossible to detect? Heh-heh.

    Tsk. Anyhow, thanks for the laughs, dear Bob.

    1. Bob really slipped up stating that obvious truth! Better call daddy, fat boy!!

  3. "Skillfully, we decided to check"

    Who checks the spelling of every small town name they come across, on the off chance there may be a spelling error?

    Somerby has way too much time on his hands.

    And what exactly does knowing this spelling add to our understanding of anything?

    1. The opinion piece in the Washington Post had it spelled correctly yesterday, they did not put out a correction.

      The boasting about skillfully checking is strange considering how easy it is to find out that 1) no parents complained about the book and 2) the Superintendent Martin is reviled in the community, parents have been trying to remove her for years.

      Some skill! Brother, please.

  4. Who said they couldn't?

    Somerby seems to think that when Trump says something bad about the war, he is repudiating Putin, when he obviously is not.

  5. "We rail about this when Putin does it, may employ the same skills Over Here."

    1. When did Somerby ever rail about this when Putin did it?
    2. When did Trump ever rail against this when Putin did it?
    3. When did any Republican ever rail against this when Putin did it?
    4. What does Somerby mean by we?

    1. Calling the war atrocious and expecting praise for it is like saying "sorry for your loss" and then expecting people to notice your great sympathy for the bereaved. Trump did the minimum and Somerby expects the media to pay attention. Just like a narcissist.

    2. Think about what Mueller said in the report.

    3. The Mueller Report documented the most tepid investigation possible, even so, it detailed tremendous corruption on the part of Trump and Putin (in Volume One. Volume Two was about a whole other corrupt endeavor to obstruct justice) .

      Some people do not mind corruption, as long as those that are corrupt are corrupting towards their agenda. Worse, these people tend to dominate our society, even though they are in the minority.

    4. Like Democrats. Some people like Democrats do not mind corruption, as long as those that are corrupt are corrupting towards their agenda. Some people like yourself do not mind corruption as long as those that are corrupt are corrupting towards your agenda.

    5. Somerby isn't saying Trump should be praised for his anti-war comments. He's saying his comments should simply be acknowledged.

    6. Krazy,

      Why? Trump is a lunatic. Do we have to acknowledge everything he spews?

    7. Krazy, you have become Bob's Rabbi Baruch Korff. It's a sad thing to be.

    8. No, you don't have to acknowledge everything Trump spews. But you can't characterize Trump as ever-praising Putin when in fact Trump has made critical remarks of him.

      It's called basic honesty. Are we children, that we have to hide from the truth?

    9. Kat, yes you are a child.

      Trump has not "made critical remarks of him", Trump was briefly critical of the Ukraine invasion ONLY as a way to set up his criticism of Biden.

      So yes, you are a child for not understanding something this bone simple.

      Furthermore, Somerby is not saying Trump's comments in general should be acknowledged, that would be ludicrous. Somerby is saying Trump's comment is a noteworthy shift. And it just isn't. There's the already mentioned reason why it is not noteworthy, there is also the fact that since making those comments about the Ukraine invasion, Trump has said positive things about both Putin and the invasion. Additionally, Trump is no longer in office, and widely seen as a buffoon among the sane, so whether he has a shift in commentary is no more significant than when your Krazy uncle has a shift.

      For all these reasons, and more but I shall reserve for now, yes, you, not us, you, you are child.

    10. "acknowledge Trump has made critical remarks of him"

      I will be happy to acknowledge it when he actually does it. Let us know when he does.

    11. Anonymous,

      I applaud your aversion to Trump. In fact I share it.

      We disagree on the role of the press in a free society. You think reporting should be influenced by an observer’s knowledge that someone is a buffoon, or by the’ bone-simple’ insight as to someone’s motive for speaking.

      You should be quite happy with current political reporting and, I suppose, with the climate it has helped create. CNN and MSNBC are implementing your approach. So is Fox News.

    12. I'm not happy with current political reporting, because they still give a megaphone to people like Newt Gingrich, who still hasn't made good faith argument in his life.

    13. Kat, you think the press should be a free bullhorn and stenographer for loons like Trump. It is your values that create the climate of garbage journalism that repeats zombie misinformation, and engages in nonsense whataboutism and bothsidesism.

      So, yes, you have childish views on the role of the press.

      Those corporate news sources you list do not act as any kind of positive gatekeeper, as the press should, they do in fact act as a bullhorn and stenographer for their corporate interests, the powerful, and the wealthy; indeed, they have been criticized for offering Trump a remarkable amount of free campaign air time. So, yes, your comment is childish and fairly incoherent in that reality is nearly the opposite of what you suggest.

      I think it is important to value children, they should have a voice in our society; but when the childish voice is coming from a grown adult, that is when it is irresponsible not to apply some standard for whose voice is newsworthy.

  6. Smart and evil are vague notions, and considering there is no free will and every condition has causes, causes that are usually arbitrary and random, society has little use for those words. Right wingers like those words because they help justify ill-gotten gains, they help make sense of their unresolved traumas.

    One can also engage in sophistry, like with Trump's so called shift in position.

    In reality when Trump made what Somerby sees as a negative comment towards Putin, Trump was actually just using that framing to say something negative about Biden:

    "The problem is not that Putin is smart, which of course he's smart, but the real problem is that our leaders are dumb," Trump said, prompting cheers and applause from the audience. "So dumb. They so far allowed him to get away with this travesty and assault on humanity."

    Somerby's narrative on this "shift" is misleading.

    Btw, does anyone believe that Trump knows what a "holocaust" is? After all, Candace Owens does not even know what a "genocide" is.

    More recently Trump has said this about Putin:

    "It happens to be a man that is just driven, he's driven to put it together."

    So a shift back to the positive. I hope Somerby is keep track of all this shifting.

    Couple days ago Trump weirdly said this:

    "They wanted to rebuild the Soviet Union," he said. "That's what this is all about to a large extent. And then you say, what's the purpose of this? They had a country. You could see it was a country where there was a lot of love and we're doing it because, you know, somebody wants to make his country larger or he wants to put it back the way it was when actually it didn't work very well."

    It has a Putin-positive vibe, to the degree that it is coherent, which, really, it isn't very.

    Poor Somerby, must be getting a crick in his neck from observing all these shifts.

    It is not hard to imagine Trump saying something like this:

    "The Holocaust was an assault on humanity, an atrocity; but Hitler was a smart and driven man. Very savvy, that Hitler."

    This is just another sad case of Somerby trying to manufacture ignorance.

  7. Yeah, O'Donnell was the same guy who kept repeating over and over that Judge Roy Moore had "sexually attacked" a number of women who had never made that claim. And then he called him "a pedophile," despite the fact that none of the cited women were children and most were well out of high school.

    I remember that when Bob mentioned these facts some of the animus crowd here went absolutely bananas. But he was right, and he's right about the pompous O'Donnell.

  8. So it's not possible to say that someone is bad but also smart?

    Or that if you do, you're supporting their badness?