THURSDAY, MARCH 17, 2022
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.