The Bowling Green Massacre

There’s a lot of hilarity going around just now about Kellyanne Conway’s error in referring to ‘The Bowling Green Massacre’, and almost as much heat being generated in her defence, pointing out that she has ‘corrected herself, which she sort-of has, on (where else?) Twitter, and demanding that the matter be dropped.

Ok, so let’s assume incompetence rather than malice and say it was an honest mistake. If she had just been casually conversing or being interviewed and used the wrong word or mixed up two events then ok, that’s probably worth letting slide.

However, making an error (not just a slip of the tongue over a particular word but implying the existence of an atrocity that in fact didn’t happen) in the service of a broader political point which is itself also untrue is an entirely different thing.
In this case Ms. Conway’s aim was to bolster the false claim that President Obama put a 6-month hold on Iraqi refugees coming into the USA. Not only is it concerning that someone involved in the higher reaches of government would be able to make a mistake like this, but there is also a degree to which it shifts attention away from the broader lie in support of which it was deployed.

Consciously or not, this once again falls into the pattern of the Trump administration selling us all a dummy, misdirecting us with funny and easily-mocked gaffes whilst the serious business of destroying people’s livelihoods goes relatively unchallenged. So no, I don’t really see any reason not to call the bastards out on this one, but let’s not forget the context.


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