“Never forget Bowling Green”


Kellyanne Conway has an almost impossible job to do. She’s got an unconstitutional Muslim ban to defend, and, as it turns out, the last big mass shooting we had – the one the administration had been using to demonstrate how critical it is that we keep people from certain Muslim countries out of the United States – turned out to have been the work of a white, conservative, Trump supporter. [Ooops!] It’s situations like this, when less brilliant propagandists might just give up, that Conway really shines, though. Without a recent Muslim attack to point to, she reached deep down into her bag of self-described “alternative facts,” and came up with something truly inspired. Out of thin air, she invented an absolutely horrific event that she referred to as “the Bowling Green massacre.” And, not only that, but, anticipating that she might be asked why this attack, which she claimed had been executed by “Iraqi refugees,” didn’t sound familiar, she proactively blamed the liberal press. “Most people don’t know (about it),” she said, “because it didn’t get covered.” That’s right, she not only made up a massacre in Bowling Green, Kentucky, where, to my knowledge, there’s never been anything even remotely resembling a terrorist attack, but she said that the reason we didn’t know about it was the lying press. Now that’s a woman who earns every dollar that she gets from the Trump administration.

[Check out the video.]

If anyone’s up for making a historic marker commemorating the Bowling Green Massacre, let me know. I plan on driving through there in a few weeks, and I’d be happy to put it somewhere.

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  1. Jen Proctor
    Posted February 3, 2017 at 10:25 am | Permalink

    The Bowling Green Massacre Victims Fund


    “We all still carry the vivid memories of what horrors occurred at Bowling Green, but some still relive those moments everyday as they work to rebuild a community torn apart.”

  2. Lori Rice
    Posted February 3, 2017 at 10:26 am | Permalink


  3. John Galt
    Posted February 3, 2017 at 10:29 am | Permalink

    Can you prove that there wasn’t a massacre in Bowling Green? I think it’s time for us to send in armed citizen to investigate, like the patriot who when into that D.C. pizza shop to look for the secret tunnels where Clinton has been said to hide her child sex slaves. We need to get to the bottom of this.

  4. Anonymous
    Posted February 3, 2017 at 10:32 am | Permalink

    “I bet it’s brand new information to people.” -Kellyanne Conway

  5. M
    Posted February 3, 2017 at 11:05 am | Permalink

    In related news, here’s a great NPR headline from a few minutes ago.

    “House Votes To Overturn Obama Rule Restricting Gun Sales To the Severely Mentally Ill”


  6. Maria E. Huffman
    Posted February 3, 2017 at 11:09 am | Permalink

    That was one of your best posts in a long time!

  7. Lynne
    Posted February 3, 2017 at 11:15 am | Permalink

    I am not even sure how to react to this stuff anymore. I loved the website Jen posted though! I guess I will react by contributing more money to the “Bowling Green Massacre Fund”

    At some point we need to find a way to have a press that people trust but since there is so much gain to be had by deceiving gullible people, I am not sure how possible it is. I have been weighing the ethics of beating these guys at their own game by making false memes which appeal to conservatives’ repugnant values to get them to support a left wing agenda. Not entirely far fetched as some of Trump’s stated positions are in line with what the left would like to accomplish. He is lying to the people about those things of course but the point is that things like banking regulation are not opposed by his followers.

  8. Maria E. Huffman
    Posted February 3, 2017 at 11:26 am | Permalink

    I often feel like it is just after the Twin Towers got hit and it is just about the time they are going to crash down…the shit is going to simply hit the fan when DeVos gets nominated. And if not her, someone very similar to her.

  9. Francis Baur
    Posted February 3, 2017 at 12:02 pm | Permalink

    My brother, a highly decorated Navy Seal, died defending the US Embassy during the Bowling Green Massacre when his PT boat was sunk by a terrorist torpedo in the Barren River.

    Flippant posts like this dishonor him and those who were killed during this dark time in American history.

  10. Kat
    Posted February 3, 2017 at 12:48 pm | Permalink


  11. Anne
    Posted February 3, 2017 at 2:25 pm | Permalink

    I’m waiting for the “Support for Bowling Green” facebook profile photo application.

  12. Maria E. Huffman
    Posted February 3, 2017 at 2:39 pm | Permalink

    Yeah, so I saw Sean Spicer today talk to the press and he actually sounded like he was truthful.
    The sad thing was he has full confidence in Betsy DeVos. I believe he believes she would be a good education person. I really don’t think she will. Whatever…Our school district does its part to drive people to support DeVos…whatcha gonna do when all is said and done?

  13. Brian Sferra
    Posted February 3, 2017 at 2:48 pm | Permalink

    This just in: Kelly Anne Conway to speak in Bowling Green and offer condolences.

  14. Brian Sferra
    Posted February 3, 2017 at 2:56 pm | Permalink


  15. Julian
    Posted February 3, 2017 at 5:32 pm | Permalink

    The big question is, can we make any money from crowd sourcing sites, running a campaign to help assist survivors of the Bowling Green Massacre? We could then channel the donations to zine publishing grants.

    That said, what she was calling the massacre was actually a case of five people who got diarrhea at the Waffle House.

  16. Dirtgrain
    Posted February 3, 2017 at 7:34 pm | Permalink

    She is doing it on purpose. Why? Perhaps to deflect attention from something else the news might cover (like the redirect at the time of the Trump University lawsuit that Mark blogged about). Or maybe their plan for a war on the media is to roll out more and more lies–and more and more ridiculous ones. We are seeing so far that there is little consequence. Every such lie empowers them going forward to ramp up the deception, misdirection, on-the-go historical revision. Scary stuff.

  17. wobblie
    Posted February 3, 2017 at 8:29 pm | Permalink

    Their lies have no end. The Bowling Green Massacre is bad, but this is more dangerous

  18. Rick Talbot
    Posted February 3, 2017 at 9:12 pm | Permalink

    There’s a candlelight vigil at the del Taco near the feed store tonight at 8:00..

  19. Posted February 3, 2017 at 9:13 pm | Permalink

    One of the better things going around the internet today…


  20. Erik Olsen
    Posted February 3, 2017 at 9:15 pm | Permalink

    And yet “Mr. More And More” himself, Frederick Douglass, is conspicuously silent.

  21. Posted February 3, 2017 at 9:19 pm | Permalink

    I also liked this one…


  22. Jean Henry
    Posted February 3, 2017 at 9:25 pm | Permalink

    Both Spicer and Conway got caught in their spinning webs and misspoke. And both corrected themselves. It’s really not necessary to go all Intercept on these things. These are moments of levity that display how uninformed they all are and what bad practicing politicians (I can;t say statesmen) they are. They are also distractions from the real stories. If there is any intention behind these gaffs at all, it is to distract us. We need to stop indulging gotcha politics. It’s not the point.

    Who knows anything about Russia and Trump’s hours long convo with Putin. Australia? The Yemen Navy Seals disaster? What does the threat to Iran mean? What’s going on with the immigration ban now that we are a week out.

    Not as much fun as pointing fingers at them and laughing, I know. Isn’t that kind of dismissal what got us here in the first place?

    It’s really not a time for pettiness. I know Trump won with pettiness and fake news, but that’s not the left’s strength. They will always be better at it than we are.

  23. Posted February 3, 2017 at 9:35 pm | Permalink

    I won’t disagree, but this is what people apparently wanted to talk about today, Jean. Just compare the comments here to the comments left after my post about Pruitt. Also, for what it’s worth, I do think it’s important to record these things. These lies, in my opinion, are significant. Not so significant that they should distract us from what’s really going on [see my post about Pruitt], but significant nonetheless.

  24. Posted February 3, 2017 at 9:57 pm | Permalink

    Someone apparently took me up on the idea and made a historical plaque.


  25. Jean Henry
    Posted February 3, 2017 at 9:58 pm | Permalink

    I know it’s what people want to talk about. That’s why the press and politics are in such shambles.

    I’m fine with pointing it out and joking about it. I think talking about these things as intentional rather than gaffs, is problematic. The Intercept article linked in comments is particularly egregious. Gaffs are not the misinformation we should be worried about.

    I also think the degree to which these stories dominate the news cycle is not something that escapes the Trump strategists.

    We are facing the implementation of authoritarianism. Gotcha politics only plays into their hands. It makes the Trump voters dig in and hate us more. Believe us less. It invalidates us. In it’s own way, it also normalizes Trumpism. Because gotcha politics is the norm in politics. . And what we are dealing with is not normal.

    I know I’m a party pooper. Oh well.

    Here’s more rain on the parade: https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4318286/

    We should be more selective about what inflames us if we are going to mount an effective resistance.

  26. Jcp2
    Posted February 3, 2017 at 10:32 pm | Permalink

    It’s a DDoS attack on our ability to see what’s really occurring. Chaff for the media.

  27. Morbid Larson
    Posted February 4, 2017 at 4:17 am | Permalink

    How can people even defend this anymore? They haven’t even been there a month!

  28. Jean Henry
    Posted February 4, 2017 at 9:13 am | Permalink

    Meanwhile back at the white house: Dodd Frank is rolled back and there are more black outs of scientific data, including lists of facilities with a history of animal abuse. This is done in the name of transparency– a word which means nothing any more. http://www.sciencemag.org/news/2017/02/trump-administration-blacks-out-animal-welfare-information

    You don;t think all this talk of Bowling Green and Frederick Douglas distracted from the Dodd Frank and Fiduciary rule roll back? Where are the Berners??? Talking about Bowling Green. And the roll back of a bad gun regulation (and I support gun regulation). Someone needs to make a meme about Dodd Frank quick..

  29. Jean Henry
    Posted February 4, 2017 at 9:16 am | Permalink

    Lies are intentional, Mark. And all the Trumpers lie. About much more important things. I just don’t think in this case it was intentional. I do think they are going to milk the moment when the left gets worked up over meaningless shit so they can pass through the truly diabolical.

  30. Posted February 4, 2017 at 9:54 am | Permalink

    Again, Jean, I’ll point out that I posted twice yesterday. I posted a lengthy article about why I think Scott Pruitt was wrong for the EPA, given his history in Oklahoma of doing the bidding of corporations looking to thwart oversight, and I wrote a piece about the so-called Bowling Green Massacre. If you’d like to help draw our attention away from the latter, which you categorized as “meaningless shit,” I’d encourage you to join the conversation about Pruitt, share it on Facebook, start a campaign to fight his confirmation, etc. [As I said, I think there’s a huge opportunity to get Republicans onboard.]

    For what it’s worth, I agree with you that these lies are in large part purposeful. I think they’re intended to distract us from the legislative assault that’s being waged. And, I think, if you go through the archives here, you’ll see that I’m not avoiding those issues. [I think I’ve posted about the DeVos nomination about ten times now.] I do think, however, it’s acceptable to note on occasion the fact that we’re being lied to. It too is worth discussion. If we’re going to successfully fight them, their tactics need to be studied and understood.

  31. Frosted Flakes
    Posted February 4, 2017 at 10:29 am | Permalink

    The meaning of words matters. Insisting this is an example of a “lie” makes us look foolish. Get a dictionary and try to abide.

  32. Jean Henry
    Posted February 4, 2017 at 11:59 am | Permalink

    Mark– I did not mean to imply that you were avoiding the issues. I have praised your focus lately repeatedly. I don’t think gaffs are lies. I think once they make a gaff and the left goes nuts on social media, they will take advantage by responding repeatedly and then maybe start to make them intentionally. None of your examples seem intentional to me and so are not lies. The are merely wrong.

    My concern is general. We are being duped. And we are duping ourselves.

    And yes, I will share the Pruitt post. Honestly, those posts of yours are so comprehensive that there is not much to add, until some news breaks.

  33. Dirtgrain
    Posted February 4, 2017 at 12:01 pm | Permalink

    I don’t mean to get into a nitpicky debate, but I dismissing it as a gaffe seems naive, given the greater context of the Trump administration’s tactics. I can only see it as intentional misinformation.

  34. jean henry
    Posted February 4, 2017 at 1:11 pm | Permalink

    The term liar would require proof of intention to mislead. Suppositions don’t count.
    We aren’t more right if they are more wrong.
    That kind of thinking is how we got in this mess.

  35. Dirtgrain
    Posted February 4, 2017 at 2:18 pm | Permalink

    Then, to you, a liar can only be identified when he or she admits it. Ha.

  36. Anonymous
    Posted February 4, 2017 at 3:41 pm | Permalink

    That, I believe, is the way the WSJ sees it

  37. Mike
    Posted February 5, 2017 at 2:34 am | Permalink

    Sorry, hideously off topic, but can anyone confirm if that’s Patrick Elkins at 3:24 ?

  38. jean henry
    Posted February 5, 2017 at 4:48 am | Permalink

    It’s easy enough to show prior knowledge of things. These are public figures. It happens all the time. I really don’t see the point in jumping to accusations of corruption and collusion and other intent in political discourse. I think it undermines arguments.

  39. Posted February 5, 2017 at 9:14 am | Permalink

    Is this the guy, Mike?

    Screen Shot 2017-02-05 at 8.41.08 AM

  40. jean henry
    Posted February 5, 2017 at 11:04 am | Permalink


  41. Gil
    Posted February 5, 2017 at 12:09 pm | Permalink

    I never trusted Elkins. He always looked like someone who wanted to make America great again.

  42. Mike
    Posted February 5, 2017 at 3:07 pm | Permalink

    I have to assume Patrick had infiltrated the crowd, filming a documentary to be shown later at TAF. Hope Triumph didn’t blow his cover.

  43. Jcp2
    Posted February 5, 2017 at 9:04 pm | Permalink


  44. Meta
    Posted February 6, 2017 at 3:35 pm | Permalink

    Slate: Conway Had Mentioned Imaginary Bowling Green Attack Twice Before She “Misspoke” About It on MSNBC

    On Thursday, Kellyanne Conway referred to “the masterminds behind the Bowling Green massacre” in an MSNBC appearance. As you probably know if you’re reading this post, there never was a Bowling Green massacre; what Conway was (sort of referring) to was the 2011 arrest in Bowling Green, Kentucky, of two Iraqi men who were caught in an FBI sting operation trying to send money and weapons to al-Qaida in Iraq, the group that became ISIS. Both men admitted to having used IEDs against U.S. troops in Iraq before they were admitted to the U.S. as refugees. They were both sentenced to long prison terms.

    Conway subsequently said she had “misspoke[n] one word” and meant to say “Bowling Green terrorists.” A few problems with that:

    1. “The masterminds behind the Bowling Green terrorists” wouldn’t have made sense.

    2. Reports Monday show that Conway had actually referred to “the Bowling Green attack on our brave soldiers” on in a Jan. 29 TMZ interview and to “the Bowling Green massacre” in a Cosmopolitan interview conducted the same day.

    Said Conway to TMZ: “There were two Iraqis who came here, got radicalized, joined ISIS, and then were the masterminds behind the Bowling Green attack on our brave soldiers.” She told Cosmopolitan that “two Iraqi nationals came to this country, joined ISIS, traveled back to the Middle East to get trained and refine their terrorism skills, and come back here, and were the masterminds behind the Bowling Green massacre of taking innocent soldiers’ lives away.”

    Conway now has a few more problems:

    1. Obviously the “Bowling Green massacre” was a (fake) data point that Conway was rolling out in a premeditated way, not an innocent slip of the tongue.

    2. The U.S. government has never suggested that the men who were convicted traveled to the Middle East for training after having arrived here, and there does not appear to be evidence that they did so.

    The somewhat mystifying thing is that what actually happened—two Iraqi refugees admitting they’d conducted terrorist attacks against U.S. soldiers before moving to the U.S. and attempting to support further attacks—was a failure of the refugee vetting process, even if the latter attacks were never in danger of coming to fruition because they were invented for the purposes of a sting.

    Of course, the story of two refugees becoming radicalized, popping over to the Middle East for some meetings with ISIS, and then re-entering the United States to plan and successfully carry out an attack against U.S. troops would have been a much bigger failure of the vetting process. So that’s what Conway went with.

    Read more:

  45. Eel
    Posted February 20, 2017 at 2:40 pm | Permalink

    The people who didn’t die in Bowling Green had it easy compared to those who didn’t die in Sweden. The attack there, had it happened, would have unspeakably evil.


  46. Meta
    Posted February 22, 2017 at 1:15 pm | Permalink

    Joe Scarborough tells Stephen Colbert why Kellyanne Conway has been banned from his morning news show.


  47. Kellyanne Conway
    Posted July 16, 2017 at 7:20 pm | Permalink

    Conway: Criticism of me is based on my gender http://hill.cm/HD0ktYc

2 Trackbacks

  1. […] through a microwave. But, you never know. As this is her first real time in the spotlight since she broke the news about the nonexistent massacre in Bowling Green, maybe she’ll double down and keep it alive a few more days. But maybe, just in case, I […]

  2. […] thing, hitting all the highlights from the first year, in alphabetical order… Agalarov, Bowling Green Massacre, Covfefe, DeVos, emoluments clause, fake news, etc… After a while, though, I just got too […]

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