Massacre? Jokes fly after 'misspeak'

2017-02-04 07:14
Kellyanne Conway greets former vice president Dan Quayle during President Donald Trump’s inauguration. (Carolyn Kaster, AP)

Kellyanne Conway greets former vice president Dan Quayle during President Donald Trump’s inauguration. (Carolyn Kaster, AP)

Multimedia   ·   User Galleries   ·   News in Pictures Send us your pictures  ·  Send us your stories

Washington - A White House adviser's commentary about a massacre in Kentucky that never happened, has sparked seemingly endless snickering online, with jabs like "never remember" and "I survived the Bowling Green massacre."

Kellyanne Conway mentioned the fictional massacre in an MSNBC interview on Thursday as the reason for a temporary travel ban for Iraqis in 2011, saying it also proved why the Trump administration's ban was necessary. It thrust this college town back into the national spotlight, nearly three years after a sinkhole that swallowed several classic Corvettes at a museum in Bowling Green garnered worldwide attention.

Even Big Red, the beloved, furry Western Kentucky University mascot, wasn't immune: One social media post shows him sprawled on the ground with the inscription "Never forget."

"The jokes are flying for sure," said Guy Jordan, who teaches at Western Kentucky. "My sense of things is that we are today a city of people walking around looking at their phones and giggling softly to ourselves."

Jordan quipped the only massacres in Bowling Green have been some of Western's football victories.

For Bowling Green radio personality Jelisa Chatman, Conway's remarks were like a gift from heaven as an on-the-air subject.

"You wake up in the morning and you think, 'What am I going to talk about today?'" she said. "And God is like, 'here you go. You need something to talk about, how about this?"

At Home Cafe & Marketplace, the most popular pizza on Friday was "the Bowling Green Massacre" pie. The speciallity pizza with blackened chicken, mac' and cheese and jalapenos was on pace to set a one-day sales record at the Bowling Green restaurant, said owner Josh Poling.

"The minute I heard it last night, I was like, 'Oh gosh, that's too good of an opportunity to pass up,'" he said.

All proceeds from the pizza's sales will go to the Southern Poverty Law Centre, he said.

Meanwhile, someone registered the domain name bowlinggreenmassacre.com, and people clicking on the site were automatically directed to the website of the American Civil Liberties Union.

Conway initially cited the Bowling Green "massacre" as a reason why the Trump administration's temporary ban on immigration from several Muslim-majority nations is necessary. She said President Barack Obama implemented a similar ban in 2011 after two men from Iraq were arrested in Kentucky on charges that they plotted to send money and weapons to al-Qaeda.

The men had been mistakenly admitted to the US as refugees in 2009, but never were accused of plotting attacks inside the US

Conway tweeted on Friday that she meant to say "terrorists" instead, and not everyone in Bowling Green was piling on.

'Misspeak'

Mayor Bruce Wilkerson said he understands how someone can "misspeak" during an interview, and said he appreciated the "clarification".

Asked how people were responding, the mayor said: "People roll their eyes at trying to make a mountain out of a mole hill."

Bowling Green is the home of Republican US Senator Rand Paul. His spokesperson said on Friday the focus should be on immigration policy.

"Regardless of her words, our visa and refugee systems are severely broken, and the situation regarding the Bowling Green terrorists demonstrates that point," said Paul spokesperson Kelsey Cooper.

Bowling Green has long had a reputation as a welcoming place for refugees and the city is home to the International Centre of Kentucky, a refugee resettlement agency. In the past 10 years, more than 2 000 refugees resettled in Bowling Green from more than a dozen countries, including some Muslim-majority countries, said the agency's executive director, Albert Mbanfu.

Even some of those poking fun at Conway's "massacre" comment, however, said it reflected more serious concerns.

"It's funny and we can laugh at it," said Barry Kaufkins, who teaches at Western Kentucky. "But I think a lot of the laughter is so we don't cry. A lot of people are really worried about some of the rhetoric, not to mention the behaviour, from this administration."

Read more on:    us

Join the conversation!

24.com encourages commentary submitted via MyNews24. Contributions of 200 words or more will be considered for publication.

We reserve editorial discretion to decide what will be published.
Read our comments policy for guidelines on contributions.
NEXT ON NEWS24X

Inside News24

 
/News

Book flights

Compare, Book, Fly

Traffic Alerts
There are new stories on the homepage. Click here to see them.
 
English
Afrikaans
isiZulu

Hello 

Create Profile

Creating your profile will enable you to submit photos and stories to get published on News24.


Please provide a username for your profile page:

This username must be unique, cannot be edited and will be used in the URL to your profile page across the entire 24.com network.

Settings

Location Settings

News24 allows you to edit the display of certain components based on a location. If you wish to personalise the page based on your preferences, please select a location for each component and click "Submit" in order for the changes to take affect.




Facebook Sign-In

Hi News addict,

Join the News24 Community to be involved in breaking the news.

Log in with Facebook to comment and personalise news, weather and listings.