Hostess with the leastest.

This month is a whirl of graduation parties. We won’t be having one for Kate until August, and I can tell you right now, guests will not be finding anything like this on the tables:


I thought they were salt and pepper shakers, but on closer inspection found they were bubbles. The party was lovely, but so Pinterest-y I shook in my flip-flops. I just don’t have the gene that allows for such self-expression. My idea was for a non-catered backyard thing (but with food, meaning I’m the cook), maybe a tent but maybe not. Tables yes, bubbles no, balloons no. My big idea was to have everybody who’s a musician bring their instrument, and we’d have a hootenanny jam when the sun went down.

I get the idea that’s as ridiculous as expecting a room full of 6-year-olds to amuse themselves at a birthday party, rather than hiring a clown or makeover artist or whatever.


Next week we have another grad party — in Fort Wayne — and then that’s it for a while. Speaking of which…um, Alex?

I hope all the Fathers had a good Day. Kate and Alan saw “Inside Out” and I made a strawberry-rhubarb pie. It’s a fairly complicated assembly process (I use Nick Malgieri’s recipe, from “How to Bake,” fyi), one of those that reminds you why this is a once-a-year pie. The weather was sticky, and although it was the first day of summer, I mostly stayed inside, because it was a day of rest, exercise-wise. But I got the laundry and a hell of a lot of cooking done, so it was hardly a lost cause.

It’s hard for me to start the week if the laundry isn’t done and the larder isn’t stocked. Funny how these little rituals of daily life sustain us. Reading in the comments about Brian Stouder’s grievances — his house flooded — makes my eyelids twitch. That is NEVER fun, even if you get a new kitchen out of it.


So what’s going on with Jeb!? It looks like he’s unloading his gun into his other foot:

“I stood on the side of Terri Schiavo,” Bush said at the Faith and Freedom conference. Bush rarely brings up the Schiavo case on the campaign trail but his brief mention of it was made to a religious, conservative audience receptive to his role in the case.

Thanks for the reminder. Because I might have forgotten, otherwise.

On Saturday night, while Alan and I watched “Nightcrawler” on Netflix (recommended), this happened in Detroit — a shooting at a large block party that left nine wounded and one dead. I expect it’ll be a Long Hot Summer OMG Black-on-Black Violence Chicago-Style dog whistle, and whaddaya know, here ya go.

Now that the inevitable Dylann Roof “manifesto” has surfaced, look for more dog whistling, because of course this had nothing to do with, y’know, the R-word.

Another week lurches off the starting line. Hope yours is good.

Posted at 12:30 am in Current events, Same ol' same ol' |

49 responses to “Hostess with the leastest.”

  1. Dexter said on June 22, 2015 at 2:20 am

    My son-in-law decided we should just meet halfway (Columbus-Bryan) so we met in Findlay for lunch at Tony’s, which is an excellent place with a huge parking lot, damn-nearly full. Andy had a Big Ben burger, named for local poster-bad-boy Ben Roethlisberger, quarterback of the Pittsburgh Steelers. He could only eat half that monster. I had the salad bar, everything chopped finely, OK with me, very good.
    I bought my granddaughter a sack full of toys which she delighted in.
    I got a coffee mug set, a night owl and a early bird . Very nice, and two tubes of Trader Joe’s fantabulous Bay Blend coffee beans.
    I have driven many roadways, but never a more dangerous one than the current I-75, from Bowling Green to Findlay. All traffic is scrunched to the side, into two lanes, as construction continues in the middle. The road is rough and uneven, wavy, and trucks are relegated to the left lane. Twice those rigs drifted right and I was really thinking I was to be squashed into a barrier. Son of a bitch!
    I had a water pipe burst two years ago…I was right there, strangely, loading the clothes dryer, and I heard a hiss and saw water shooting onto me. I called the plumber and he was there in three minutes flat, taking charge. By noon the next day, all fixed. No damage. Sorry for your mess, Brian. We had to live in a shitty motel for weeks-on-end as fallen trees just cracked my house in two, like an egg bound for hot bacon grease.

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  2. alex said on June 22, 2015 at 6:37 am

    Yay! Nancy, you know you are always more than welcome here! (Yikes! There go two, er, three of my exclamation points for the year! Oh shit, four!) Can’t wait to show off this year’s fabulous gardens.

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  3. Julie Robinson said on June 22, 2015 at 8:18 am

    Brian, my heart goes out to you. We’ve had flooded basements a couple of times, so I have a good idea what you’re going through. Don’t let them tell you there isn’t mold in the carpet; I guarantee it needs to be replaced.

    There were two different strawberry pies made in this house, as we were told it was the last of the local berries. Also, steaks and a pork roast. I did exactly none of this cooking, since I have been out of commission with a tummy bug. Also, the Mad Max movie was viewed and the new James Taylor CD listened to many, many times. Too, too many.

    Just in case you needed some more outrage, the leader of a white supremacist group whose website provided fodder for Roof? Has made donations to the presidential campaigns of Ted Cruz, Rick Santorum, and Rand Paul.

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  4. Connie said on June 22, 2015 at 8:33 am

    I did the backyard grad party thing and I was the cook. My girlfriend and I spent the day before chopping veggies, slicing breads, making dips. Let me know if you would like to borrow the life sized cutout of the Three Stooges in graduation gowns. I still have it somewhere.

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  5. beb said on June 22, 2015 at 8:39 am

    I posted this link late Sundasy and wanted to repeat it today.
    The key point is that Founding Father Patrick Henry was very clear that Virginia wasn’t interested in the Constitution unless it authorized the formation of militas (armies) to deal with internal insurrections (slave revolts) and nothing to do with brave “patriots” overthrowing a corrupt government.

    Obviously there’s a lot of money in making little nick-knacks for parties so we will always see stuff like cap-and-gown themes soap bubble dispensers. But I have to admit that just inviting friends over to share food and good times is all the party one ever needs. It’s like these weddings where the bride and groom – strike that, bride’s father spends a fortune for a wedding party. My wife and I were married in her parent’s house. We had a sheet cake, went out for supper and have been married over 35 years. Simpler is better.

    My mom made a delicious rhubarb pie, which seemed fairly simply — chopped rhubarb, lots of sugar and I think tapioca for a binder. Really no harder than a blueberry pie. I don’t know about rhubarb-strawberry pie.

    Good ol’ Jeb!, bless his little heart. I think we should expand on the use of the exclamation mark in his mark, to something like Jeb!@#&$ so it looks like we’re cursing him.

    Other candidate who may have shoot himself in the foot is Ohio’s Gov Kasich during a recent fund-raiser when he defended his expansion of Medicaid. Basically he said something like I’m ready to face St. Peter, are you? At which point people got up and walked out on him. Something tells me they weren’t going to confession. I wonder if Kasich is trying to distinguish himself from the other GOPers running for office by appearing to be the adult in the room. That’s something Jeb!@#$% could have tried for but equivocating on Charleston and wrapping himself in Terri Schiavo seems Clown Car material to me.

    Inside-Out is a wonderful movie for parents. There’s jokes enough for the kids but the audience the movie is aimed for is anyone who has ever raised kids.

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  6. Jeff Borden said on June 22, 2015 at 8:47 am

    What scares the shit out of me about Dylann Roof is his age. How the hell do you get that twisted around, that angry and bitter and nihilistic in just 21 years? The proximity to millennials I get from teaching generally leaves me feeling optimistic about the future, but here’s someone who is roughly the same age as the students I teach sounding like the spawn of Joseph Goebbels and Leni Reifenstahl.

    Plus, why do these douchebags embrace the Nazis and the Confederacy? In addition to being utterly immoral philosophies, they LOST their respective wars. Badly. Yet centuries and decades later, there are still puny wimps who seek to be strong by embracing the imagery of movements that had their asses kicked.

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  7. adrianne said on June 22, 2015 at 9:52 am

    I celebrated Father’s Day (and strawberry season in the Hudson Valley) with a fresh strawberry shortcake, recipe from Sheila Lukins’ “10” book, which I return to again and again. Preceding it were steaks on the grill, another Sheila recipe for watermelon, cukes, tomatoes and feta salad (really, it’s good!) corn on the cob, grilled garlic bread. And the whole family went to see “Inside Out,” which I highly recommend.

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  8. Joe K said on June 22, 2015 at 10:11 am

    Both my daughters graduation party’s were morning affairs, like a 9am start, serving breakfast style casseroles and such, it was nice to have it wrapped up early afternoon, daughter #2 got a extra treat on hers, we had a p51 mustang ww-2 fighter visiting Auburns airport which is 3 miles from my house, I knew he was leaving Saturday morning so I showed the pilot where we lived and sure enough about 10 am here he comes tree top level and hauling ass, pulled up over the house and did a couple of slow rolls and was gone. Bet no other graduate had that happen from her class. I saw nightcrawler in the theater highly recommended, and I also so inside out, Wonderful! How Pixtar comes up with these ideas and gets them on film is just amazing.
    Pilot Joe

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  9. Judybusy said on June 22, 2015 at 10:31 am

    I’m listening to a collection of Carl Hiaasen columns, named Dance of the Reptiles. I sorta knew Florida was a bastion of greed and corruption, but wow, hearing all this is just appalling. Lots of info on Jeb Bush, too, as the columns date to 2001-2010.

    I’m turning 50 in precisely a week. So, on Saturday we’re having about 25 over for nibbles and drinks. We’re doing most of the prep, focusing on easy stuff. I hope to have it outside–the poppies and other flowering things are at their absolute height. I can’t resist sharing this very lucky shot of bees and poppies. I made this phot public, so hopefully that will work.

    Alex, I would love to see pictures of your garden.

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  10. brian stouder said on June 22, 2015 at 10:38 am

    Early Happy Birthday to JudyB! (and indeed, welcome to the half-century club)

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  11. Jeff Borden said on June 22, 2015 at 10:46 am

    Oh, to be 50 again.

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  12. alex said on June 22, 2015 at 11:01 am

    For Dad’s Day I made him some chicken braised in Riesling with shallots and tarragon. Having some leftovers at this very moment before I run off for my next appointment.

    Sometimes the simplest parties are the best. The tenants in my rental property next door are a single mom with four kids, one of whom is a daughter who was was a senior this year. For prom, they threw a lovely dinner that I helped cater. Instead of the kids all wasting money on some expensive restaurant and not really having all that great of a time, she and her friends set up the back patio with bistro tables and white tablecloths and candles and all of the parents came to take photos. They had a wonderful scenic backdrop for their prom pictures. After the dance, they came back and had a bonfire party.

    Likewise, her graduation party was the same kind of simple affair but well attended and much enjoyed, this time with swimming and another bonfire. Though she graduated from one of the hoity-toitier suburban high schools where some of her classmates’ parents doubtless blew gazillions on frivolities, I have no doubt that her party was a favorite of those that took place that weekend.

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  13. alex said on June 22, 2015 at 11:04 am

    Judy, i used to have a flickr account but forgot my passwords. One of these days I’ll have to start a new account so that I can share pictures because I love photography and catching odd, interesting scenes, as well as just documenting the ever-changing landscape around here. Your link didn’t allow access, by the way.

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  14. Deborah said on June 22, 2015 at 12:12 pm

    Judy Busy, as Alex said, your link didn’t work. I’d love to see photos of both gardens. Our lavender bed is about bursting, the florets (or whatever they’re called) are about hip height this year. We don’t seem to have as many bees this year yet, for some reason.

    The 26th of June is our third anniversary for having a place in Santa Fe. My how time flies.

    I got a couple of emails from Jeff tmmo, it sounds like he’s certainly having a fun trip full of lots of interesting sites and activities. Hopefully we can meet up at a pueblo in the area that is having a feast day Weds. It’s hot here now, in the 90s during the day but it always cools down to the low 60s at night.

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  15. brian stouder said on June 22, 2015 at 12:16 pm

    And will today be the day?

    The day we learn that the Affordable Health Care Act is crippled (or not); or that all Americans DON’T really have equal rights – such as to marry who they love?

    maybe we shall see

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  16. brian stouder said on June 22, 2015 at 12:21 pm

    by the way, I keep half an eye on FoxNews’ website through the day, as they will report rumors and so on….and for at least the last hour, they’ve had this glaring front-page Error in Fact:

    US beefs up NATO to counter Russia

    US SECRETARY OF STATE ASH CARTER ANNOUNCES US is sending a weapons, aircraft, commandos and enhanced intelligence capabilities to help NATO defend against growing security threats in Europe — including Russian President Vladimir Putin’s ‘attempts to re-establish a Soviet-era sphere of influence.’

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  17. Judybusy said on June 22, 2015 at 12:55 pm

    I’ll get my pics on flickr and share, but not for some time. Busy at work today, and after work this week as well between volunteer stuff and going out with my oldest friend to celebrate our 50th together.

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  18. Connie said on June 22, 2015 at 1:43 pm

    Brian, they are done with Supreme Court stuff by lunch time. Here’s a good place to watch for those Thursday and Monday morning Supreme Court announcements. SCOTUS blog

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  19. MichaelG said on June 22, 2015 at 1:45 pm

    Brian, Emily Bazelon says next Monday or maybe Tuesday if they extend things a day.

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  20. LAMary said on June 22, 2015 at 1:50 pm

    I got an email from Macy’s yesterday with this subject line:

    The magic ends tonight: Biggest Underwear & Sock Sale of the Season!

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  21. brian stouder said on June 22, 2015 at 1:57 pm

    Or maybe a SCOTUS decision on Thursday, too…

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  22. brian stouder said on June 22, 2015 at 2:16 pm

    I cannot exactly say why – but LAMary’s post strikes me as the Thread Winner (I guess LOTS of ‘magic’ would reside in “biggest underwear”)

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  23. Dexter said on June 22, 2015 at 2:29 pm

    Here’s one from left field…I am beginning to think Traffic’s “John Barleycorn Must Die” may be the best record album of the seventies, if we leave out anything by Crosby Stills and Nash, whose albums are high exalted musical genius-projects, and rule above all. Spotify is the best music site

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  24. Kirk said on June 22, 2015 at 2:32 pm

    That indeed is a great album, Dexter. I had the pleasure of seeing Traffic in 1972 in St. Louis, a couple of albums after that one. Winwood is a brilliant musician, and he surrounded himself with some other strong folks.

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  25. Bob (not Greene) said on June 22, 2015 at 2:35 pm

    Dexter, you are indeed fortunate that Prospero is no longer here. He would be bringing some righteous thunder down on your pick for best album of the ’70s. Oh, man, I can just hear it …

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  26. Dave said on June 22, 2015 at 3:30 pm

    Pros thought Stephen Stills the premier guitarist of all time, I think. He might like Dexter’s CS&N choices. Personally, I liked Dear Mr. Fantasy but that was a 60’s production.

    Personally, I had always hoped that someone would show up and tell us a little more about Prospero but no one ever did. Love him or hate him, he sure got your attention.

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  27. brian stouder said on June 22, 2015 at 3:30 pm

    Well, Governor Haley is showing some actual political courage, in South Carolina.


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  28. Dave said on June 22, 2015 at 3:30 pm

    Overuse of personally, no edit button, alas.

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  29. garmoore2 said on June 22, 2015 at 4:10 pm

    Brian et al:

    US Supreme Court opinions are issued at 10 a.m. on the date of issuance. The first place I know of that provides links and summaries is They run a live blog starting around 9:30 or so. If you go to their home page, there’s a banner at the top of the page telling you if they expect opinions on a given day. Generally, the Court issues on Mondays, but at times will issue on Thursdays and during the term on days of argument. Often, the issuance takes a while because the author or primary dissenting justice wants to read his or her opinion. But the opinions are generally all out by 10:30 a.m. Scotusblog is worth a look this Thursday, when the next opinions issue.

    As for whether Obergefell v Hodges (the SSM cases) will issue before the last day of the term, don’t count on it. It was the last case argued, and you can count on everyone (especially the dissenters) to get a last word in on this issue.

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  30. Sue said on June 22, 2015 at 4:10 pm

    Well, it appears that Charlie Pierce is on the anti-Chuck Todd side:
    “No, goddammit. NO! If you want to know how one of our two major political parties has gone insane, there’s your answer. If you want to know why its nominating process has become the ghoulish farce that it is, there’s your answer. If you want to know why climate denial, creationism, and all the forms of anti-science and weaponized ignorance continue to survive in the 21st century, there’s your answer. The weekend after nine African Americans are slaughtered at prayer by a racist barbarian is not a point at which to “make all viewers uncomfortable” by running a segment that can do nothing except enable the people who want to make the massacre about anything but race. This was beyond moronic. People should be fired. Programs should be cancelled.”

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  31. brian stouder said on June 22, 2015 at 4:15 pm

    Cooz couldn’t have said it better; although he did indeed say the exact same thing

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  32. susan said on June 22, 2015 at 4:29 pm

    Brian, Cooz did say it better. It’s just that most “mainstream” pubs wouldn’t let Cooz’ pass thru their language sensors. More the pity.

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  33. susan said on June 22, 2015 at 4:32 pm

    censors. sheesh. (I have sensors on the brain right now since my brand new has a crapped out MAP sensor. At 3100 miles. And the part is on back order, and they do not know when the part will be in. My language needed censoring when they told me that.)

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  34. susan said on June 22, 2015 at 4:35 pm

    car. See? I’m still upset. That shit has been in the shop since Thursday.

    M[anifold]A[bsolute]P[ressure] sensor.

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  35. Basset said on June 22, 2015 at 4:40 pm

    Dexter, have you not heard “Close to the Edge”? Or “Live Bullet?” Or “Dark Side of the Moon”?

    Went canoeing on a little creek up on the Cumberland Plateau yesterday and caught my first Coosa bass, Jr. went along but it was not a Fathers’ Day event… Told Mrs. B. I didn’t want to hear about any of that.

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  36. Jeff Borden said on June 22, 2015 at 4:52 pm

    Has anyone else heard about a movement to make June 27th burn a Confederate flag day? I’m not sure where to obtain one, but this sounds like an activity I’d enjoy.

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  37. Dexter said on June 22, 2015 at 5:52 pm

    “Dark Side of the Moon” is right up there.
    Kirk, I saw Traffic in Bloomington at IU Assembly Hall in 1974. Now that was cool.

    SC governor did indeed surprise the hell outta me.

    Tonight I gotta listen to Marc Maron’s presidential podcast.

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  38. Sherri said on June 22, 2015 at 5:52 pm

    Since I roasted Nikki Haley over the weekend for cowardice, let me say, good for her for finally calling for removing the flag. I hope action follows words quickly.

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  39. Kirk said on June 22, 2015 at 6:24 pm

    “Thayet’s whut we git fer elektin’ a wooman guvnur.” — any one of thousands of South Carolina crackers

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  40. David C. said on June 22, 2015 at 6:31 pm

    This is good interview of BHO. It doesn’t plow much new ground, but I felt I got a better sense of him as a person than any interview I’d heard previously.

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  41. alex said on June 22, 2015 at 6:41 pm

    An’ she’s one o’ thayum towel-haid caymel jockeys too if ya haydn’t heered. Them kahnd thayat own feelin’ stayshins and jew ya when ya need lotta teekits an’ smokes.”

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  42. Deborah said on June 22, 2015 at 7:01 pm

    Well, I’m glad they’re taking down the flag, but that is just the teeniest first step. We should be talking about getting rid of so many guns now, big time.

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  43. Jolene said on June 22, 2015 at 7:04 pm

    Obama is going to speak at Clementa Pinckney’s funeral on Friday. Will be interesting to see how he handles the issues of race and guns in the context of a eulogy for a person.

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  44. Basset said on June 22, 2015 at 7:33 pm

    Dexter, I was at that Traffic show as well, Fairport Convention opened.

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  45. beb said on June 22, 2015 at 8:01 pm

    It’s easy for Nikki Halley to call for the removal of the Confederate Flag but it will take a two-thirds majority in both houses for it to happen. This is South Carolina. There will not be a 2/3 majority there for the foreseeable future.

    mentions that that Chuck Todd video has been around since February and was produced as a “scared straight” project. This isn’t just tone-deafness, this was deliberate racist “blame the victim.” Chuck Todd must go.

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  46. Jolene said on June 22, 2015 at 8:42 pm

    Still wondering, beb, whether you watched the whole show. It matters.

    He began the segment by saying:
    This morning we wanted to take a look at American gun violence from a different perspective, from that of the person pointing the gun. The circumstances you are about to see are very different from the racist violence in Charleston. In this case the inmates are African-American that you are going to hear from. But their lessons remain important, and we simply ask you to look at this be [sic] a color-blind issue. It’s about just simply gun violence.

    Note the specific reference to racist violence.

    Yesterday afternoon, he tweeted this:

    .@DoctorLeRoyH @soledadobrien We’ve heard you. We clearly got it wrong and we are sorry.

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  47. beb said on June 22, 2015 at 10:54 pm

    When Chuck Todd said “This morning we wanted to take a look at American gun violence from a different perspective, from that of the person pointing the gun….”he was using the same kind of weaselly language as someone saying “I’m sorry if perhaps I offended you.” They’re not sorry they offended you, they’re angry that you took offense.” While the nest of the nation was talking about a white man murdering nine black Christians, Todd wanted to talk about black on black crime. He was changing the subject to avoid having to talk about the depths of racism in South Carolina and through the nation. You don’t have to be a genius to realize that airing a segment of only black convicts was wrong. Since Todd is supposed to be the smart one it is inconceivable that he did not know what he was doing. Todd was giving cover to all the Republican politicians who have been sponsoring racism as a political strategy. This is why I have been so unforgiving of Chuck Todd. He had to know what he was doing and what he was doing was just as racist asif had been the one holding the gun.

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  48. MichaelG said on June 23, 2015 at 12:07 am

    What beb said. Doesn’t matter if the segment was filmed a week ago. Todd and NBC dodged their responsibility and sided with the weasels on this one.

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  49. Jolene said on June 23, 2015 at 1:12 am

    But guys, practically the whole show was about Charleston, and there was no doubt that both CT, as host, and the panelists saw the shooting as a manifestation of racism.

    I’ve said that it was the wrong time to show the piece about the convicted murderers, but I can’t see the justification for attributing racist motives to Chuck Todd, especially if you are doing so without having watched the whole show.

    He wasn’t siding with people who want to deny that racism exists. He was trying to say something about how awful gun crime is, how it hurts the victims and, eventually, the perpetrators. And, he has apologized for the ill-timed discussion.

    We’re not going to get anywhere on our real problems if we spend our time accusing people of motives that are nowhere in evidence. If you want to beat on how somebody in the media handled this godawful incident, there are far better targets.

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