Friday, 13 December 2002

Oh, it just gets better and better (updated)

It's a bad sign when your own spin turns out to be bogus:

There are conflicting versions of Lott's role [in the Meredith crisis], especially during events in late September 1962, when white rioting resulted in two deaths, many injuries and 150 arrests.

A 1997 Charlotte Observer article said: "On Sunday night, Meredith came to campus. A mob, including many nonstudents, bombarded marshals with bricks and bottles. Student leaders -- including Trent Lott, now U.S. Senate majority leader -- tried to discourage violence, but a riot broke out."

According to a 1997 Time magazine account of events that day, "a small band of white students publicly called for peaceful integration of the campus, but Lott was not among them. Nor was he among the rioters. He concentrated on keeping his frat brothers away from the violence, and he succeeded."


Jan Humber Robertson, who was editor of the student newspaper in 1962 and now teaches journalism at the University of Mississippi, said: "As far as I know, [Lott] was not one of the student leaders who tried to prevent any violence or who spoke out in favor of integration."

The bigger question I have: why is Marty Wiseman at Mississippi State carrying Trent's water? He's been quoted in multiple pieces this week, saying virtually the same thing after every revelation:

Marty Wiseman, director of Mississippi State University's Stennis Institute, said that criticism goes too far. "He waxes nostalgic from time to time without meaning anything racial," Wiseman said of Lott. "The fact that he was trying to make a 100-year-old man feel good on his birthday is probably all he meant to do. If you're looking for a deeper meaning, I would say that's it."

Why do I get the odd feeling Edsall's going to find some nice large federal block grants to Stennis in the next few days?

National Review and The Economist heap more dirt on Lott's political grave.

Incidentally, I vehemently disagree with Paul Krugman's take, even if it's, um, shall we say “heavily informed” by some of my posts. I certainly don't think the president is pulling a Lott here; rather, Bush can't publically push Lott out the airlock without giving the Senate GOP a chance to do it themselves first.

CNN is reporting that Lott will give a press conference in his hometown of Pascagoula, Miss., at 5:30 pm Eastern/4:30 pm Central. (I'm probably not going to be online to report on it, but I'm sure you'll see it on CNN.)

Eric Stringfellow's column in today's Clarion-Ledger is a must read.

Jonathan Karl reports on CNN that Bush spokesman Ari Fleischer refused to answer reporters' questions about whether or not Bush accepted Lott's apology as genuine. The man is toast.