5 Of The Dumbest Things Said This Month

by LT. COLONEL JAMES G. ZUMWALT, USMC (RET) February 27, 2018


When a television program broadcast to one generation is resurrected three decades later with a new host for a new generation, obviously the program's theme has timeless appeal. One such program enjoying a run from 1945-1969 and then again from 1998-2000 was "Kids Say the Darndest Things." Looking at some things said by adults during the past few weeks, a network could probably package a program with similar appeal titled, "People Say the Dumbest Things."

Let us begin with Katie Couric. Selected by NBC to help host the Winter Olympics in South Korea, she offered an explanation, delivered with all seriousness, as to why the Dutch were such good ice skaters.

During the Feb. 9 opening ceremony, Curic said, "It's probably not a news flash to tell you the Dutch are really, really good at speed skating. ... Why are they so good, you may be asking yourself. Because skating is an important mode of transportation in a city like Amsterdam." Before anyone could stop her, Couric went on to explain the city "has lots of canals that can freeze in winter. So, for as long as the canals have existed, the Dutch have skated on them to get from place to place, to race each other and also to have fun."

However, not only is ice skating not "an important mode of transportation," canals have not frozen over for decades. Nothing like tying two fake news facts together to generate a story!

While one can chuckle over Couric's playing with the facts or just not caring about them, one cannot be so lighthearted over other ridiculous comments offered up recently.

On the Feb. 12 airing of "The View," self-proclaimed foreign policy analyst Whoopi Goldberg dinged Vice President Mike Pence for not showing sufficient respect to the sister of North Korean dictator Kim Jung-un at the Olympics. Goldberg said, "He should have ... had enough respect to say, ‘You know what? Maybe they aren't doing a good thing for themselves, so maybe we can sit down with them at some point."

Making such an outrageous statement, Whoopi clearly has failed to do her homework. We have had numerous meetings with the North Koreans over the past decades. President Clinton even entering into a 1994 Framework Agreement with them that was to stop their nuclear program - an agreement they subsequently broke. Meanwhile, Pyongyang initiated dozens of aggressive acts against the U.S. and South Korea over the past several years, including torpedoing a South Korean frigate in 2010, while the current dictator Kim has executed hundreds of his people, including his own relatives, he perceived to be threats to his rule.

Whoopi naively lamented the Olympics are "supposed to be the one place where politics doesn't play a part," blind to the fact that playing politics is exactly what Pyongyang is doing by sending athletes to compete. The smiling North Korean athletes are part of a charm campaign to make it appear their country is no different than others attending the Games. They effectively are a "beard" to hide their leader's evil intentions to destabilize the world with a nuclear arsenal.

Interestingly, while Whoopi wants to see a ruthless North Korean leader's family respected, she shows no respect to our own president, having criticized him for being "stupid" and "racist."

As if competing for the dumbest statement with fellow host Goldberg, Joy Behar made her own dumb statement the very next day on "The View."

Apparently, unwilling to pass up an opportunity to undermine the principles making America great, Behar mocked Vice President Pence for being a Christian. She claimed if you hear from God while praying, you are "mentally ill." She added, "I think when you have a Mike Pence who now sort of puts this religious veneer on things and calls people ‘values voters,' I think we're in a dangerous situation."

One might query whether Behar's continuous efforts to belittle conservative values and President Trump represents a mental illness.

Were Behar ever to open an American history book, she would obviously be surprised to learn how much Founding Fathers Thomas Jefferson and Benjamin Franklin believed religious freedom should be firmly imprinted upon the American psyche. Their initial proposal for our country's Great Seal was not the eagle but Moses and the Israelites crossing the Red Sea.

Joining a newscaster and entertainers in the dumbest things said competition is an educator.

Duke University history professor Nancy MacLean, who wrote a book about "the radical right's stealth plan for America," after a Feb. 7 speech in New York City, gave an answer to a question which, in a time of overzealous political correctness, was totally politically inappropriate.

Asked about those political ideologists who promote a small-government philosophy, primarily Libertarians, MacLean responded, "It's striking to me how many of the architects of this cause seem to be on the autism spectrum - you know, people who don't feel solidarity or empathy with others, and who have difficult human relationships sometimes."

The professor not only managed to offend Libertarians but those with autism as well. She totally undermines her own credibility by suggesting those with autism or, for that matter, Libertarians themselves, have no empathy for others. While political correctness itself is an ideological disease that runs rampant today, university professors who helped usher it in should be the last to make such insensitive comments.

But no dumb statement competition would be complete without a political participant. Enter Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand, D-N.Y., who, apparently, failed to wear her tinfoil hat to protect her against conservative ideas and white constituency influences.

In an interview with "60 Minutes," Gillibrand explained why her support of gun rights and a Trumpian immigration plan has now shifted. She apparently has seen the light, moving away from her backward constituency outside the much more cosmopolitan New York City, which had forced her to adopt ideas opposed to a more civilized world.

Whether tinker, tailor or candlestick maker, making dumb statements has no professional bounds.


A version of this piece also appeared on http://www.wnd.com/     

Lt. Colonel James G. Zumwalt, USMC (Ret.), is a retired Marine infantry officer who served in the Vietnam war, the U.S. invasion of Panama and the first Gulf war. He is the author of "Bare Feet, Iron Will--Stories from the Other Side of Vietnam's Battlefields," "Living the Juche Lie: North Korea's Kim Dynasty" and "Doomsday: Iran--The Clock is Ticking." He frequently writes on foreign policy and defense issues.

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