The Spectacle Blog

What Ex-Mizzou President Tim Wolfe Should Have Done Instead of Resigning

By on 11.10.15 | 12:13PM

Both William Murchison and Debra Saunders have covered considerable ground today concerning the debacle at the University of Missouri which forced its President Tim Wolfe to resign yesterday after its football team refused to take the field as long as Wolfe remained at the helm amid what they viewed as his insufficient response to several racial incidents on campus.

I would only add that instead of resigning, Wolfe should have said to the football team, "You refuse to play. Fine. All students who are on the team by way of athletic scholarship are suspended effective immediately. In exchange for playing for football, we pay your tuition. Therefore all football players who refuse to take the field are in breach of their contract. The suspension will be lifted if you return to the team by the end of the week. Failure to comply will result in the revocation of your scholarship."

Jeb Bush Would Totally Kill Baby Hitler

By on 11.10.15 | 11:41AM

In case you were wondering, if Jeb Bush were given the power of time travel and ended up seeing Adolf Hitler while the latter was still in infancy, Jeb Bush would not have a second thought about snuffing out the future dictator and mass murderer

“Hell yeah, I would!” the former Florida governor told HuffPost. “You gotta step up, man.”

The question initially arose when The New York Times Magazine polled its readers last month and found that a plurality of respondents said they would, in fact, kill Hitler as a baby.

Bush was then asked the question directly via the email address that he distributes widely to public audiences: But he did not answer the inquiry until asked on camera by HuffPost, while riding on his campaign bus in New Hampshire.

Bush did acknowledge that murdering the future German dictator before he had the chance to ignite World War II would be an act that could set in motion unknown consequences.

Tommy Hanson, R.I.P.

By on 11.10.15 | 11:09AM

Former major league pitcher Tommy Hanson died suddenly of catastrophic organ failure last night after experiencing trouble breathing on Sunday and eventually falling into a coma. What caused this organ failure has yet to be determined. He was 29.

Although the Atlanta Braves drafted him in the 22nd round of the 2005 draft, he would rise through their organization after making a splash in the Arizona Fall League in 2008 would make his big league debut in 2009.  He would win his first four big league decisions including back to back win against the Boston Red Sox and the New York Yankees. Hanson went 11-4 with a 2.89 ERA in 21 starts during the 2009 season and would finish third in NL Rookie of the Year balloting behind Miami Marlins outfielder Chris Coghlan and Philadelphia Phillies pitcher J.A. Happ.

Allen Toussaint, R.I.P.

By on 11.10.15 | 10:35AM

Singer, songwriter, pianist and producer Allen Toussaint passed away on Sunday of a heart attack following a concert in Madrid, Spain. He was 77.

Toussaint was a New Orleans musical legend whose career spanned 60 years. He wrote songs that were covered by hundreds of artists including "Southern Nights" (Glen Campbell), "Play Something Sweet (Brickyard Blues)" (Three Dog Night), "Working in a Coal Mine" (Lee Dorsey), "Mother-in-Law" (Ernie K. Doe) and "Fortune Teller" (The Rolling Stones). His influence on rock 'n roll cannot be underestimated.

Have a listen to "Southern Nights". You can understand why Glen Campbell and so many other musicians were so eager to record the music of Allen Toussaint.

Burma’s Elections Should Be Greeted with a Guarded Optimism

By on 11.9.15 | 5:02PM

Elections in Burma are taking place and it appears that Aung San Suu Kyi's National League for Democracy is going to win by a landslide with the ruling Union Solidarity & Development Party conceding defeat.

But I must place emphasis on the word appears. After all, the NLD won the last multi-party election in 1990 convincingly and the military junta refused to recognize the results. Dictatorships are by their very nature arbitrary and capricious. What is to prevent the junta from doing the same this time and placing Suu Kyi back under house arrest? Who would stop them?

It is true that Thein Sein, the current military ruler, is light years ahead of his predecessor, Than Shwe especially where it concerns his relations with Suu Kyi. General Shwe forbade the mention of Suu Kyi's name. As long as he remained in power this election would have been inconceivable.

Did Hillary Clinton Fudge Her Own ‘Military Background’?

By on 11.9.15 | 4:26PM

Hillary Clinton may be brewing her own "Ben Carson" scandal. 

Okay, so she's probably not going to attract that much attention. After all, while Dr. Carson doesn't seem to have glossed over or materially altered anything in his past, Hillary Clinton has been known to embellish her own biography a bit here and there. I mean, we all know the story of how she ran for cover, ducking sniper fire in Bosnia. Or how she was named after Sir Edmund Hillary, even though he completed his frozen adventure six years after her birth. And she has yet to lay out her strategy in responding to reporters — and an international crisis — by saying a video inspired Libyans to attack and burn an American embassy and parade our dead ambassador through the streets. But at least we can go on record having covered her confusing relationship with military service.

Advice for GOP Candidates in Fox Biz Debate

By on 11.9.15 | 4:16PM

Dear Donald, Ben, Marco, Ted, Jeb, Carly, John, and Rand:

The CNBC debate moderators' repugnant performance and more recent MSM fabrications against Dr. Carson have turned the media, broadly speaking, into a target-rich environment for you.

But at a certain point, complaining about media bias is like complaining about a puppy peeing on the carpet. If you don't like it, don't get a puppy – and don't run for president.

The current front-runners, Donald and Ben, are benefiting from a slightly odd and, I hope, unsustainable cult of personality.

I don’t necessarily mean that what I hope is unsustainable is your front-runner status (though I suppose that’s also true); instead what I hope is that Republican voters will demand more from you than the non-specific bloviating (Trump) and dodging (Carson) that we’ve heard so far.

Bernie Sanders, Marco Rubio Share Credit Card Debt — But Only One Faces Consequences

By on 11.9.15 | 4:04PM

The media was breathlessly covering Dr. Ben Carson last week, leaving Marco Rubio's time in the spotlight hanging. After all, before they'd caught wind of the slight difference between a "full scholarship" (which military academies do seem to offer, actually, contrary to my earlier statements and according to their websites), and Dr. Carson's own offer, they were poring over Marco Rubio's bank statements, scratching their coddled heads and wondering how anyone in America could possibly have five-figure credit card debt.

Rubio had a Republican Party of Florida American Express for approximately four years, January 2005 to December 2008. That amounted to 1,307 charges in that period, for a total of $182,072.55, in total. In the previously unreleased period of January 2005 to October 2006, Rubio spent $64,777.82 on 484 charges.

George Will’s Mistake

By on 11.9.15 | 1:29PM

George Will’s mistake was appearing with Bill O’Reilly, who is no more than a shallow, prickly, narcissistic, show-biz bully, nowhere near the scholar and acute analyst Will is. No prosecutor could proceed in the bullying way O’Reilly proceeds here without hearing: “Objection, your honor, counsel is badgering the witness.” “Sustained — clean up your act Mr. O’Reilly.”

And Bill O’Reilly calling George Will a hack is in the same Can-You-Believe-It league with the Donald saying, as he did last week, that Ben Carson “doesn’t have the temperament to be president.”   

Back in the day I didn’t think there would or could ever be a more obnoxious public personality than Howard Cosell. But O’Reilly wasn’t on the scene yet. At least Howard’s malapropisms, and Alex Karras’s reaction to them, were funny. (Howard: “His primary receivers were covered. His secondary receivers were covered. So he had to go to his tertiary receiver.” Alex: “Tertiary? — Geez, Howard, that’s not football. That’s sewage treatment.” Just so.)

Ben Carson Raises $3.5M on Media Bias

By on 11.9.15 | 12:59PM

Ben Carson had the best weekend ever, basically.

Several days after the POLITICO story about his scholarship from West Point crumbled in POLITICO's hands, Buzzfeed was able to get their grubby mitts on a story substantiating Dr. Carson's tale of stabbing another kid, thus ending CNN's related reign of terror. And while the media quickly shifted its focus to more pressing matters, like wall-to-wall coverage of a handful of Christians finding fault with Starbucks's holiday coffee cups, Republicans opened their pocketbooks and rewarded Dr. Carson for being the victim of a bizarre smear.

To the tune of $3.5 million dollars. In a single weekend.

Ben Carson said Saturday he's hauled in $3.5 million in campaign cash this week thanks to a "biased media."

The retired neurosurgeon and Republican presidential candidate claimed 10,000 donations each day of the week in a tweet.