Yesterday LJS reporter Chris Dunker interviewed Nebraska Regent, and former Congressman and former Omaha Mayor, Hal Daub regarding the Husker football players kneeling during the national anthem.
Dunker quoted Daub saying, of the players who knelt:
“They know better, and they had better be kicked off the team.”
Very soon after, this quote was picked up by news and sports-news organizations across the country.
And not long after that, Daub denied THAT particular quote — but none of the other quotes.
Daub spoke with WOWT in Omaha:
Daub responded saying that he was misquoted in the article. “I did not say that the three football players should be kicked off the team, my goodness gracious,” said Daub. “How ridiculous. I wouldn’t say that.“ Daub also told WOWT 6 News sister station 10/11 News in Lincoln that his comments were taken out of context and that he was asking the newspaper for a retraction.
The rest of Daub’s statements haven’t received as much heat — as they aren’t all that different from what other pols have said.
(Though former University of Nebraska Omaha football Coach Sandy Buda said the players should be “benched”.)
But most of the folks who don’t like the rest of Daub’s opinion on the matter (and, no doubt other opinions) claim that Daub realized that he stepped in it and is LYING when he says he didn’t say this.
This morning, the national sports and commentary site, Deadspin, wrote:
Daub apparently called them and tried to tell them he never said a thing he clearly said.
The OWH’s Mike’l Severe Tweeted:
There is no doubt he said it. I trust the LJS printed what he said.
Well, except that at this point, there is no audio evidence that Chris Dunker did accurately report this quote. Personally, my eyebrows went up on the formation of the quote itself. “They had better be…” didn’t sound like a normal phrase.
I went back and forth with Severe this morning on his point on the Twitter. On the above point by me, Severe tweeted back, “Not if you have spent anytime talking with Hal.”
Funnily enough I have already met that challenge with Daub — multiplied by probably 100x the hours Severe has spent with him. (This happens when you drive a candidate around and around and around the state.)
And then there was the fact that Chris Dunker also got another point wrong in the original article about Daub — noting that he was a Korean War vet, instead of accurately that he was a Vietnam Era vet, serving in Korea. (Original versions of the story are no longer linked on LJS site.)
Which isn’t to say that everything Dunker wrote is wrong just because he had one mistake. But it simply means that when you are on a cell phone (likely) with Hal Daub, who speaks a million miles an hour, about lots of different ideas, while you’re trying to write, while trying to listen, while trying to comprehend an idea, while trying to come up with your next question — without, presumable, audio backup — it is not unheard of to write down something incorrectly.
And where people like Severe and other suggest that this is the KEY quote of the whole story, one would have hoped that the reporter would have rounded back and confirmed what he said.
Now this isn’t to say that Daub couldn’t have said this. And it is also possible that Dunker is correct and Daub is mis-remembering what he said. That is certainly possible.
But not only did Daub deny saying it — he said that it is ridiculous that he WOULD say it.
And the suggestion that the reporter couldn’t have made a mistake is silly.
Root beer summit
In the mean time, Governor Pete Ricketts, who called the actions by the players “disgraceful and disrespectful” has agreed to meet with Husker player Michael Rose-Ivey to…further discuss the matter? Design an alternate protest? Come up with legislation?
Look, hopefully it’s the latter. Because otherwise, where is all of this going? Maybe it’s just understanding that blacks and other minorities in America feel threatened — and rich whitey in the Governor’s mansion needs to get a better feel for that. OK.
But that doesn’t seem to be the gist of what the protest is about. It has been about police shootings of blacks. Not, apparently about police shootings of non-blacks, or of non-police shootings of any race upon any race.
So again, one would hope that the goal is more than simply “look at me!” Because when the Kardashians refuse to stand for the National Anthem you’ll realize that, without a specific plan, the effort has gone nowhere.
Air war in #NE02
Onto “regular” politics… the 2nd Congressional District House race is firing along.
The NRCC has a new ad out hammering Democrat Brad Ashford on his votes in the House of Representatives on releasing prisoners from Gitmo. See it here:
Ashford now says that he is against closing Gitmo — like President Obama has promised for years — but that those previous votes were different…for some reason.
In the mean time, the DCCC has their own ads out attacking Republican candidate retired Brigadier General Don Bacon on Social Security. (While the NRCC puts their ads up on YouTube, the DCCC not so much.) Here’s a capture:
The Bacon campaign fired back on this one.
Don Bacon does not support altering or reducing Social Security for those who are currently in or near retirement. But he is of the opinion that we should consider the possibility of adjusting current long-term policies to ensure the viability of Social Security for future generations.
And on Ashford’s support for the ObamaCare policies:
20,000+ people are losing their health insurance after Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Nebraska announced last week their decision to leave the individual insurance marketplace. The departure of Blue Cross is further evidence that Obamacare is a failure and can’t be fixed – a law Brad Ashford has voted in favor of keeping.
The Battle for the 2nd should only get more intense.
Omaha Trump HQ
With Donald Trump buzzing into Council Bluffs for a visit, no doubt he will give a shout-out to the Nebraskans in the crowd as HE puts some effort into the fight for the 2nd District Electoral vote.
Leavenworth St. has learned that Trump will be opening an office in Omaha this week, with an open house on Sunday from 1-3pm. The office will be located at 78th and Davenport — just off Dodge, near the old site of the New Tower (which was neither).
Pete & Donald: “Pretty close”
And on that note, Politico reports that not only has Ricketts family patriarch Joe Ricketts thrown his support behind Donald Trump, but (some of) the rest of the family is joining. Todd Ricketts — head of the Ricketts owned Chicago Cubs — is heading up a couple of PACs to garner donations from those zillionaires…who don’t necessarily want to be ID’d as supporting Trump.
And then there were a few other interesting lines in the Politico piece:
But a GOP operative who is familiar with the Ricketts’ efforts characterized their new effort as “all about power.”
The family — and (adviser Brian) Baker — “want to be the main players in Republican big money, and they see that Trump has a chance to win, so they want to be able to take credit if he does,” said the operative.
And then there’s THIS one:
And Pete Ricketts has been in touch with Trump since then, according to a source close to Trump, who said “Pete and Trump are pretty close.”
Well, THERE’s a description that would have been shocking just a few months ago.
Enjoy your political season.
Be sure to read this morning’s post from contributing writer, “Ofc David Kindly” (not his real name), a veteran law enforcement officer in the Omaha Metropolitan area.
Because there’s no better way to stay up to date on the talk of Nebraska politics!