February 3, 2017; The Hill
When Trump Advisor Kellyanne Conway, on MSNBC’s Hardball, said, “I bet it’s brand new information to people that President Obama had a six-month ban on the Iraqi refugee program after two Iraqis came here to this country, were radicalized, and they were the masterminds behind the Bowling Green massacre,” little Bowling Green, Kentucky was probably pretty surprised.
Conway made reference to the purported incident to support Trump’s immigration ban and to cite a mythical similar ban she claimed President Obama implemented during his tenure. The Hill reports:
Conway referred to a “Bowling Green massacre,” claiming it led to the Obama administration imposing a six-month ban on Iraqi refugees. She later said she meant to say “Bowling Green terrorists.” But neither the massacre nor the ban ever happened.
Sign up for our free newsletters
Subscribe to NPQ's newsletters to have our top stories delivered directly to your inbox.
Conway’s initial claim, however, was apparently meant to refer to two Iraqi nationals who lived in Bowling Green, KY, who were indicted for allegedly attempting to send weapons to Iraqi insurgents “for the purpose of killing U.S. soldiers.”
Conway soon chalked it up to “misspeaking”—although this isn’t the first time she’s made reference to it—but it quickly became a popular and widely lampooned video clip and online meme. This latest “alternative news” item” eventually ended up with its own parody donation site: The Bowling Green Massacre Victims Fund. The front page of the site reads, “We all still carry the vivid memories of what horrors occurred at Bowling Green, but some still relive those moments everyday as they work to rebuild a community torn apart.”
Were you to donate now as suggested, that money would be routed to the ACLU. We are pretty darn sure that no one at the ACLU put the website up. After all, the ACLU has already seen an almost unimaginable spike in its donations and has been pretty busy with its real work, so it’s unlikely it would seek to be part of anyone’s prank trolling for dollars.—Ruth McCambridge