I was wondering if the Kansas City Star would run anything on Michele Bachmann’s “gaffe” about the birthplace of John Wayne (they did). Bachmann now famously said that Wayne was from her own hometown of Waterloo, Iowa. Wrong. There was a John Wayne who lived in Waterloo, but it wasn’t “The Duke”.
AP corrected Rep. Bachmann on her recollection. The Duke was born in Iowa, but not Waterloo. The Wayne who lived in Waterloo was serial rapist and murderer John Wayne Gacy.
The Star had to be a little self-conscious about sneering at Bachmann on this point since they made their own very famous blunder regarding Gacy in 1999 (presuming anybody from 1999 still works at the Star).
In 1999 the Star positively promoted “National Clown Week” with a picture of this clown:
The caption read, "It's a rule. You MUST celebrate Clown Week, starting Sunday at City Market".
The picture was a file photo of – you guessed it – John Wayne Gacy in his Pogo the Clown outfit.
The Star was mighty embarrassed and plenty of people, especially clowns, were upset. The Star’s apology, no longer available on their website, is still on the WaybackMachine.
The episode would have been an interesting tidbit to add to the AP story the Star ran on the Bachmann episode. I think people would have got an appreciative laugh out of it.
But, it doesn’t fit the narrative. And the Star never leaves the narrative.