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Those who followed yesterday’s inaugural opening on TV saw a counterfeit version. One of the most anticipated events was the invocation delivered the Rt. Rev. V. Gene Robinson, the openly gay Episcopal bishop of New Hampshire. HBO negotiated for and got an exclusive for the event, and then decided that America didn’t really need to hear from Bishop Robinson—his words didn’t make the broadcast (although HBO says that the “the Presidential Inaugural Committee made the decision to keep the invocation as part of the pre-show”). As Dan Savage wrote, “When you’re throwing folks a bone it’s a good idea to make sure they can, you know, see the bone.” Here’s the invocation:
A representative of the Presidential Inaugural Committee is disputing HBO’s claims. “We had always intended and planned for Rt. Rev. V. Gene Robinson’s invocation to be included in the televised portion of yesterday’s program. We regret the error in executing this plan.” HBO is also now reported to be planning to reedit the tape of the concert to include the invocation.
More from Scott Horton:
Conversation — August 5, 2016, 12:08 pm
Sidney Blumenthal on the origins of the Republican Party, the fallout from Clinton’s emails, and his new biography of Abraham Lincoln
Conversation — March 30, 2016, 3:44 pm
Joseph Hickman discusses his new book, The Burn Pits, which tells the story of thousands of U.S. soldiers who, after returning from Iraq and Afghanistan, have developed rare cancers and respiratory diseases.
Hours for which New Orleans’s airport was partly evacuated in February over a package later found to contain gumbo:
Researchers suggested that Abraham Lincoln suffered from a genetic mutation that destroys nerve cells in the cerebellum rather than Marfan disease, which makes people grow tall and thin, with long tapering fingers.
Greece evacuated 72,000 people from the town of Thessaloniki while an undetonated World War II–era bomb was excavated from beneath a gas station.
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"It is an interesting and somewhat macabre parlor game to play at a large gathering of one’s acquaintances: to speculate who in a showdown would go Nazi. By now, I think I know. I have gone through the experience many times—in Germany, in Austria, and in France. I have come to know the types: the born Nazis, the Nazis whom democracy itself has created, the certain-to-be fellow-travelers. And I also know those who never, under any conceivable circumstances, would become Nazis."