Tuesday trends and talk
"In the span of a week, the Confederate battle flag has gone from ubiquitous, to unacceptable. Astonishing," reacts The Atlantic's Yoni Appelbaum, once CNN broke the news that Wal-mart would stop selling Confederate flag merchandise (at about 50,000 shares and showing no sign of stopping). "Update: Sears is now also removing Confederate flag merchandise from its online stores," tweets MJ Lee, the CNN financial reporter who broke the news. "When I woke this morning, I never thought I would see this. History moves in remarkable ways," reflects CNN colleague John Berman. "Wow, even capitalism is turning against the Confederacy," muses Matt Ford, also at The Atlantic. But Sally Kohn with the Daily Beast and CNN had a different reaction: "Wait a second, so up UNTIL TODAY @Walmart was SELLING CONFEDERATE FLAGS!?!?!" she tweets. "I've often seen Confederate flag merchandise when home in Ohio at Wal-Mart, never really thought much of it," admits BuzzFeed's Andrew Kaczynski.
And that's not all. Yesterday Gov. Nikki Haley and South Carolina’s two U.S. senators joined the throngs calling for the flag's removal from Statehouse grounds. Still, after nearly 24 hours, roughly half of South Carolina's lawmakers won't tell The Post and Courier their stance on whether the flag should come down. "'Hasn't yet responded' is South Carolinian for 'no'," quips Minnesota Public Radio's Bob Collins. So Ta-Nehisi Coates steps up to the plate to remind us of the Confederate cause in the words of its very own leaders. "Last graph is beautifully written. Taking down Confederate flag isn't question of manners—it's a matter of history," praises Washington Examiner's Becket Adams. "Will be a lot of talk about 'heritage' in the coming months. Worth examining the precise contents of this 'heritage,'" Coates tweets.
In news that's not about the flag, the unthinkable happened last night: famed composer James Horner, who bestowed upon humanity the haunting themes of Titanic, Braveheart and Field of Dreams, has died in a plane crash. "Huge loss in composing: James Horner ... Who didn't choke up at this scene, and its amazing music?" asks Matt Sauer with the Sarasota Herald-Tribune. Meanwhile, a notebook obtained by Outside the Lines shows Pete Rose bet on baseball as a player in 1986. "Just when you thought there were no more forks to stick in Pete Rose, ESPN finds docs proving he bet while playing," concludes Robert Draper. Ben Bernanke makes the case that Andrew Jackson, not Alexander Hamilton, should be removed from a bill. And Maryland Gov. Larry Hogan announces that he has cancer, but will remain in office for now. "God bless and good luck to Maryland's Gov. Larry Hogan as he struggles with cancer," tweets Washington Post's E.J. Dionne Jr.