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'Washington Post' Columnist Literally Eats His Words In Trump Columns


Now that Donald Trump has effectively clinched the Republican nomination, party elites are clenching their teeth and some political columnists are eating crow - or in the case of Dana Milbank, eating newspaper.


DANA MILBANK: We're through two courses now. We've had the newspaper ceviche, and we've had the newspaper chilaquiles.

SHAPIRO: Milbank was on Facebook live today literally eating his words. In October, he promised Washington Post readers that if Trump locked up the nomination, Milbank would eat his own column. Trump did, and today Milbank did. Welcome to the program.

MILBANK: My pleasure to be with you.

SHAPIRO: How are you digesting that newspaper column?

MILBANK: Well, you know, I'm feeling - hearing a couple of odd noises from the abdomen, a little bit of dyspepsia. I don't know whether it's the meal I ate or just my general anxiety about Trump over the next six months.

SHAPIRO: You also drank some Trump wine with your nine-course meal prepared by a gourmet chef, I should say. It's not as though you just balled up the newspaper and shoved it in your mouth. Let's listen to a little bit of this.


MILBANK: Let us toast the fine physique of Donald Trump.


MILBANK: To Donald Trump's physique.

SHAPIRO: In all seriousness, Dana, do you think more political columnists should be eating their words? What went so wrong this election cycle?

MILBANK: Well, look, I suppose I would've eaten crow but crow is out of season. So I went with all kinds of tastier dishes, and it really was really painless when you prepare newspaper just right. I got it wrong like just about everybody else did. I'd like to say I didn't get it wrong for the same reasons.

I didn't think Trump was a flash in the pan. It was a showman who would - should not be taken seriously. I thought he definitely should be taken seriously. I thought the Republican voters ultimately would say we don't want this kind of guy representing us. And in the end, only 38 percent did vote for Trump, but there never really was a mainstream viable alternative. So they wound up with Trump.

But regardless, I got it wrong. I said last October 2 that I would eat my column if Donald Trump won the nomination. And it turns out you can have it with lamb, you can have it in a nice taco bowl like Donald Trump likes, you can have it with a - in a Wagyu steak, you can have it in Chinese dumplings - just about anything.

SHAPIRO: Was there any moment that you thought, I'm not actually going to keep this promise, I'm not actually going to eat this newsprint?

MILBANK: On the contrary, I think that more people should be eating newsprint. It's got that fiber that's really good for you. Admittedly, the ink may have some heavy metals in it. But, no, I was even thinking maybe if Ted Cruz won, I would still want to eat it because these recipes sounded really so good, you know - the newspaper chilaquiles, the calamari crusted with newspaper in a newspaper sauce. It's really first-rate stuff.

SHAPIRO: Do you think your columns taste better than the columns of, say, Charles Krauthammer, Ruth Marcus, some of your colleagues at the Post?

MILBANK: Well, I think the Krauthammer columns would be little spicier.

SHAPIRO: (Laughter).

MILBANK: I'd like to think mine would go down easier than Charles' or George Will's, but I'm sure that my columns give some indigestion to some readers. And, you know, it's - everybody has their own way of digesting the news.

SHAPIRO: Washington Post columnist Dana Milbank, thanks very much.

MILBANK: Thank you, Ari. Transcript provided by NPR, Copyright NPR.