From the Bowling Ball Test to the Bowling Green Massacre: Trump Is Bowling Lies To Justify Foreign Policy.

4 min readMar 15, 2018

In the daily sea of Trump Administration lies it is easy to forget what was among the first. On February 2, 2017 Kellyanne Conway appeared on MSNBC’s hardball and decried the media for failing to report on the “Bowling Green Massacre.” A massacre used by Conway to justify Trump’s disastrous first attempt at a Muslim Travel Ban. Conway said:

“I bet, there was very little coverage ‍ — ‌ 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. I mean, most people don’t know that because it didn’t get covered.”

Of course the reason the Bowling Green Massacre “didn’t get covered” was because it never happened. There was simply no such thing. Conway was deservedly lampooned for this “alternative fact,” to include by your’s truly.

Me having fun in early February 2016

It is a testimony to the sheer volume of lies from this Administration that two can develop involving the use of the word “bowling.” From the “Bowling Green Massacre” we now move to the “Bowling Ball Test,” yet another lie used to justify bad foreign policy.

The Bowling Ball Test comes direct from the President of the United States. Donald Trump presented it as a supposed example of unfair trade practices by Japan that justify things like tariffs. As reported by The Washington Post, the President’s claim is those nefarious trade cheating Japanese have an import test where they drop a bowling ball from 20 feet in the air onto the hood of an American car. If the bowling ball dents the hood, even just a little, the car fails and those trade trickster Japanese won’t allow it to be imported. In the words of the President himself at a fundraiser in Misourri:

“We send a car to Japan, they analyze it for four weeks before they decide to send it back because it’s not environmentally friendly. … One of the car companies actually had a car made and it was the most environmentally perfect car, cost them a fortune. They spent a fortune. … But they wanted to see if they could get it in [to Japan]. And it, they were going crazy. Four days went by. Then five days. And they were ready to approve it and they said, no no, we have to do one more test. It’s called the bowling ball test, do you know what that is? That’s where they take a bowling ball from 20 feet up in the air and they drop it on the hood of the car. And if the hood dents, then the car doesn’t qualify. Well, guess what, the roof dented a little bit, and they said, nope, this car doesn’t qualify. It’s horrible, the way we’re treated. It’s horrible.”

Why those dirty rotten low down inscrutable sneaky trade swindling good ole American patriot job killing Japanese charlatans! The test is impossible!

It is also, like the Bowling Green Massacre, a complete fabrication. No such Bowling Ball Test to lock good ole Fords and Chryslers out of the Japanese market exists. The Bowling Ball Test is . . . FAKE NEWS!

WaPo valiantly attempted to explain the origins of this Presidential suburban legend. Everything from a Nissan commercial of bouncing rogue bowling balls wrecking havoc on parked cars, to a David Letterman skit deliberately tossing bowling balls on staff member’s clunker, was offered as inadequate explanations for this lie.

Perhaps the most likely explanation WaPo offered is a test the Japanese do, to both foreign and domestic cars, where objects specially designed to simulate human heads are fired at various speeds and angles at car hoods. However, these tests were not to determine the damage to the car, but rather the damage to the heads. They relate to pedestrian safety concerns, and that’s it.

The news of bogus Bowling Ball Test broke with an additional story where Trump bragged about lying to the Canadian Prime Minister about the trade deficit between the countries. Trump is even continuing the lie now, taking it by tweet from Prime Minister of Canada to the American people. In fact, America has a trade surplus with Canada.

Now we get to the rub. While it’s tempting to make light and have fun with lies like the Bowling Green Massacre and Bowling Ball Test (as I certainly have), these complete myths are informing the foreign policy decisions of the President of the United States.

This is actually very serious stuff. Bogus facts driving bad policy is not what the American people need or deserve.




Retired lawyer & Army vet in The Villages of Florida. Lifelong: Republican (pre-Trump), Constitution buff, science nerd & dog lover. Twitter: @KeithDB80