<a href="This is
mildly really extremely horrifying:
During a White House briefing, a reporter referred to the Cuban Missile Crisis — and [White House Press Secretary Dana Perino] didn’t know what it was.
“I was panicked a bit because I really don’t know about . . . the Cuban Missile Crisis,” said Perino, who at 35 was born about a decade after the 1962 U.S.-Soviet nuclear showdown. “It had to do with Cuba and missiles, I’m pretty sure.”
So she consulted her best source. “I came home and I asked my husband,” she recalled. “I said, ‘Wasn’t that like the Bay of Pigs thing?’ And he said, ‘Oh, Dana.’ “
Now, I’m a huge nerd, but I knew what the Cuban missile crisis was in like fourth grade. And I’m pretty sure any good high school history department will cover it in detail at some point. Moreover, I just finished a course based (like a course of Peter Howard‘s, apparently) on Essence of Decision, and thus spent a trimester analyzing every time Kennedy blinked through three different theoretical lenses, so the idea that someone with Perino’s power would not know that the crisis even happened (let alone that RFK compared Curtis LeMay to Tojo, and that Khrushchev’s first message to Washington was probably a drunk-telegraph) makes me a special kind of furious.