The misadventures of Corn Pop and Joe

Originally published at:


“Esther Williams”. That’ll really resonate with the kids when he tells this story.

I am disappointed that Biden’s story doesn’t end with a “West Side Story” dance number at the pool – it needs a little more realism to stick the landing.

[Harriot just gets better and better. Only a matter of time before a Hollywood writer’s room tries to poach him from The Root]


Yeah, this is a great story if you overlook the fact that William L. “Corn Pop” Morris was a real person who passed in 2016 at the age of 73, that the story has been confirmed with people aware of it at the time it happened, etc.

I get that not everyone is a fan of Biden. I’ll go a step further and wonder aloud why he seems to feel the need to repeat this specific story so often. That said, this whole outrage based on someone having an absurd nickname - that turned out to be real - is a bit pointless isn’t it?


I’m Corn Pop, and so is my wife!


This post really needs to be retracted or at least amended. The thread was funny, if you leave aside the fact that the entire premise was wrong.


While Harriot is funny and it’s always fun to laugh at ol’ out-of-touch Uncle Joe, I’ll agree that there are other aspects of this story besides the hilarious fact that a gang leader with the nickname “Corn Pop” actually inspired such fear in Delaware ca. 1962.

For example, the story seems to amount to “a black thug threatened me with a weapon, so I brandished a weapon like a thug, too, but then apologised for something I did wrong while not apologising for something I did right. And then I became friends with him, and by the transitive property of close black friends became a friend to all African-Americans.” What’s the moral of this story?



1 Like

Harriot is very much a tongue in cheek writer. But his jokes often enough don’t work, and he’s got a habit of going off kinda half cocked like this. Having a joke be not that funny or too easily misunderstood/misrepresented is fine, it happens and his intent is always pretty clear. But when you add in the second tendency its becomes too easy for people to dismiss his main point by nitpicking his mistakes and assumptions.

Frankly it doesn’t matter if Corn Pop was real. Or if this happened exactly as Biden says it did. This is still not a great story to be throwing out there as an accomplishment. It still reeks of the exact tropes and assumptions Harriot is criticising. This is Greenbook. Its the feel good about white people fixing racism story targeted at white voters. If he’s gonna tell this story he shouldn’t be telling it this way, and the fact that he keeps bringing it up just underlines how little he actually understands. Its very much like his desire to keep telling fond stories about working with vile racists in an attempt to underline how bipartisan he is.

Its clueless and he’s undermining himself much more than Harriot is.


Yeah, a lot of focusing on the wrong part of the story. The way Ol’ Joe consistently deals with issues of race is, uh… less than ideal. And if anyone on his staff is trying to bring him into the 21st century, it’s not working so well (nor will it ever, clearly).

Charles Blow hit the nail on the head today:


See…I thought this was puffery about being tough on crime - hence him not backing down…either that or a “I was such a tough kid” story. Don’t get me wrong, I don’t think those are great premises either…I just didn’t see this as a “fixing racism” story. YMMV though.

There have been “sources say” sort of articles about Biden’s campaign staff begging him to stop talking about certain things. His repeated anecdotes about getting along with virulently racist congressmen in the past, several other stories that just highlight his association with segregationists and anti school integration/busing positions in the past.

I think the issue is that he’s got the best polling numbers among African Americans out of all the candidates right now. And he seems to think this kind of shit is why.

But I don’t think that’s how it works. And even if that doesn’t chase off his current support, its the sort of thing that makes it real hard to bring new voters to the table come the general.

I think tough on crime would involve him some how defeating the bad guy, or removing him from the equation. Specifically not calling the cops on the criminal isn’t particularly tough on crime.

You look at the framing and its a story of how Joe Biden magnanimously reached out to the black community. And in so doing defused and befriended a dangerous and threatening stereotype. That just screams Oscar bait.


Where I read “tough on crime” was the whole “I wrapped a chain around my arm like Billy badass and wouldn’t back down and we made peace.” Being willing to stand up rather than run away or call the cops, I feel, is about trying to appear tough…

Remove the racial component and it is similar to a number of experiences that my father has shared about his time growing up in Detroit…

I do see your points though and I cannot say that they are without merit.

You gotta have your tense climax! Or maybe that’s more of an inciting incident…

All that’s missing is Uncle Joe saving the pool from a racist property developer and a funky sound track. Maybe a group of roller skating, sassy pre-teens for him to inspire.


So we cast John Cusack to play Biden and to really ramp up the contrast Terry Cruise as Corn Pop?


They weren’t even called “Corn Pops” back then! I know because I used to eat them as a child. They were called “Sugar Pops,” and the jingle was “Sugar Pops are tops!”

So this whole apocryphal Corn Pops story is bull, Grandpa. I was there. I ate The Pops. They were called Sugar.

1 Like

Corn Pops” is the original name. They went through various name changes over the years, including “Sugar Corn Pops”, “Sugar Pops”, and even a brief stint as just “Pops”, before landing back on the original “Corn Pops”.


So Boing Boing is getting its stories from The Daily Caller’s Eddie Zipperer now?

And whether there was or wasn’t a gang leader with the nickname “Popcorn” “doesn’t matter” now that it’s been shown there was such a person? And now whether the story really happened or not “doesn’t matter” now that it’s been corroborated by several people? Why? Because investigating stories before you post them in Boing Boing is for cucks?

Thank you to Mr. Daniel Dale for showing us the obituary of William L. “Pop Corn” Morris. But that Michael Harriot? “This is a celebration of the life of a straight razor-carrying certified street thug who I’d bet my pinky toe never existed.” Corn Pop is dead now and Mr. Harriot is surely glad to hear it so he doesn’t wake up in his own bathtub with his pinkie toe missing. /Sarcasm, folks. Corn Pop turned out to be a nice guy after he outgrew the gang stuff. But Mr. Harriot bet his own toe without checking with the Black community in Wilmington first.

Kos of Daily Kos published the same story and he’s getting a great amount of blowback on it. I guess the people there think the truth does matter. If you go there you can watch the video of the whole ceremony where they named the pool after Biden, and people wanted him to tell the story again. Ms. Loukareas snipped her Biden snippet from the video posted at:

But that’s only if you want to see the whole story in context and not be led around by the alt-right or its dupes.


Boing Boing clearly cited Michael Harriot. The left wing editor of African American political site The Root.

Did you even pay attention to any of this? Its Corn Pop, like the cereal.

It was corroborated years ago after Biden included in in his auto-biography. Real or not the criticisms Biden garnered then and now for repeatedly making a big deal about the story are valid, and don’t hang on its reality. Fact checking it only comes in because its sounds like a fucking cartoon. These criticisms are most definitely coming from non-whites and the left. Like Biden’s regular anecdotes about what great, polite people the segregationists and white supremacists he used to work with back in the day are. Where a guy who literally called for the murder of Blacks and spoke mostly in slurs is pointed to as an example of decorum The problem here is not “Biden makes shit up”, it’s that he’s telling a story, and telling it in a way, that caters to and plays off racist stereotype and assumptions. And he’s expecting to get applauded for it.

Harriot is the one who didn’t check before tweeting, a habit of his. All BB is doing is pointing to Harriot’s response. Which isn’t too far off from a lot of people’s. This story doesn’t fly well whenever Biden brags about that time he met black people.

Dude can’t undue his pretty shit history on Racial justice by telling clueless stories that offend people and singing the praises of bigots to prove how bi-partisan he is.


The video I’m referencing, the video of the dedication ceremony where the community pool is renamed for Joe Biden, can be found at:

So this video is from a dedication ceremony. The community is naming a pool for Joe Biden. He worked there when he was a young man. Some officials open the ceremony with complimentary remarks about Joe Biden. Many public officials are recognized. Then U. S. Senator Lisa Blunt Rochester says, to Joe Biden, standing off camera, that the man she’s introducing, is Richard “Mouse” Smith, a “partner and champion with you (Joe Biden) in Civil Rights”.

In addition to what’s shown in the whole video, here is Mr. Smith’s endorsement of Joe Biden for President in 2019:

T his op-ed was submitted from Richard ‘Mouse’ Smith the former President of the Delaware NAACP and Sam Latham who is the former President of the Delaware AFL-CIO and the first African-American to hold the position.”

Here’s Mr. Smith, again, in another article about his friend Joe Biden:

In the video, former Delaware NAACP president, Richard “Mouse” Smith, recounts his younger years with Joe Biden. He tells the story of Joe Biden and “Corn Pop.” It’s obviously a “crowd pleaser,” so when Joe Biden gets up to speak, he tells the story again with more details. It’s a story about reaching out beyond your own comfort zone to try and get to know some people who aren’t like you. It’s a story about how “everyone” says you can’t be friends with a certain person, but you go and make friends with that person anyway. Oh, and it’s a story about “why everyone should vote for me” told by a guy thinking about running for President. Of course it is. The thing is, all of those politically savvy people there, representing the community, the state of Delaware, and the United States, have come out to support him. They know he’s thinking of running.

Before announcing a Presidential run, most potential candidates will go around and see if the community they come from supports them. So here in 2017 Joe Biden has contacted his community leaders and asked them if they would support him. So what is the response? Did they put on their “Sourpuss face” and say, “Well, sure, if asked, we’ll say, ‘He did OK… for a White Guy’.” No. They decide that they can rename the pool after him, and make a dedication event, and it will give everyone the opportunity to come out and speak on Joe’s behalf. They make it an endorsement event.

If someone was to say to me, “Y’know, this whole brou-ha-ha was made up by Biden’s Staff, so people would go and watch the original video!” I would say, “Well played, Biden’s Staff! You did that “Streisand Effect” thing” and it worked perfectly!”

But I suppose it wasn’t put up by the Biden Staff. And maybe most people won’t go back to the original video. Maybe this is just what it seems to be-a vicious attack, not on policy, but on person, and if this works, and Biden’s popularity drops off because of it, we could expect the next post here in Boing Boing to be on, “That Time Hypocrite Bernie Supported People In Rural Vermont Owning Hunting Rifles”, or, “Let’s Talk About Pocahontas Again”, depending on who takes the lead. You can expect the alt-right, and their dupes, to try and throw this stuff at whoever is ahead.

Joe Biden isn’t my first choice to be the Democratic candidate because I don’t like his strategy on Health Care, and I’m completely opposed to including nuclear power plants in our nation’s energy policy of alternative fuels. But these are policy disagreements that people in the same party can and should have discussions about. Of course I mean real discussions. Nobody should go to Vegas with this “Left” Roots guy. If he’s “feeling lucky” he might bet the car you need to go home in, and, of course, lose it. Remember: He. Bet. His. Toe. that “Corn Pop” wasn’t real.

If I’m looking at who knows Joe Biden’s character, his community has spoken up for him and they love him. Watch the video. Go to the article by Mr. Smith. He puts it straight, “We Delawareans, and many African Americans around the country know who Joe is, and who he always has been. Joe has been our champion, rolling up his sleeves to take on the issues facing the Black community. He’s always willing to meet with us and listen to our concerns.”

So, pooh pooh to your character assassination!


1 Like

Oh, whoops, Lisa Blunt Rochester is a U.S. Representative, not a Senator. Sorry, the U.S. Senator was the lady before Rep. Rochester, and introduced her. Oh, and Rep. Rochester got “Corn Pop” reversed for a while when she was retelling the story. Mr. Smith helped her get it straight, and then she introduced him. I think that’s correct now. I hope! Thanks!

1 Like