Chris Hayes, avowedly liberal commentator and host at MSNBC, a network which has opinion shows hosted by two or three more such people, made the following sensible, but sadly daring remark on the occasion of Memorial Day:
I think it's interesting because I think it is very difficult to talk about the war dead and the fallen without invoking valor, without invoking the words "heroes." Why do I feel so [uncomfortable] about the word "hero"? I feel comfortable — uncomfortable — about the word because it seems to me that it is so rhetorically proximate to justifications for more war. Um, and, I don't want to obviously desecrate or disrespect memory of anyone that's fallen, and obviously there are individual circumstances in which there is genuine, tremendous heroism: hail of gunfire, rescuing fellow soldiers and things like that. But it seems to me that we marshal this word in a way that is problematic. But maybe I'm wrong about that.
Maybe he is wrong, but the Military seems to agree. They don't call every one a hero except rhetorically. This provoked the following completely predictable reaction:
“Chris Hayes’ recent remarks on MSNBC regarding our fallen service members are reprehensible and disgusting,” VFW National Commander Richard DeNoyer said in a statement to FoxNews.com. “His words reflect his obvious disregard for the service and sacrifice of the men and women who have paid the ultimate price while defending our nation. His insipid statement is particularly callous because it comes at a time when our entire nation pauses to reflect and honor the memory of our nations’ fallen heroes.”
He continued: “It is especially devastating to the many broken-hearted children, spouses and parents, left behind to grieve for a loved one. Such an ignorant and uncaring and blatant disregard for people’s deep feelings are indefensible, and that is why the Veterans of Foreign Wars of the United States demand that Mr. Hayes and MSNBC provides an immediate and unequivocal apology.”
Sadly, Hayes apologized. You'd have to be completely high to interpret Hayes to be saying or implying any of this.
Last night I rewatched "Flags of our Fathers," a movie which made the same exact point as Hayes. I don't remember the VFW objecting, protesting, or requiring an apology from Clint Eastwood. But maybe I'm wrong about that.
via Washington Monthly.