Chris Hayes got himself a great spanking because of his inability to acknowledge military heroism:
CHRIS HAYES: Thinking today and observing Memorial Day, that’ll be happening tomorrow. Just talked with Lt. Col. Steve Burke [sic, actually Beck], who was a casualty officer with the Marines and had to tell people [inaudible]. Um, I, I, ah, back sorry, um, 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.” Um, and, ah, ah, why do I feel so comfortable [sic] about the word “hero”? I feel comfortable, ah, 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.
Chastened, he issued a non-apology apology, in which he basically said “I’m sorry I hurt your feelings,” while clearly muttering to himself, “but I’m still right about war-mongering”:
“On Sunday, in discussing the uses of the word “hero” to describe those members of the armed forces who have given their lives, I don’t think I lived up to the standards of rigor, respect and empathy for those affected by the issues we discuss that I’ve set for myself,” Chris Hayes, host of “Up With Chris Hayes,” said in a statement. “I am deeply sorry for that.”
I figured out today what would help Hayes issue a real, heartfelt apology, one that shows he truly understands the heroism our troops show every day, when they’re training, when they on ships, when they’re on the battlefield — indeed, the moment they take the oath to defend this country and this Constitution. Our Armed Forces need to sing.
“Sing?!” you ask. Yes, sing (or maybe write a little). I have it on the best authority, from quite possibly the smartest man in America. Singers (and writers) are “heroes”:
President Barack Obama gave the United States’ top civilian honor on Tuesday to musician Bob Dylan, novelist Toni Morrison and 11 other people he described as his heroes because of their powerful words, songs and actions.
“What sets these men and women apart is the incredible impact they have had on so many people – not in short, blinding bursts, but steadily, over the course of a lifetime,” Obama said, presenting the Presidential Medal of Freedom awards in a packed ceremony at the White House.
“They have enriched our lives and they have changed our lives for the better,” he said.
The president chooses the honorees.
“So many of these people are my heroes individually,” Obama said during the ceremony, recalling how he read Morrison’s novel “Song of Solomon” as a young man when he was “not just trying to figure out how to write, but also how to be and how to think.”
“And I remember in college listening to Bob Dylan and my world opening up because he captured something about this country that was so vital,” he said. “Everybody on this stage has marked my life in profound ways.”
If our troops could just march into battle singing songs that inspire Barack Obama, they too could be heroes in the eyes of some little MSNBC wanker. Or maybe not — because I bet that, if they go in battle singing, they’re singing something like this: