Hat Tip to The Blaze for this story
‘Come Up With a More Neutral Term’: MSNBC Panel Debates Using the Word ‘Hero’ To Describe Fallen Soldiers
MSNBC is not known as a network that sympathizes with the wars in Iraq or Afghanistan, but this Memorial Day weekend, rather than put aside their political differences to salute our men and women in uniform, a panel on Chris Hayes’ show instead engaged in a debate over how to refer to our fallen soldiers.
Specifically, the panel debated over using words like “hero” because– in their words– the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan aren’t “worthy” causes.
Chris Hayes introduces the issue:
“I feel uncomfortable about the word ‘hero’ 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, you know, 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…”
John McWhorter of the New York Daily News continued: “…I would almost rather not say ‘hero’ and come up with a more neutral term…I share your
discomfort with those words because they are argumentational strategies in themselves, often without wanting to be.”
Michelle Goldberg of the Daily Beast, who recently compared Ann Romney to Hitler and Stalin on the same network, added: “There are people who are genuine heroes, but the kind of implication is that death is what makes you a hero, you know as opposed to any kind of affirmative act or moral act…”
After reassuring that there is honor and valor in the military, Goldberg said: “It’s more just that, it’s a way of ennobling sacrifices that have a lot of nobility for the individual, but to say that someone kind of died heroically suggests that they died worthily, or that they died in the pursuit of a worthy endeavor…” [Emphasis added]
UPDATE TO THIS ONGOING STORY FROM THE BLAZE
MSNBC Host Attempts Apology for Dissing Use of ‘Heroes’ to Describe America’s Fallen Service members
NEW YORK (AP) — MSNBC host Chris Hayes says he’s sorry for his comments about his discomfort with the use of the word “heroes” to describe fallen soldiers.
Hayes made the comments during his show on Sunday, the day before Memorial Day. He was met with a strong backlash, including from a veterans’ group.
Hayes said he was “uncomfortable” with the word because it seemed like a rhetorical device that could justify engaging in more wars.
In a blog post Monday on the show’s website, Hayes apologized for not living up to his own “standards of rigor, respect and empathy.”
He says he was trying to discuss the divide between the military and civilians but ended up reinforcing a stereotype of a pundit talking about something he hasn’t experienced.
This is the full statement from Chris Hayes:
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. I am deeply sorry for that.
As many have rightly pointed out, it’s very easy for me, a TV host, to opine about the people who fight our wars, having never dodged a bullet or guarded a post or walked a mile in their boots. Of course, that is true of the overwhelming majority of our nation’s citizens as a whole. One of the points made during Sunday’s show was just how removed most Americans are from the wars we fight, how small a percentage of our population is asked to shoulder the entire burden and how easy it becomes to never read the names of those who are wounded and fight and die, to not ask questions about the direction of our strategy in Afghanistan, and to assuage our own collective guilt about this disconnect with a pro-forma ritual that we observe briefly before returning to our barbecues.
But in seeking to discuss the civilian-military divide and the social distance between those who fight and those who don’t, I ended up reinforcing it, conforming to a stereotype of a removed pundit whose views are not anchored in the very real and very wrenching experience of this long decade of war. And for that I am truly sorry.
ANY QUESTIONS ?
- How exactly would MSNBC host define ‘heroism’? (theblaze.com)
- MSNBC’s Chris Hayes ‘Uncomfortable’ Calling Fallen Soldiers ‘Heroes’ (nationalreview.com)
- MSNBC Host ‘Uncomfortable’ Referring to Fallen Troops as ‘Heroes’ (sfcmac.wordpress.com)
- MSNBC’s Chris Hayes Feels ‘Uncomfortable’ About Calling Fallen Soldiers ‘Heroes’ (mediaite.com)
- Don’t Be This Guy on Memorial Day (thepatriotperspective.wordpress.com)
- Video: MSNBC observes Memorial Day (hotair.com)
- MSNBC’s Chris Hayes ‘Uncomfortable’ With the Word Hero, Conservative Bloggers Uncomfortable With Him (nymag.com)
- MSNBC’s Chris Hayes ‘Uncomfortable’ Calling Fallen Military ‘Heroes’ (VIDEO) (blippitt.com)
- MSNBC host Chris Hayes says he has trouble calling fallen soldiers ‘heroes … – New York Daily News (nydailynews.com)
- Hayes: Calling soldiers ‘heroes’ all the time is ‘uncomfortable’ (rawstory.com)