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Chris Hayes Is ‘Uncomfortable’ With ‘Heroes’

From Sunday’s MSNBC‘s ‘Up With Chris (Who?) Hayes’:

Chris Hayes: I’m ‘Uncomfortable’ Calling Fallen Military ‘Heroes’

May 27, 2012

CHRIS HAYES: Thinking today and observing Memorial Day, that’ll be happening tomorrow. Just talked with Lt. Col. Steve Burke, who was a casualty officer with the Marines and had to tell people [inaudible]. Um, I, I, ah, [Steve] Beck, 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.

We think it is safe to say that Hayes was wrong about that. And there is nothing "rhetorically proximate" about it.

(For the record, we are uncomfortable thinking of Mr. Hayes an American. In fact, we are even a little uncomfortable calling him a man.)

Fortunately, Mr. Hayes has ‘apologized,’ and in a typically manly and straightforward manner in an official "statement."

From the ‘Up With Chris (Who?) Hayes’ website:

Statement from Chris Hayes

Mon May 28, 2012

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.

That is to say he is sorry for not living up to his standards of rigor and respect and empathy that he has set for himself. He is "deeply sorry" he let himself down.

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.

Er, that was not the point of his offending remarks at all. His point was that by celebrating our war dead we encourage more ‘war mongering.’ He wasn’t saying that we don’t celebrate our war dead enough. It was exactly the opposite.

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.

Oh, he has conformed to a stereotype, all right. And not in a pro-forma way.

This article was posted by Steve on Tuesday, May 29th, 2012. Comments are currently closed.

2 Responses to “Chris Hayes Is ‘Uncomfortable’ With ‘Heroes’”

  1. canary says:

    Punk Chris Hayes should be honoring veterans who fought so he could have freedom of speech to diss veterans.

    It is times like this, that some like Hayes should keep his ignorant mouth shut. How selfish he is.

  2. canary says:

    letter to Chris Hayes

    It is the
    VETERAN,
    not the preacher,
    who has given us freedom of religion.

    It is
    the VETERAN,
    not the campus organizer,
    who has given us freedom to assemble.

    It is
    the VETERAN,
    not the lawyer,
    who has given us the right to a fair trial.

    It is
    the VETERAN,
    not the politician,
    Who has given us the right to vote.


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