Wednesday, May 30, 2012

In Re: Chris Hayes

Conor Friedersdorf does the unthinkable: he defends the defensible
In case you missed it, MSNBC host Chris Hayes has been obligated to apologize for pretty inocuous comments he made with respect to death in wars and whether "hero" is a term bandied about too easily.
It's an emotionally charged subjec to be sure and kudos to Friedersdorf for taking the time to lay out not only the context but the rationale for the argument.
"UP with Chris Hayes" is one of my favorite punditry programs because Hayes is unafraid to tackle tough questions and to invite people (Buddy Roemer, for example) who will take opposing viewpoints. Arguments are intelligent and difficult topics are discussed fully, including the dark sides that those of us politely sipping our coffee would rather leave alone.
Hayes called into question whether anyone who dies fighting for his nation in a war, specifically this nation, is a hero. He walked a difficult tightrope, which he himself acknowledged by not only putting a hefty emphasis on the context in which he was speaking and "pre-apologizing" because he knew he would offend some people who suffered losses at war.
He also defended deaths in our recent wars as heroic, simply because these were kids who volunteered to put themselves in harm's way, the context of their demise irrelevant beyond that simple fact.
To those who took umbrage at Hayes' comments, let me ask this: did you wear a bandaid on your boo-boo during the 2004 campaign? Did you mock Max Cleland, who lost both his legs and one arm in a tragic accident in Viet Nam?
Did you Swift Boat?
Then shut up and let the man speak. At least he speaks from his heart.