MSNBC host Chris Hayes sparked some controversy and a severe reaction from the conservative blogosphere over Memorial Day Weekend by saying that he was “uncomfortable” calling fallen soldiers “heroes”, reports New York Daily News.
On his show Up With Chris Hayes, the host commented that, “I feel uncomfortable about the word hero because it seems to me that it is so rhetorically proximate to justifications for more war.” He is comfortable branding individuals as “heroes” when they perform acts of heroism, but when it comes to blanketing the term over all U.S. military fallen, “it seems to me that we marshal this word in a way that is problematic.”
According to FOX News, Richard DeNoyer, head of a major vet group said, “Chris Hayes’ recent remarks on MSNBC regarding our fallen service members are reprehensible and disgusting.” Kurt Schlichter of Breitbart said, “Memo to Chris: they are heroes, and you don’t get a vote,” adding that Hayes, “sounds like one of my commie grad students trying to impress credulous freshman girls after a choom session in the quad.”
On the side of moderation, James Poulos of Forbes wrote, “I think these reactions push the point too far,” adding, “To be sure, the point would go very far indeed if Hayes had said American soldiers are not heroes. Instead, he focused on his discomfort with describing all our servicemen and women as heroes.”
Somewhat supporting the controversial statements is blogger Glenn Greenwald who tweeted, “Questioning—rather than bolstering—orthodoxies is inherently controversial,” reinforcing that, “That’s what makes Chris Hayes’ show so rare for TV—& so valuable.”
Regardless, Hayes issued an apology for his comments on Monday, saying that he was “deeply sorry” for the remarks. “As many have rightly pointed out, it’s very easy for me, a TV host, to opine about people who fight our wars, having never dodged a bullet or guarded a post or walked a mile in their boots,” Hayes said in a statement. He said that he had made a mistake by 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.”
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