Breaking News

Chris Hayes Issues Apology for ‘Heroes’ Comments
Download PDF
1 Star2 Stars3 Stars4 Stars5 Stars (No Ratings Yet)
Loading...

Chris Hayes, from MSNBC, caused a bit of a controversy over the weekend when he said that he was ‘uncomfortable’ describing soldiers as ‘heroes’ because that term can be used to justify unjust wars. Hayes spoke to a former Marine, whose responsibility it was to tell families about a soldier’s death, and then brought up the problem of language with his panel. The excerpt from the episode is below:

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.” Why do I feel so [uncomfortable] about the word “hero”? I feel comfortable — 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.

  
What
Where


A member of the panel, linguist John McWhorter, said that he would “almost rather not say ‘hero’” and he described the term as ‘manipulative.’ Liliana Segura, from The Nation, said that the word is used to paint the picture of a war in a ‘righteous’ way. “These wars in Iraq and Afghanistan … aren’t righteous wars,” she said. “We can’t be so afraid of criticizing a policy.”

A statement was issued by Hayes on Monday regarding his comments from Sunday:

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.

Get JD Journal in Your Mail

Subscribe to our FREE daily news alerts and get the latest updates on the most happening events in the legal, business, and celebrity world. You also get your daily dose of humor and entertainment!!




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.





 

RELEVANT JOBS

DEPUTY STAFF COUNSEL / ATTORNEY

USA-CA-Auburn

JOIN OUR OUTSTANDING TEAM OF PROFESSIONALS! DEPUTY STAFF COUNSEL / ATTORNEY $129,615 - $165,42...

Apply now

Associate Attorney

USA-CA-Rohnert Park

Zimmerman Pavone LLP is looking for an attorney admitted to practice in California who is inter...

Apply now

Labor & Employment Partner in Houston, Austin or Dallas (Work From Home)

USA-TX-Houston

Culhane Meadows PLLC, one of the largest non-traditional distributed law firms in the country, ...

Apply now

Labor & Employment Group partner in Dallas, Austin or Houston (Work From Home)

USA-TX-Dallas

Culhane Meadows PLLC, one of the largest non-traditional distributed law firms in the country, is...

Apply now

BCG FEATURED JOB

Locations:

Keyword:



Search Now

Personal Injury Litigator

USA-VA-Fairfax

Northern Virginia office of our client is seeking a personal injury litigator with 4+ years of stron...

Apply Now

Associate Attorney

USA-CA-Larkspur

Larkspur office of our client seeks an associate attorney with 4-6 years of experience/background pr...

Apply Now

Associate Attorney

USA-MI-Bloomfield Hills

Bloomfield Hills office of a BCG Attorney Search Top Ranked Law Firm seeks an associate attorney wit...

Apply Now

SEARCH IN ARCHIVE

To Top