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Reporter's Pledge-Of-Allegiance Quandary Sparks Twitter Debate On Romney Trail (NPR)
NPR ^ | September 11, 2012 | Ari Shapiro

Posted on 09/11/2012 9:15:12 PM PDT by Drango

Mitt Romney's rally in Mansfield, Ohio, on Monday began the way every political event begins. "Please stand for the Pledge of Allegiance and our country's national anthem."

This is always an uncomfortable moment for me. While I sat at my laptop, most of the reporters around me stood and put their hands over their hearts. This time instead of just sitting and working, I tweeted what I was feeling:

@Ari_Shapiro: As a reporter I'm torn about joining in the pledge of allegiance/national anthem at rallies. I'm a rally observer, not a participant.

And then:

"Yet most reporters around me stand for the anthem & pledge. I'm one of the few that doesn't. Setting myself up for accusations I guess."

I expected a flood of vitriol. Instead, a thoughtful Twitter dialogue unfolded about what it means to be a journalist, what it means to be American, and what role the Pledge of Allegiance plays in our society. Other reporters joined in, including some sitting around me at the rally.

There were strong disagreements, sometimes passionate ones. There were witty moments of irreverence. But not once did anyone accuse me of being an America-hating Communist. Here are some highlights from that dialogue:

@ChrisJohnson82: I feel the same way. I've made a compromise where I stand with my hand over my heart, but remain silent.

@CarolineZilk: But you're an American! ...I say, participate unless you're busy recording, taking a photo or writing something down.

@Monbud: As an American, of course, it's optional to join in no matter where you are.

@StevenPortnoy: I stand with my hand over my heart. Liberty and justice for all are American ideals worthy of objective endorsement.

@Ari_Shapiro: But aren't lots of ideas at rallies "American ideals worthy of objective endorsement?" I'm not disagreeing with the pledge.

@Tcmassie: As a former radio reporter, I had conversations with colleagues who did not register to vote, so as not to seem partisan.

@Ari_Shapiro: Yet I vote, as an independent.

@ScrollnKey: Pretty ridiculous thought. At a minimum u should participate just to celebrate that u have the freedom to choose.

@Snaggleswood: The whole concept has always struck me as a bit fascist, having to stand when demanded to affirm our allegiance.

@Shoshuga: Now if you were going to stand up and sing Hatikvah [Israel's national anthem], then I'd completely understand your concern.

@PatOBeirne: If you are there to report, you shouldn't participate. Just don't be disrespectful.

@TournezVous: Do what I did when my old job's shareholder meetings opened with prayer: bow your head & check your blackberry.

@Ari_Shapiro: Every political candidate has lines I agree with. But of course I don't applaud in the stump speech. So why draw a line at the pledge?

@McKayCoppins: I think the argument is that the pledge is supposed to be apart from politics—not being used to elect a candidate.

@GlobeSessions: I stand (so as not to disrupt by drawing attention to the sitting man) but do not recite. Blending w/o participating.

@Kimu: AS a qualitative researcher, I aim for respectful non-participation & try to blend into the background. #FlyOnTheWall

@Slichtor FWIW, I'd stand (same for any nat'l anthem) but history has shown that there's a fine line btwn blind patriotism & xenophobia.

@DjCiskey The pledge is a unifying, non-partisan statement of values. Reciting it w/ Ds or Rs does not imply support for their platform.

@TiChall If you were reporting from another country, would you stand when that country's anthem was played?

@MiraOberman As a Canadian reporter I stand out of respect for anthem, pledge or prayers but don't sing/pledge/pray along as disingenuous.

@BFreedInA2: Observe/participate line can be tough to draw. Humming along/tapping your foot to the music? The tunes they play can be catchy.

@Ari_Shapiro: Currently tapping my foot to "I Was Born Free..."

@Cakilpack: Not standing for the pledge is not neutral; it's a statement.

This debate has a postscript.

As Romney took the stage to deliver his speech, he used a rhetorical device he debuted over the weekend at a rally in Virginia. He talked about the Pledge of Allegiance and reminisced about reciting it in his fourth-grade class. Then he used each line to make a point — about unifying the country, or strengthening the military, or the role of God in public life.

Which prompted this tweet:

@Karinchu: @Ari_Shapiro so much for the pledge being apolitical.



TOPICS: Breaking News; News/Current Events
KEYWORDS: antiamericanism; defundpbsnpr; npr; pledgeofallegiance; statefundedradio; usefulidiot
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Why am I not surprised this is on 9/11? An NPR reporter refusing to stand for the Pledge of Allegiance.

I'm going to be sick.

Honestly, NPR and its reporters hate America.

1 posted on 09/11/2012 9:15:19 PM PDT by Drango
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To: Drango

That person is an idiot, that person is a leftwing propagandist not a journalist


2 posted on 09/11/2012 9:17:33 PM PDT by GeronL (The Right to Life came before the Right to Pursue Happiness)
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To: GeronL

“That person is an idiot, that person is a leftwing propagandist not a journalist”

That person is an a-hole!


3 posted on 09/11/2012 9:20:16 PM PDT by Batman11 (We came for the chicken sandwiches and a Sweet Tea Party broke out!)
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To: Batman11

From Wikipedia:

On February 27, 2004, Shapiro and longtime boyfriend Michael Gottlieb were married at San Francisco City Hall.


4 posted on 09/11/2012 9:23:30 PM PDT by Batman11 (We came for the chicken sandwiches and a Sweet Tea Party broke out!)
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To: Drango

Wish these America haters would just move to Russia and leave us alone.

Pray for America


5 posted on 09/11/2012 9:27:03 PM PDT by bray (If you vote for a communist what does that make you?)
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To: Drango

They’re discussing it as if they were actually nonpartisan. :)


6 posted on 09/11/2012 9:30:38 PM PDT by bronxville (Margaret Sanger - “We do not want word to go out that we want to exterminate the Negro population,)
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To: Drango; Diddle E. Squat; deport; Ben Ficklin; zeugma; MeekOneGOP; Fiddlstix; arnoldfwilliams; ...

At the political and tea party meetings I go to, we pledge allegiance to the US flag, then the Texas flag; then we have a prayer.


7 posted on 09/11/2012 9:31:02 PM PDT by Paleo Conservative
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To: Drango

Since we are paying her salary, she could pledge allegiance to her employer.


8 posted on 09/11/2012 9:31:13 PM PDT by CharlesWayneCT
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To: GeronL
I agree, this person is an idiot to remove all doubt that he doesn't understand what respect for the flag and what it and the National Anthem stand for. However, many Americans really have no clue.

When I was in High School, I found it a privilege to stand and cover my heart. I felt I was honoring my Dad, my uncles, and all other veterans who had defended America. When I was in Boot Camp, the flag was placed at half mast due to the Embassy bombing in Beirut, and I thought, “here we go.” and I mourned the killing of other American servicemen that were just like me. When I was over in Europe, and I saw the American flag, I really got a sense of the power and freedom it stands for, even in a free Europe.

I guess what I'm saying is 1) you can't force people to respect the flag/anthem if they really don't feel it themselves, and 2) maybe it takes the realization that America is something special and the flag/anthem is something special and unique that some people just have no life experience to realize that. Or I suppose, they could just hate America and showing respect irks them to no end.

Ultimately, I'm glad idiots like this out themselves.

9 posted on 09/11/2012 9:37:03 PM PDT by ScubieNuc (When there is no justice in the laws, justice is left to the outlaws.)
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To: Drango
As a reporter I'm torn about joining in the pledge of allegiance/national anthem at rallies. I'm a rally observer, not a participant.
No moron, you're not a participant, but you are an American citizen, aren't you? Is saying the Pledge that detrimental to your fragile sensibilities?
10 posted on 09/11/2012 9:38:58 PM PDT by Impala64ssa (You call me an islamophobe like it's a bad thing.)
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To: Drango
Honestly, NPR and its reporters hate America.

You nailed it!

11 posted on 09/11/2012 9:39:40 PM PDT by TYVets (Pure-Gas.org ..... ethanol free gasoline by state and city)
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To: CharlesWayneCT
Since we are paying her salary, she could

FYI:


12 posted on 09/11/2012 9:40:27 PM PDT by C210N ("ask not what the candidate can do for you, ask what you can do for the candidate" (Breitbart, 2012))
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To: Drango

He freaking works for NPR! He’s not some “independent” guy from another country. He should stand for the pledge that supports the flag of the country that pays his salary!


13 posted on 09/11/2012 9:41:59 PM PDT by MacMattico
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To: Drango

I pledge allegiance, to the nothingness and everything for which we stand, and to the socialist mob for which we stand, many tribes, under no particular god, with dwindling liberty and crony justice for all.


14 posted on 09/11/2012 9:42:08 PM PDT by LachlanMinnesota
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To: C210N; Batman11

See # 4

On February 27, 2004, Shapiro and longtime boyfriend Michael Gottlieb were married at San Francisco City Hall.


15 posted on 09/11/2012 9:43:21 PM PDT by Drango (A liberal's compassion is limited only by the size of someone else's wallet.)
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To: Drango

Fags like this clown should be paid with Monopoly money. I can’t stand the thought of these asshats walking around with “United States Of America” and “In God We Trust” in their pockets.


16 posted on 09/11/2012 9:44:49 PM PDT by FlingWingFlyer (Diversity and political correctness. The real reason 09-11-01 happened.)
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If the Republicans win, NPR needs to be defunded immediately. The organization is riddled with scum like this. Let them get their money from the Taliban.


17 posted on 09/11/2012 10:00:07 PM PDT by Godwin1
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To: Drango

When I worked in the media, this came up a couple times a year ‘in-house.’

While there is a ‘PURELY” philosophical arguement to be made about impartial observers and all that, the bottom line is this. To entertain the idealism of impartiality, one must by definition place themselves ‘above’ the issue in question.

And that is where the egotistical Bs of the average reporter comes from.

Secondly, the mere thought that a group of liberals who redefine partisan politics daily being ‘impartial’ about anything is so beyond absurd that it is but to laugh.


18 posted on 09/11/2012 10:08:19 PM PDT by Norm Lenhart
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To: Batman11

19 posted on 09/11/2012 10:12:10 PM PDT by Old Sarge (We are now officially over the precipice, we just havent struck the ground yet)
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just as I thought...Homosexual...I do not support their sick life style so I have no sympathy for this jerk and he is a jerk...

men marrying men is just so unnatural and sicko...
and the same for women with woman..

they are all AMERICA HATERS...

20 posted on 09/11/2012 10:21:50 PM PDT by haircutter
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