Skip to comments.The meaning of a pin
Posted on 07/26/2003 1:36:41 AM PDT by kattracks
As a FOX News anchor, I get a good deal of e-mail -- some of it good, some of it bad. Some of it gets into substantive issues, a lot of it into anything but. It's the latter category that most intrigues and often amuses me. The comments can be nasty ("Your ego is as big as your head") and funny ("Of all the FOX anchors, you seem to be the least obnoxious, but you're still obnoxious").
But occasionally I get particularly hurtful e-mail that even I must admit hits a chord. One concerned my wearing a flag pin each night on my program. I don't make an issue of it, but one particular viewer did. A Fred C. (I'll leave out his last name) wrote "it bordered on the sickening, day in and day out, shoving your pseudo-patriotism on viewers who want news, not cheerleading."
He went on to say that since I didn't serve in the military, who was I to talk up the military; and since I enjoyed an apparently cushy life, how dare I act "like a bleeding patriot."
This is as much an opportunity to respond to Fred as it is to make a point in general.
First off, I don't make a big thing of wearing a pin. It is, after all, just a pin. But it's a powerful symbol for me. It represents a country that lets me do what I like to do, in an environment in which I'm free to do it.
Fred, I don't take issue with people who do not wear flag pins, so why should you take issue with those who do? You go on to claim in your letter that my patriotic bias shows through again and again. You're right there, because I do like it here. I like the opportunities this country affords me, all made possible by people who made big sacrifices before me.
You say that I cannot salute because I haven't served. I strongly disagree, because you
see, Fred, you don't have to march in the parade to proudly wave and honor those who do. You don't have to give blood for your country to never forget those who did that and much more for your country.
Frankly I'm sick and tired of journalists who prefer to honor a profession more than the country that makes that profession possible. I believe strongly, Fred, that you can be a good journalist and a good American at the same time. The two are not mutually exclusive.
I ask just as penetrating questions and probe just as critical issues. But I do so with a firm appreciation of the place from which I'm doing it . . . the United States of America. You're right, Fred, I didn't serve this country. But I do love this country. I'm the son of a World War II veteran who fought to make sure I could enjoy the good life I do today. I'd much sooner salute that generation than cavalierly forget that generation.
I'd much rather emphasize the good in this country than harp on the bad in this country. All is not perfect here, but I'll tell you this . . . it's a hell of a lot better than almost anywhere else. I believe that, and I report that.
You're right, Fred. That makes me biased. I'd much sooner look at those who serve my country and say "thank you" than "screw you." They're the reason I'm here. The least I can do is let them know how grateful I am that they are here.
A pin is a small thing, but for me it's a powerful thing . . . a daily reminder of a country and a system of government that lets me do what I love every day.
Fred, you call me a cheerleader. You're right. I am. And I'm damn proud of it . . . first as a citizen, then a distant second . . . as a journalist.
©2003 Creators Syndicate, Inc.
Read Cavuto's biography
As Churchill is known to have said:
Unless you're a liberal by the time you're 20, you have no heart!
...and unless you're conservative by the time you're 30, you have no brains!
P.S. Ok, maybe my memory didn't capture it fully verbatim, but that was the essence of it.
Just read your piece to Fred C. about your wearing the Flag pin on FreeRepublic.com. I don't catch your show often because of my hours and, as a retired Army NCO, I don't have a lot of money to manage.
After 9-11 most of the folks at the hospital where I work heaped on the pins and ribbons. I was confronted one day by a newly reborn patriot about my lack of a pin and therefore patriotism.
I whipped out my DD Form 2 (Retired Military ID card) and told her I have been wearing this in my back pocket for 9 years. It is my ticket back to combat anytime my Uncle Sam calls and that I had traded the green version (Active Duty) for it after carrying it 20 years to places like Germany, Korea, Egypt, Desert Storm, etc.
I thanked her for her new found appreciation for our country and our military and told her I hope she still wears her pin long after it is out of fashion.
As for Fred C. and those like him..... he just needs a good old fashioned asswhoopin.
Alfred W. Evans
I think it shameful that a reporter/journalist/anchor/program host/whatever should NOT consider himself an American first. I keep trying to imagine what WWII coverage would have been like with the U.S. media pulling for Hitler and whining over D-Day and every other step into or flight over Africa/Italy/France/Germany. And they would have been very "deeply saddened and concerned" over the Pacific Theater actions, particularly Hiroshima and Nagasaki. Feh on them all and God bless the patriotic ones like Neil!
And therein lies the difference, brother.
We were patriotic before patriotism was cool.