Baby boomers who lived through the turmoil of the 1960s remember how war divided our nation.
With over 58,000 Americans sacrificing their lives for this country in the Vietnam War, those tumultuous years required years, even decades of healing.
It's not every day that I find myself in agreement with a liberal commentator like Bob Beckel, especially when it comes to politics or Obama policy matters, but he does deserve credit for recently standing up Vietnam veterans and railing against CBS executives for their decision to televise a reality show called "Amazing Race." The show from Hanoi was an insult to all Vietnam veterans.
In this sick episode, contestants went to a B-52 memorial shot down during the war to search out the next clue for their televised round-the-world journey. Contestants had to learn a song that glorified the North Vietnam Communist Party of Ho Chi Minh. The segment showed children performing in front of the communist leader's portrait. Subtitled lyrics included the words "Vietnam Communist Party is glorious. The light is guiding us to victory."
But even more outrageous was using a B-52 memorial, where Americans died, as some cheap prop for the reality show. One scene showed scavenger signs, including "Double-U-Turn", planted in front of the monument.
Calls from the FOX Network to CBS president Les Moonves and "Amazing Race" producer Jerry Bruckheimer have gone unanswered, as have the thousands of emails calling for a CBS apology. Beckel began the campaign by imploring viewers of 'The Five', a popular round dinner hour show that airs on FOX, to bombard the CBS execs with protest calls and emails.
Many of us can recall the days when CBS stood for strong, cutting edge investigative journalism. We doubt if legendary newscaster Walter Cronkite or '60 Minutes' correspondent Mike Wallace would have put up with the kind of soft journalism being peddled by the network. After the way Steve Kroft and other network interviewers serve up their softball questions, it's no wonder President Obama wants to keep going back to network shows like '60 Minutes.'
When Kroft interviewed Obama and Secretary of State Hillary Clinton earlier this year, it was the kind of candy coated fluff put out by the White House press office. Had Mike Wallace been around to serve up questions, you could bet he would have had the president and secretary of state squirming in their seats because of their actions, or inaction, on a subject like Benghazi, which begged for hard media questioning and clear cut answers from this administration.
Some viewers immediately blasted Kroft and CBS for the interview, which proved nothing more than a public relations piece for the administration. One responder wrote: "Next time, do not have a liberal interview two other liberals. It makes for boring TV."
Another said: "An oyster on a half-shell could have done better than Steve Kroft. Journalistic FAIL. The mainstream media has failed the American people."
Still another summed it up by saying: "What an Obama and Clinton love fest. Thanks Steve for nothing.....What a let down. So many important things going on in this world, and this is what we got?????"
It's true. With all that's happening in the world, one would expect more from a news network that gave us the likes of legendary newsman Walter Cronkite.
By Jim Zbick