CBS’ “The Amazing Race" accused of dishonoring and insulting Vietnam Veterans
Was getting quite a few emails on this while I was bedridden, and it is really starting to gain steam as a national news story. And National Commander Jim Koutz is none too pleased about how it was handled by CBS.
For those who have never seen the show, here's the explanation from Wikipedia:
The Amazing Race is a reality television game show in which teams of two people, who have some form of a preexisting personal relationship, race around the world in competition with other teams. Contestants strive to arrive first at "Pit Stops" at the end of each leg of the race to win prizes and to avoid coming in last, which carries the possibility of elimination or a significant disadvantage in the following leg. Contestants travel to and within multiple countries in a variety of transportation modes, including airplanes, hot air balloons, helicopters, trucks, bicycles, taxicabs, car, jeepneys, trains, buses, boats, and by foot. Clues provided in each leg lead the teams to the next destination or direct them to perform a task, either together or by a single member. These challenges are related in some manner to the country wherein they are located or its culture. Teams are progressively eliminated until three are left; at that point, the team that arrives first in the final leg is awarded the grand prize.
The video really has to be seen to be believed:
And it wasn't only watching propaganda, they also went to the sight of a B52 bomber crash. Here's FoxNews' "The Five" discussing it, and liberal host Bob Beckel in particular didn't appreciate it:
“I am so outraged by this,” Beckel began. “CBS is idiotic. They’re stupid… Don’t blame it on young producers, it had to go through somebody at the executive branch at CBS. If CBS can’t do better than that, to have people go to memorial where Americans died, then you ought to get off the network. Take that show and shove it!”
Here's the video of The Five discussing it:
National Commander Koutz sent a letter to CBS President and CEO Les Moonves:
As National Commander of the 2.4 million member American Legion and as a Vietnam War veteran, I would like to register my disappointment at the disgraceful slap in the face administered to American war heroes during your recent broadcast of the show “The Amazing Race.”
The show is called “The Amazing Race” but I prefer to call it “The Amazing Gall.” In a broadcast reminiscent of Tokyo Rose, reality game show contestants visited a ‘B-52 Memorial’ in Vietnam, which featured the wreckage of a B-52 bomber shot down during the war. What wasn’t shown were the U.S. crewmembers that were killed or the grieving American families that were left behind. The Department of Defense is encouraging Americans to honor and commemorate our Vietnam War veterans for the sacrifice that they made 50 years ago. The American Legion takes this obligation very seriously. We only wish that the network that once gave us Kate Smith—famous for her rendition of ‘God Bless America’—would return to its great roots and not be so eager to broadcast anti-American propaganda.
Not only did your show do a disservice to those who served aboard the B-52, it included young people singing songs with the lyrics, “Vietnam Communist Party is glorious…Socialism is growing more beautiful with time. Follow the party’s step. Be loyal. Be pure…”
A prominent Legionnaire from Iowa said to me, “As a Marine Corps veteran having served two tours in Vietnam, it is extremely offensive to me and our country to glorify a communist regime that without mercy killed and tortured our Vietnam allies and now is portrayed as something that is acceptable in our society.”
Mr. Moonves, at the very least, I think that you owe our Vietnam War veterans an apology.
If you also would like to express your disgust to the people at CBS, Mr Moonves' mailing adress is:
Mr. Leslie Moonves
President & CEO
51 W 52nd St
New York, N.Y. 10019