American Legion Commander: CBS Should Apologize for Insulting Vietnam War Veterans


National Commander James Koutz has sent a letter of  protest to CBS regarding a recent broadcast of the show “The Amazing Race” which insults Vietnam Veterans. Below is a Fox News article which contains some background. It is followed by National Commander Koutz’s letter and a news release by American Legion National Headquarters which was issued to the media.
 
Fox News Insider
Bob Beckel Outraged Over CBS Airing B-52 Memorial During ‘Amazing Race’ Episode: “Take That Show and Shove It!”
 
CBS’s reality show the “Amazing Race” featured an episode set in Vietnam where contestants went to a B-52 Memorial, which is wreckage of an American B-52 bomber shot down during the Vietnam War.
“How did it not cross the producers’ minds that this might offend the men who fought in Vietnam and the families of those who died there?” Greg Gutfeld questioned on The Five.
Bob Beckel didn’t hold back any punches. “I’m so outraged by this I can’t believe it. CBS is idiotic, they’re stupid. The idea that they would put something like that on TV, […] to have people go to a memorial where Americans died, then you ought to get off the network. Take that show and shove it!”
He charged, “It was a communist show put on a by a network that out to know better.”
They also had to learn a song performed by kids in front of a portrait of former communist leader Ho Chi Minh. One contestant remarked, “It’s like One Direction,” referring to the popular European boy band.
Gutfeld remarked, “Yes, if that direction was the inevitable massacre of millions of Vietnamese.”
Mr. Leslie Moonves
President & CEO
CBS Headquarters
51 W 52nd St   
New York, N.Y. 10019
 
Dear President 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.
 
Sincerely
James E. Koutz
National Commander
 American Legion Commander: CBS Should Apologize for Insulting Vietnam War Veterans
INDIANAPOLIS (March 20, 2013)  -- In a scathing letter sent to CBS, Vietnam War veteran and American Legion National Commander James E. Koutz called for the Tiffany Network to apologize for  “its disgraceful slap-in-the face administered to American war heroes” during a prime time broadcast Sunday night.
“The show is called ‘The Amazing Race,’ but I call it ‘The Amazing Gall,’” Koutz said.  “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.”
The B-52 visit was not the only portion of the show that The American Legion found objectionable. Contestants watched a performance by young people singing a song before a portrait of communist leader Ho Chi Minh. Lyrics included the phrases, “Vietnam Communist Party is glorious…Socialism is growing more beautiful with time. Follow the party’s step. Be loyal. Be pure…”
Ken Danilson, a prominent Legionnaire from Iowa, was particularly offended. “As a Marine Corps veteran having served two tours in Vietnam, it is extremely offensive to me and to 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.”
Koutz is encouraging Americans to show support for Vietnam veterans by letting CBS know of their disapproval and by refusing to watch future episodes of the show. “Vietnam War veterans were maligned enough when they returned to this country. We need to send a loud message that we will never again tolerate America’s veterans being disrespected.”
     With a current membership of 2.4-million wartime veterans, The American Legion was founded in 1919 on the four pillars of a strong national security, veterans affairs, Americanism, and youth programs. Legionnaires work for the betterment of their communities through more than 14,000 posts across the nation.
 
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Contacts:  John Raughter (317) 630-1253(317) 441-8847; Marty Callaghan (202) 263-5758(202) 515-8644A high resolution photo of Nat. Cmdr. Koutz is available at www.legion.org.

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