The 2.4 million-member American Legion is mighty vexed with one CBS reality TV show.
“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.’ 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,” says national commander and Vietnam vet James E. Koutz in an letter to CBS President Les Moonves.
The aircraft was shot near Hanoi on Dec. 27, 1972, and is now the centerpiece of a monument celebrating “defeat of U.S. imperialists,” according to a nearby plaque.
“What wasn’t shown were the U.S. crew members that were killed or the grieving American families that were left behind. The Dept. 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,” Mr. Koutz says.
“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.”
Mr. Koutz concludes, “Mr. Moonves, at the very least, I think that you owe our Vietnam War veterans an apology.”