Break the Chain The ABCs of Patriotism

Exclusive (10/9/2001) At a loss for how to properly act in the wake of tragedy, human beings tend to scrutinize the behavior of others for some clue. We imitate the behaviors we like and vilify those we don't. Here's another example of us trying to shoot the messenger.

SAMPLE CHAIN LETTER TEXT

Subject: ABC News bans reporters from wearing flag lapel pins

Hi, Everyone--

Hope you are all doing well. I don't normally forward many things, but feel this one is important. I first heard about this on the radio and I've since checked it out and you can, too, at http://www.truthorfiction.com. (It's a site that lets you know about email hoaxes, etc.)

Last week, the executives at ABC News issued orders forbidding reporters to wear lapel pin American flags or other patriotic insignia. Their reasoning was that ABC should remain neutral about "causes". Since when is showing support for the United States of America a "cause"? Since when is showing support for preventing our death & destruction some sort of a "cause"? Since when is patriotism to be discouraged?

I urge you to boycott ABC and its sponsors and affiliates. We, as Americans, CAN NOT support this.

Please forward this to as many people as you can. We must stand up for our country and our flag (even if ABC won't)!

By the way, if you'd like to email ABC News, you can do so at this address:

http://www.abcnews.go.com/service/Help/abcmail_news.html

Be well, God Bless our country!

John

END CHAIN LETTER TEXT

The first part about TruthOrFiction.com has been added as the chain circulates. TruthOrFiction is a site very similar to BreakTheChain.org and one of the first sites I turn to when checking out a chain. They do, indeed, confirm that ABC, and many other media outlets, recommend against its on-air personalities wearing patriotic jewelry of any kind. But the purpose was to maintain an image of impartiality, not to disparage the image of the flag or promote some antipatriotic agenda.

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This e-mail is an ugly example of misdirected anger. It's a common reaction to sudden tragedy: We're upset and hurt and want a bad guy to punish. But the real bad guy is inaccessible, so we start turning on ourselves. The media is trying to project an image of professionalism, not be unpatriotic. ABC did what it thought was right.

We all must cope in our own ways, but some have to decide how to keep business moving as well. We cannot blame and attack each other for how we react to these terrible events. This attack was unprecedented and none of us know how to react. Most of us are doing the best we can. We must stand together in the eyes of the world and can't afford to let other nations see us infighting like this. Break this Chain!

What Do You Think?


References: None

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