MSNBC host Chris Hayes said Saturday he “fell short” when he dissed the use of the term “hero” to describe fallen soldiers, but didn’t offer a direct apology for his words on TV during an opening discussion of the controversy.
Hayes caused an uproar with his comments last week, the day before Memorial Day. He issued a written apology on Monday, but in addressing the controversy for the first time on his show, didn’t use the specific words “I’m sorry“ or ”I apologize.”
Hayes admitted he “cringed” when he saw the headlines related to his remarks and said he received a litany of angry and genuinely distressed messages about them.
“And reading those messages, I had to agree,” Hayes said, emotion evident in his voice. “Who was I to say who is and isn’t a hero? It hardly seems a designation that is mine to deny or even to confer, which is in a very clumsy way what I was trying to say, or at least what I wanted to discuss – not what makes a hero, or who is a hero, but rather this: We have a society that on the one hand has become comfortable with war, and on the other hand wants to distance itself from it as much as possible. To outsource it to contractors, to robots and to the 2.3 million volunteer men and women who have been asked to serve for longer durations than at any time in recent history.”
He continued, “What we’re trying to do here on this show, and obviously we don’t always succeed, is to talk about sometimes quite sensitive topics in good faith….We tried to do that last week. But I fell short in a crucial moment.”
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