Hearne: Patriotism for a Price

IMG_3105Dedicated reader Chuck Lowe weighed in this morning with the following piece dedicated to Veteran’s Day

“This Veteran’s Day we honor those who in peril on the sea, in harms way on land and guarding us from above, serve with distinction, bravery and dedication in the unceasing and necessary effort to protect our families and the families they left behind,” Lowe begins. “On far away beaches, mountains and deserts, under duress, under fire, under the weight of America’s hopes for a better world, we are there with them and they are constantly in our prayers.

“May a benevolent God, in wisdom and compassion, bring our sons and daughters home safe and sound in mind, body and spirit. God Bless America and God Bless You.”

It probably won’t surprise many of you that I can be a little cynical at times.

Fighting_Seabees_1944It may surprise you though to learn that I was in the Navy as a Seabee. Actor John Wayne was a Seabee, too – in the movies. And you might find it even more astonishing that I actually took combat training from the Marines.

So naturally (wink, wink) my eyes were drawn today to two pages saluting “our veterans” in the Kansas City Star. That and the editorial, “Veterans Deserve More Than Thanks.”

Which got me thinking…

If the intent of the newspaper is to cash in – as opposed to merely do something from the heart like Chuck – mission accomplished.

But then why the half hearted attempt at secrecy?

Because in the finest of print, camouflaged by a star-studded, American flag, red stripe across the top of the page, were hidden the words “paid advertising.”

They couldn’t have hidden it much better if they’d tried.

My take on it is, the newspaper wanted to give the impression that it was running all the WWI, WWII & Vietnam vet mug shots as a public service. Because it was the right thing to do. You know, wave the flag on Veterans Day.

You know and Mondays are slow obituary days – with only two “remembrances” today – but toss in another 153 veterans ads and you’ve got something.

exp.ac.kth.perryvpres.cnn.640x360The $64 million question: is bagging a bunch of vets, their kids and grandkids on Veterans Day unpatriotic?

“Well you know, the Star is dying for cash, so they’re going to do whatever they can to raise money,” Lowe says. “But if the print’s that fine, it’s flat out deceptive. They should make the print bigger, in fact, if I’d known about it I might have bought an ad for my dad. So being disingenuous probably cost them.”

Journalistically speaking, making it clear that the newspaper was selling the section as advertising would have been taking the high road. Kind of like when CNN reports on a business and discloses in the story that it’s owned by CNN’s parent company.

MoralHighGroundWhat’s that expression? Full disclosure.

Hiding it like the Star did make it look like it’s trying to get away with something.

“It’s no big shock to me that they’re starving to make a buck and are going to bend the rules however they can,” Lowe muses. “And to me, that’s fair game. Because I just think they’re not important enough anymore as a journalistic entity to call them for it. You know, anytime they can deceive the public into thinking it’s an unbiased story rather than aflat out ad they’re going to do it. They’re not on any moral high ground anymore. You know, the Star’s going to do whatever they can to survive.”

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8 Responses to Hearne: Patriotism for a Price

  1. harley says:

    again…pure b.s. on the part of hearne and chuck.
    Oh and lets remind hearne that he censors information or opinions that
    he disagrees with!!!!
    Like yesterday when he used the horrible tragedy in the phillipines to
    attack the kc star over their overseas customer service lines. He used a
    tragedy of millions losing everything…20,000 dead to attack the Kansas
    city star for its services being down. How insensitive…how ridiculous…
    how inhumane.
    Then hearne and chuckattack thekansas citystar
    for running a special section of advertising that’s PAID!!!!
    Chuck the “useless” clown then goes to attack the star…saying they
    are “starving” for money….so they need this revenue.
    How stupid.
    Every corporation was out to capitalize on this veterans day…
    But chuckles the “useless” clown pointed out ONE…andhearne
    pointed out ONE!!!!! the kc star.

    • admin says:

      Yeah, but Nebraska Furniture Mart isn’t hiding behind the pretense of patriotism. Everybody knows they’re out to make a buck and use whatever holiday they can to do so.

      And there’s no fine print obfuscating the fact that they’re advertising. No attempt to cloak their sale in patriotism.

      Like Chuck said, it’s really not a sin, so why play that game?

      The Star runs real estate sections on the weekend that are disguised as regular news sections. And again, at the top of the front page of the sections it discloses that they’re ad sections. However again, it a very subtle way.Not as subtle as these veteran ad pages but subtle nonetheless.

      But in the case of real estate sections it’s understandable why they do it. Because the advertisers who pay for the entire section and write all the stories that appear to be journalism rather than ad copy want it that way.They understand that unbiased news accounts have a different and in some ways greater value than paid ads.

      Were the Star to boldly label those sections as PURE advertising and identify that the “stories” were written by and for the developers being “covered” far fewer readers would be interested. That’s my opinion anyway.

      As for the newspaper starving, while they still make plenty of money, that’s essentially a true statement. That’s why they gone from around 2,000 employees when that new print building opened a little over five years ago to around 650 today.

    • Ohio Sam says:

      Halrey, I have to give you credit, you r like Jerry Qarry, you just keep walking into Chucks right hand. Go back one article and look what he posted.

      Thank you for ur service Hearne.

      • harley says:

        ohio sam…i’m not anything like chuckles the clown.
        the man is miserable with his condition. He hates
        people….he can’t go a day without a rant of hate against
        someone.
        he can’t let his anger go.

  2. chuck says:

    Thanks for your service Hearne.

  3. mike t. says:

    i, for one, appreciate chuck’s opinions whether i agree with them or not. of course, most of the time i miss out on several of his points because his vocabulary overwhelms me without a dictionary. keep on rockin’ chuckster.

  4. balbonis moleskine says:

    The drumbeats were a little much this weekend. Personally I am tired of thanking people for a 12 year war that we are losing.

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