“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.
It 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.
“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.
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.”