Sunday, November 19, 2006

I Don't Even Know What To Say

One of my annual client obligations is attending a national leadership conference for one of my clients in the health care industry. All this entails is sitting around all day with a bunch of doctors listening to clinical discussions, about half of which I understand. Then I perform my magic and turn these into newsletter articles for this company’s newsletter.

I’ve been doing this for about six years now and one thing they always try to include is motivational speaker of some type. I freaking hate these guys because I look at them as hucksters. These guys come in, crack a few jokes, spout a few clich├ęs gleaned from the business book du jour and pick up a nice check.

Anyway, my client usually brings one of these guys in soften up the docs for the all-day beating about to ensue. The guy they had this year really ripped it for me.

He’s this mid-fiftyish white guy who is telling us about how his Marine drill sergeant dad kicking his ass made him a better person and how it will work for you too. The part that got me was this:

He picks up this little American flag. “I take this with me wherever I go because I’m proud of this flag and I’m tired of people running down the flag.”

Wild applause.

Huh?

I don’t know what country he lives in, but I live in the reddest part of the reddest state in the Union and I don’t see anyone running down the flag here. I just see flags in front of lots of houses and flags on every freaking SUV right next to those stupid yellow ribbon stickers. It’s not like the Republic is teetering in the balance around here.

But it gets better.

He then talks about how he’s tired of the media running down the proud American fighting man and he gets thunderous applause. You’ve got to be kidding me?

Here’s a great example of those damn libruls at the LA Times running down the American fighting man.

Here’s another great example from my friend Tom Pennington. He’s been to Afghanistan and Iraq several times. He’s got more combat experience than W or Dick Cheney and he doesn’t carry a gun, only a camera. The same for my old college friend John Moore who hasn’t been afraid to show the war up close and personal.

Never mind that more journalists have been killed covering Iraq than World War II.

What kind of chance do we have as Americans when people don’t want the truth? Journalists put their lives on the line to get the story and are doing just as much to defend the American way of life as any soldier. The Founding Fathers seemed to understand that a free press was essential for democracy, but somewhere along the way, that’s gotten lost.

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