MSNBC host Chris Hayes apologized for remarks he made on his Memorial Day-themed TV program Sunday, in which he told viewers he felt “uncomfortable” calling fallen soldiers “heroes.” The comment came after he had finished interviewing a former Marine whose job it was to notify families of dead service members.
“I feel comfortable—uncomfortable—about the word because it seems to me that it is so rhetorically proximate to justifications for more war,” he said. “Obviously there are individual circumstances in which there is genuine, tremendous heroism: hail of gunfire, rescuing fellow soldiers and things like that. But it seems to me that we marshal this word in a way that is problematic.”
The comment sparked much outrage and criticism, including from at least one military group, Veterans of Foreign Wars.
In a statement posted on the show’s website Monday, Hayes says: “As many have rightly pointed out, it’s very easy for me, a TV host, to opine about people who fight our wars, having never dodged a bullet or guarded a post or walked a mile in their boots.”
He said he had conformed “to a stereotype of a removed pundit whose views are not anchored in the very real and very wrenching experience of this long decade of war.”