America focuses on Washington’s Sunday controversies

Controversy is Washington's second name, but on Sunday the disputes dominated America's traditional day to relax. Photo: From the halls of Montezuma... (Twitter)

CHARLOTTEOctober 14, 2013 – Whatever happened to smash-mouth Sundays when the NFL was the place Americans went to release their frustrations and forget about their problems?

Today we have protests at World War II memorials and in football press boxes. This is not what the United States is supposed to represent. The only common denominator is that it all focused on Washington.

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Once more veterans from other military eras united with their brothers from the “greatest generation” to protest the closing of Washington memorials resulting from a government shutdown.

Anger is growing. Analysts are speculating. Congress and the president are impassing. Americans are responding.

No matter how many polls experts take, there is no way to accurately know the mood of the nation. Wait until November 2014 when theoretical polls yield to mechanical polls to get the answers.

Two Washington events dominated Sunday’s traditional professional football holiday. While the events themselves were dramatic, there were sidebar stories that probably said more about the present psyche of America.

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The most visible protest, at least by visible numbers, was billed as the “Million Vet March on the Memorials.” The mainstream press downplayed the number by announcing there were far fewer than a million participants. That is typical of media misdirection which has nothing to do with the fact that thousands of veterans registered their displeasure with our government

The word “million” was merely symbolic referring to similar marches in the past. What was also symbolic was taking down the barricades and carrying them to the gates of the White House.

The pictures were powerful. The voices were loud. The crowds were peaceful. The message was clear.

Not lost in the coverage were the words of Larry Klayman of Freedom Watch, a conservative political advocacy group, who went so far as to demand that Barack Obama “put the Quran down, to get up off his knees, and to figuratively come out with his hands up.”

Harsh words for sure. Words that might even make the most ardent Obama detractors shudder. Naturally, the MSM calls Klayman just another Tea Party kook because he believes the president has Islamic proclivities.

All well and good. Outlandish you say. Until you remember that Barack Obama spent his formative years in an Islamic country. Regardless of the denial, such influences are not insignificant. They are powerful, and they have impact.

Certainly Obama’s methods of leadership have been far from conventional. There have been numerous eyebrow raising instances when the president’s decisions have left someone shaking their heads in disbelief. But for those who focus primarily on headlines and sound bites for news, take a few moments to read more in depth about Barack Obama’s governing patterns in The National Review.

True, the publication is conservative, but it is also credible and has been for decades. The list consists of nine bullet points which are strongly clarified midway through the article. Then decide for yourself about the “inaccuracy” of the claims. They are both scary and disturbing.

Case number two happened in Dallas, but it involved Washington and the seemingly never-ending debate about the “Redskins” nickname. Nobody cared when the former baseball team was called the “Senators.” That, too, was disparaging; not the nickname, but to the game itself.

Veteran sportscaster Bob Costas used halftime during the telecast to renew the tired argument surrounding Washington’s football team. Once more political correctness took the spotlight in a meaningless argument that was never an issue until recent years.

Before Atlanta’s baseball team became the Braves, they had a Triple-A franchise known as the “Crackers.” Atlanta might still be the Crackers if the Braves had not moved from Milwaukee. Did anybody care about that?

The Redskins dispute will continue, but the sidebar story is equally important. Though Costas was eloquent in his commentary, he was also completely out of line using halftime to make his argument. There are other forums for such debate. Halftime is not one of them. Fans do not tune in to the NFL for a lecture.

Professional broadcasters and celebrities have access to media resources that most Americans do not. The Academy Awards or The Emmys are simply no place for political commentary. Viewers watch to be entertained, not to listen to the opinions du jour of whatever issues some spoiled overpaid celebrity thinks about them.

Bob Costas has been a keen observer of the games America plays for years, but it was not his place to impose his opinions upon unsuspecting fans when they were simply tuned in to a football game.

What’s the solution? Barricade the Redskins. If we are wrong, our World War II vets will gladly take it down.

Bob Taylor has been traveling the world for more than 30 years as a writer and award winning television producer focusing on international events, people and cultures around the globe. Taylor is founder of The Magellan Travel Club (  

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Bob Taylor

Bob Taylor has been travel writer for more than three decades. Following a career as an award winning sports producer/anchor, Taylor’s media production business produced marketing presentations for Switzerland Tourism, Rail Europe, the Finnish Tourist Board, Japan Railways Group, the Swedish Travel & Tourism Council and the Swiss Travel System among others. He is founder of The Magellan Travel Club ( and his goal is to visit 100 countries or more during his lifetime.


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