The Guy with the Pin

I recently received this e-mail from a Mr. Thompson in South Carolina:

"Why is it everyone at Fox feels the urge to show off the flag? Perhaps because your bosses tell you to? Come on, Neil, show some guts... and some unbiased reporting. Must all of you Fox clowns wear a pin to prove your manhood? What about good journalism... a concept that seems alien to you and your colleagues?"

Well, Mr. Thompson, where do I begin?

On the flag thing — that's my thing. Just like it's David Asman's thing. Or Brit Hume's thing. Or Bridgett Quinn's thing. No one told us to wear the flag, Mr. Thompson. We do so proudly, and happily. That might put us out of sorts with our so-called unbiased colleagues. But it is very consistent with ourselves.

You say wearing a flag makes me biased. So not wearing one would not? For whom? For you? I don't know, Mr. Thompson. You and many others like you seem to have no problem burning the flag. But wearing it is another matter. Not me.

Understand that the flag represents what we do as journalists, who we are as journalists, what we fight for as journalists. But I'm not saying this as a journalist. I'm saying this as an American. Because I'd much sooner have it said of me after I kick off that he was a good American, than just a good journalist.

You go on to mention how galling you find it that someone who hasn't served, chooses to extol the virtues of those who do. That's my point. I'm grateful. I'm lucky. And I'm appreciative.

You know, Mr. Thompson, you and many of my colleagues in the press use a lot of words to explain why they shouldn't wear a pin. I can only use two to explain why I do: "thank you."

You're right, a pin is just a symbol. But it's a powerful one for me and my colleagues here. I'm not here to judge those who don't. I am here to judge those who criticize those who do. Sometimes the greatest role a journalist can serve is recognizing he isn't the center of the universe. And what he has owes entirely to what others have done.

No one tells me who to book on this show, or who not to. What to say, or what not to say. And though you insist my propaganda, as you call it, is written by higher-ups, let me allay your fears.

This bit of propaganda was written by me, the guy with the pin.

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