Friday, February 8, 2008

Obama and the Pledge

You've seen the picture. But do you know what it's a picture of?

You think you do. Right? You think it's a picture of Presidential Candidate Barack Obama not saying the pledge of allegiance. You "know" that's what's happening because, well hey, you got the email. If it was in an email, it must be true, right?

The Washington Post had a good explanation of the picture. First, it is not the pledge of allegiance. It is actually the singing of the national anthem. True, there is an obscure section of US Code that says that people should cover their hearts when the national anthem is sung; many people don't. And the section of code also says in that same place that people should face the flag during the national anthem - but no one in the picture is doing that...

The reason that this is the only picture you have seen as evidence of Obama's "lack" of patriotism is that this is the only picture there is. You'd think after years in public life and time in the Senate there'd be more evidence. There's not.

There are plenty of pictures of Obama with his hand over his heart, saying the pledge. But NewBusters and the people who come up with those viral emails are planning to tell you about them because they're not really interesting in truth.

You can see some of those photos at the Washington Post site.

ABC News also has a blog post on the Obama pledge issue.


debbie said...

that post was fascinating to me. one more example of media deciding what we should and should not believe.

Greg_Cruey said...

Hi Debbie,

I don't know if I count the original viral email as "media." I don't fault TIME for taking the picture. It's just a picture if you know what it's a picture of.

Fox and their sort of people have a bias and want to claim that Obama is unpatriotic in some way for not covering his heart during the national anthem; after all, they have a piece of US Code to cite that says that's what were suppose to do.

I just watched the Bud Shootout, a NASCAR race. I paid close attention during the singing of the national anthem. The camera showed eight race car drivers. Now NASCAR people are pretty patriotic; but I can say for sure that seven of those drivers didn't put their hand over their heart during the national anthem. Dale Earnhardt Jr. was one of them. Jeff Gorden talked quietly with his wife while the anthem was being sung. Carl Edwards stared at the ground and looked like he was perhaps reflecting on the words of the song - without his hand over his heart. One of the eight shots was a headshot close up and I couldn't tell if Kasey Kahne had his hand on his heart.

My point is that Obama's as patriotic (on this issue) as most NASCAR drivers...

Anonymous said...

"True, there is an obscure section of US Code that says that people should cover their hearts when the national anthem is sung; many people don't." Where do you live that people don't cover their heart during the national anthem? We should always show respect to our nation,our flag, and all those that serve. There seems to be a declining sense of morality in this country. What happened to us?

Greg_Cruey said...

Hi Anon (9/18),

I don't alway publish anonymous comments, but I thought I'd answer yours.

I don't know of any place where people have fallen out of the habit of covering their heart during thwe pledge. Covering your heart during the National Anthem isn't quite as uniformed (the photo was taken during the National Anthem, not the Pledge). And if you want to see that custom neglected, watch the next NASCAR race: some drivers cover their hearts, some look respectful but don't cover their hearts, and some ignore what's going on and whisper to their girl friends (or crew).