A Salute to Natasha Leggero

If you haven’t heard, and I hope you haven’t, Natasha Leggero and Jane Lynch were doing comedy on a New Year’s Eve TV show, and they took off on a tweet by the SpaghettiOs company. The solemn tweet asked everyone to join SpaghettiOs in remembering Pearl Harbor survivors.

Said Lynch, “I’m offended because they referred to SpaghettiOs as pasta.”

Then – bar the door – Natasha said, “It sucks that the only survivors of Pearl Harbor are being mocked by the only food they can still chew.” N Leggero

It was not an offensive line. The SpaghettiOs tweet was not mocking the vets, of course, but that’s the worst that could be said about the joke. She probably could have delivered that one-liner at a VFW hall and gotten some laughs. Don’t you suppose that Pearl Harbor survivors hear and make jokes about being old? Anyway, needless to say, the avalanche of condemnation from right wingers rolled in, right on cue. Leggero got death threats (full of misspelled words, she said, which is no surprise to anyone who ever scrolls through the Comments section of any internet news story.) She received all manner of vile abuse, along with demands for an apology.

To her great credit, Leggero said this: “I wish I could apologize, but do you really want another insincere apology that you know is just an attempt at damage control and not a real admission of guilt? Let me just try instead to be honest. I’m not sorry. I don’t think the amazing courage of American veterans and specifically those who survived Pearl Harbor is in any way diminished by a comedian making a joke about dentures on television.”

I’m glad she stood up for herself.

This was an interesting case of political correctness on the right. You will see this a lot. Right wingers have just about made our soldiers into objects of worship. It is all too close to the soldier worship that is practiced in dictatorships. We have some heroic troops, and we have some who are just doing a job to the best of their ability, and we have some who are doing as little as possible, and we have some real bad apples. The military is a cross-section of the population.

They deserve respect because in their line of work any one of them can be placed in a life-or-death situation at any time. And the bumper sticker is right that says “All gave some, some gave all.” But we are way past due for calling out the “mighty righties” who wrap themselves in the reflected glory of the troops and use our military as a propaganda device. They do it all the time.

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