CBS’ “The Amazing Race" accused of dishonoring and insulting Vietnam Veterans

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CBS’ “The Amazing Race" accused of dishonoring and insulting Vietnam Veterans

Was getting quite a few emails on this while I was bedridden, and it is really starting to gain steam as a national news story.  And National Commander Jim Koutz is none too pleased about how it was handled by CBS.

For those who have never seen the show, here's the explanation from Wikipedia:

The Amazing Race is a reality television game show in which teams of two people, who have some form of a preexisting personal relationship, race around the world in competition with other teams. Contestants strive to arrive first at "Pit Stops" at the end of each leg of the race to win prizes and to avoid coming in last, which carries the possibility of elimination or a significant disadvantage in the following leg. Contestants travel to and within multiple countries in a variety of transportation modes, including airplanes, hot air balloons, helicopters, trucks, bicycles, taxicabs, car, jeepneys, trains, buses, boats, and by foot. Clues provided in each leg lead the teams to the next destination or direct them to perform a task, either together or by a single member. These challenges are related in some manner to the country wherein they are located or its culture. Teams are progressively eliminated until three are left; at that point, the team that arrives first in the final leg is awarded the grand prize.

The video really has to be seen to be believed:

And it wasn't only watching propaganda, they also went to the sight of a B52 bomber crash. Here's FoxNews' "The Five" discussing it, and liberal host Bob Beckel in particular didn't appreciate it:

“I am so outraged by this,” Beckel began. “CBS is idiotic. They’re stupid… Don’t blame it on young producers, it had to go through somebody at the executive branch at CBS. If CBS can’t do better than that, to have people go to memorial where Americans died, then you ought to get off the network. Take that show and shove it!”

Here's the video of The Five discussing it:

National Commander Koutz sent a letter to CBS President and CEO Les Moonves:

As National Commander of the 2.4 million member American Legion and as a Vietnam War veteran, I would like to register my disappointment at the disgraceful slap in the face administered to American war heroes during your recent broadcast of the show “The Amazing Race.”

The show is called “The Amazing Race” but I prefer to call it “The Amazing Gall.” In a broadcast reminiscent of Tokyo Rose, reality game show contestants visited a ‘B-52 Memorial’ in Vietnam, which featured the wreckage of a B-52 bomber shot down during the war. What wasn’t shown were the U.S. crewmembers that were killed or the grieving American families that were left behind. The Department of Defense is encouraging Americans to honor and commemorate our Vietnam War veterans for the sacrifice that they made 50 years ago. The American Legion takes this obligation very seriously. We only wish that the network that once gave us Kate Smith—famous for her rendition of ‘God Bless America’—would return to its great roots and not be so eager to broadcast anti-American propaganda.

Not only did your show do a disservice to those who served aboard the B-52, it included young people singing songs with the lyrics, “Vietnam Communist Party is glorious…Socialism is growing more beautiful with time. Follow the party’s step. Be loyal. Be pure…”

A prominent Legionnaire from Iowa said to me, “As a Marine Corps veteran having served two tours in Vietnam, it is extremely offensive to me and our country to glorify a communist regime that without mercy killed and tortured our Vietnam allies and now is portrayed as something that is acceptable in our society.”

Mr. Moonves, at the very least, I think that you owe our Vietnam War veterans an apology.

If you also would like to express your disgust to the people at CBS, Mr Moonves' mailing adress is:

Mr. Leslie Moonves

President & CEO

CBS Headquarters

51 W 52nd St                                                                                                                              

New York, N.Y. 10019


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OMG is CBS now controlled by non Americans?

Yes -- controlled by ANTI-Americans
(so-called "Americans" who were only born here, but HATE FREEDOM) .

What do you expect when the head of CBS was a draft dodger and Vietnam War protester. CBS can go to hell.

The greatest respect we can show our fellow Vietnam Vets is to shut up about this show. The more we talk about it; the more FREE PRESS the show will receive! Vietnam Vet 1970


I kept my mouth shut for a long time. Not anymore. When assholes like CBS show offensive BS they will be called on it. It will not make their show any better or worse for it. I also am writing to the CEO of CBS and I don't give a crap if he ignores my perspective or not. He will know it pissed me off. Thanks for your service Devil Dog and welcome home! USMC VET, Arty 1969-70

WRONG -- pretending it does not exist, will NOT make it go away.

So if they had British contestants would they not be offended if the Star Spangled Banner being played and they had to visit Fort McHenry?

Over 1 million Vietnamese died fight FOR their country. I think very arrogant on the part of America to be outraged over how they celebrate their country.

I served in the US Army for 9 years from Private to Warrant Officer - Vietnam is not our country. The Communists won - get over it.

PS I fully expect to get screamed at over this - but America needs to deal with American issues.

I am not going to "scream" at you and I am not "outraged." I just found it in very poor taste. It does baffle me how a 9 year veteran, who made it all the way to Warrant, doesn't see how this might upset some Vietnam veterans. I agree sometimes the truth hurts but I found this as tasteless and thoughtless as any, actually too many, stories our anti-american media publishes.

Very well said. I agree

My two brothers, both Viet Nam Vets, would also agree. Time too get over it. If anyone wants to be disgusted, thank Pres. Nixon for sending us there.

Sorry, but you have no clue and show your ignorance. Nixon did not send the troops, they were already there when he took office. It, if you really want to know, started with Eisenhower. It went to the next step with Kennedy. Went full blown under Johnson. For those who offer the advice "Get over it" at least get your history right.

It actually started with Truman, who turned down Uncle Ho Chi Minh's personal request to help them get rid of the French colonialists who returned after WWII. Ho's forces were fierce and loyal allies to US during WWII, and did a lot to drive the Japs back out after their invasion. Like most people, the Vietnamese want to be left alone to eat and celebrate their own culture. Did I miss something in the video? I didn't see anything in that clip that was anti-American in the least. As a Vietnam vet, intel officer fluent in the northern dialect of the counrty, I can attest to the beauty of the country and its people; I'd go back in one minute as a tourist, and would visit the sites where my colleagues fell. Was there something about the visit to the B-52 site that was disrespectful? I missed it if there was.

Michael - Brilliant post!! Your post is indeed what transpired in Vietnam. Truman turned his back on Ho Chi Minh. He had no choice but to ask for support from China and Russia. He was not the only ally the US turned its backs to. Ref Charlie Wilson's War.

Nixon got us out......

Yea he got us out. After escaling the war at a cost of thousands of additional American lives! No credit to Dick!

Many of us are well aware that what happened in Vietnam is still indeed an American issue!

Being a Vet this was fine until they made the contestants look at the downed B-52! As soon as saw that they were going to Hanoi the first thing that popped in my mind was the Hanoi Hilton!! I was upset with the songs that they sang as this is exactly what Obama wants us to be!! My time in country was to get ride of the communist!! And now we have a TV show who promotes
socialism!! SHAME ON CBS and NBC as the are anti-American!!!

Saturday Night Live refuses to make fun of Obama. It's disgusting to see them fall all over the guy. Boycott SNL!!!

I understand that as time passes we must move on. However, we should not condone rewriting the past for current expediency. We know even our Government wants to promote peace in the region using the old balance of power concepts reknowned in diplomatic history. The current generation will look at these things in Vietnam and only see the perspective of a land that we seek peace with. We should seek peace with the Vietnemese. They are a proud and wonderful culture with a heritage that predates ours. However, they were perpetrators of atrocities and the War at the time was categorized as preventing world domination. The policy of our leaders to seek a peaceful evolution has worked to some extent. However, their leaders want to keep the historical images omnipresent in their younger generation while ours will allow revisionist history to take hold beause their priorities have changed.

If all the Legion has to do is get mad at stupid stuff like this. Then I am not renewing my membership. I do not see where this was offensive. This was filmed outside the US showing how things are in that country. The North Vietnam government is still communist and controls all things, like tourism. CBS did not erect the B52 monument, CBS just filmed what was there. They filmed where they were allowed to and what they were allowed to. Look at it from the average N Vietnam population, some of what is going on in the country has made it out. My wife and I were laughing so hard at the translated words to that song. Really, that song is a sense of pride? No it was propaganda. Now there is an up rise here, just what they wanted.

I can see where some might take offense, so to be fair we need to destroy the monuments at any war battle field here in the US, like the Alamo that might offend Mexico, get rid of the Arizona memorial at Pearl Harbor, because it might offend the Japanese. Get rid of the Holocaust museum since it happened in Europe. Not in Washington DC.

If you want something to rally behind, lets get our education system back into the top 10, lets stop giving out money to other countries to feed their people and feed ours.

If it offends you that much, feel free to move there and protest to get the monument removed. Remember they were not filming in the US, they had to follow rules given to them. Be glad you can even post here to disagree.

We do not glorify other countries tragedies in monuments here. We do not have downed Japanese aircraft as memorials or anything from Germany, or Vietnam. We have monuments and memorials to our own people. They have a downed U.S. aircraft obviously delighting in the fact they killed the troops on that craft. That is offensive! And to have CBS put this on TV is even more offensive. Please cancel your American Legion membership. You obviously should not be a member and I do not wish to associate with you.

I watched this when it aired. I found it interested that they memorialized it. What is there to be offended about? This is their culture, it's the reality of their culture. Should we never show Pearl Harbor on TV? Lets stop with all the censorship, the downed bomber exists, blaming CBS doesn't change that. If I was a descendant of someone who passed on that B52, I would appreciate the fact that it's a memorial and somewhere I could visit. As a veteran and member of the Legion, your letter did not reflect my opinion, so please minus one from your count in your letter. Don't assume you always represent the opinion of those in your organization.

This is why I do not watch network TV. They have no respect for the vets ,They do not tell the truth and they never report history without their lib. slant. Any Legion member that supports this kind of trash needs to join another club that likes American bashers. I am all for a boycott against CBS, but I already donot watch that junck station.

As a Viet Nam Veteran I still have more difficulty with how we were treated by many of our fellow "Americans" when we came back "home" from our tours, and by our own government, than by the fact that a tv network filmed some marginal propaganda in a country which is now our commerce trading partner. Frankly, I suspect that they are better off as a country now than when, or before we were there. I really don't see why the American Legion is so outraged. History is history, and both sides lost thousands of patriotic people, and sadly, both sides committed atrocities, not all of which have not been revealed to the public at large; just ask any LRP who served there. You may hear something for which you are not prepared. Get past it, and let's be more concerned about the funding cuts to our active duty military, and the liberal face of most of the major media outlets. Let's move forward. God Bless America!

Thank You.

Here, Here, Why don't we get out of Germany, and Japan, iRAQ, Afganastan? COMMERCE --- MONEY IS ALWAYS THE BOTTOM LINE

.I can see JC;s point, but as a disabled vet from nam, I also can see why other vets take offence by the video. The most upsetting part to me is, as stated, we were there to stop the spread of socialism, and a lot of Americans died for that purpose. Now it is in the White House.

As a Viet Nam Veteran I still have more difficulty with how we were treated by many of our fellow "Americans" when we came back "home" from our tours, and by our own government, than by the fact that a tv network filmed some marginal propaganda in a country which is now our commerce trading partner. Frankly, I suspect that they are better off as a country now than when, or before we were there. I really don't see why the American Legion is so outraged. History is history, and both sides lost thousands of patriotic people, and sadly, both sides committed atrocities, not all of which have not been revealed to the public at large; just ask any LRP who served there. You may hear something for which you are not prepared. Get past it, and let's be more concerned about the funding cuts to our active duty military, and the liberal face of most of the major media outlets. Let's move forward. God Bless America!

Thank you! I hope many more can see the light!!! So very well said!

I'm just awful surprised that they didn't make the Hanio Hilton as one of the stops. No doubt they should 've had The Traitor Hanio Jane there , to welcome the players. Way to go C B S....

Actually they did go to the Hanoi Hilton in a previous season .As best I recall it was tastefully done and could have been interpreted as a tribute to those held there. I particularly rememember that one team stopped and had a moment of silence in honor of the POWs.
This time was a much different experience. I could not help but feel for the families of the crew of that plane. Shame on you CBS.

I knew there was a reason not to watch this program.

I wasn't really offended by them being there, but I think that they should have changed the challenge when they heard the song promoting Communism and Socialism, it made it look like they were all so happy and cheerful to be Communists. What's scary to me is that our current administration has many Vietnam era Radicals in their cabinets, etc. and they are leaning towards Socialism and some are even Communists and there is no uprising here. Amazing Race has been to many sacred, honored, or otherwise Political places over the years. I think it's interesting to see different countries and how they memorialize wars, etc. So my anger wasn't especially the B52, but part of the challenge should have been to take a few minutes to remember those who died over there for our country and thank them before they actually got their next clue. I really didn't think it dishonored those of us that went over but I disagreed with using that part of the race that had young people celebrating Communism. they could have changed or eliminated that part altogether.

@ Gee and JC, you guys are truly disturbing. If I were your Post Commander, you wouldn't have to quit The Legion, I would bounce your ass out in a flash! Your comments disgraced the American Legion and all it's hero. I'll bet your fellow post members can't wait till you show up at the next Post event. Good luck with that. Let us know how that works out for you, traitors.

I suspect this was done with mean spirit and cruel intentions. Like the brat standing on the far side of a fence poking a dog with stick. Some folks just enjoy being that way. It validates their sordid shabby existence. Nothing to do really, except turn off CBS and possibly drop a note to the show's sponsors telling them why you are not looking at their commercials or buying their products.

I served in country and saw my room mate killed. This brought back memories, I've been trying to forget. Why doesn't CBS apologize and go to the VA and demand the Viet Nam vet be processed as fast as the Desert Storm, Operation Freedom and Afgan vets get processed. I can tell you why, because Obahma and all the other potiticians past and present don't want to admit they made a mistake and don't want the VA to pay the consequences.

... aren't worth the anger, men. He belongs to the part of the Boomer generation which didn't do its duty while the rest of us did. Forget guys like that -- they're worthless as people.

CBS - trying to revive Cronkite ploy to sell themselves - again. It worked the first time with the help of young America. I'm saddened.

I am interested in how outraged the Commander of our organization is and the Fox "news" talking heads are about a video that I personally have no quarrel with at all. I do not see how veterans are "disrespected" by this. Compared to the reception many veterans received when they returned home from our own countrymen this video pales with respect to its being offensive.
Not so long ago on Fox "news" they had a segment where the conservative team, a man and woman, had issue with the "new flag", as they called it, that the liberals had just "invented" to wave around. They spent the better part of an hour down grading the flag and it's importance and I never heard a peep from the Legion heads. I myself was angered by the false claims and summary dismissal of the need for and history of the flag by the Fox "news" fools but just let it go considering the habit of that organization to spin the truth and spread lies.
But still, to think these bastards could see fit to say that the P.O.W. flag that was the banner of an organization who's beginnings went back some thirty five years at the time of the broadcast and who's efforts have helped so many families to find closure and comfort in knowing the truth, just makes this outrage from them now seem just a bit hypocritical.
When I returned I had limited contact with other veterans for the first year or so. I was often confronted by civilians who would be hostile if they felt I was one of those "dope addict baby killers", as they put it, so I found myself lying to people and denying my overseas activity. I was not so terribly proud of my contribution anyway so it was a safe position to take. Getting jobs and fitting in was tough enough, being a Vietnam serviceman was not the best thing to put in a resume' or bring up at a party. I had heard of returning veterans being yelled at and spit on and I knew that my forced involvement in a campaign while in service to my country was not being accepted with gladness by my countrymen. For this reason I had kept my service quiet for over twenty years until I slowly witnessed the rise of public acceptance in the form of interstate highways being named after military leaders of Vietnam, then bridges, centers, etc. until finally the "wall" posting the names of the fallen was dedicated. I felt then I need not be afraid anymore but I still keep my involvement limited to my personal living area. I no longer feel the need to remove my awards shadowbox or my framed award certificates if someone comes to visit but I will not wave any banners bringing attention to myself because now what was once a disgrace has become so popular that if you can not show all of the documentation to support your experiences you risk becoming labeled a phony! Holy crap! I can not believe how the people who never sacrificed a drop of blood, sweat or tears see fit to be so condemning of those who have and waste no time pointing the finger of public outrage while swinging wildly from one opinion to the other about the same issue.
After reading several of the postings by my Brothers here I feel comfortable in saying we are all hurt much more by societies willingness to just leave us to find whatever help we may need up to us to figure out than we are by this video. Putting "ribbons" of support on your autos and waving little flags is just a way for many who do this to purge their sense of guilt for not being able to do more or to be more accepting of those who did.
I do realize that citizens today have a great deal more love, respect and tolerance for veterans of this generation and for this I am envious. But the news is filled with the new challenges this generation of combat veterans are faced with and I am certainly not envious of that.
Georges,F. B170696 W-1 United States NAVY
SPECOPS/EOM-NSA IV CORPS Vietnam Campaign-Thailand

Lt. Fred Your article was written with knowledge and facts. I enjoyed reading it. Sometimes people don't think first before they speak. It has always been a pet peeve of mine when people talk about the Vietnam war and they don't have any idea of what it was like to be there. They didn't understand when you are in the service to your country you had sworn to obey commands given by our superios. Like the saying goes If you weren't there , shut up.Thanks for your service to our country. U.S. Navy '61-'66

Weldon German - if you were the post commander i'm sure people who disagree with your myopic views wouldn't have to worry about being members of the Post. Thankfully this is a free country through the very sacrifices Gee and JC made so they could express their opinions without being denounced or ostracized for voicing their opinions. I would recommend YOU resign if you feel you have the right to tell them what they can or cannot say. You're a disgrace to the very flag these men served under.

I am happy that many others were as disgusted and upset by the Hanoi segment on the Amazing Race as I was. My wife and I have watched it for several years now. However, after seeing CBS push our collective noses into, or back into, the Vietnam War, I about came unglued on the couch. It shouldn't surprise me as to what CBS or the other Left wing liberal biased "news" stations would air, as what they have collectively dished out in the past 30 yrs shows what they will stoop down to. As a 3 time RVN USMC Recon vet, it really got me that CBS would not only be in Hanoi, as opposed to say Saigon, OOPS Ho Che Minh Ctiy, then when I saw their "celebrated" mounument to killing US forces, in particular Air Force personnel, I then realized the whole point of being in North Vietnam was to push the liberal left wing agenda of CBS and their ilk. To cap off this episode, we had to listen to, and see the english subtitles, to the communist left wing rhetoric in song from North Vietnamese communist kids, who were not even born when the war was raging. I was going to write CBS but thought well what's the use. Now that I see other VETS were outraged like me, I WILL BE writing CBS. THanks to our Legion Commander for his part in this to. GOD Bless the USA. MATT

They say we lost the war? Look at the effects of "orange " on my brothers.
That war isn't over and there to stay.

It's good to see so many of my fellow Vietnam Veterans show such maturity in judgment and suggest that we concentrate on vital issues to our fellow veterans and our country. .Sure, it's a communist country. Sure, it's propaganda. And, sure, reality shows are crude, tasteless and silly. Are we battle-toughened veterans so delicate and easily offended or do we just need another excuse to be outraged. Let's keep our eye on the ball, American Legion.

Well said Sir! Very good perspective, observation and point. I too feel we are "bigger" than the talking heads who might not even know what they are outraged about. It seems that being outraged is just another phase people are going through these days.
Thank you for your sacrifice then, now and beyond.

Maby thats your problem, your battle-toughened and have lost your feelings for those we lost. I am offended, I still remember my brothers lost or maimed in Vietnam, I guess some of us will never get over it. You are right though we do need to concentrate on new issues and help all vets, but we should never forget our Brothers.

Most of the comments on this page disgust me. Somehow being a Viet Nam Vet makes you better than everyone else. You are the only ones who served with honor, were wounded or have problems related to your service. Your war was tougher than anyone elses and your the only ones that understand it. Almost every veteran that has served in a war zone has been pushed aside, ignored, gotten piss poor medical treatment and been forgotten by the government. They all deserve to be in the American Legion and they all have the right to speak their mind. The telecast may have been moronic, in bad taste and maybe even a slap in the face of VNV but it was their right to air it. The same rights you defended, the same rights soldiers are dying for today. The problem is this is now a country of me first, self important, politically correct crybabies. Yes, you served, be proud of it but don't expect the world to kiss your backside because of it.I served too, and you have no idea what I went through and never will. So ruck up, man up and move on.

Tom whats your problem? I don't know where or when you served, but you sound like a very bitter man towards Vietnam vets. You probably just will never get it, so in your own words suck up or even better p---off. O and by the way the Legion really doesn't need people like you they want people who care about other people.

I am not bitter, just fed up with people like you and comments like "You probably just will never get it." I do get it , it was tough, it was brutal, ugly and traumatic. But not anymore so than any other conflict, battle or war. Do you think the soldiers in Korea had it any better, or perhaps Somolia was a cake walk. Iraq, Afgahnistan or perhaps they had it easier at Pearl Harbor. Those servicemen and woman served with distiction, spent little to no time crying about their lot in life and support those that came after them. But like all the crybabies you assumed I didn't serve in because I don't agree with their attitude. So for your useless comment you may FOAD and what the legion definatly does not need is more narrow minded self absorbed idiots like you.

You probably didn;t serve in Nam sorry that's not your fault.Don't know where you did serve but thank you for serving. In your wonderful( comments you have no idea what I went through,) crybaby like you called Vietnam vets, do you really think you were the only one to have a bad experience. Well wake up ! I really don't care what you think of me but dont bash the Vietnam Vets. By the way I am in the Legion and we do more for the vets past and present than you know. We don't care where or when they served, but they did serve. just for your info. Vietnam vets are different, they came home just to be spit on and called baby killers and other things after giving all they had. They didn't come home to warm welcomes and cheers as in other wars, so my last comments to you are shut up and piss off! Hope you enjoy being the only one who had a bad time.


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News from the World of Military and Veterans Issues. Iraq and A-Stan in parenthesis reflects that the author is currently deployed to that theater.