Wednesday, July 17, 2013


Johann Wagener 7-16-13

Back in the day being labeled a "hero" meant that someone had accomplished something or behaved in a manner that was extraordinary. Something that others in their situation would not have done. Like a soldier fending off dozens of enemies with a gun in one hand while carrying one of his fallen comrades to safety with the other. Or the athlete that put all he had into playing a game that he really liked; not for the money, but simply for playing the game to the best of his natural abilities.

Back in the day these were our heroes. And they still are truly heroes. Role models for the next generation to compare with. Then there are the "cable news heroes"

But Cunningham refused to be called a hero, explaining: 'I was just doing my job.'

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All it takes to be a cable news hero is to have the vans adorned with satellite dishes parked out front of an event, a few over hyped news people that are more like paparazzi frantically trying to fill up a 24/7 news cycle and some dazed individual who is willing to tell them what they tell them they want to hear. Bingo! You have a hero!

Fireman that pull people out of burning buildings which is what they are trained and paid to do are transformed into super beings; heroes. Policeman who take down a bad guy, which is what they are trained and paid to do are proclaimed heroes. Flight attendants that help passengers out of a burning plane which is part of what they are paid and trained to do, become overnight heroes. Even when they protest the media insists on labeling them heroes; someone they can find something to say about long enough to get through another 24/7 cycle and hopefully finding someone else to "heroize"

Maybe it's time we step back from the hype; the unending repetitious glorification of people doing their jobs and go back to the days when TV screens broadcast nothing more than a test pattern for 12 of the 24 hours of a day rather than being vomited on with trivial events that only interest the home town they occur in or the undignified attempts to find someone to label a hero.