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We're still standing

Posted by Charles P. Pierce  September 13, 2011 01:32 PM

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For a while, anyway.

The thing This Blog was really, really dreading about the 10th anniversary of the 9/11 atrocities was the inevitable, militaristic, tribal hoorah that it knew was coming from the National Football League, which occasionally is treated as though it is the fifth branch of the US military by its acolytes, its courtier press, and itself. Things ran pretty much as This Blog feared on Sunday, except for one thing.

Where was Pat Tillman?

This Blog is open to anyone who saw a tribute to him, or even heard his name mentioned, in the flood of tinny banalities coming from the various broadcast crews. It didn't, and it was listening hard.

Oops, it appears the ever-essential Dave Zirin got there first on this one. The weaselly comments from the NFL spokescritter are telling. This Blog guarantees you that, had Pat Tillman come back from Afghanistan hale and hearty and brimming with the old America-hell-yeah, he'd have been on both networks, and and yukking it up with Boomer and TJ on ESPN on Sunday. If he had been killed in a conventional manner, we'd have had soft focus and piano music telling his tale. But, he was a guy who was killed by his own side, and whose death was shamefully covered up by an administration itching to fight another war, one of which he disapproved, in a conspiracy that reached to the top levels of the military and civilian leadership, including the shameful Donald Rumsfeld, who actually was on TV last weekend. And, of course, the Tillman family had the bad form to be publicly outraged about the way the fraudulent narrative of his death was exploited by lesser men.

What Pat Tillman did remains an extraordinary act of sacrifice. He remains so much better than the people who used him. And television should be ashamed that it did not reckon him as such.

Oh, and if gooey banality were oil, we'd have invaded Jim Nantz's head.
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