CNN Cuts “Warrior for Christ”

Shush, American SEAL hero widow! American Morning let Kimberly Vaughn’s offensive reference to Christ in a tribute to her husband get by their censors once but they had the politically correct sense to cut it a mere five minutes later. In a moment reminiscent of NBC’s “regrettable” omission of “under God” from the Pledge of Allegiance during its coverage of the U.S. Open two months ago, CNN cut  “warrior for Christ” from Kimberly Vaughn’s tribute to her hero husband (one of twenty-two Navy SEALS and eight other servicemen killed two days ago in a Chinook helicopter during a mission in Afghanistan).

When introducing a two-part report entitled “Deadliest Blow of the War” this morning, anchor Carol Costello commented, “One Navy SEAL widow wants the country to know [that] her husband was a hero.”* Immediately thereafter, a video aired of a tearful Kimberly Vaughn proudly proclaiming, “I want to tell the world that he was an amazing man, that he was a wonderful husband, and a fabulous father to two wonderful children. He was a warrior for Christ, and he was a warrior for our country. And, he wouldn’t want to leave this earth any other way than how he did.”

Subsequently, Carol went to CNN correspondent Barbara Starr who gave the latest details of the story. When Starr had finished her account, Carol’s co-anchor Ali Velshi segued to CNN correspondent Brian Todd, who was in Virginia Beach, Virginia (the “adopted home of the Navy SEAL Team”), asking, “What’s the mood around there?” In response, Todd declared, “What happened on Saturday is just now beginning to sink in, and it’s very, very tough to take.”

Then, Todd began his report with a snippet of Kimberly Vaughn sorrowfully recounting her mournful reaction of falling to her knees when informed of the death of her husband, Navy SEAL Aaron Vaughn. Subsequently, as Todd intoned that Kimberly was now left to care for their two-month-old daughter soon-to-be two-year-old son, the video continued with Kimberly’s tribute aired only five minutes earlier. However, this time CNN censored the clip: Gone was Kimberly’s six-word remark, “He was a warrior for Christ.”**

Regrettable, CNN? Or, just “all the news that’s fit to air”?

*American Morning – 08/08/11 at 8:08 a.m. ET.

**Ibid at 8:13 a.m. ET.

Update: Video: CNN’s censored clip of Kimberly Vaughn’s tribute. Cf. CNN’s unedited transcript of it.

Update2: CNN’s online uncensored clip of Kimberly Vaughn’s tribute was posted today under the rubric “SEAL widow: ‘He was a warrior for Christ'” notably, without any apparent time stamp.

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18 Responses to “CNN Cuts “Warrior for Christ””

  1. purpleslog Says:

    Isn’t one of the Fox newspeople married to a Navy SEAL? I can’t remember which one though.

  2. jakeho Says:

    Yes, Purpleslog. Jenna Lee married Navy SEAL Leif Babin last month.


  3. Sue Says:

    It is shameful when a grieving widow’s heartfelt comments about her husband are ‘edited’ for political correctness. Just think, these people died, supposedly, to protect our right to speak as this widow does. I don’t watch CNN now and, more than likely, never will.

  4. Incredible interview with deceased SEAL’s family | The Right Scoop Says:

    […] Looks like CNN didn’t want their viewers to know that Aaron Vaughn was a warrior for Christ: When introducing a two-part report entitled “Deadliest Blow of the War” this morning, anchor […]

  5. Anonymous Says:

    Aaron Vaughn may have been a awarrior for Christ, but not in his role as a US Navy Seal — He was a warrior for the US. My thoughts and prayers are with his widow, but her comments could do more harm than good.

  6. Sencho Says:

    I’m grateful for Mr. Vaughn’s contribution as a “warrior for his country”, but I feel nothing but disdain for any person who brings the same warrior mentality to religion. Mrs. Vaughn is understandably grieving, but her words about her husband’s attitude about his Christian faith leaves me cold.

  7. Anonymous Says:

    Let the other side be the warrior for their god of choice, our guys are warriors for the United States, atheists and all. They took an oath to protect the U.S. constitution, not a religion.

  8. Anonymous Says:

    On the front page of CNN’s website it has the caption: SEAL widow: ‘He was a warrior for Christ’ under the video thumbnail.

  9. jakeho Says:

    Thanks, Anonymous, for the “heads up.”

  10. Anonymous Says:

    ABC now reporting it as “He was a warrior for our country and he wouldn’t want to leave this earth.”

  11. Al Says:

    The fallen hero swore an oath to uphold and defend the constitution but his widow did not. If her grief is deemed newsworthy then so are her words.

    Note that the last sentence of the official oath, which is optional. reads, “So help me God.”

  12. cinderellafe Says:

    What is sadder still are the several comments from people scarred by her words and his life example. Thank you for posting this. Quite the follow-up to NBC’s cutting out “under God” in our Pledge of Allegiance in their golf coverage montage recently. Those who actually do this work must feel a thrill like a shoplifter.

  13. Kevin M Says:

    Let’s get this entirely, politely and politically correct right? I also noticed this cut on CNN – no I’m not a let’s hold hands and say a prayer before lunch at Denny’s kind of guy, and I don’t go around beating people over the head with a bible but this guy laid down his life for us you and I

    His wife’s heartfelt and eloquent description of her husband, was moving and CNN dishonored all service members by this kind of editorial BS – I used to like CNN I “thought” they were straight forward but this is inexcusable I’m sure CNN just can’t wait to send Andersen Copper into the combat zone again to be around all those real men, all the while they denigrate truly the best and bravest

  14. Anonymous Says:

    As a family member, I AM OFFENDED that free speech is no longer respected. Aaron DIED for your right, my right and Kimberly’s right to free speech. I am disgusted that her words were edited WITHOUT HER CONSENT.

    God bless all our military men and women heroes serving our country and protecting our decreasing right to free speech. God bless all the families who have sacrificed loved ones. And God bless the USA.

    For those of you who believe, please keep all the families in prayer, the heartache and grief is just beginning. Raising Reagan and Chamberlyn without their daddy will be a daily reminder of the sacrifice the family paid for every one of us (yes, you, too).

    Just as you non-believers have a right to freedom FROM religion, we who do believe also have a freedom OF religion. I am not criticizing your choice, please do the same for me and Kimberly and the Vaughn family and others.

    Thank you, Aaron, for your love of God, family and country. Thanks to his family for sharing him with us. Love and hugs.

  15. Betty Zambelli Says:




  16. Anonymous Says:

    how would this man feel if he knew that his wife was not granted the “freedom” to speak of who he was, that she was edited down to only show american warrior aspects of him? Shame on CNN & all who were part of this.

  17. natashia Says:

    the above comment was mine.

  18. Michael R Steinberg Says:

    At war! How does christ get into it?

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