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.