David Krayden at Daily Caller noted The New York Times is once again describing the national anthem as a wildly divisive song. Media liberals also think "God Bless America" is controversial, when they weren't quoting radicals saying that song was "a whitewash of everything wrong in America."
Times culture reporter Julia Jacobs reported on Wednesday on the "divisive" trend of TV stations returning to broadcasting a national-anthem video in the wee hours of the night.
Gray Television, which has 145 stations, mostly in small and midsize markets, made it a companywide practice several months ago. Two other companies followed: CBS, at its 27 corporate-owned stations, including those in New York and Los Angeles; and Nexstar Media Group, one of the largest owners of television stations in the country. Within five months, the national anthem has become a daily part of programming at more than 350 stations across the country.
Gray's national-anthem video "includes a 9-year-old South Florida girl, Reina Özbay, belting the anthem into a hand-held microphone, a uniformed soldier giving a salute and a young boy with his arms wrapped around a serviceman, perhaps his father." It's a beauty:
Gray and Nexstar executives told the Times the reason to bring back the anthem was simple: encouraging national unity at a time of deep division in the country and, as Howell put it, “bringing back a great tradition of television.” Howell added “This is a purely nonpolitical statement by our company."
Naturally, Jacob goes right to Colin Kaepernick's kneeling during the anthem to protest racial injustice by the police, so that "overt allegiance to 'The Star-Spangled Banner' has become one of the lines that separate blue and red America."
The television executives were explicit in saying that playing the national anthem regularly had nothing to do with the kneeling controversy.
But, Howell said, “If people want to kneel at 4 o’clock in the morning when we play this, fine with me.”
Regardless of their intentions, Mark Clague, an associate professor of musicology at the University of Michigan, said that in an era in which support of the anthem has become a “loyalty test,” it is difficult to frame its reintroduction to the airwaves as apolitical.
“It is somewhat provocative to bring the anthem to the fore in a new way at a moment of tension in this country,” he said.
Timothy C. Busch, the president of Nexstar Broadcasting, told the newspaper that the response from viewers :had been overwhelmingly positive and that he was not aware of a single complaint."
Jacobs tweeted there was no controversy....yet: