Bill Press Hates Our National Anthem, With Its 'Military Jargon'

If it wasn’t odd enough for MSNBC weekend talker Chris Hayes to feel great discomfort at the idea of calling our war veterans “heroes” because it was too warlike, on Tuesday’s Full Court Press on Current TV, lefty Bill Press said he finds “The Star-Spangled Banner” is just embarrassing because of the “military jargon” in it and the idea that somehow we live in the “land of the brave,” as if nobody else is brave.

Not only is it apparently “absolutely, monumentally unsingable,” Press proclaimed, “But it’s an abomination. First it ranges two octaves most people can only do kind of one octave. I mean when you think about it, it’s bombs bursting in air rockets red glare it’s all kinds of, you know, a lot of national anthems are that way all kinds of military jargon." (Video from Current TV below)

The rant continued: "And the land there’s only one phrase ‘the land of the free’ which is kind of nice and ‘the home of the brave?’ I don’t know...Are we (Americans) the only ones who are brave on the planet? I mean all the brave people live here. I mean it’s just stupid I think. I’m embarrassed every time, I’m embarrassed every time we hear it."

The musical complaint came first: "It is a major crusade of mine a major cause of mine and that is to get rid of the Star Spangled Banner. Now I know you’re going to say I am not a true American I’m not patriotic. I don’t think patriotism has anything to do with it. The National Anthem is just absolutely monumentally un-singable. I mean it’s – there’s so much wrong with it. I don’t know where to start."

Press brought up the subject because the CBS folks at 60 Minutes and Vanity Fair magazine decided to take a poll asking who should write a new national anthem -- as if there was a demand for such a thing. (It would be a better idea to ask if the CBS Evening News should get a new theme song to get them out of third place.)

It should be said that Press doesn't hate other patriotic songs. He said the "words are perfect” in My Country, Tis of Thee. And "I really love God Bless America, nobody belted it out better than Kate Smith." And Ray Charles singing America the Beautiful  "still gives me goosebumps.”       

But our Anthem? “It’s time to junk it,” he said.

Tim Graham
Tim Graham
Tim Graham is Executive Editor of NewsBusters and is the Media Research Center’s Director of Media Analysis