John McCain mentioned this weekend that most of the people on talk shows have never served in the military. He said this in the context of condemning them for being out of touch with the needs of the military vis a vis Don’t Ask Don’t Tell. It made me curious. What talk show hosts, if any, have served in the military? I wandered through a truly stupendous number of reference articles and was completely unsurprised to find that the only current talk show host veteran is Regis Philbin, who was in the Navy. Montel Williams, although not currently on television, had the most interesting military career – he was an enlisted Marine and went to Annapolis to become a Navy officer, eventually learning Russian at DLI and serving on submarines. The only other surprise (because I was not at all surprised that Rush Limbaugh got a draft deferrment from Vietnam) was that Anderson Cooper spent a couple summers as an intern at the CIA. Not military service, but did you know that Anderson Cooper worked for the intelligence community, even part-time? Weird.
Senator McCain is correct that the talk shows are populated by people who have never served in the military. But, they don’t make decisions about the military – Congress does. I find it much more illustrative that 75% of the members of both houses are non-veterans. Chickenhawks and bleeding hearts alike – odds are that they didn’t serve a day before spouting about what is best for the military. As someone who generally finds the current GOP reprehensible, it annoys me further that only one of the freshman class of Democratic Senators is a vet, and none of the freshman Representatives. Have liberal veterans simply given up on elected office? One more data point added to my tally of “Reasons the Democratic Party is Spineless.”