Ken Blackwell

Talk show host, Bill Press, doesn’t like the Star-Spangled Banner. Imagine: a liberal talk show that’s not on NPR! His radio show is simulcast on Current TV. Bill Press likes provoking conservatives, but I’m not sure we should be provoked by his outburst against the National Anthem. Bill Press seems to be testing the old philosopher’s question: If a tree falls in the forest and there’s no one there to hear it, does it make a noise? If you say something on Current TV, does anyone hear it?

Press adds: “It is a major crusade of mine 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 there’s so much wrong with it. I don’t know where to start. It’s an abomination.”

With Flag Day approaching, Bill Press sure chose a bad time to express his liberal disdain for a cherished national institution. He couldn’t top Roseanne Barr, of course, who infamously scratched her crotch while “O Saying,” or Jose Feliciano, who forgot the words.

Still, it’s worth asking: What is it with liberals that they are forever saying and doing things that lead normal people to question their patriotism—and then they howl in rage when folks question their patriotism?

Consider Barack Obama, the most liberal president in history. In 2007, then-Sen. Obama was campaigning in the Heartland. At the famous Iowa State Fair, he raised eyebrows when he failed to place his hand over his heart during the National Anthem. The photograph has been verified. It’s curious. Hillary knew what to do. So did Gov. Bill Richardson and Sen. Tom Harkin’s missus. Liberals all, they nonetheless knew that folks expect their leaders to show respect for the flag.

Last year, the Internet exploded with condemnation for our First Lady and the President. Conservative bloggers charged that Mrs. Obama had said: “All this for a d____d flag!” But to determine this, viewers relied on lip reading.

It seems to me that the last time we tried to read a president’s lips, it didn’t turn out so well. “Read My Lips,” was Bush 41’s most memorable quote, and his most unfortunate one. I’d give them the First Couple the benefit of the doubt on that one.

Ken Blackwell

Ken Blackwell, a contributing editor at, is a senior fellow at the Family Research Council and the American Civil Rights Union and is on the board of the Becket Fund for Religious Liberty. He is the co-author of the bestseller The Blueprint: Obama’s Plan to Subvert the Constitution and Build an Imperial Presidency, on sale in bookstores everywhere..
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