We’re not sure why Newsweek decided to reprint an opinion piece by Washington Spectator correspondent Rick Perlstein calling for the taking down of the “racist” POW/MIA flag. Then again, this is the magazine that sold for $1 in 2010 “in exchange for absorbing Newsweek’s considerable financial liabilities,” so a little controversy can’t do any harm.
It’s not just a follow-up to the Confederate flag controversy; Perlstein notes that even ultra-liberal presidential candidate Bernie Sanders posted an image of the flag on his Facebook page along with the message, “They are all heroes” after Donald Trump took a cheap shot at prisoner of war Sen. John McCain.
What’s Perlstein’s real beef with the flag? Because “Richard Nixon invented the cult of the ‘POW/MIA’ in order to justify the carnage in Vietnam in a way that rendered the United States as its sole victim” and to “paint the North Vietnamese as uniquely cruel and inhumane.”
“The moral confusion was abetted by the flag,” he continues: “the barbed-wire misery of that stark white figure, emblazoned in black.”
National Review last year published a piece on Perlstein entitled, “Possible Plagiarist, Definite Jerk.” “For what it’s worth,” wrote Tim Cavanaugh, “fellow leftists seem to find him insufferable as well.”