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Bill Barol

Bill Barol

Posted: December 18, 2006 07:50 PM

Rita Cosby, American Hero


While reading through the official MSNBC bio on cable oddity Rita Cosby today -- I'm not saying I wasn't trying to avoid work -- I came across this nugget:

A first-generation American and daughter of a Polish POW, in 2006 she was awarded the Ellis Island Medal of Honor, America's third-highest medal.

A little digging (see above re: work) reveals that the Ellis Island Medal of Honor is awarded some 637 times annually by something called the National Ethnic Coalition of Organizations, or NECO, and that among its recent recipients are Susan Lucci, Peter Max, both Johnny Bench and Yogi Berra, and such plucky, bootstrapping, up-from-poverty success stories as Angier Biddle Duke. (Note: NECO should not be confused with NECCO, a sugary wafer-shaped candy that a solid plurality of loyal Americans find "delicious.")

Look, I'm not being a snob here. (Although God knows I'm entitled: I don't like to bandy this around casually, but yes, it's true, I was nominated for inclusion in the 1974 edition of "Who's Who Among American High School Students." Thank you. Thanks very much.) All I'm saying is, would it be too much to expect a major newsgathering organization -- or, in this case, MSNBC -- to scan its own web site for insupportable claims? I know nobody reads the correspondents' bios except people looking to kill time on what should otherwise have been a productive Monday, and I understand that resume-padding is something you do to help secure your next job, which Cosby may be needing in pretty short order, if you believe what you see on the Interwebs. But jeez: "America's third-highest medal"? Shouldn't it be a tad more difficult for a respected journalist -- or, in this case, Rita Cosby -- to hint that she's a heartbeat away from a Congressional Medal of Honor? Unless she manned a .50 caliber Browning at Pork Chop Hill, Cosby and her PR handlers are over-reaching pretty drastically... even by the hyperbolic, drama-pumping standards of cable news.

Bill Barol was recently re-elected to the United States Senate with the largest victory margin in the history of electoral politics. He is the 33rd Earl of Dorset, and will be co-starring with his best friend George Clooney in the upcoming "Ocean's 13."

(UPDATE: MSNBC has revised the bio. Thank goodness for the Google cache, huh?)

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