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April 27, 2004
You Say Medal, I Say Ribbon

Dear News Media,

Listen. Shut up for a second.

You know those little colored bars military people wear on their dress uniforms? They're called ribbons. They represent the medals the soldier has earned, since wearing a bunch of actual medals on your chest is inconvenient, noisy, and also looks kind of stupid. So, they are ribbons, but they represent medals, and the words are often interchanged. If you ask an Army soldier about the little bar with a wide white bar in the middle, flanked by two thin blue bars and two fatter red bars on his or her chest, they'll tell you it's a Distinguished Service Medal. They probably won't say, "It's a ribbon that represents my Distinguished Service Medal" and they certainly won't call it a Distinguished Service Ribbon, as there is no such thing, though the bar itself can still be correctly called a ribbon. Get it?

Now, this wasn't very hard for me to figure out. Take a look at this page, for example. It seems, as the National Media and all, you could have made some small effort to look into this issue, instead of just going off half-cocked, parroting Republican smears, and accusing John Kerry of lying about something so ridiculous.

Next time, if you need some help, send me an email. I'll be glad to look up some stuff for you.

Thanks,
Anthony

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