What was CNN National correspondent, Susan Candiotti, thinking today while reporting live at the protest in NY by 9/11 families who are against terrorist trials?

Susan CandiottiI was watching CNN around 11 A.M. central time, Saturday, when the news segment about the protest came. Susan Candiotti was with the protesters, covering the event on the field. When Candiotti went live on TV, it was the U.S. National Anthem that was played on the background with protesters around her standing still. What the news reporter, Candiotti, did next was totally beyond incomprehensible. She tapped one of the protesters (later named Geraldine Davie) on the shoulder and then began saying she was sorry for disrupting her in the middle of the anthem. WTF!

While the anthem was played, and while everyone surrounding her was showing the level of respect the National Anthem deserves, Susan Candiotti acted disrespectfully by starting the interview right then. The anthem that’s supposed to represent the United States of America was disrespected by a veteran reporter!

I am not American, but I know that a flag code exist. This is true in almost all countries, I believe. United States Code, 36 U.S.C. 301, states that during a rendition of the national anthem, even in the absence of the flag, all present should face toward the music and act in the same manner they would if the flag were displayed.

…all present except those in uniform should stand at attention facing the flag with the right hand over the heart; men not in uniform should remove their headdress with their right hand and hold the headdress at the left shoulder, the hand being over the heart; and individuals in uniform should give the military salute at the first note of the anthem and maintain that position until the last note.

But why can Susan Candiotti not understand this? She should have known the proper protocol for having been a journalist for more than 25 years. She has a bachelor’s degree from Loyola University of Chicago and graduated with honors. Smart, yet, where is her patriotism?

I was brought up knowing that the national anthem is the official national song of a country. It eulogizes the history, traditions and struggles of its people. According to the first empirical exploration on the effect of national anthems on social identity, a national anthem constitutes a powerful tool to evoke nationalism and pride in individuals. Conducted by Dr. Avi Gilboa and Dr. Ehud Bodner of Bar-Ilan University’s Department of Music, the study was published in October 2009 in the Psychology of Music journal.

Maybe Susan Candiotti is not American. Maybe she was brought up to move and talk and laugh and make noises while the anthem is being played.

Susan Candiotti should know that disrespecting the national anthem is disrespecting the United States. Although I hate seeing people showing rudeness toward the anthem at sporting events, Candiotti happened to be not in any of them. She was on TV reporting live and seen by millions of American. Is this the value she is trying to show the young Americans watching CNN that time? Why couldn’t she take two extra minutes to stop and show little reverence to the country?

Oh well, Susan Candiotti probably just wants to be like Pres. Obama. Watch the video below:

And look at these kids behind Kelly Clarkson! Some of them were even sitting. At least a few of the NFL players knew how to respect the anthem.

What is happening to the American people? Is this really how they honor the flag and the anthem — symbols of the country they call their own?

Finally, this is a sample video clip of Susan Candiotti reporting about the protest in New York Saturday!

Note: A slightly revised version of this post will appear on my Collegian column.