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Jay Greeson

I have hope for the future.

That may sound crazy, but stick with me here.

I was lucky enough to speak with a UTC communications class on Monday. The realizations are clear that our next generation wants to connect rather than argue.

When we talked about messaging and maneuvering in the public domain, the talking points of message boards became an afterthought.

And you know what, that meeting in the middle was inspiring.

Students talked about the perceptions of fake news and the fake perceptions of fake news. It was a healthy debate about a national issue.

It was not that long ago that we took issue with "Saturday Night Live" because of the mockery it made of the Brett Kavanaugh hearings. Hey, every public official is going to have their turn in the satire spotlight. It happens, and it will continue to happen.

But we do not think any mockery of #MeToo is wise, especially with the way Hollywood and SNL have avoided the entertainment world's shortcomings in that movement.

Anyhoo, SNL actually impressed me this weekend.

OK, for some background: Pete Davidson looked like a buffoon 10 days ago, which by most calculations is a weekly part of his schtick on the program.

On Nov. 3, though, Davidson was making a gag at the expense of a newly elected Texas congressman and former Navy SEAL who lost his eye fighting in Afghanistan.

Two days ago, Davidson rightly apologized on SNL. Staff went a step further and had said-Navy SEAL Dan Crenshaw on the show and let him bask in the Veterans Day spotlight.

To his credit, Crenshaw has handled this entire back and forth — down-playing it and saying "Americans are not a people that shatter at the first sign of offense" — with the grace needed by our leaders.

If we were going to identify a real winner from the weekend, it has to be Crenshaw, who playfully shot back at Davidson and understandably enjoyed the moment.

Yep, on a football-crazy November weekend— one in which we did not have headlines about protesting or kneeling — Crenshaw was a real winner. So, too, were we all, considering that this was not only the right thing to do, it was also a great example of realizing that getting all bent out of shape and supremely offended is silly.

Here was Crenshaw's closing soliloquy. (And for those wondering, yes, I remain out on SNL. Got the transcript from New York papers.):

"There's a lot of lessons to learn here. Not just that the left and right can still agree on some things. But also this: Americans can forgive one another. We can remember what brings us together as a country and still see the good in each other. This is Veterans Day weekend. Which means that it's a good time for every American to connect with a veteran. Maybe say, "Thanks for your service." But I would actually encourage you to say something else.

"Tell a veteran, 'Never forget.' When you say 'never forget' to a veteran, you are implying that, as an American, you are in it with them — not separated by some imaginary barrier between civilians and veterans, but connected together as grateful fellow Americans who will never forget the sacrifices made by veterans past and present. And never forget those we lost on 9/11, heroes like Pete's father. So I'll just say, Pete, never forget."

May we all — regardless of particular detail — embrace that sentiment.

Contact Jay Greeson at jgreeson@timesfreepress.com or 423-757-6343.

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