Under the Radar

Investigating Stolen Valor With Daniel Tosh

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Comedy Central's Daniel Tosh investigated the Stolen Valor problem on his Tosh.0 program this week.  He compiled some particularly intense confrontation videos from around the Internet and wondered if the fakers aren't heroes in their own way: "They’re out there risking possible embarrassment just to get free appetizers or a chick’s number. That’s courage in my book! What are the real soldiers even fighting for if not the freedom to impersonate them? Haven’t you ever heard of dressing for the job you want?"

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Tosh invents the Golden Chicken Heart medal as the highest honor the Fake Military can bestow and shows a few choice clips of doofuses getting outed. “If a meatball sandwich can be called a hero, then so can this guy. I’m pretty sure he just finished 12 tours at the food court. No one comes off well, but the guy getting a Starbucks discount who claims his clothes were dirty so he borrowed a uniform out of his stepson’s closet is particularly choice.

Tosh puts on a British redcoat to get free restaurant appetizers and gets confronted for his own stolen valor has he tries to claim he fought under Paul Revere in the Revolutionary War. His interrogator peppers him with questions about uniform details and how to load a musket. Tosh doesn’t have any answers and eventually runs away.

As usual, Tosh tries to operate on multiple levels here. He’s definitely making fun of guys who play dress up and tell themselves they’re American heroes, but he’s not totally sympathetic to those men compelled to hunt down and expose the Valor Thieves.

Check out the segment and let us know what you think. Is Dwayne Johnson stealing valor when he plays soldier in G.I. Joe? What about little kids dressed in military gear at Halloween? Can BABIES steal valor? Are those sweet military discounts really worth the hassle? Is that free USO coffee at the airport really worth the risk?

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