Before EA Caved, ex-Congressman and General Gave MOH Grief

While there’s no doubt Electronic Arts totally succumbed to pressure when it removed the Taliban (in name only) from the upcoming Medal of Honor videogame, a letter written to the Colorado Retail Council (CRC) by a former Congressman and ex-Air Force General shows the type of opponents EA was assembling as media hysteria about the game spread.

In a letter dated September 30, just a day before EA announced its change to Medal of Honor, former Colorado Republican Congressman Scott McInnis and Bentley Rayburn (pictured left and right respectively), a retired U.S. Air Force General, affixed their names to a letter urging the CRC to denounce the Medal of Honor game.

As seen on the Colorado Springs Independent website, the pair argued their case to CRC President Christopher Howes, calling the ability to play as the Taliban a “complete disgrace” and adding that “out of respect to our troops no retailer in Colorado should sell it.”

The duo continued:

Officials of Electronic Arts Corporation should also rethink selling this video game. In their quest for profit, can these officials look into the eyes of those who have lost loved ones serving our country in Afghanistan with a clear conscious? Where is the respect for our soldiers?

The Colorado Retailers Association should come out with a strong public statement denouncing this product and urging all member retail outlets to refuse to carry such an offensive and vulgar product.

Howes said that he and his organization had the “highest respect for the men and women fighting to defend our country,” but added that telling the members of his organization what to sell or not sell was, he believed, against anti-trust laws.

The CRC President continued, “In fact, in my 15 year government affairs career representing clients in Colorado I’ve never heard of a trade association telling its members what they should sell to customers.”

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  1. 0
    Mr. Stodern says:

    Well, I’ll count that when/if the attention actually manifests into something more tangible, like a big fat paycheck or something.

    It just reminds me a lot of when GTA: San Andreas was very briefly removed from store shelves during the Hot Coffee thing (because of the game being re-rated to AO, which most retailers won’t carry), and old Jack Thompson claimed victory. Sure, that was when most of us learned of his very existence, and he rode the gravy train for almost five years, but did he make any money off it? Not really, not any more than he would have if he’d stuck to cases he could actually win. Did he become an international icon? Not even close. Did he put Take Two or Rockstar in the dirt, as he so often stated his intent to do? Nope.

    But he did get himself disbarred, and almost in jail one time. And kids everywhere can still access the Hot Coffee content (though I can’t imagine why they’d want to), just as gamers everywhere will still be able to play as the Taliban if they really want to (if they get the PC version of course).

    BTW, can’t you play as a terrorist on Counter Strike?

  2. 0
    black manta says:

    McInnis has always been a knucklehead.  IIRC, all they way back in 1999 when he was still a Congressman and shortly after Columbine happened, he was one of those politicians who was calling for a ban on all violent vidoegames in particular and decrying violent media in general.  This from a guy who pretty much plagiarized an essay.

    Oh, and I think he also called for nuking Iran and/or North Korea if I’m not mistaken.

  3. 0
    Mr. Stodern says:

    There’s two aspects to this whole MOH controversy that I find absolutely hilarious:

    1) The added publicity. I actually plan on buying the game now, whereas normally I’d have never even glanced at it.

    2) The modding community will make pretty quick work of renaming the "Opposition" back into Taliban.

    The fuss will have achieved nothing for the detractors.

  4. 0
    Thad says:

    Having Congress do it might be.

    Having 1/535th of Congress do it, on the other hand, is a little bit different.

    Having a guy who USED to be 1/535th of Congress do it is really nothing whatsoever like government censorship, at all.

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