MEGADETH mainman Dave Mustaine has slammed CNN founder Ted Turner for saying during a recent interview that a rise in military suicides in relation to combat deaths is a "good" development.
Speaking to CNN's Piers Morgan on October 19, Turner said, "I think it's good" that American soldiers are turning their guns on themselves, insisting that it shows humans aren't meant to be put on the battlefield to bring death to others.
"It's so clear that we're programmed and we're born to love and help each other, not to kill each other, to destroy each other," he said. "That's an aberration. That's left over from hundreds of years ago. It's time for to us start acting enlightened."
After a backlash of negative press, Turner issued a statement to say he's sorry for anyone offended by his comment.
"During my recent interview on CNN's 'Piers Morgan Tonight', I inadvertently used the word 'good' when asked for my thoughts on the increasing rate of suicide among U.S. military soldiers in the Middle East," Turner said. "It was certainly not my intent to imply that suicide is 'good.' Rather, I was implying that it is good that the public is more aware of these tragedies and is more averse to war and war-related fatalities.
"My message has always been one of peace, I believe that we're born programmed to love and help each other, not to kill or hurt each other. I strongly support our U.S. troops and would never intentionally say anything to harm the brave men and women serving our country. I deeply apologize for any misunderstanding caused by this comment."
During MEGADETH's November 16 concert at the House of Blues in Atlantic City, New Jersey, Mustaine addressed the Turner controversy before performing the song "Countdown To Extinction" (see video below), saying: "I don't know if you know this or not, but there was a guy that was on the news… I like to watch the news a lot, I'm sure you know that. I was watching the news and there was a guy that said… he thinks it's good that the troops are committing suicide. Troops like us, you and me.
"Like when I was 18, I put my name in for the Selective Service, like all of us, our brothers, our sisters. He thinks it's good that the troops are committing suicide.
"You wanna know who this guy is? His name is Ted Turner, the owner of CNN. [Crowd starts booing] You know what?! I think he sucks too. I think we should stop watching CNN, we should stop watching Headline News, we should stop watching TBS [Turner Broadcasting System].
"As long as our troops are Americans, and you're saying that you think it's good that they're dying, you're saying you think it's good that we're dying. And that ain't cool. [Crowd starts chanting, 'Fuck Ted!'] I don't know if you've seen Ted, but he would be lucky if somebody would fuck him. [laughs]
"I'm having a good time. Are you? This next song is about people trying to put us out of existence. This song is called 'Countdown To Extinction'."