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Thursday 2 February 2017

Piers Morgan’s Holocaust Howler

Another day, another foot in mouth from former Screws and Daily Mirror editor Piers Morgan, and for the same reason as all the other foot in mouth episodes: Morgan is, as usual, on a hair trigger when there is adverse comment passed on his idol, Combover Crybaby Donald Trump. Nothing can be allowed to pass without The Great Man playing it down, and in true tabloid tradition blaming liberals and Slebs for it all.
The latest howler from the former CNN host, presently co-hosting ITV’s Good Morning Britain three mornings a week, was to go in with both feet on all those who called out The Donald and his team for what historian Deborah Lipstadt - who fought the battle to end all Holocaust denial battles some years ago with Nazi-apologist historian David Irving - termed “softcore Holocaust denial” in a statement on Holocaust Remembrance Day.

This was the passage that  caused concern: “It is with a heavy heart and somber mind that we remember and honor the victims, survivors, heroes of the Holocaust … It is impossible to fully fathom the depravity and horror inflicted on innocent people by Nazi terror”. Spot the missing word: no mention of Jews. I will explain.

As Ms Lipstadt has pointed out, millions of people other than Jews were killed by the Nazis. Roma, homosexuals, those from Eastern Europe, many disabled people, all were targeted, but they were not deliberately and systematically wiped out as Jews were. The stance of the Third Reich towards Jews, especially after Reinhard Heydrich convened the Wannsee Conference, was one of deliberate genocide.

So to say, as the US Holocaust Museum in Washington, DC put it, “Millions of other innocent civilians were persecuted and murdered by the Nazis, but the elimination of Jews was central to Nazi policy” accurately reflects the Holocaust. As Elie Wiesel put it, “Not all victims were Jews, but all Jews were victims”. There was also the thought entering that the hand of white supremacist Steve Bannon may have been at work here.
That is why missing out the word “Jews” from a statement on Holocaust Remembrance Day is plain flat wrong. That is why Ms Lipstadt terms it “softcore Holocaust denial”. Not that you would know there was anything wrong from Morgan’s outraged defence of Trump, where he blamed “liberal celebrities” (a group from which he has recently absented himself) and spewed a fog of whataboutery about the whole issue.
Trump's the most pro-Israel president America's ever had. This debate is perfect illustration of hysteria clouding reality” he protested, unaware of the tin ear this showed to the world. David Baddiel had to put him straight: “I don't give a fuck about fucking Israel. I give a fuck about Holocaust denial”. He does not want to Look Over There.

What Trump and his team did was wrong. For his press secretary to then defend it and attack the media for having the audacity to point out the obvious was also wrong. And for Piers Morgan to fail once more to engage brain before mouth was equally wrong.

What the people at ITV are thinking right now can only be imagined. Say sorry, Piers.


Piers Plowman said...

If Morgan had the least idea about his subject he would know that the extreme right in the US is consistently both anti-Semitic AND strongly pro-Israel. Just as in this country ,where the Jews were always the real obsession of Mosley, the NF, the BNP etc (whatever their passing interest in whichever ethnic group happened to be the current scapegoats), so in the US it's the Jews who they really believe are the great evil. Partly this has to do with the fundamentalist Christian elements of the right. Strangely enough they also happen to be the ones who are most pro-Israel for unintelligible reasons to do with biblical 'predictions' about the final decisive war in the middle -east which will precede Armageddon, which, worryingly enough, they are rather looking forward to as they'll all go to heaven.
Shouldn't Morgan know this stuff?

Anonymous said...

I fear that Baddiel's outburst will be taken out of context, abbreviated and used against him.

iMatt said...

Moron had better get used to it. He has 4 yrs(preferably 18 months or less) of intense scrutiny of his corrupt chum.

@OffCentreNews said...

Holocaust Memorial Day isn't only about Jews. It's about other 20th century genocides too.

From the Holocaust Memorial Trust:

"When HMDT was established in May 2005, the aims for HMD were clearly set out. This is what we strive to achieve in all our work promoting HMD...

Holocaust Memorial Day aims to:

recognise that the Holocaust was a tragically defining episode of the 20th Century, a crisis for European civilisation and a universal catastrophe for humanity

provide a national mark of respect for all victims of Nazi persecution and demonstrate understanding with all those who still suffer its consequences

raise awareness and understanding of the events of the Holocaust as a continuing issue of fundamental importance for all humanity

ensure that the horrendous crimes, racism and victimisation committed during the Holocaust are neither forgotten nor repeated, whether in Europe or elsewhere in the world

restate the continuing need for vigilance in light of the troubling repetition of human tragedies in the world today

reflect on more recent atrocities that raise similar issues
provide a national focus for educating subsequent generations about the Holocaust and the continued relevance of the lessons that are learnt from it

provide an opportunity to examine our nation’s past and learn for the future
promote a democratic and tolerant society, free of the evils of prejudice, racism and other forms of bigotry

support the view that all citizens – without distinction – should participate freely and fully in the economic, social and public life of the nation

highlight the values of a tolerant and diverse society based upon the notions of universal dignity and equal rights and responsibilities for all its citizens

assert a continuing commitment to oppose racism, antisemitism, victimisation and genocide

support our shared aspirations with both our European partners and the wider international community centred on the ideals of peace, justice and community for all"

@offmyheadnews said...

Re above: doesn't your moniker contain the word 'news'? No one said Holocaust Memorial Day was ONLY about Jews, simply that you might expect the POTUS to know that it's at least a weensy bit about Jews (unless, of course, he's a complete moron or is advised by a bunch of crypto-fascists or just wants to be gratuitously offensive to impress those people who think this makes him 'strong' and not beholden to 'political correctness, you know, stuff like thinking that Jews might have reason to be a little bit sensitive about what happened to them in Europe between 1935 and 1945). Second thoughts, scrub the 'or' and insert 'and'.

A Kelly said...

Each year at a Holocaust Remembrance event I attend, I always give a talk about the life of a non Jewish person who died in the camps. This is to illustrate that anyone could be foully murdered by the Nazis. Does that make me anti-semantic?

Anonymous said...

Ann Kelly, is your final hyphenated word a joke?

Andy McDonald said...

There's a certain mentality in Britain that the lesson of the Holocaust is to never let the Nazi party come to power in 1930s Germany ever again. That "it couldn't happen here" because we're British, we're somehow above that stuff, because We Know Better.

The Holocaust itself was the culmination of centuries of anti-Semitism expressed via disenfranchisation, ostracism, physical and verbal abuse, stereotyping and much more. The German people didn't collectively wake up one morning and say "let's build death camps" out of the blue. They got there by degrees.

A Kelly said...

Anonymous-no a spelling error. And at least I put my name to my posts.

@OffCentreNews said...

I'm sorry someone so wittily calling themselves @offmyheadnews (mental health slurs?) has not understood my tweet.

"Wartime, Adolf Hitler suggested, "was the best time for the elimination of the incurably ill." Many Germans did not want to be reminded of individuals who did not measure up to their concept of a "master race." The physically and mentally handicapped were viewed as "useless" to society, a threat to Aryan genetic purity, and, ultimately, unworthy of life. At the beginning of World War II, individuals who were mentally retarded, physically handicapped, or mentally ill were targeted for murder in what the Nazis called the "T-4," or "euthanasia," program. "

@OffCentreNews said...

Further information on Holocaust Memorial Day. This from the Holocaust Memorial Trust. I'm no supporter of Trump but it is an inclusive day, no matter how some would like to ignore that fact.

Singling out Jews for complete annihilation in the Holocaust was not the full extent of Nazi persecution. Anyone they believed threatened their ideal of a ‘pure Aryan race’ of Germans were targeted for persecution and discrimination across Nazi-occupied Europe.

Nazi beliefs categorised people by race – exalting ‘Aryan’ and above all ‘Nordic’ people as being superior to others. Their pseudo-scientific devotion to ‘racial purity’ and opposition to racial mixing was part-justification for their hatred against Jews, Gypsies (Romani), and Black people who lived in Germany. Slavic people were dismissed as Untermenschen – inferior people living in areas needed for German expansion to the east. Extreme ideas associated with eugenics (the aim to improve the genetic composition of the population) were used to justify persecution of disabled people and gay people. The Nazis also targeted political opponents – primarily communists, trade unionists and social democrats – and people whose religious beliefs conflicted with Nazi ideology – such as Jehovah’s Witnesses.

Hundreds of thousands of lives were destroyed or changed beyond recognition because of Nazi persecution, and many groups did not receive acknowledgment of their suffering until years after 1945.

Piers Plowman said...

It's a pity, Anne. As a joke it was quite good. As a serious statement about the topic, it doesn't make any sense. What are you trying to say?

Piers Plowman said...

And Andy, one of the degrees was, of course, the Nazi party's victories in democratic federal elections which produced an anti-democratic majority in the Reichstag and Hitler's subsequent appointment as Chancellor. Trump has just been democratically elected; it' will be interesting(!) to see whether US democracy is strong enough to resist an anti-democratic headbanger.

Piers Plowman said...

What point exactly is made by cutting and pasting interminable chunks of someone else's writing and plonking it down as if it will the point for you. We KNOW all that stuff. Tim's item was about a statement about Holocaust Memorial Day not mentioning Jews and Morgan's response to criticism of that. Make explicit what your point is and you might start getting somewhere.
The other point you appear to be blind to is context. trump has history. Bannon has history. They belong to a movement which has history. Part of that history is holocaust denial. Downplaying the Jews experience is a step on the road to denial(see Le Pen: 'the Holocaust was a detail of history'). Morgan is a 'friend' of Trump.
Beginning to get the picture?

@OffCentreNews said...

I'm sorry Piers Plowman is unable to see my point.But that;s his / her problem not mine. Some are sophisticated readers, some aren't.

I appreciate Trump, his supporters, his history, their history. However there is no reason why any statement should explicitly mention one group of people affected by genocides but not others. I refer again to the purpose of Holocaust Memorial Day. Be thankful he remembered.

Piers Plowman said...

Just checked your site,@OffCentreNews. Sorry. Didn't realise cut and paste is what you do.
I should stick to it.......

@OffCentreNews said...

I don't have a 'site' so no you haven't.

I'd stick to trolling on Mail Online comments Piers. It's more your thing.

This is known in literary circles as a quote.

"Then an angry buffoon..." Piers Plowman.