Thursday, January 12, 2017

Nazi Comparisons Coarsen Our Discourse? Duly Noted

President-elect Trump struck back at fake news over the intelligence leak on peegate (?) and the outrage is ... interesting.

So an insufficiently sourced report of Trump being vulnerable to Russian blackmail (Projection anyone? Hillary's hacked private server emails?) was splashed across our body politic to the delight of Trump opponents. But it exploded in their faces, which was less than pleasant for them.

And then it got better when the Outrage Machine was turned on and aimed at Trump who Tweeted that such an attack on him was Nazi-like in its disregard for the truth:

The Anti-Defamation League (ADL) on Wednesday condemned President-elect Donald Trump for invoking Nazi Germany in his criticism of the U.S. intelligence community, arguing his comments trivialize the Holocaust.

The ADL has a point. But I don't recall this kind of condemnation over the past year or so about this kind of comparison (over 32 million hits) when it might have been more relevant.

Of course, the fault might not lie with the ADL. Perhaps their archives are filled with hundreds of such condemnations put out every day during the election campaign to reject the fire hose of comparisons by the Left turned up to 11 for Trump compared to the usual dull roar of Nazi insults easily flung at Republicans by the Left (24 million hits over a longer period of time but "just" half a million more recently).

It is possible that the real blame lies with the media that has the power to decide who to quote and who to ignore. Maybe the media has decided to amplify the ADL condemnation and make it real in a world of "if someone condemns in a press vacuum, does anybody hear them" sort of way.

On the bright side, does this outrage at a Nazi comparison mean it is de-legitimized as a cheap and lazy slur?