NPR station boots weatherman off air for comparing Seattle riots to Kristallnacht in Nazi Germany on his personal blog
Don't you dare compare the ideologically motivated mobs attacking and destroying shops and other property in Seattle with the ideologically motivated mobs that attacked and destroyed Jewish-owned shops in Nazi Germany during Kristallnacht ("the night of broken glass") in 1938! Not if you work for nonprofit "public" radio station (and NPR affiliate) KNKX in Tacoma, Wash. and appear on its air. That station has permanently booted University of Washington professor Cliff Mass from his weekly weather segment for daring to make such a comparison on his personal blog. In other words, an ideological test has been imposed.
Professor Mass's blog entry has since been revised to remove the paragraph that apparently caused the greatest controversy, but he remains off air:
Screen grab via Ari Hoffman in the Post Millenial.
As Hoffman reports in the Post Millenial::
Reaction came swiftly from the left on social media accusing Mass of anti-Semitism and exaggerating what was going on in riots in Seattle. This is what led to KNKX issuing a public statement and removing Mass and his weather report from the air.
They wrote: "At KNKX, we value high-quality, factual information in our news programming and we aim to present an array of voices that reflect our region.
"We turn to our regular commentators for their expertise and points-of-view when it comes to sports, food and the weather. But if a commentator, even on his own independent platform, delivers rhetoric that is offensive and inaccurate, we cannot support it.
This is the case today with Cliff Mass. His post on his personal blog compares recent events in Seattle to Kristallnacht, the 1938 pogrom carried out by Nazi Germany, and draws distorted, offensive parallels between protesters and Nazi Brownshirts. We abhor the comparison and find it sensationalized and misleading — it does not reflect who we are and what we stand for at KNKX."
Mass explained to KING-TV why he made the comparison:
Mass is Jewish and said his reaction to what he saw in Seattle triggered an emotional chord.
"To me, this is not academic. My family, even here in the United States, went through a lot of discrimination," he explained. "For example, my father wanted to move to a certain neighborhood, Jews and Blacks weren't allowed."
He said parts of his family who lived in Poland were never heard from again after World War II ended. Hitler's "final solution" was the extermination of millions of European Jews with Poland at the center of it. Most Nazi death camps, including Auschwitz, were located in Poland.
But KNKX said the parallel went too far. In a statement Thursday evening, the radio station said:
"We turn to our regular commentators for their expertise and points-of-view when it comes to sports, food and the weather. But if a commentator, even on his own independent platform, delivers rhetoric that is offensive and inaccurate, we cannot support it. This is the case today with Cliff Mass. His post on his personal blog compares recent events in Seattle to Kristallnacht, the 1938 pogrom carried out by Nazi Germany, and draws distorted, offensive parallels between protesters and Nazi Brownshirts. We abhor the comparison and find it sensationalized and misleading -- it does not reflect who we are and what we stand for at KNKX."
KNKX Manager Joey Cohn added the below statement in response to an inquiry from KING 5 on Friday: "I stand by KNKX's original statement on this issue. I will also add that obviously Cliff had second thoughts about what he wrote, and deleted photos and language from his original blog that compared the protesters to Nazis or fascists. It was those inaccurate, unfair and disrespectful comparisons that led to our decision to remove his segment from KNKX."
Mass said he deleted the reference to Kristallnacht, calling it a distraction.
I found Mass's personal observations and pictures of the destruction in downtown Seattle spot on. Read the whole thing, and note the updates at its top:
Update: Because of this blog, my weekly weather segment on NPR radio station KNKX has been cancelled permanently.
Update2: There is a major error in the Seattle Times story. My original blog never criticized the protesters or BLM activists. My criticisms were limited to VIOLENT individuals who destroy property and hurt people. Please read my original blog if you want to confirm this. Some folks are choosing to misinterpret my words.
Update3: There are two types of mobs. First, mobs the hurt people and destroy property. Second, there are social media mobs that attempt to destroy those they disagree with or attack different viewpoints. We have seen both types of mobs here in Seattle during the past months. Neither is good.
If you agree with him, as I do, you are not allowed to appear on at least one NPR outlet.
You can see Mass's interview with KING here and listen to his interview with radio station KIRO here.
Hat tip: Mike Nadler.