Lessons to learn from Lara Logan

The perils of false equivalences and overstatements are the shameful trivialization the of darkest chapters in human history.

A few days ago, former 60 Minutes correspondent Lara Logan was dropped by her talent agency for comments she made about Dr. Anthony Fauci, White House chief medical adviser, last Nov. 29.

Logan said the following during an appearance on Fox News Primetime:

This is what people say to me, is that he (Fauci) doesn't represent science to them — he represents Josef Mengele, the Nazi doctor who did experiments on Jews during the Second World War and in the concentration camps[.]

And I am talking about people all across the world are saying this, because the response from COVID, what it has done to countries everywhere, what it has done to civil liberties, the suicide rates, the poverty — it has obliterated economies[.]

Acting a little late on the uptake, United Talent Agency said Logan's comments were "highly offensive" and "unacceptable."

Logan also hosts Lara Logan Has No Agenda on Fox Nation.

Fauci is demanding that Fox News sack Logan for her comments.

Logan has not appeared on Fox News since the above comments were made.  Also, new episodes of her Fox Nation show have not been aired.  Warm Springs Production, which produces her series, has distanced itself from Logan.

But is Logan the only one?

Since 2015, many in the media and showbiz have compared President Trump and his MAGA movement to Hitler and Nazism, respectively.

The Washington Post carried an article with the headline "It's not wrong to compare Trump's America to the Holocaust."

An Oxford study claimed that President Trump had more psychopathic traits than Hitler.

Former Hollywood star Arnold Schwarzenegger compared pro-Trump protesters who broke into the Capitol Hill building on Jan. 6, 2020, to Nazis who attacked Jews during the Night of Broken Glass.

Billionaire Charles Koch said then-candidate Trump's proposal to register all Muslims in the U.S., which was never implemented, was "reminiscent of Nazi Germany."

Filmmaker Spike Lee said President Trump "will go down in history with the likes of Hitler" in a New York Film Critics speech.

Plastic "Trump Cards" that are memorabilia to demonstrate support for the president were alleged to resemble the Nazi insignia, merely because the cards display a right-facing gold eagle.

The BBC carried news of a random German citizen comparing President Trump to Hitler.

Instances such as these are myriad, yet none of the people making comparisons suffered many reactions. 

The reason Logan faces severe backlash from liberal news organizations is that she is a fierce critic of the Biden administration.

She recently criticized Biden for the chaotic withdrawal from Afghanistan and for leaving military weapons with terrorists.  She was deeply critical of U.S. foreign policy of unending wars and nation-building projects of faraway countries.  She had also slammed the Biden administration's mismanagement of COVID-19.

The liberal mob was probably looking for an excuse to "cancel" Logan.  That opportunity came in the form of her comments.  Liberal Fauci-worshipers probably combusted upon hearing them.

But beyond the whataboutery and the disparity in reaction to the comments, let's examine the validity and accuracy of these comparisons.

From 1933 to 1945, in Nazi Germany, an entire group of people was systematically discriminated against, persecuted, and murdered merely for being Jewish.  The Nazis constituted legal measures to expel the Jews from society and strip them of their rights and property while engaging in incitement, abuse, terror, and violence.

Over 6 million Jews were murdered by the Nazis during the Holocaust.

Over 11 million, including Jews, Gypsies, Poles, people with disabilities, Jehovah's Witnesses, homosexuals, the dissenting clergy, and other political adversaries were murdered and displaced because of Nazi genocidal policy.

This was one of the darkest chapters in human history.

To compare the Trump administration to the Nazi regime, besides being historically incorrect, is preposterous.  It is also insensitive to the 11 million-plus victims of the Nazis.

Historians have said the worst crime scene of the Holocaust was Auschwitz.  The worst among the killing centers in Auschwitz was at Birkenau.  The most terrifying murderer in Birkenau was Dr. Josef Mengele, making him one of the worst and most sinister mass murderers in the history of mankind.

When prisoners arrived at Auschwitz, Mengele and his "doctor" colleagues "selected" for slave labor those who appeared "fit."  The others, the vast majority, were immediately murdered by gassing in specially designed asphyxiation chambers.

Mengele was notorious for performing grotesque pseudo-medical experiments on children and adults alike, especially twins.

Mengele often injected one twin with mysterious substances and monitored the illness that ensued.  He applied painful clamps to children's limbs to induce gangrene, injected dye into their eyes, and gave them painful spinal taps.

Mengele was a psychopath, and his experiments were meant to subject Jews to torture and humiliation.

Dr. Fauci may be ignorant, incompetent, corrupt, and narcissistic, but he is not even remotely close to the incomparably evil Mengele.  There are very few humans who have the dubious distinction of being compared to Mengele.

The comparison that Logan made, much like the comparison between Nazi Germany and the U.S. under the Trump administration, was ludicrous, historically inaccurate, and above all insensitive to the victims of Mengele.

Slavery, the Holocaust, and 9-11 were unique not just in their occurrences, but in the indelible impacts they left on society and culture.

These darkest chapters in history must be mentioned only after thoughtful and empathetic consideration.

When the killing of a sole African-American is compared to slavery, it trivialized slavery.  When 9-11 is compared with a break-in of a government building, it belittles the impact of those coordinated terror attacks.  If a government is compared with the Nazi regime for wanting to protect its borders or deporting illegal aliens, Nazism is trivialized. 

It also helps bigotry, because if everything is bigotry, nothing actually is.

The consequence of these false equivalences is that people are desensitized.  It could lead some, especially the younger, to think that if a commentator can overstate by comparing Fauci to Mengele, perhaps the individual was overstating Mengele's crimes. 

These false equivalencies are a product of lazy commentators and pundits, whose vocabulary, intelligence, and imagination have gone bankrupt after years in the business.

It is time for personnel in the media, from the liberal commentators at the Washington Post to Lara Logan on Fox News, to act responsibly and stop these frivolous false equivalences.

The least the victims deserve is respect.

As for Lara Logan, Fox News should ask her to apologize and then reinstate her.  She was careless but not malicious.

Image: Screen shot from Fox News video via YouTube.

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