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April 11, 2017

Fauxtrage of the Day: Sean Spicer Says (Wrongly) That Even Hitler Didn't Sink to Assad's Level in Using Chemical Weapons; Is Attacked as "Holocaust Denier;" Later Apologizes

Resolved: Any time you're planning on using an "Even Hitler didn't sink to this level" argument to rhetorically savage an adversary, you should rethink things, because it's probably not going to go well.

That said, this is another ginned-up fauxtroversy -- we all know what Spicer was trying to do (rhetorically attack Assad by comparing him unfavorably to Hitler). We all know he wasn't trying to deny the Holocaust happened.

But that's how liberals, including CNN's fulsomely smug Jake Tapper, are taking it. If you can bear it, you can watch Tapper's smug know-it-all act in the video that runs with Pelosi's demand that Spicer be fired, suggesting that Spicer take a trip to the Holocaust Museum just a few blocks away.

In this, he repeats the exact same snark that also fair-and-nonpartisan Chelsea Clinton made:


If you like your hardcore liberal bias with a side of unfunny superior snark, Jake Tapper is your man.

Although I suppose that's pretty much the entirety of the left now. Except for Wolf Blitzer, who is earnestly clueless in his partisan bumblings.

PolitiFact immediately ran a fact-check as well, concluding, as the sage and learned Jake Tapper did, that Hitler did in fact use a chemical gas called Zyklon B in its industrial-scale genocide of Jews, gypsies, gays, and other subversives.

In case you weren't sure.

No doubt, this is a gaffe, especially coming as it does on the day upon which Passover begins.

But it's a gaffe. He was reaching for a point and overreached. And that's all that happened here. Spicer was trying to say that Sarin is so terrible a weapon even Hitler shied away from using it. As a weapon. Not as a tool of murder.

It's a point that occurred to the Daily Mail made it five days ago in an article titled The Nazi Death Gas So Horrific Even Hitler Feared Using It.

Another reporter at the Daily Mail reports on the controversy, apparently unaware that the paper he works for made the same gaffe-ish point five days ago.

Spicer has now apologized, saying it "was a mistake" to attempt to compare Hitler to anyone else.

"I was obviously trying to make a point about the heinous acts that Assad had made against his own people last week, using chemical weapons and gas. Frankly, I mistakenly made an inappropriate and insensitive reference to the Holocaust, for which there is no comparison," Spicer said. "And for that I apologize. It was a mistake to do that."

Spicer, who said he was "aware" that gas chambers were used during the Holocaust, later said he should have "stayed focused" on Assad and asked people to forgive him for his "mistake."

Yes, it was a mistake. It was a comparison that maybe could have been made if it were loaded up with all the necessary caveats, but probably not worth it.

But it is, in the end, just a mistake, and not some crime of morality. People err when they spout arguments. They go too far. They get sloppy.

I'm sure no one in the media ever does that.

But my do they pounce when a Republican says something wrong!

And my do they make excuses for themselves when they themselves make an incorrect claim.

Meanwhile, they'll just keep going on about the Russians "hacking the election." They won't be running any fact-checks on that -- that comes straight from the Progressive Politburo, and therefore is beyond question.

It should be noted that the Assad-is-like-Hitler argument was made by John Kerry in 2013, but that's different for two reasons:

1. Kerry said Assad joins Hitler and Saddam Hussein as one of the only three men to use chemical weapons "in a time of war."

2. John Kerry is a liberal progressive Democrat, acting as tool for another liberal progressive Democrat, so he can make Assad/Hitler comparisons all the dooh-dah day without the media claiming he's trying to normalize Hitler or whatever.



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posted by Ace at 06:59 PM

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