I regret to inform you that Dr. Anthony Fauci is upset. The most destructive domestic force during the COVID-19 pandemic, in my opinion, wants Lara Logan of Fox News to be disciplined. Why? Because Logan had the audacity to offend Fauci’s sensibilities with a Nazi comparison.
Apparently, the rules have changed and now comparing a government official who has an authoritarian bent, dismisses constitutional concerns, and loves power to a member of the Third Reich is off-limits or something.
Here was her comment, which requires a bit of nuance if you want to understand what she’s saying.
And so in that moment, what you see on Dr Fauci, this is what people say to me, that he doesn’t represent science to them. He represents Josef Mengele, Dr 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.
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This is 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. The level of suffering that has been created because of this disease is now being seen in the cold light of day.
Now, to those with any common sense, it is apparent that what Logan is saying is that Fauci represents an unending, seemingly boundless force in favor of government coercion. Yes, Fauci couches it under the guise of “saving lives,” but I’ve seen not limiting principles from him regarding what measures can and can’t be taken to “stop” COVID-19. In short, Logan is not actually saying he’s a doctor who does force experiments on Jews. She’s simply calling him out for being an authoritarian. You can not like the comparison while still understanding it.
For their part, Fox News hasn’t done anything to Logan, and they shouldn’t. But Fauci doesn’t see it that way. He lashed out on MSNBC last night.
“Forget about the fact that she was being totally slanderous to me and as usual, had no idea what she was talking about, saying that it’s as benign as flu. When did ever influenza kill 770,000 Americans?” he asked.
“So not only is she being slanderous and disrespectful to so many people who were killed in the concentration camps by Dr. Mengele, but she absolutely has no idea what she’s talking about. She’s completely incorrect in everything she says,” Fauci continued.
“What I find striking, Chris, is how she gets no discipline whatsoever from the Fox Network, how they can let her say that with no comment and no disciplinary action? I’m astounded by that,” he unsurprisingly declared.
Here’s my response to the good doctor: Suck it up, buttercup. You wanted the spotlight? Well, enjoy the spotlight.
Fauci was not elected to anything, yet he wields incredible amounts of power over the everyday lives of American citizens. For that, he can expect to have his feathers ruffled every now and then, and instead of whining about what a news organization should do to bend the knee to him (which itself is authoritarian), he should understand that he’s not immune from harsh criticism.
Besides, fascist comparisons are a dime a dozen in the news industry. I lost count of how many times Trump and his associates were compared to Adolph Hilter, Joseph Goebbels, Benito Mussolini, and the Holocaust. Even going back to George W. Bush, comparisons to Nazis happened. But the moment a more right-leaning analyst goes there, she’s in big trouble for daring to harm the feelings of saint Fauci?
That’s apparently the standard being set, though.
If there’s one thing Republicans aren’t going to tolerate anymore, it’s blatant double standards from the media and administration officials. If it is fine to compare members of the GOP to Nazis, something that happens regularly in mainstream news outlets, then it’s fine to compare Fauci to one. That’s not to say you have to personally agree with the comparison itself or feel comfortable making it. But as an issue of decorum, there is no reason to abide by a double standard here. If Wemple wants to see fewer Nazi comparisons, he should talk to MSNBC and CNN first before even thinking about Fox News.