The White House joined the piling on of Fox News host Greg Gutfeld over his reference to a bestselling book written by a Holocaust survivor during a debate with co-host Jessica Tarlov over lies about Florida’s new black history teaching standards.
On Monday’s edition of “The Five” when Tarlov, the show’s house liberal, brought up the Holocaust to make her point about the manufactured Florida controversy that slaves benefited from slavery, Gutfeld replied by asking her about the bestselling book by Viktor Frankl about needing to learn skills to avoid being murdered by the Nazis while he was imprisoned in concentration camps.
“Frankl talks about how you had to survive in a concentration camp by having skills. You had to be useful,” Gutfeld said. “Utility. Utility kept you alive.”
(Video: Fox News)
Frankl’s book “Man’s Search for Meaning” is an acclaimed international bestseller that has been described as “An enduring work of survival literature” by The New York Times and praised by CNN’s Anderson Cooper as “This is a book I reread a lot . . . it gives me hope . . . it gives me a sense of strength,” both quoted in the Amazon description of the book. But Gutfeld’s remark drew outrage from leftists and their fellow travelers eager to score political points against an ideological adversary and his employer.
On Tuesday, the White House, which is fully invested in the lie about Florida’s curriculum, couldn’t resist the chance to go after the Fox News funnyman, a frequent critic of the regime.
“What Fox News allowed to be said on their air yesterday — and has so far failed to condemn — is an obscenity,” White House spokesman @AndrewJBates46 says https://t.co/Q8T4amYfYw pic.twitter.com/3RVtTZ6gzY
— Brian Stelter (@brianstelter) July 25, 2023
“What Fox News allowed to be said on their air yesterday — and has so far failed to condemn — is an obscenity,” Andrew Bates, deputy White House press secretary, said in a statement to CNN.
“In defending a horrid, dangerous, extreme lie that insults the memory of the millions of Americans who suffered from the evil of enslavement, a Fox News host told another horrid, dangerous and extreme lie that insults the memory of the millions of people who suffered from the evils of the Holocaust,” he continued.
“Let’s get something straight that the American people understand full well and that is not complicated: there was nothing good about slavery; there was nothing good about the Holocaust. Full stop,” Bates added, morphing the Florida big lie into the Gutfeld Holocaust lie. “Americans deserve to be brought together, not torn apart with poison. And they deserve the truth and the freedom to learn, not book bans and lies.”
The left-wing smear machine’s attack dogs mauled Gutfeld over what to any rational observer would seem to be a completely innocent comment. Among them was arch-neocon Bill Kristol who sought to shame Fox News, seeming to suggest that Gutfeld’s fellow “The Five” co-hosts should boycott the show.
Everyone else at Fox fine with Gutfeld suggesting Jews sent to concentration camps could survive “by being useful?” How can any of his fellow panelists show up tomorrow to sit there next to him? https://t.co/iMmBa7MPwI
— Bill Kristol (@BillKristol) July 24, 2023
But the Anti-Defamation League (ADL) which is usually in sync with the Democratic Party was more measured in its response.
“It is not clear from Gutfeld’s comments if he is arguing that Jews learned skills in the Holocaust, or that Jews who had skills had a better chance of staying alive,” the organization said in a statement to the Daily Beast. “The latter is something that is well-documented, while the former is nonsense. That said, many millions of Jews, who, in Gutfeld’s words, had ‘utility,’ were still murdered.”
The Daily Beast also cited anonymous “Fox News staffers and insiders” who the left-leaning outlet quoted as saying that it was a “disgusting thing” for Gutfeld to say, and that “at any other place, his career would be over.”
Since its publication in 1946, Frankl’s book has “been translated into more than fifty languages and sold over sixteen million copies,” according to Amazon.
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