Holocaust Echoes in Ukraine Conspiracy TheoriesRoundup
tags: Holocaust, Fox News, Ukraine, antisemitism, conspiracy theory
Dr. Medoff is founding director of The David S. Wyman Institute for Holocaust Studies and author of more than 20 books about Jewish history and the Holocaust.
A prominent television talk show host has claimed that journalists are exaggerating the suffering of Ukrainians in order to provoke an “emotional response” from the American public. Sadly, we’ve heard those kinds of conspiracy theories before—including during the Holocaust.
The latest controversy began when Greg Gutfeld, one of Fox’s highest-rated talk-show hosts, asserted on March 8 that stories showing the suffering of Ukrainian civilians “have sped up and are accumulating to create a narrative — and they only go in one direction…an image is taken and then played over and over and over again to create some kind of emotional response out of you, because that makes a profit for news companies.”
Gutfeld then went a step further and suggested that the motive for this alleged conspiracy by the news media is not merely profit-seeking but also to unfairly paint Russia as a bully. “The humanitarian crisis could have been prevented” if the media were not presenting the conflict as “a David and Goliath narrative” which could “lead to more suffering,” he said.
Gutfeld made his comments during a segment of the Fox daily panel discussion show “The Five,” of which he is co-host. He also hosts “Gutfeld!,” the highest-rated late-night television talk show. Ironically, Gutfeld’s own mother-in-law is one of the 1.3-million Ukrainians who have fled to neighboring Poland.
Moments after Gutfeld made his remark, Fox News war correspondent Benjamin Hall, reporting from Kyiv, refuted Gutfeld’s theory. Hall said, “Speaking as someone on the ground, I want to say that this is not the media trying to drum up some emotional response… [Ukrainian cities] are being absolutely flattened. It is an absolute catastrophe, and the people caught in the middle are the ones who are really suffering.”
Gutfeld responded by accusing Hall of launching a “cheap attack” on him. But it was neither cheap nor an attack—it was a simple statement of fact.
During the Nazi era, too, those who raised the alarm about Hitler’s atrocities were sometimes accused of exaggerating.
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