CNN International anchor Christiane Amanpour has been labeled “despicable” and “disgusting” after comparing a deadly night at the start of the Holocaust to President Trump’s four years in the White House to viewers across the world.
“This week 82 years ago, Kristallnacht happened. It was the Nazis' warning shot across the bow of our human civilization that led to genocide against a whole identity and, in that tower of burning books, it led to an attack on fact, knowledge, history and proof,” Amanpour said. “After four years of a modern-day assault on those same values by Donald Trump, the Biden-Harris team pledges a return to normal.”
“It’s disgusting, though not surprising, that a major media figure would use dead Jews as a way to make a cheap political point,” Richochet editor Bethany Mandel told Fox News.
"It is something progressives have done for a long time, disgracing the memory of those who have passed in the Holocaust in order to make a false accusation against the United States president," Mandel said. "It seems the only time many people care about anti-Semitism is when they can use it to their political advantage."
Kristallnacht – the "Night of Broken Glass" – is when Nazis, among them many ordinary Germans, terrorized Jews throughout Germany and Austria. They killed at least 91 people and vandalized 7,500 Jewish businesses. They also burned more than 1,400 synagogues, according to Israel's Yad Vashem Holocaust memorial.
Up to 30,000 Jewish men were arrested, many taken to concentration camps such as Dachau or Buchenwald. Kristallnacht is often referred to as the beginning of the Holocaust — in all, six million European Jews were killed in the Holocaust. But CNN International used it as a way to present Trump questioning election results to the rest of the world.
Media Research Center vice president Dan Gainor called the segment “disgusting” and said CNN should be “embarrassed” by it.
“This is disgusting and foul even for CNN. And considering the trash put out by that network, that’s really an amazing thing,” Gainor told Fox News.
“No rational person considers Amanpour an objective reporter. She has claimed journalists are the ‘truth tellers.’ But there’s no truth in that reporting,” Gainor continued. “It’s just a demented hit job trying to paint a president who has repeatedly aided Israel and the Jewish community and whose own daughter and grandchildren are Jewish as a Nazi. To use their own slogan: ‘This is CNN.’"
Orthodox Jewish Public Affairs Council tweeted that the comparison is “despicable” because the CNN anchor compares “verbal fact-checking of a POTUS to a Nazi pogrom in which dozens of Jews were murdered” in 1938.
“Amanpour uses the book burning of Kristallnacht to reach this comparison thus ignoring the overall deadliness and human cost of the night,” the OJPAC tweeted.
DePauw University professor and media critic Jeffrey McCall said “comparing the Trump administration – or any other American political sector – to the Nazis is a kind of strident demonization that should have no place” in the public sphere.
“The nation is polarized, no doubt, and political emotions are raw, but that shouldn't give television anchors license to engage in this kind of shrill rhetoric. The establishment media needs to recognize that it, too, has played a role in creating the divisive culture in which American finds itself,” McCall told Fox News.
“Prominent television personalities have a big soapbox from which to operate and they should use their positions carefully,” McCall continued. “While the Trump administration has surely been controversial, media commentators who engage in this sort of angry bombast show an ignorance of history and a willingness to continue to inflame Americans for selfish purposes.”
CNN did not immediately respond to a request for comment.
Many others condemned Amanpour’s comparison:
The Associated Press contributed to this report.