Updated: Nov 15, 2020
CNN International anchor Christiane Amanpour is making headlines for a segment she did in which she compared President Donald Trump's term to Kristallnacht. Kristallnacht, or the Night of Broken Glass, was a pogrom (violent riot aimed at the massacre or expulsion of an ethnic or religious group, particularly one aimed at Jews) which took place throughout Nazi Germany November 9th - 10th, 1938. The pogrom was executed by SA paramilitary forces and civilians while German authorities just stood by.
"This week, 82 years ago," Amanpour began, "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 truth. After four years of a modern day assault on those same values by Donald Trump, the Biden-Harris team pledges a return to norms."
This dangerous and reckless comparison was followed by criticism from many. One such criticism came from White House Press Secretary Kayleigh McEnany, in which she called the "DESPICABLE!" McEnany called on CNN to "immediately apologize for trivializing the Holocaust" and "the tragic genocide of millions of Jews."
It is amazing to see a media station as large as CNN to make such comparisons to an atrocious event such as Kristallnacht. By doing so, it does seem as though Amanpour and, vicariously, CNN are trivializing what happened to so many Jewish people. Though it does appear that Amanpour is attempting to make a connection between the burning of books during Kristallnacht and, what she considers, an administration that has suppressed "fact, knowledge, history, and truth," it was still a horrible statement to make.
Not to mention that the accusation of an attack on truth and fact came from a network like CNN. CNN has frequently been labeled as being biased by viewers and politicians from both sides of the aisle.
During the 2016 presidential election, CNN anchor Chris Cuomo was covering the WikiLeaks emails, which cast Democratic presidential nominee Hillary Clinton in negative light. Cuomo took it upon himself to tell his viewers that it was illegal for the viewers to download these hacked emails, and that only the media could legally do so. What more blatant an attempt at suppress knowledge and truth than to scare your viewers with threat of arrest if they conduct the research themselves?
In 2017, while President Trump was visiting Japan, he and Japanese Prime Minister Shinzō Abe were seen feeding fish in a koi pond together. CNN later published a story titled "Trump feeds fish, winds up pouring entire box of food into koi pond." CNN included a video of the two feeding the fish. The video then zooms in to focus on Trump's face as he turns the box of fish food upside down and into the pond.
The report said "Then, with a look of enjoyment, Trump quickly poured his entire box of food into the pond." Why CNN chose an edited version of the video is clear- to suppress the truth and cause confusion with its viewers. The unedited video shows that Trump was clearly following Abe's lead, as Abe first poured his box in, and then Trump followed. At the end of the report, CNN did state that Abe "appeared" to pour his box of fish food in first. "Appeared?" He clearly did so!
President Trump has constantly battled with media organizations, coining the term "Fake News," early in his run for president in 2016. Trump would frequently take to Twitter, through his personal account, in order to convey his message. Mainstream media, of course, did not like this Trump was able to reach millions at a time, versus people having to rely on these media giants for information.
One such media company that attempted to twist President Trump's words was PBS, in August 2020. PBS White House Correspondent Yamiche Alcindor manipulated a statement by Trump in which he was discussing protecting the suburbs, for all Americans. Alcindor left out several parts of Trump's statement, in an attempt to paint him as being racist.
Press Secretary McEnany was quick to respond to Alcindor's tweet with her own. McEnany included Trump's statement, highlighting all the words Alcindor left out jof her tweet.
We, the citizens of these United States, deserve better. Why the media is so quick to manipulate, lie, and make reckless comparisons it beyond comprehension. It's as though they do not care to even hide their obvious bias anymore. Not to mention, this is how they want to paint a picture of the U.S. to the rest of the world. There was once a time when everyone was proud to be an American citizen, and where support was given to presidents no matter their political affiliation.
It's okay to disagree and have differing views and opinions than your president, their administration, and other political figures. But when did it become okay to lay and deceive in order to support your candidate or political party.
We deserve better. We can do better.