The crisis is over, Christiane Amanpour, CNN’s chief international correspondent, on Monday kind of apologized for saying President Trump’s administration was like Kristallnacht. So those of you who follow CNN and embrace its views can calm down, it appears there are no plans at the moment for the industrialized annihilation of millions of Jews. It’s OK to come out of the shelter, but don’t forget your facemasks and do wash your hands frequently.
Amanpour issued her apology at the end of her show Monday, with a flair, of course, must have the flair:
“And finally tonight, a comment on my program at the end of last week. I observed the 82nd anniversary of Kristallnacht, as I often do – it is the event that began the horrors of the Holocaust,” she explained.
Then she recalled: “I also noted President Trump’s attacks on history, facts, knowledge, and truth,” and admitted, “I should not have juxtaposed the two thoughts.”
No, she really shouldn’t have.
“Hitler and his evils stand alone, of course, in history. I regret any pain my statement may have caused. My point was to say how democracy can potentially slip away, and how we must always zealously guard our democratic values,” she explained.
OK, so not so much an apology as an explanation of what she intended to say and how she was misunderstood. This calls for a reexamination of Amanpour’s original statement that drove the civilized world nuts.
She looked straight at the camera and said: “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 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, including the truth.”
In her “apology,” Amanpour did not say she was wrong to accuse the Trump administration of assaulting “fact, knowledge, history, and truth,” only on the fact that she didn’t say it in a separate paragraph.
And that immediately reminded me of a brilliant observation by Myron Kaplan, senior research analyst at CAMERA, who back in 2014 depicted the very same tendency in CNN’s chief foreign correspond Amanpour to merge reality with whatever crazy horse pucky flies about inside her head (CNN’s Amanpour just doesn’t get it).
Amanpour and another CNN senior anchor, Chris Cuomo, covered the memorial service for Nelson Mandela in Johannesburg. At one point, Amanpour waxed philosophical:
“As one who’s covered so much conflict around the world, you can’t help but really, really internalize this notion that without the kind of forgiveness that Mandela was able to exhibit, that’s not just something nice. It’s not just something between, you know, classroom bullies. It is the quintessential element of conflict resolution. It is a political tool. Forgiveness is a political tool to get over what seems to be an intractable conflict. I honestly can’t help but think right now about Israel and the Palestinians …”
You knew she was going to go there, sooner or later, right? Well, she did, starting by pointing out that then-Israeli President Shimon Peres was present at the memorial but not Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu. Cuomo asked her what that meant, and she was only too happy to oblige:
“Well, the president is the head of state, and he’s come. But nonetheless, Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu is under so much, you know, pressure these days and probably feels to a great extent that his country is isolated in the same way that apartheid South Africa was isolated. But this is how you get over those intractable conflicts, by understanding the story of the other, by having a political process of resolution that is not just about domination or a zero-sum game. Mandela knew there was no Africa for the blacks if it meant Africa without the whites. It was not possible.”
Here’s the thing, though: Shimon Peres was not at the memorial service. Israel was represented by a delegation of five MKs, headed by House Speaker Reuven Rivlin (who was elected president in June that same year).
Cuomo actually tried to correct her, probably after fumbling through the official guest list, but Amanpour charged ahead and not only invented the Shimon Peres presence but also added a whole theory about how Netanyahu is feeling the consequences of his country’s isolation because of its own supposed apartheid policies.
Amanpour makes those combos of historic observations which she pulls out of her turban because she is hopelessly biased against so many Western values, and also, which is so typical of the modern left, she is an ignoramus, a charlatan who survives because her audience is even less knowledgeable than her.
Kaplan commented on the South Africa fiasco: “So, Amanpour is up to her old and obvious tricks smearing Israel and Jews, just as she infamously did during a 2009 CNN special titled ‘Generation Islam’ in which she falsely implied that the villains were not the Islamists who rule Gaza, teaching hatred of Christians and Jews, and attacking Israeli civilians with suicide bombers and thousands of rockets. Instead, for Amanpour, the aggressors were the Jews of Israel, for supposedly oppressing the Palestinian Arabs.”
“Likewise, Amanpour’s three-part 2007 special ‘God’s Religious Warriors’ grossly exaggerated the influence of a tiny group of Jewish extremists on the West Bank, compared American Christian fundamentalists to the Afghanistan Taliban, and praised Egypt’s extremist Muslim Brotherhood,” Kaplan added.
I have no idea why this woman is so popular and why she is held up as an expert on international affairs. I also don’t take offense when she slings mud on things that are sacred to civilized people. I don’t take offense when the monkey in the zoo does it, either.