Another day, another foot in mouth from former Screws and Daily Mirror editor Piers Morgan, and for the same reason as all the other foot in mouth episodes: Morgan is, as usual, on a hair trigger when there is adverse comment passed on his idol, Combover Crybaby Donald Trump. Nothing can be allowed to pass without The Great Man playing it down, and in true tabloid tradition blaming liberals and Slebs for it all.
The latest howler from the former CNN host, presently co-hosting ITV’s Good Morning Britain three mornings a week, was to go in with both feet on all those who called out The Donald and his team for what historian Deborah Lipstadt - who fought the battle to end all Holocaust denial battles some years ago with Nazi-apologist historian David Irving - termed “softcore Holocaust denial” in a statement on Holocaust Remembrance Day.
This was the passage that caused concern: “It is with a heavy heart and somber mind that we remember and honor the victims, survivors, heroes of the Holocaust … It is impossible to fully fathom the depravity and horror inflicted on innocent people by Nazi terror”. Spot the missing word: no mention of Jews. I will explain.
As Ms Lipstadt has pointed out, millions of people other than Jews were killed by the Nazis. Roma, homosexuals, those from Eastern Europe, many disabled people, all were targeted, but they were not deliberately and systematically wiped out as Jews were. The stance of the Third Reich towards Jews, especially after Reinhard Heydrich convened the Wannsee Conference, was one of deliberate genocide.
So to say, as the US Holocaust Museum in Washington, DC put it, “Millions of other innocent civilians were persecuted and murdered by the Nazis, but the elimination of Jews was central to Nazi policy” accurately reflects the Holocaust. As Elie Wiesel put it, “Not all victims were Jews, but all Jews were victims”. There was also the thought entering that the hand of white supremacist Steve Bannon may have been at work here.
That is why missing out the word “Jews” from a statement on Holocaust Remembrance Day is plain flat wrong. That is why Ms Lipstadt terms it “softcore Holocaust denial”. Not that you would know there was anything wrong from Morgan’s outraged defence of Trump, where he blamed “liberal celebrities” (a group from which he has recently absented himself) and spewed a fog of whataboutery about the whole issue.
“Trump's the most pro-Israel president America's ever had. This debate is perfect illustration of hysteria clouding reality” he protested, unaware of the tin ear this showed to the world. David Baddiel had to put him straight: “I don't give a fuck about fucking Israel. I give a fuck about Holocaust denial”. He does not want to Look Over There.
What Trump and his team did was wrong. For his press secretary to then defend it and attack the media for having the audacity to point out the obvious was also wrong. And for Piers Morgan to fail once more to engage brain before mouth was equally wrong.
What the people at ITV are thinking right now can only be imagined. Say sorry, Piers.