Jewish World Review May 21, 2003 /19 Iyar, 5763

Springtime for Hitler?

By Michael Graham

http://www.jewishworldreview.com | "If Nazism had risen, fallen and gone away, I would not have the issue with it that I do. My issue is that Nazism is real in our society." — Dale Remy, whose CBS affiliate in Texas refused to run their Hitler biopic

Like most fathers, I have plenty to worry about each night as I drift off to sleep: Did the check clear? Is the back door locked? Will my 3-year-old awaken me yet again by leaping into bed and landing directly in my groinular area?

But I'm not complaining. There are worse things out there waiting to happen, worse calamities, greater evil. There could be … Nazis.

Yes, Nazis. According to Dale Remy of CBS affiliate KZTV in Corpus Christi, they've got trouble in Texas, trouble with a capital "T", and that stands for the Third Reich.

"The Nazi concept, if you will, is still very real, and I think anything we do to give that particular thinking a venue, a format, is a mistake," Remy told reporters as he pulled the plug on his station's broadcast of "Hitler: A Rise of Evil." Remy went on to say that some of his viewers were "already on the fence" about this whole Hitler thing, and he feared pushing them over the edge.

On the fence? About Hitler? Are Corpus Christians sitting around their dinner tables arguing, "Well, maybe if he hadn't tried to kill ALL the Jews…?"

So instead of "The Rise of Evil," Remy broadcast instead "Naked Gun 2 ˝: The Smell of Fear." Say "Goodbye, Adolf" and "Hello, O.J.!"

Of all the bad ideas and lingering evils endangering our nation, Nazism is not one of them. Hitler is the ultimate persona non grata, and CBS couldn't rescue his reputation with an entire season of "Everybody Loves Eva," much less a four-hour miniseries apparently lifted from the cutting-room floor of the History Channel Lite.

No political movement or personality has been as thoroughly demolished as Hitler and Nazism. You'll see the return of 8-track tapes, medical leeches and collegiate chastity before you'll see swastikas on the street corners of America.

Maybe it's different in Texas—the home of the Branch Davidians, the Deserting Dems and the Dixie Chicks. This is, after all, a place where politicians can cower in an out-of-state Howard Johnson to avoid losing a legitimate vote, and then return home heroes of democracy so perhaps Texans are more susceptible to political stupidity.

But not this kind of stupidity. The bigoted, irrational, anti-Semitic world view of the Nazis has been so thoroughly and utterly destroyed that, for most Americans, Hitler is more an object of mockery then of fear. Hitler is no present danger; he's a pratfalling punchline from Mel Brooks' "The Producers." ("Springtime for Hitler and Germany, The goosestep is the new step in town!")

But if CBS affiliates would like to do something to prevent the glorification of an anti-Semitic murderer who actually has supporters in the U.S. today, they could start by examining their coverage of Yasser Arafat. Wouldn't it be great if every TV appearance by this lifelong terrorist could generate just a fraction of the controversy the Hitler bio has? But instead, Arafat is openly praised and defended today, on the same TV stations that don't want viewers to see Hitler necking with Eva Braun.

And while I appreciate KZTV's discomfort at even broadcasting a program about Nazi fascism, why can't we get a little outrage going over the Islamo-fascism being taught at Saudi-funded schools and centers across America right now?

Right now, there are college professors who still proudly place themselves in the same political party as Stalin, Mao and Pol Pot—three men responsible for the murder of at least 30 million people. They regularly travel to Havana to meet with Castro—in between summary executions and show trials, of course.

Now, these tweed-jacket campus "Communists" are hardly a threat to America, capitalism or anything else, other than the occasional grade-challenged coed. But the fact that they can side publicly with such a force of historic evil without consequence—at the same time a TV movie about Nazi evil is verboten—is fascinating.

The idea of a faculty member anywhere in America saying today, "I'm a fascist, I just don't think Hitler did it right" is unimaginable. The reaction would be instant outrage. So why isn't there similar fury over public supporters of Hamas, or Hizbollah, or Castro or communism or any of the other obvious, indefensible forces of evil currently afoot in the world?

Like I said, I have plenty to worry about, including agents of violence, bigotry and death. The fact that they don't have funny little mustaches or German accents doesn't help me sleep any better at night.

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JWR contributor Michael Graham is a talk show host and author of the highly
acclaimed "Redneck Nation: How the South Really Won the War."
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© 2003, Michael Graham