On the Wednesday, September 21, 2005, episode of The Randi Rhodes Show on Air America, host Randi took a call from a female listener in New York, who proceeded to criticize the manner of the removal of victims in the aftermath of hurricane Katrina. Randi's response? She compared the event to the Holocaust! (An audio of the entire show can be found here (mp3 file). The remarks are about 40% of the way in.)
It's outrageous. Read for yourself (emphasis mine; audiotape on file):
CALLER (continuing): The thing that really killed me was the fact that when they bussed some of them out of the Dome. They loaded them on the bus, and they wouldn't tell them where they were going.
RANDI: Yeah. What is that?
CALLER: That is like when you transfer prisoners to one --
RANDI (interrupting): Actually, you know what it reminds me of? It reminds me of a little visit I made to the Holocaust Museum, and I saw these cattle cars.
RANDI: And they took people to go on them, but they didn't tell them where they were going.
CALLER: Yes! They do that to prisoners. If they're taking prisoners from one high-security prison to another, they do not --
RANDI: So, what are you supposed to do? Just do a "faith-based evacuation"? (Changing voice, as if an evacuee) "I'm sure he wouldn't send me to Auschwitz."
CALLER: Yeaaw! But why were these people patted down? There was an assumption of criminality made because they were poor and they were black --
RANDI: Check this out. Let's just -- Think about it this way. People were taken one place. Their children were taken another place. THIS IS SO MUCH LIKE THE HOLOCAUST. I can't even -- You know, it's like, you're not supposed to forget the Holocaust so that it can't happen again. And here you have people being loaded onto transportation vehicles, not being told where they're going, and their children are being taken someplace else ...
Wha--?!? Comparing the evacuation of hurricane Katrina victims to the Holocaust?!
Let's apply the "O'Reilly/Hannity standard" to this episode. Would a Bill O'Reilly or Sean Hannity ever get away with saying something as absurd and as offensive as this? Never. There would be a national outcry in the mass media. And rightfully so!
All Americans should denounce Rhodes' remarks.
Will this episode get the condemnation it deserves? What will the mass media do? The New York Times and other major outlets sure have given Air America a lot of wonderful publicity. How will they react to Rhodes' idiocy, if at all?
Big hat tip to Michael.SF. at FreeRepublic.com.