Update: Anti-Defamation League Tags Air America's Randi Rhodes For Holocaust Remarks

Readers of a September 22, 2005, Newsbusters story, posted by this writer, may be pleased to see that the Anti-Defamation League (ADL) has written a letter to Air America radio host Randi Rhodes. The letter, posted publically at the ADL web site, was in response to inflammatory remarks by Rhodes on her September 21, 2005, show, in which she made an "on-air comparison between the evacuation of victims of hurricane Katrina and the deportation of Jews to Auschwitz during World War II." The ADL says that her "analogy comparing rescue operations -- as mismanaged as they may have been -- to Auschwitz deportations is a perversion of morality and history." Founded in 1913, the ADL is an organization committed to "combating anti-Semitism and bigotry of all kinds."

The ADL's letter closes with the following:

"By comparing the Katrina relief effort to the Holocaust, you demean decent Americans and the memory of six million Jews and others who died at the hands of the Nazis.

"We look forward to your response."

The letter is dated September 26, 2005. There's no word if Rhodes has issued any apology or response. A search by this writer at Rhodes' home page did not find any posts or threads relating to this incident or an apology. By the way, today is October 11.

In case you missed it, here is the exchange between Rhodes and a caller from her September 21, 2005, show. A female listener in New York had called Rhodes to criticize the manner of the removal of victims in the aftermath of hurricane Katrina.

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.

RHODES: Yeah. What is that?

CALLER: That is like when you transfer prisoners to one --

RHODES (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.


RHODES: 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 --

RHODES: 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 --

RHODES: 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 ...

By the way ... How did the mass media cover this incident? A search at Google News ("Randi Rhodes" +Holocaust) returns a total of 8 results: Two Newsbusters posts and 6 duplicates of an October 5, 2005, article written by Newsbusters.org publisher L. Brent Bozell. In other words, news of the incident barely disseminated outside Newsbusters and the MRC.

Again, one can only wonder what kind of media uproar would have ensued if the offender had been O'Reilly, Rush, Hannity, or ... Bennett.

Hat tip to Brian Maloney at The Radio Equalizer.

Dave Pierre
Dave Pierre is a contributing writer to NewsBusters and the creator of TheMediaReport.com.