Fact checking media moron Heather du Plessis-Allan

dopey-tart

Heather du Plessis-Allan-Soper  has an opinion piece in today’s Herald on Sunday that I am surprised made it past the editor for all the unmitigated inaccuracies in her claims.

She has rather absurdly compared 1930s NAZI Germany and 2016 USA in her piece entitled “Heather du Plessis-Allan: Fascism is just a few votes away”.

HdPA’s shoddy comparisons reflect a new low for lazy, ignorant, and misleading opinion pieces making their way into the New Zealand Herald.

Let’s fact check the fool.

Implication that Hitler murdered six million people: This is false, or misleading at best. The total number of people murdered during the Holocaust (in death camps) was eleven million. Hitler murdered (or orchestrated the murder of) six million Jews as well as another five million people (Poles, Gypsies, GLBT, Jehovahs Witnesses, Disabled, plus other people from Hungary, Czechoslovakia, Ukraine, Russia, Holland, France and even Germany). The above number does not include the rest of the WW2 casualties.  

Implication that Trump is a fascist: Another false of misleading statement. The NY Times covered this extensively, perhaps because it didn’t have pictures and was longer than 140 characters she failed to comprehend it.

So is it time for Trump watchers to dust off their copies of “It Can’t Happen Here” and “The Plot Against America”? Should Trump’s rivals imitate the “fascism” whisperers in their party and start attacking Trump as a bouffant-haired Hitler at the next Republican debate?

I would say no, for three reasons. First, Trump may indeed be a little fascistic, but that sinister resemblance is just one part of his reality-television meets WWE-heel-turn campaign style. He isn’t actually building a fascist mass movement (he hasn’t won a primary yet!) or rallying a movement of far-right intellectuals (Ann Coulter notwithstanding). His suggestion that a Black Lives Matter protester at one of his rallies might have deserved to be roughed up was pretty ugly, but still several degrees of ugly away from the actual fascist move, which would require organizing a paramilitary force to take to the streets to brawl with the decadent supporters of our rotten legislative government.

Second, precisely because Trump doesn’t have many of the core commitments that have tended to inoculate conservatives against fascism, it’s still quite likely that the Republican Party is inoculated against him. His lack of any real religious faith, his un-libertarian style and record, his clear disdain for the ideas that motivate many of the most engaged Republicans — these qualities haven’t prevented him from consolidating a quarter of the Republican electorate, but they should make it awfully difficult for him to get to 40 or 50 percent. And a somewhat fascist-looking candidate who tops out where Trump’s poll numbers are currently hovering is not something to panic over — yet.

Finally, freaking out over Trump-the-fascist is a good way for the political class to ignore the legitimate reasons he’s gotten this far — the deep disaffection with the Republican Party’s economic policies among working-class conservatives, the reasonable skepticism about the bipartisan consensus favoring ever more mass low-skilled immigration, the accurate sense that the American elite has misgoverned the country at home and abroad.

So Trump clearly isn’t a fascist.

Unemployment in 2016 USA is as bad as it was in 1930s Germany: False comparison and completely misleading. In 1932 unemployment in Germany was 29%. In May 2016 in USA it was 4.7%. When journalists are this wrong it beggars belief that the editor even allowed it through.

Americans are as angry now as Germans were in 1930s: False comparison and completely misleading. The two situations are entirely different and on incomparable scales. The comparison is ridiculous.

The burden put on Germany as a result of the Treaty of Versailles is the same as the impact on the USA of the USA signing free trade deals: False comparison and completely misleading and scaremongering. It is an absurd comparison. Where do I start?

Impact of Treaty of Versailles on Germany:

Much criticism has been made of the Treaty because it was too harsh on Germany. On the other hand, historians have pointed out that Germany could have been treated a lot more harshly for several reasons:

  • Germany only accepted the Fourteen Points when it was clear they were losing the war.
  • In the harsh Treaty of Brest-Litovsk, the Germans took away 34% of Russia’s population and 50% of its industry and made them pay 300 million gold roubles in reparations.
  • Clemenceau wanted the Treaty to be much harsher, with Germany broken up into smaller states, but Wilson stopped this happening.
  • The reparations payments cost Germany only 2% of its annual production.
  • Germany’s main economic problem was not reparations but war debt, which it had planned to pay by winning the war and making other countries pay reparations.
  • In 1924, Germany received huge loans from the USA to help its economy recover.
  • The years 1924-29 were fairly prosperous for Germany. For example, Germany produced twice as much steel as Britain in 1925.

Some historians believe that the peacemakers did the best job they could, given the difficult circumstances they were in. Other historians believe the Treaty was a disastrous half measure. It damaged Germany enough to cause resentment. However, it left Germany strong enough to seek revenge.

Benefits of USA Free Trade Deals by Country demonstrate the incredible benefits of free trade deals. The White House website also lists all the benefits of the TPPA for the USA, none of which involve penalties like those levied against Germany with the treat of Versailles. Again the comparison of a punitive treaty made in the wake of a destructive war can’t be compared with a voluntary agreement of 11 nations agreeing to work together co-operatively on trade to the benefit of all.

In the 1930s, they didn’t like Jews. Today, they don’t like Muslims: A false, invalid, and irrelevant comparison. Hitler had a policy of genocide against the Jews. That does not exist in the case of Muslims today. Terrorists are murdering people all over the world in the name of Islam. Jews (or subsets of Jews) were not waging a violent global jihad against themselves or non-believers.  Islamist terror threatens the entire world.  Jews are still a target of radical Islamists and so it is more appropriate to compare Islamists with Nazis.

And what Trump actually said was to halt immigration of Muslims until they could find a way to deal with the problem – and that may well be getting Muslims themselves to root out the evil that exists within their ranks.

We can’t make [immigrants] sign [a] pledge unless we [existing NZers] all sign that pledge, too: Another false and absurd statement. NZ has a right to demand that new immigrants sign up to a pledge to uphold NZ values. I call it the FIFO principle (Fit In or Fuck Off).

Her entire article is ridiculous, absurd and not at all based on any semblance of fact. If this is the state of NZ media then I’m afraid we are in dire straits.

How this ninny got her ridiculous piece printed in the first place is beyond me. This has to be the dopiest thing she has ever written.


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As much at home writing editorials as being the subject of them, Cam has won awards, including the Canon Media Award for his work on the Len Brown/Bevan Chuang story. When he’s not creating the news, he tends to be in it, with protagonists using the courts, media and social media to deliver financial as well as death threats.

They say that news is something that someone, somewhere, wants kept quiet. Cam Slater doesn’t do quiet and, as a result, he is a polarising, controversial but highly effective journalist who takes no prisoners.

He is fearless in his pursuit of a story.

Love him or loathe him, you can’t ignore him.

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