White House Slams Fox News' Greg Gutfeld Over ‘Horrid, Dangerous' Holocaust Comment

The Fox personality’s comments were condemned as an insult to “the memory of the millions of people who suffered from the evils of the Holocaust.”

A White House spokesperson on Tuesday joined the chorus of criticism that has been leveled at Fox News personality Greg Gutfeld, slamming a comment Gutfeld made on the air about the Holocaust as a “horrid, dangerous, extreme lie.”

On Monday’s episode of “The Five,” Gutfeld’s co-host Jessica Tarlov expressed her discomfort with Florida’s new Black history curriculum, which requires students to be taught that slaves learned skills for “personal benefit.”

“Obviously I’m not Black, but I’m Jewish,” said Tarlov. “Would someone say about the Holocaust, for instance, that there were some benefits for Jews? That while they were hanging out in concentration camps they learned a strong work ethic? That maybe you learned a new skill?”

Gutfeld asked Tarlov if she had read Austrian psychiatrist Viktor Frankl’s bestselling book “Man’s Search For Meaning,” in which the Holocaust concentration camp survivor explains how people can find meaning amid appalling circumstances.

“Vik Frankl talks about how you had to survive in a concentration camp by having skills. You had to be useful. Utility, utility kept you alive,” Gutfeld argued.

Watch the video here:

Critics accused Gutfeld of twisting the message of Frankl’s book and of downplaying the horrors of the Holocaust.

“What Fox News allowed to be said on their air yesterday — and has so far failed to condemn — is an obscenity,” White House spokesperson Andrew Bates said in a statement to CNN.

“In defending a horrid, dangerous, extreme lie that insults the memory of the millions of Americans who suffered from the evil of enslavement, a Fox News host told another horrid, dangerous and extreme lie that insults the memory of the millions of people who suffered from the evils of the Holocaust,” Bates continued.

“Let’s get something straight that the American people understand full well and that is not complicated: there was nothing good about slavery; there was nothing good about the Holocaust. Full stop,” he added. “Americans deserve to be brought together, not torn apart with poison. And they deserve the truth and the freedom to learn, not book bans and lies.”

In a lengthy post on Twitter, the Auschwitz Museum acknowledged that “some Jews may have used their skills or usefulness to increase their chances of survival during the Holocaust,” but added that “it is essential to contextualize this statement properly and understand that it does not represent the complex history of the genocide perpetrated by Nazi Germany.”

“Nazi Germany’s ultimate goal was to exterminate all the people it considered Jews,” the museum wrote, noting that many Jews were “wiped out regardless of their usefulness or contributions to society” and that “being ‘useful’ did not guarantee safety.”

Read the full statement here:

A spokesperson for The Anti-Defamation League said in a statement shared with The Daily Beast that it wasn’t clear if Gutfeld was “arguing that Jews learned skills in the Holocaust, or that Jews who had skills had a better chance of staying alive.”

“The latter is something that is well-documented, while the former is nonsense,” the ADL said. “That said, many millions of Jews, who, in Gutfeld’s words, had ‘utility,’ were still murdered.”

Frankl’s argument was “more about how those who had something to live for — a relative they wanted to be with, a book they wanted to write, research they were in the middle of, etc. — had a better mental chance of surviving because it motivated them not to give up,” the ADL added.

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