December 24, 2007
LIBERAL FASCISM: Will Smith says nice things about Hitler.
Nobody tell Jonah Goldberg! (Via NewsAlert).
UPDATE: Reader Chris Greve emails:
Did you notice the last paragraph in the AP story you linked to?
"Hitler's totalitarian leadership as Fuhrer during 1934 until his eventual suicide in 1945 resulted in the persecution of an estimated six million Jews in the Holocaust, and his invasion of Poland in 1939 led to the start of the Second World War."
Thats right, no one was exterminated - they were simply persecuted.
I don't think it's an AP story, unless "World Entertainment News" is part of AP. But the point stands.
ANOTHER UPDATE: Reader Charles Martin emails:
I don't think you're being fair to Will Smith, frankly, Glenn. He's saying that Hitler didn't wake up and, like Simon LeGree, wring his hands and say "I want to do Evil today. Eeeevilll." He's saying that even though it was twisted, it made some kind of twisted sense *to* *him*. Do you doubt that? it's seems pretty obvious to me.
Now, whether he could have been "reprogrammed" after 1930, I dunno. Sometimes mad dogs have to be put down. But I don't think Hitler could have done the things he did if he were merely doing evil as an avocation.
Well, yeah, maybe. But actually that's part of the point of Goldberg's book, Liberal Fascism. Hitler was a nurturer . . . . Meanwhile, reader Dede Bright writes:
"Stuff like that just needs reprogramming."
Isn't Will Smith a member of Scientology? That sounds like a very Scientology thing to say, doesn't it? Quite frightening.
I don't know. I don't keep track of Scientologists.
ANOTHER UPDATE: Eugene Volokh looks behind the story. Plus, some related thoughts from Bill Quick.
MORE: Will Smith says he was misinterpreted.
STILL MORE: Dave Price comments: "He has said some truly cringe-inducing things before; I remember seeing him on Letterman, maybe ten years ago, saying he believed AIDS came from a government laboratory (he cringed himself when he said it, so maybe he understood that statement was a little out there). He was pretty young at the time, so maybe chalk that up to youth and the life of an entertainer. Let's be clear on what this is not: this is not anti-Semitism or sympathy for anything Adolf Hitler did. Smith is a nice, well-meaning, fairly bright guy; this isn't an drunken rant about Jews or telling a new mother she shouldn't take antidepressants, but rather just a somewhat naive philosophical statement to the effect of 'everyone thinks they're doing good even when they're not,' the theme of I Am Legend, the screen adaptation of which he is starring in." I don't actually believe that everyone thinks they're doing good, but okay. More at the link.