The thing about gotcha questions is that sometimes the questioner is the one who gets got. This happened in spectacular fashion last night while Chris Cuomo interrogated Steve Cortes about Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez’s blatant comparison between the situation at the southern border and Nazi Germany.
At the top of the video, Cuomo engages in the gaslighting that much of the progressive press did yesterday, contorting themselves to suggest that the terms “concentration camps,” and “Never Again,” have nothing to do with Nazis. Steve Cortes made the blatantly obvious point that AOC was talking about the Holocaust, which, let’s be honest, everybody knows.
To this, Cuomo quipped, “You did not have similar problems with the term, America first, which is equally stained.” Presumably, this was a reference to Hitler’s propensity towards praising the United States, democracy, and liberty, which never happened. Cuomo goes on to say that the term nationalism is similarly stained, and Nazi sympathizer Steve Cortes refuses to denounce it.
So, here’s the thing on this—the thing that Cuomo didn’t realize was crumbing his play. By suggesting that the terms “nationalism,” and “America first” are irredeemably connected to Nazism, he absolutely conceded to Cortes’ point regarding the term “concentration camp.” There is no universe in which the first two terms are more associated with Nazis than the latter.
It’s not terribly surprising that Cuomo would engage in this kind of gaslighting, but it is surprising that he thinks anyone will actually believe this abject nonsense. Cuomo casts himself as a straight shooter who calls out both sides. And in fairness, from time to time he is, but last night he was most definitely not. Had Donald Trump or any other Republican compared Nancy Pelosi to Nazis in an absolutely obvious way, and a conservative guest suggested he didn’t, there would have been a 10-minute tirade about apples and bananas and how CNN won’t stand for that.
Cuomo’s likely excuse would be that he was merely asking Cortes to respond to AOC’s absurd excuse. And yes, he can stand behind that flimsy barricade if he wants to. But everyone with a brain knows that if the situation was reversed and a conservative made these comments Cuomo would have Howard Bealed until the cows came home about “the truth.”
One of the truly amazing things about progressive outrage over Trump is how often it exposes their own illiberal and nonsensical notions. Having spent 3 years parsing every syllable of the president’s syllabus, they find themselves confronted with an equally adept Twitter lunatic from Queens who says ridiculous things and they suddenly discover the concept of nuance.
The important thing here is not Cuomo’s beclowning self-own, though that is amusing, it’s that progressives have no rules. Sorry, let me amend that, they have one rule: Whatever conservatives say is wrong, in bad faith, and evil. Should somebody suggest that there aren’t 70 genders, or that there is no practical way to distribute reparations for slavery, then they are a bigot. But when AOC calls thousands of American border officials Nazis, it’s all a rich tapestry. We see you, Chris Cuomo, and we see through the act.