Until a few days ago, I respected Lara Logan as a thoughtful broadcast journalist. Her reports for the American news magazine show, 60 Minutes, were informed and incisive. Logan came across as a fine investigative reporter.
As she told The Washington Post recently, “I believe that the truth matters.”
This is a cardinal and indispensable principle in journalism. Without it, the craft would be irrelevant and would wither away.
The other day, Logan abandoned this hallowed credo by drawing a grotesque comparison. In her infinite wisdom, she compared widely respected U.S. infectious disease expert Dr. Anthony Fauci to Dr. Joseph Mengele, the German doctor and Nazi Party member who conducted gruesome and sadistic medical experiments on Jewish and Roma inmates in the Auschwitz-Birkenau concentration camp in Poland.
Appearing as a guest commentator on a Fox News program hosted by Pete Hegseth, a critic of coronavirus vaccine mandates and masking requirements, Logan said that people had told her that Fauci “doesn’t represent science. He represents Joseph Mengele … the Nazi doctor who (conducted) experiments on Jews … I am talking about people all across the world (who) are saying this.”
Logan went on to say that the pandemic has adversely affected civil liberties, suicide rates and poverty and has “obliterated economies.”
I concur with her assessment that Covid-19 has been devastating. But her ignorant and lame attempt to liken Fauci to Mengele is preposterous and beyond the pale.
Mengele, known as the Angel of Death, played a central role in the Holocaust. He was a cold blooded killer. Period.
When Jewish and Roma prisoners arrived at Auschwitz-Birkenau, he and his assistants would determine who would be sent immediately to the gas chambers and who could be first exploited before being murdered.
Mengele performed inhumane and deadly experiments on prisoners whom he temporarily spared as guinea pigs. Many of his hapless victims were twins. Mengele was particularly interested in these children because he was looking for “an efficient way to increase the German birthrate and hasten the propagation of an Aryan future,” writes David G. Marwell in his recently published book, Mengele. Auschwitz-Birkenau “provided access to unprecedented resources for all the research areas of interest to Mengele,” he says.
According to James Taylor and Warren Shaw, the authors of Dictionary of The Third Reich, the prisoners Mengele selected for his experiments “died painful and totally pointless deaths.”
In light of Mengele’s war crimes, one must ask what possessed Logan to compare this amoral physician to Fauci, an upstanding and caring scientist who is working tirelessly to contain the spread of Covid-19, which already has claimed the lives of more than 700,000 Americans in less than two years.
It is inconceivable that Logan was unaware of Mengele’s miserable record. As a well-briefed journalist, she surely must have heard of him or known about his diabolical experiments.
So why did she go off on a tangent and draw an odious comparison between Fauci and Mengele? Perhaps she believes that, as a commentator in her new role since 2019, she has a licence to spout nonsense. Only Logan can answer this question.
In the meantime, she would do herself a favor by retracting her outlandish comments, issuing a sincere apology, and upgrading her knowledge of the Holocaust.