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Posts Tagged 'Brooke Gardiner'

Reflections on Kim Dotcom, book-burning and the Nazis

Nazi book burning

Perhaps the most surprising thing about the ongoing Kim Dotcom/Mein Kampf debate is the rank failure of commentators to recognise the sheer irony of their positions.

I’m going to brand as ‘book-burners’ those who have made the leap from Dotcom’s ownership of a signed copy of Hitler’s Mein Kampf to his being a Nazi sympathiser. I don’t of course mean that they are actual book-burners, but that they exhibit the mentality of book-burners. They are people who believe that a man’s character may be judged not merely by the contents of his library but, in this particular case, by his ownership of a single book. Their logic, as I argued in my previous post, is that if the contents of a book are evil then the ownership of such a book is itself evidence of evil:

‘Kim Dotcom owns and has read a copy of Hitler’s Mein Kampf. Hitler was the founder of National Socialism and one of history’s most evil men. Ergo: Kim Dotcom must be an evil Nazi.’

The Dotcom/Mein Kampf story was first given national prominence by TV3 journalists Brook Sabin and Patrick Gower who confidently predicted the end of Dotcom’s political aspirations and, one might assume, of his hopes of remaining in this country, as a result of his owning a priceless historical document, signed by Hitler himself and dedicated to his cellmate Hermann Esser.

So the first irony lies in journalists, traditional advocates of free speech, if not actually promoting book-burning, at least fanning the embers.

But then, in the current climate of New Zealand commercial television, sensation mongering is precisely the journalist’s job. Read the rest of this entry »

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