Michigan Football Coach Suspended Because He Wanted To Have Dinner, Drinks With Actual Hitler
It was apparently too difficult for Morris Berger to go a full week at his new job without sharing his personal fantasies about Adolf Hitler. Berger was hired on January 20 as Grand Valley State University's football offense coordinator. He leaned epically into the "offense" part of his new role when he was interviewed three days later by the Grand Valley Lanthorn, the Michigan university's student newspaper. The student editor asked him the softball question of which historical figure he'd like to have dinner with, and Berger answered Hitler, as in Adolf, because it's possible he doesn't really want this job.
BERGER: This is probably not going to get a good review, but I'm going to say Adolf Hitler.
No, this definitely won't get a good review. What the hell is wrong with this guy?
BERGER: It was obviously very sad and he had bad motives, but the way he was able to lead was second-to-none.
The Oscars snubbing Eddie Murphy for Dolemite Is My Name is "obviously very sad." We're talking about the goddamn Holocaust here. How does someone open their mouth to diminish World War II and the willful slaughter of millions as merely the product of "bad motives"?
Berger also supposedly has a degree in history yet he's bought into the myth that Hitler was some military and strategic genius. He was not. Obviously, Hitler's leadership wasn't second-to-none, because he very obviously had his ass handed to him. He ended his miserable life cowering in a bunker like the coward he was before sending himself on a one-way trip to hell.
BERGER: How he rallied a group and a following, I want to know how he did that.
Anti-semitic scapegoating is how he "did that." There were no 11 herbs and spices to his evil. Look, you don't need to cook a veggie lasagna for Hitler if you want to wantonly oppress people, violate treaties, and break international law before leaving your country a smoldering ash heap. If you want to learn how to legitimately rule the free world, have some schnitzel and a Bitburger with Angela Merkel.
BERGER: Bad intentions of course, but you can't deny he wasn't a great leader.
We do in fact deny this. We will always deny it. Hitler was objectively a crappy leader by every reasonable measure. This is why his final resting place is a parking lot.
Berger also included John F. Kennedy and Christopher Columbus at his historical figure dinner party. Poor JFK got stuck at a genocidal sausage fest. Couldn't Berger at least invite Lucrezia Borgia and the Countess Elizabeth Bathory to round things out? Berger's obviously never thrown a successful dinner party.
"Think about putting yourself in the setting of that unknown, and then to take it all in as you arrive is crazy," [Berger] said of Columbus.
Columbus's sorry ass never arrived anywhere that was "unknown." There were already people there who "knew" it, and Columbus killed a lot of them. Did Berger get his history degree from a bubble gum machine?
Jason Crouthamel, an actual history professor at the university, called Berger's comments "atrocious." The university has suspended Berger. It's currently "conducting a thorough investigation" into how it wound up hiring someone who crushes on Hitler.
From the university's statement to CNN:
The comments made by Offensive Coordinator Morris Berger, as reported in The Lanthorn student newspaper, do not reflect the values of Grand Valley State University.
Yeah, you'd think so. There's an episode of "Supergirl" where the villain Lex Luthor says, "I don't see why men shouldn't be as cruel as nature." That's an actual quote from Hitler, and Lex's mother advises him not to bring up the dictator in public. "It's bad for the brand." Berger will have to learn that lesson the hard way.
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Stephen Robinson is a writer and social kibbitzer based in Portland, Oregon. He writes reviews for the A.V. Club and make believe for Cafe Nordo, an immersive theatre space in Seattle. He's also on the board of the Portland Playhouse theatre. His son describes him as a “play typer guy."