Fox News guest is sorry-not-sorry for comments supporting Japanese American internment and Hiroshima

September 29, 2014

Wait a minute, Mr. Hoenig. Are you a terrorist?

Last week, I posted about a mind-numbingly horrible segment aired by Fox News’ Cashin’ In regarding anti-Muslim profiling. In it, hedge fund manager Jonathan Hoenig made the following commentary:

We should have been profiling on September 12, 2001. Let’s take a trip down memory lane here: The last war this country won, we put Japanese-Americans in internment camps, we dropped nuclear bombs on residential city centers. So, yes, profiling would be at least a good start. It’s not on skin color, however, it’s on ideology: Muslim, Islamists, jihadist. That’s a good start but it’s only a start. We need to stop giving Korans to Gitmo prisoners, we need to stop having Ramadan and Iftar celebrain the White House. We need to stop saying the enemy is not Islamic. They are.

This was commentary that could only be interpreted as full-throated support for Japanese American internment and the murder of thousands of Japanese civilians when executed in the pursuit of American military victory; Hoenig rationalizes therefore that anti-Muslim profiling is similarly justified (video of full original segment after the jump). Hoenig’s logic is so unspeakably flawed and immoral as to demand an accounting.

Over the course of the last week, several AAPIs have spoken out against Hoenig’s statements. The Japanese American Citizens’ League (JACL) issued a statement that read in part:

The JACL rejects the absurd extreme of profiling that would lead to mass incarceration as suggested by Hoenig’s statement.  The policy adopted by the Bush Administration to avoid the use of profiling as anathema to our civil liberties values continues today.  It is a policy that must be maintained despite temptations to give in to the fear and hysteria that some would create about Muslims in America.

Representative Mike Honda posted on Facebook saying that he was “outraged”, calling Hoenig’s statements “idiotic” and “insensitive.

The National Coalition of Asian Pacific Americans (NCAPA), a coalition of over twenty of the nation’s most prominent AAPI groups, demanded the following:

We call upon the Fox News Network to (1) provide an apology to the Japanese American, South Asian and Muslim communities for the racist and inaccurate commentary that was shared on Mr. Bolling’s show; and (2) provide a forum on the Fox News Network for a
deeper discussion about profiling that includes experts from Muslim, Japanese, and South Asian American communities that will provide your viewers with a more balanced understanding of this important issue.

In a recent Cashin’ In episode, Jonathan Hoenig reappeared on the show to issue this apology:

Full text:

I want to issue a sincere apology for my remarks on last week’s Cashin’ In, which I believe were unfortunately misinterpreted. The internment of Japanese Americans during World War II was completely amoral; I have never defended it. In the context of our discussion  on profiling, my point was to illustrate that profiling potential threats based on ideology could be a needed safeguard, and in the context of wartime, I believe being able to identify an enemy’s ideology, and be on the alert for it, is the first step to actually achieving peace.

If this was Hoenig’s point all along, then first, it got completely mangled. Second, Hoenig’s argument simply does not follow. If Hoenig asserts that profiling can be a “needed safeguard”, then he is arguing in defense of the kind of profiling that might see some people interned based on race (as we saw historically) or ideology (as we might see with Muslim Americans today). Hoenig cannot on the one hand say he finds Japanese American internment amoral and indefensible, and then on the other hand argue that the rules need not apply “in the context of wartime”.

Futhermore, Hoenig does not apologize for his statement on Hiroshima and Nagasaki (which I believe are equally as heinous), nor does he apologize to the South Asian and/or Muslim American communities for advocating contemporary profiling against them.

So yet again, this is the kind of sorry-not-sorry bullshit apology we get from mainstream pundits who racially misstep. Is anyone else tired of this endless cycle of dumb?

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  • Rebelwerewolf

    Is that dude not Zoolander?

  • Fred

    I wonder if Jenn thinks Nanking was “heinous”?

  • I wonder if Jenn thinks Nanking was “heinous”?

    Why wouldn’t I?

  • Fred

    Do you believe Nanking really happened Jenn, that’s a yes or no answer

  • Yes. What is your point?

  • Fred

    What’s ur point on Hiroshima?

    There can be no discussion on Hiroshima without a discussion on Nanking, Bataan and the Korean sex slaves

  • Fred,

    Please stop attempting to hijack with your attempts at being coy. Either make a point or stop spamming the thread. Nanking is unrelated to this conversation unless you want to actually draw some sort of relationship between the two points in the context of this discussion. Absent that, I suggest you move your commentary elsewhere.

  • Fred

    Actually Jenn:

    This is completely related

    You like to cast America as evil and the Japanese as poor innocent victims

    I am willing to bet there are survivors of Nanking and many Korean sex slaves who don’t see it that way

    Btw have you ever written in support of reparations for Korean sex slaves of the Japanese military?

  • Rebelwerewolf

    Japanese Americans are not the same as the Japanese government and military. Racial profiling is wrong regardless of who we’re at war with.

  • This is completely related


    You like to cast America as evil and the Japanese as poor innocent victims


    I am willing to bet there are survivors of Nanking and many Korean sex slaves who don’t see it that way

    Are you really suggesting that the atomic bombings of Japanese civilians was justified because the Japanese military also committed atrocities during war? Because that is just sick, dude.

    Btw have you ever written in support of reparations for Korean sex slaves of the Japanese military?

  • Fred

    I guess I stand corrected; you wrote an excellent piece on the Korean sex slaves

    I guess I just feel that Nanking was done out of pure racism and for no other purpose and for Hiroshima and Nagasaki, were done as a last resort. You are right, they were terrible and I feel horrible for the victims.

    It’s worth noting that in the 1950s American hospitals began treating Japanese survivors of the Automic bombs, whereas the Japanese gov has paid 0 reparations out to the Korean sex slaves

  • Kevin

    I watched the clip in question and I’m not so sure Hoenig was endorsing internment. He was just using it as an example of the kind of extremes to which the US government went during WW2. In other words, since we went so far as to toss people into camps and nuke other countries during wartime, profiling is pretty tame in comparison (in his worldview).

    He’s still crazy, and it’s Fox.

  • Kevin,

    Isn’t that logic predicated upon the assumption that internment and Hiroshima were justifiable acts in wartime?

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