Fox News anchor Bill Hemmer got his historical facts very, very wrong when he claimed that Karl Marx wrote Mein Kampf.
Hemmer made the remark during a segment on America's Newsroom after he and co-anchor Dana Perino discussed critical race theory, a body of legal and academic scholarship that aims to examine how racism and disparate racial outcomes have shaped public policy via often implicit social and institutional dynamics.
"I remember 20 years old going to Trier, Germany, and trying to find the home of Karl Marx, cause, you know, 1848 ― he wrote Mein Kampf. I want to know what it was all about."
Hemmer is wrong. The German philosopher Karl Marx teamed up with fellow philosopher Frederich Engels to write The Communist Manifesto, which was published in 1848. The book provides an analytical approach to the notion of class struggle and remains one of the most influential and divisive political documents of all time. Marx later expanded on his ideas in Das Kapital, whose first volume was published in 1867.
Mein Kampf, or My Struggle, published in 1925, is an autobiographical and antisemetic manifesto written by Nazi Party leader Adolf Hitler. The book served as a blueprint for Hitler's political ideology and future plans for Germany, which culminated in the Holocaust, the genocide of European Jews during World War II.
Hemmer did correct himself later on the program, quickly telling viewers that he "misspoke":
Hemmer was nonetheless criticized for the error, which viewers perceived as further evidence of the network's penchant for peddling misinformation:
He was also mocked.
Hemmer's error appears to be related to a remark made by Fox News contributor Marc Thiessen during the earlier conversation about critical race theory. Theissen believes that the topic should be kept out of grade schools and reserved for college students.
And it was while he was explaining that that he appeared to link Marx to Mein Kampf:
"In college you should be studying everything. We should be studying Karl Marx, we should be studying 'Mein Kampf,' we should be studying all sorts of bad ideologies, and students should be opening their minds."
"When you're teaching grade-school kids, you're forming young citizens, you're teaching them patriotism, you're teaching them how to understand their country, and that's very different from what you're teaching in a college class."
It makes sense, right? But just in case it's unclear, Hemmer might want to think before he speaks.