LOS ANGELES (Jul. 6)
Jewish comic Jackie Mason has compared President Clinton to Adolf Hitler.
In an interview with the Los Angeles Times, Mason, who is known for offending ethnic and political sensitivities and is a longtime Clinton foe, referred at one point to a conspiracy theory alleging that the president was involved in the death of Vincent Foster, one of his top aides.
“Clinton would just as easily kill as Hitler would. He has no conscience,” Mason was quoted by Times reporter Paul Brownfield.
When Brownfield demurred at the comparison, Mason continued, “Who cares if a person kills one person or a million people? What is the difference in the morality? The difference isn’t that profound to me.”
After an investigation, Foster’s death was ruled to be a suicide.
Mason’s longtime New York agent, Jyll Rosenfeld, asked for the comic’s comment on the interview, responded by saying, “Jackie is not ashamed of anything he says.” She added, “He is a proud Jew.”
Rosenfeld also informed the caller, “I can tell from your tone that you’re a self-hating Jew.”
She said that Mason himself would call the reporter, but a few minutes later, after phoning the comic in Los Angeles, she conveyed his sentiments.
“As a comedian, Jackie takes poetic license and exaggerates to make his point,” Rosenfeld said. “Someone so stupid as to take every word literally needs a psychiatrist. He is not interested in defending (his Times quote), and if you want to use it because you need a headline, go ahead.”
Times reporter Brownfield said in a phone conversation that when Mason brought up the Clinton-Hitler comparison during their two-hour lunch, the interviewer said, “This is a joke. Answer me seriously.”
Brownfield said he also put it to the humorist that he was exaggerating, to which Mason responded, “No, no.”
The Times reporter, who said he admires Mason’s work, added that “with Jackie, it’s hard to know whether he is serious or just feels he needs to be outrageous.”