When a report emerged earlier this week that Dr. Mehmet Oz was responsible for the deaths of more than 300 dogs and an “entire litter of puppies” (a spokesperson for his campaign denied the report and insisted that “Doctor Oz never abused any animals”), it didn’t seem like things could get much worse for the US Senate candidate, for whom the campaign trail has been one WTF moment after another. Somehow, though, they have, and if you’re wondering where there is to go after alleged puppy killing, we have three words for you: Adolf Hitler memorabilia.
No, Oz was not caught with a cabinet full of Nazi china à la the father in American Beauty, but he did make the inexplicable decision—or someone on his staff did for him—to deliver a speech in the same room as Hitler’s car, a vehicle that unsurprisingly bears a swastika.
According to Jezebel, this all occurred Thursday at the Lyon Air Museum, where Congressman Matt Gaetz’s in-laws were hosting a $5,000-per-plate fundraiser. As the site notes, the museum describes the 1939 Mercedes-Benz Model G4 Offener touring wagon thusly: “This particular G4, 440875, was originally delivered to [Adolf] Hitler in late 1939 and was used by the Führer in Obersalzberg, Berlin, and Poland until seized by the French army at Berchtesgaden.” The event was also attended by National Republican Senatorial Committee chairman Rick Scott.
The swastika is not visible in the widely circulated photo of Oz speaking near the vehicle.
So why did Oz do this? Jezebel writer Susan Rinkunas has some ideas:
We have several theories about how and why this happened. One, Oz’s team is extremely bad at their jobs. Two, they hate their boss. Three, this was an intentional wink to the fascist elements of the Republican Party.
The chair of the event, Palmer Luckey, is Gaetz’s brother-in-law and the billionaire founder of Oculus VR. Luckey is a Donald Trump supporter, and in 2017 he was photographed with Steve Bannon and [Holocaust denier] Chuck C. Johnson, with both Johnson and Luckey flashing a white-power gesture. Luckey claimed on Twitter that the gesture being a hate symbol was “fake news” and that people do it to “playfully mimic Trump.”
And Rinkunas is not the only one who thinks Oz’s appearance near Hitler’s ride might not have been a simple mistake.
While this still could have been an innocent fuckup, it’s pretty difficult not to square it with the fact that the Republican Party has not only enabled white nationalism but has also had literal Nazis running for office.
The Oz campaign did not return Jezebel’s request for comment.
Anyway, with less than five weeks until the election, we can’t wait to see what Oz has in store for his viewers next. We assume it’ll involve ripping off Girl Scouts and/or punching Tom Hanks in the face or something.
The entire Uvalde school district’s police force has been suspended
The school district in Uvalde, Texas, said on Friday that it had suspended the operations of its police department amid ongoing questions about its officers’ response to the May 24 mass shooting at Robb Elementary School and a sustained protest by victims’ parents. The district had previously fired the chief of the department, Pete Arredondo, who state officials have said was the incident commander during the shooting and bore responsibility for delaying a confrontation with the gunman for over an hour after the shooting began. The gunman killed 19 children and two teachers.
On Friday, the school district said in a statement that it had placed the officer who took over for Mr. Arredondo, Lt. Miguel Hernandez, and another district employee, Ken Mueller, on administrative leave. Mr. Mueller, the director of student services, had decided to retire, the statement said.
Brett Cross, whose 10-year-old nephew was killed in the shooting and who had camped outside the school district’s offices for nine days in a protest, demanding the suspension of the school police officers, told the Times: “It shouldn’t have had to last this long. It’s our first win, but it won’t be the last.”
But things were going so well!
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