Veteran U.S. game-show host and television personality Chuck Woolery has raised eyebrows and drawn criticism with a Tweet that many critics are calling anti-Semitic.
Woolery, 75, former host of the “Love Connection” and the original host of “Wheel of Fortune,” who later attempted a brief singing career, has turned to politics over the last decade. He is a longtime libertarian, conservative Republican and gun rights activist who co-hosts a podcast called “Blunt Force Truth.”
On social media, he has been a strong defender of U.S. President Donald Trump and a harsh critic of liberals - particularly “Hollywood Marxists” whom he has called “mentally ill,” “detached from reality” and “dangerous.”
The controversial tweet appeared Monday night in a series of comments regarding the origins of socialism and communism, defending President Trump’s wariness and hostility to Germany.
“Almost without exception, all political ideology of the Left originated in Germany. Progressivism Political correctness Marxism. You name it,” Woolery tweeted.
It was then that he followed up with:
The backlash came swiftly, with many on Twitter firing back, some calling it a “full-on anti-German and anti-Semitic rant.”
Not everybody on Twitter objected to Woolery’s observation. Woolery also had many supporters and fans on the alt-right cheering him on - he was retweeted by infamous white supremacist leader Richard Spencer - and for several hours, the back and forth arguments turned him into a trending item on Twitter.
Woolery later responded defensively:
Some, however, also challenged his ‘facts’, pointing out that neither Lenin nor Marx were practicing Jews. Marx’s parents converted to Christianity and he was raised Lutheran, and became an atheist later. Lenin was baptized Russian Orthodox - he had a Jewish grandfather who converted to Russian Orthodoxy. Others noted that the last prominent figure to grab headlines by making this point was Russian president Vladimir Putin in 2013.
Since he became an outspoken conservative, Woolery has blamed his politics on his difficulty finding work in the entertainment industry in recent years, and noted that leftist entertainers seemed to pay no such price.
“If I had said about Barack Obama on television what Stephen Colbert said about Donald Trump, I would have been running a bingo game at a Moose Lodge,” he noted during an appearance on “Fox and Friends”, before pulling out a map of the parts of America he said were suffering from “Trump Derangement Syndrome.”