I happened to be watching CNN yesterday and saw this exchange between host Wolf Blitzer and Katrina Pierson, Trump spokeswoman (annoyingly dubbed “spox” by the media). Various sources later characterized this exchange as Pierson’s stubborn refusal to condemn the use of the word “gestapo” in the phrase “gestapo tactics.” At the time, I saw it as Blitzer’s stubborn refusal to drop a question that meant a lot to him personally but was of no particular importance to the audience. I felt that, to a ridiculous degree, he let his personal feelings completely outweigh his role as a supposedly objective journalist. Normally I can’t stand Pierson, but I think she responded appropriately in this case.
My son and I discussed it at some length and were in agreement that “gestapo (lowercase G) tactics” is a commonly used phrase that most people understand to mean intimidating or brutal tactics, and that it is equivalent to saying “Gestapo-like tactics.” In various internet forums, however, a number of people agree with Blitzer that the mere use of the word “gestapo” is unacceptable and offensive.
So in your opinion, what’s going on here? Did Blitzer, the son of Holocaust survivors, let his personal feelings take over? Is the word “gestapo” as verboten as the N-word? Was Pierson being evasive or was she responding appropriately? Does the G-word belong on my list of offensive, forbidden, never-to-be-uttered-aloud words?