Sunday, February 7, 2010

Back to the 30’s: National Socialist and Republican Discourse

Original Link:

NSDAP and GOP: Two Medias; One Tactic

Everyone is familiar by now with the Right-wing rhetoric concerning the “liberal media elite.” Personal responsibility goes right out the window if you can just blame the other guy for lying about you. Again we see a striking similarity between the National Socialists and the Republicans – fix blame, and then accuse them of controlling the media. The two seem to go hand-in-hand.

“Barack Obama only won because the media favored him and unfairly denigrated the abilities and accomplishments of John McCain and Sarah Palin.” We’ve heard this before, of course. It probably won’t surprise you to know where:

Hitler, July 5, 1942, “New agencies all the world over…are for the most part in the hands of Jews.”1
If you substitute “liberal” for “Jew” you have the same language. Again, the liberals, like the Jews, are guilty of “fabrications”:
Sarah Palin, June 3, 2009, Anchorage: Palin spoke of “the entrenched bureaucrats and the elite self-proclaimed intellectuals, and the smug lobbyists who dominate Washington, and the liberal media that is imposing its will on Washington, embracing that status quo, that business as usual…” 2

This is the same language Hitler used of the “Jewish intellectuals” and communists who dominated Weimar government. As an aside, she was displaying typical intellectual dishonesty by lifting much of her speech from “an article written four years ago by Newt Gingrich and Craig Shirley without attribution.”3

The Conservapedia echoes Hitler: “The Liberal media elite is the clique of highly paid, left-leaning executives and journalists who directly control most output of the main newspapers and broadcasting organizations.”4

The media is in the hands of the Jews (communists)! The media is in the hands of the liberals (communists)! I don’t have to make this stuff up. This is like shooting ducks in a pond or fishing with a hand grenade.

If that is not enough, surely you remember the Nazi (mis)use of the press. The National Socialist media became an outlet not for news, but for propaganda. There is the most famous newspaper owner of all, Joseph Goebbels and his paper Der Angriff (The Attack – aptly named). Then there is the Völkischer Beobachter (Folkish [Ethnic] Observer) edited first by Dietrich Eckart, an infamous “Jew-baiter”, then by crank-ideologist Alfred Rosenberg.

Today, media has moved on to television and the Internet. Instead of Der Angriff and the Völkischer Beobachter we have FOX News and World Net Daily. Instead of Joseph Goebbels and Alfred Rosenberg we have Rupert Murdoch and Joseph Farah. These media outlets spout anti-liberalism as vociferously and viciously as any NSDAP propaganda organ. Like the party ideologues noted above, they employ ad hominem attacks in place of cogent analysis and prefer name-calling to actual news.

Murdoch, Farah and their minions take street-fighting techniques in front of minions through use of glossy modern technology.

Witness, for example, Glenn Beck and Rush Limbaugh went on the attacked Sen. Mary Landrieu (D-LA) for her stance on the healthcare debate in the Senate. But they did not critique her position based on its merits, and by offering a cogent counter-argument. Instead, both called a female US senator a prostitute (The Rush Limbaugh Show November 23 2009 and The Glenn Beck Program November 23,2009).

This sort of attack is commonplace and differs not at all from the tactics used by the National Socialist Press in the 20’s and 30’s. Vilification is the order of the day. Analysis of the facts, when it takes place at all, comes in a distant second. As Media Matters for America reports,

Under its president, Roger Ailes, Fox News routinely employs racially charged appeals to foment opposition to the Obama administration and other progressive figures, such as Glenn Beck’s comments that President Obama is a “racist” and “has a deep-seated hatred for white people or the white culture.” Before launching the Fox News Channel, Ailes worked as a media consultant for several Republican campaigns where evidence shows he similarly appealed to racial fears and biases for political gain, and as executive producer for Rush Limbaugh’s television show, during which Limbaugh made several controversial statements.5

And of course, just as National Socialist ideologues and leaders motivated the mob, so do Republican ideologues. As I noted above, Republican objections are not generally issued as cogent and well-thought-out rebuttals of liberal positions but as ad hominem attacks, character assassinations, and even suggested violence. This is true not only of the rank-and-file but of the leadership, the party ideologues, as can be seen from the examples below.

Glenn Beck listed people he’d like to “beat to death with a shovel.” In 2001, Beck enumerated the various people that he “would want to kill with a shovel,” or “line up” and “shoot … in the head,” including Rep. Charles Rangel (D-NY). (Glenn Beck Program, 3/9/01)

The Republican Tea-Party mobs embrace this principle. Ideological rhetoric backs it up: We see for example from Ann Coulter, Vester: You say you’d rather not talk to liberals at all? Coulter: I think a baseball bat is the most effective way these days. (FOX News Channel, DaySide with Linda Vester, 10/6)

“Would you kill someone for that?…I’m thinking about killing Michael Moore…I could kill him myself, or if I would need to hire somebody to do it,… No, I think I could. I think he could be looking me in the eye, you know, and I could just be choking the life out. Is this wrong? I stopped wearing my What Would Jesus — band — Do, and I’ve lost all sense of right and wrong now. I used to be able to say, ‘Yeah, I’d kill Michael Moore,’ and then I’d see the little band: What Would Jesus Do? And then I’d realize, ‘Oh, you wouldn’t kill Michael Moore. Or at least you wouldn’t choke him to death.’ And you know, well, I’m not sure.” (Glenn Beck Program, 5/17/05)

Beck, joking about poisoning Nancy Pelosi: “So, Speaker Pelosi, I just wanted to — you gonna drink your wine? Are you blind? Do those eyes not work? There you — I want you to drink it now. Drink it. Drink it. Drink it… By the way, I put poison in your —”
(Glenn Beck Program, 8/6/09)

Bill O’Reilly, of people who criticize him, The Radio Factor, September 27, 2007: “You know, look, if I could strangle these people and not go to hell and get executed, I would, but I can’t.”

Bill O’Reilly - radio show, Sept. 14, 2005: “I just wish Katrina had only hit the United Nations building, nothing else, just had flooded them out, and I wouldn’t have rescued them.”

Rush Limbaugh October 20, 2009, The Rush Limbaugh Show: “This guy from The New York Times, if he really thinks that humanity is destroying the planet, humanity is destroying the climate, that human beings in their natural existence are going to cause the extinction of life on Earth — Andrew Revkin. Mr. Revkin, why don’t you just go kill yourself and help the planet by dying?”

Right Wing blogger Roger Erickson March 31, 2009: “At what point do the people tell the politicians to go to hell? At what point do they get off the couch, march down to their state legislator’s house, pull him outside, and beat him to a bloody pulp for being an idiot?”

No comments:

Post a Comment