In an interview with Australia's Sky News, News Corp. chairman Rupert Murdoch falsely claimed that Fox News hosts had not "likened" President Obama to Josef Stalin. In fact, Fox News hosts and contributors have repeatedly drawn comparisons between Stalin and members of the Obama administration, including Obama himself, and have also compared Stalin's policies to Obama's policies.
Murdoch claims none of his "people" have "likened" Obama to Stalin
Murdoch claims "not one of our people" at Fox has "likened [Obama] to Stalin." As the website The Business Insider noted, Murdoch was recently interviewed by David Speers, political editor for Sky News, which -- like Fox News -- Murdoch owns. During the interview, Speers stated, "Glenn Beck, who you mentioned, has called Barack Obama a racist, and he helped organize a protest against him. Others on Fox have likened him to Stalin. Is that defensible?" Murdoch responded, "No, no, not Stalin, I don't think. I don't know who they -- not one of our people."
But Fox News has repeatedly compared Obama and his administration to Stalin
Beck claims to deny comparing Obama and Stalin but sees "echoes of the past that frighten me." While interviewing Florida State University history professor Robert Gellately, author of the book Lenin, Stalin, and Hitler, Beck stated that he was "not comparing what's currently going on in our administration or in Washington" to those three dictators, but nevertheless said, "I see echoes of the past that frighten me":
BECK: [F]or the last couple of weeks, I keep seeing these scenes and I'm like, gosh, I've seen these scenes before, and I couldn't remember where it was. This morning, I'm in a meeting and I remember and I said to the staff, "Lenin, Stalin and Hitler." I am not comparing -- and I doubt you are, too -- I'm not comparing what's currently going on in our administration or in Washington on either side with these guys, but I see echoes of the past that frighten me. [3/26/09, retrieved from the Nexis database]
Beck airs images of Obama and Stalin and asks, "Is this where we're headed?" On his Fox News program, Beck aired video of Obama interspersed with historical footage that included images of Stalin, Adolf Hitler, and Vladimir Lenin and asked, "Is this where we're headed?" [Glenn Beck, 4/2/09]
Napolitano claims Geithner's "power grab" is "unconstitutional": "This is Josef Stalin without the bloodshed." During a discussion of a request by Treasury Secretary Timothy Geithner for new powers to intervene in the financial industry, Fox News senior judicial analyst Andrew Napolitano said, "I'm absolutely calling it a power grab. It's blatantly unconstitutional." Napolitano further stated, "If the government can do this, this is central planning, Soviet-style. This is Josef Stalin without the bloodshed." [Happening Now, 3/25/09]
Peters compares possible torture prosecutions to "show trials" of Stalin, Mao, Castro, Chavez. While discussing reports that Obama officials were considering prosecuting Bush administration officials who had written memos enabling the use of enhanced interrogation techniques, Fox News strategic analyst and New York Post columnist Ralph Peters stated that the "extreme left has always loved show trials. Stalin set the pace in the '30s. Mao did it. The left's beloved Fidel Castro used it. Hugo Chavez is trying to use show trials right now." [Your World with Neil Cavuto, 4/23/09]
Napolitano compares bank rescues to "Mussolini's Italy" and "Stalin's Soviet Union." Guest-hosting a panel on Beck's Fox News program about infusions of government money into troubled banks, Napolitano asked, "What happened in Mussolini's Italy, what happened in Stalin's Soviet Union when the government came in and said, 'Those private companies that you run? You can still own them. You can still pay the bills. But we'll tell you where to invest your money and what bills to pay.' " [Glenn Beck, 11/4/09]
Beck frequently compares Obama to Hitler
Beck: "This is what Hitler did with the SS." Discussing Obama's call for a "civilian national security force" -- which was a reference to expanding the foreign service, AmeriCorps, and the Peace Corps -- Beck said on the August 27 edition of his Fox News program: "I'm finding this -- this is the hardest part to connect to. Because this is -- I mean, look, you know, David [Bellavia, former Army staff sergeant], what you just said is, you said, 'I'm not comparing' -- but you are. I mean, this is what Hitler did with the SS. He had his own people. He had the brownshirts and then the SS. This is what Saddam Hussein -- so -- but you are comparing that. And I -- I mean, I think America would have a really hard time getting their arms around that."
Beck: "I read [Mein Kampf]" and "the Germans ... were an awful lot like we are now." After asking, "Did the Germans know?" Beck stated that "the scariest book I ever bought was Mein Kampf." He continued, "I went and I bought it and I read it, 'cause I wanted to answer that question. The answer was -- yes, they knew. I think the Germans, however, were an awful lot like we are now, we're kind of living in a denial like -- no, that can't really be happening. No, that really -- you don't want to believe some things but you have to. You have to actually think about them."
Beck claims "I'm not saying that Barack Obama is a fascist," then compares auto maker rescues to "the early days of Adolf Hitler." During the April 1 edition of his Fox News show, Beck stated, "I'm not saying the Democrats are fascists." He subsequently said of efforts to extend rescue loans to auto companies, "if I'm not mistaken, in the early days of Adolf Hitler, they were -- they were very happy to line up for help there as well."