Fox's "Nazi" rhetoric also comes straight from the top


In a recent interview, Fox News chairman Roger Ailes referred to National Public Radio executives as "Nazis" with a "Nazi attitude," and claimed "[t]hey are the left wing of Nazism." Ailes' employees at Fox News, particularly Glenn Beck, have also used Nazi and Holocaust imagery to smear President Obama, Democrats, and progressive figures.

Ailes smears NPR executives as "the left wing of Nazism"

Ailes: NPR executives have a "Nazi attitude. They are the left wing of Nazism." In a recent Daily Beast interview with Howard Kurtz, Ailes called NPR "Nazis," adding "they have a kind of Nazi attitude. They are the left wing of Nazism." From The Daily Beast:

The onetime Republican strategist is a man of strong opinions, in case that wasn't clear, and he also puts his money where his mouth is. When Juan Williams was fired by National Public Radio for remarks he made on Fox about fearing airplane passengers in Muslim garb, Ailes rushed to award him a three-year, $2 million contract.

"A guy who gets fired and humiliated in the press can lose a lot of confidence," Ailes says. Calling Williams "a pure liberal," Ailes says he wanted to compensate the pundit for his losses because he was "mad" and "I didn't want him to have to call his wife and say we lost money."

Then he turned his sights on NPR executives.

"They are, of course, Nazis. They have a kind of Nazi attitude. They are the left wing of Nazism. These guys don't want any other point of view. They don't even feel guilty using tax dollars to spout their propaganda. They are basically Air America with government funding to keep them alive."

It's hardly surprising that Ailes would defend Williams or castigate NPR. But trotting out such Third Reich rhetoric seems, shall we say, disproportionate to the situation. NPR spokeswoman Anna Christopher says only that "we will let Mr. Ailes' words speak for themselves."

Fox News frequently evoke Nazism to smear opponents

Beck on NEA conference call: "You should look up the name Goebbels." On the November 3, 2009, edition of his Fox News show, discussing an NEA conference call in which artists reportedly discussed how "to help lay a new foundation for growth, focusing on core areas of the recovery agenda," Beck said that "advocating through art is known as propaganda. Hmm. You should look up the name Goebbels."

Beck compares media portrayal of "tea partygoers" to Nazi portrayal of anti-Nazi "complainers." On the August 11, 2009, edition of his Fox show, Beck compared the media's portrayal of the "tea partygoers" to a Nazi propaganda poster portraying "complainers" about Nazi policies, saying, "This is a poster of what you see every day now in the news media making the complainers, the tea partygoers, look somehow rotten."

Beck: Holocaust survivor's story of how Nazis drove a wedge between students and parents sounds like U.N. and Gore. On the September 24 edition of his Fox News show, Beck hosted a Holocaust survivor who said that the Nazis drove a wedge between students and their parents. Beck responded by saying, "I don't know about anybody else ... this, to me, doesn't sound like stuff necessarily that I've heard from Obama. This is stuff that I've heard from the U.N. This is the kind of stuff that we have heard from ... Al Gore."

Beck: Progressives use "democratic elections" to push dictators -- "Hitler, 'democratically elected.' " On the April 28 edition of his Fox News show, Beck stated that progressives use "democratic elections" to push dictators, then stated, "You'll hear this when they talk about the 'democratically elected' leader of Iran; the democratic leader Chavez, 'democratically elected,' you know; Castro, 'democratically elected'; Hitler - 'democratically elected.' "

Beck on Obama's "civilian national security force": "This is what Hitler did with the SS." Discussing President 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, 2009, edition of his Fox News program:

BECK: 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 told Newsmax: "I fear a Reichstag moment." On September 29, 2009, conservative news website reported of its interview with Beck:

But his real worry is that many Washington elitists really don't like our form of government and want to see it abolished.

"I fear a Reichstag moment," he said, referring to the 1933 burning of Germany's parliament building in Berlin that the Nazis blamed on communists and Hitler used as an excuse to suspend constitutional liberties and consolidate power.

"God forbid, another 9/11. Something that will turn this machine on, and power will be seized and voices will be silenced."

Beck compared auto bailouts to the actions of German companies "in the early days of Adolf Hitler." While discussing the auto company bailouts on the April 1, 2009, edition of his Fox News program, after stating, "I am not saying that Barack Obama is a fascist," Beck said, "If I'm not mistaken, in the early days of Adolf Hitler, they were very happy to line up for help there as well. I mean, the companies were like, 'Hey, wait a minute. We can get, you know, we can get out of trouble here. They can help, et cetera, et cetera.' "

Beck compared TARP to "what happened to the lead-up with Hitler." On the April 21, 2009, edition of Fox Business' Money for Breakfast, Beck said of the Troubled Asset Relief Program [TARP]:

BECK: This is not comparing these people to the people in Germany, but this is exactly what happened to the lead-up with Hitler. Hitler opened up the door and said, "Hey, companies, I can help you." They all ran through the door. And then in the end, they all saw, "Uh-oh. I'm in bed with the devil." They started to take their foot out, and Hitler said, "Absolutely not. Sorry, gang. This is good for the country. We've got to do these things." And it was too late.

Beck said "the Germans" during Hitler's rise "were an awful lot like we are now." On the June 10, 2009, edition of his Fox News program, Beck stated: "I think the Germans, however, were an awful lot like we are now. We're kind of living in a denial, like, 'No, no, that can't really be happening. No, that really - I' -- you don't want to believe some things, but you have to. You have to actually think about them."

Beck airs photos of Hitler, Stalin, Lenin, asks, "Is this where we're headed?" On the April 2, 2009, edition of his Fox News program, while teasing the next day's show, Beck asked, "Is this where we're headed?" while airing photos of Hitler, Josef Stalin, and Vladimir Lenin.

Beck compares Gore to Goebbels, says, "The government and its friends are indoctrinating our children for the control of their minds." On the February 5, 2009, edition of his Fox News show, Beck stated, "The government and its friends are indoctrinating our children for the control of their minds, your freedom, and our choice and our future." Beck then quoted Joesph Goebbels discussing the Hitler Youth and said, "If mom and dad decide the keep the temperature above 72, should our 'Gore youth' report mom and dad?"

Gingrich: Obama, Dems threatening America as much as "Nazi Germany or the Soviet Union once did." On the May 16 edition of Fox Broadcasting Co.'s Fox News Sunday, Fox News contributor Newt Gingrich said that Obama and Democratic policies threaten America as much as "Nazi Germany or the Soviet Union once did."

O'Reilly said liberals who support gun control are "totalitarians," compared them to Hitler. On the March 2 edition of The O'Reilly Factor, O'Reilly said liberals who support gun control are "today's totalitarians," adding that in the past people like "Hitler and Mussolini" held such positions in favor of "state control."

O'Reilly claimed media using Goebbels tactics to push "rank propaganda." In his July 16, 2009, syndicated column, O'Reilly wrote that "The far left is trying to create a huge federal apparatus that will promote income redistribution and 'social justice.' Also, the left sees a major opportunity to knock out Judeo-Christian traditions, replacing them with a secular philosophy." He added that "the left-wing media is marginalizing people like Sarah Palin who oppose the strategy. Under the guise of hard news reporting, the media is pushing rank propaganda on the citizenry. Dr. Joseph Goebbels, the Nazi propaganda minister, successfully developed this tactic in the 1930's."

O'Reilly: Huffington Post uses "same exact tactics that the Nazis used." On The March 5, 2008, edition of The O'Reilly Factor, O'Reilly said "And I said that these tactics that are being used on this website, The Huffington Post, are the same exact tactics that the Nazis used in the late '20s and early '30s to demonize certain groups of people, so it would become easier for them, the Nazis, when they took power, to hurt those people." Earlier, on February 27, 2008, O'Reilly said that "I don't see any difference between [Arianna] Huffington and the Nazis. ... I don't see any difference."

O'Reilly compared Tim Robbins' comments to those of "Von Ribbentrop in the Nazi hierarchy." On the December 13, 2007, edition of The O'Reilly Factor, Jane Hall said that comments made by actor Tim Robbins while campaigning for John Edwards, in which Robbins criticized the media for focusing more on "the most recent pop star's fall from grace" instead of "veterans returning from Iraq," were "valid." In response, Bill O'Reilly said, "But Von Ribbentrop in the Nazi hierarchy made valid points, Jane."

O'Reilly: Daily Kos is "like the Nazi Party." On the July 16, 2007, edition of The O'Reilly Factor, O'Reilly said that the Daily Kos is "like the Ku Klux Klan. It's like the Nazi party. There's no difference here." A day later, O'Reilly said "That website traffics in [hate], as do the Nazi websites. No difference." On July 19, 2007, O'Reilly said of Daily Kos: "The hate this website traffics in rivals the KKK and Nazi websites."

Hannity: Using Quran for swearing-in is same as using a "Nazi bible." On the November 30, 2006, edition of Hannity & Colmes, Sean Hannity said that Rep. Keith Ellison using a copy of the Quran during his swearing-in ceremony "will embolden Islamic extremists and make new ones" and is comparable to using "Hitler's Mein Kampf, is the Nazis' bible."

Coulter on Media Matters: "little Nazi block watcher" website. On the December 1, 2005, edition of Fox News' The O'Reilly Factor, right-wing pundit Ann Coulter called websites like Media Matters "little Nazi block watchers" that "tattle on their parents, turn them in to the Nazis."

O'Reilly compares Michael Moore's "power" to what "happened in Nazi Germany." On the July 28, 2004, edition of The O'Reilly Factor, Bill O'Reilly said that Michael Moore "has more power than probably anybody else other than [Senators John] Kerry and [John] Edwards," adding that Moore's purported "power" was "scary" because "this happened in Nazi Germany." O'Reilly went on to ask: "Who was the most powerful person in Nazi Germany other than Hitler and Himmler and Goering, who? You guys know? ... Goebbels. The propaganda minister."

O'Reilly likened Moore, Franken to Goebbels. On the June 14, 2004, edition of The O'Reilly Factor, Bill O'Reilly compared both Michael Moore and Al Franken to Goebbels. O'Reilly also likened a group of Hollywood celebrities who attended a premiere of Moore's film Fahrenheit 9/11 to "the people who would turn out to see Josef Goebbels convince you that Poland invaded the Third Reich."

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Roger Ailes
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