Thursday, January 27, 2005

Fox News Uber Alles: II

Anti-Defamation League National Director Abe Foxman yesterday called Ted Turner "a recidivist" in response to a Las Vegas speech in which Turner likened the ratings success of Fox News to Hitler's popularity before World War II. Turner "hasn't learned from his past mistakes,” Foxman said in a release, referring to a 1996 incident, when the then Time Warner Vice Chairman likened the News Corporation head to "the late Fuhrer."

"Once again, Ted Turner can't seem to learn his lesson," Foxman says. "You tell him it's wrong, it's offensive, it's inappropriate, it's degrading to the memory of the six million. He apologizes -- then does it again.”

Richard Silverstein responded to my earlier post by providing more info on the ADL's tendency to lash out at liberals who make such comments while remaining blinkered to sometimes more egregious Nazi equivalences drawn by the right.

Foxman: Fair and Balanced?
Case in point: right wing bomb thrower Grover Norquist's equating the estate tax as a "Holocaust" against the rich. "How does anyone in their right mind say that Democrats are persecuting the rich in the same way that Nazis hunted Jews?" Silverstein asks. "The fact is that the ADL and Abe Foxman are the darlings of conservative Republicans. They are not dispassionate keepers of the flame when it comes to protecting Jewish interests and fighting anti-Semitism. And in this case they're guilty of selective prosecution."

I wrote about a similar instance last year after the right media attempted to lynch for sponsoring an anti-Bush ad content, which featured two contestant submissions that likened Bush to Hitler, while ignoring a New York Post column by militarist commentator Ralph Peters that compared Howard Dean to Nazi propaganda chief Joseph Goebbels and Dean followers to Nazi Brownshirts and the Gestapo.

It's worth noting that Radio Icarus (see previous post) built his career on such glib comparisons. Limbaugh's stock value was built on such trademarked terms as "feminazis," which his slavish listeners parrot with glee. Has Foxman's once lowered the boom on Limbaugh for the use? No.

Used in careful proportion, Nazi references can help illustrate a point. I often refer to the Parents Television Council as "uber-prigs" and "neo-nannies," both allusions to the fascist zeal with which the organization scans our airwaves for the slightest "indecency" and then mobilizes their shock troops to hammer the FCC and congress with silly complaints. It works for me. I wonder what Foxman would say. Given my occasional progressive slant -- yes, I'll admit to it -- I'm certain he would not be pleased.


Anonymous said...

It's really ashamed, what Ted Turner says is the truth BUT it just comes out the wrong way. Turner would make CNN a great PR person. CNN needs spunk in it's pr department.

Anonymous said...

First and foremost on the order of battle, was not responsible for the content of their "Bush in 30 Seconds" ads. Their request was the ads be kept appropriate for general audiences. It just so happened that 2 ad submitters considered comparing Bush to Hitler appropriate. The conservatives did not make any comparisons to Kerry until the Moveon ads were aired, but it was just a knee jerk reaction. What scares a lot of folks is Bush's neocons attack gay rights, just like the Nazis, so of course there will be comparisons made. The conservatives also didn't like it when someone questioned Bush's status in the Alabama Air National Guard, and especially seemed to gall them to no end.

Dean' supporters were almost as organized as many conservatives, which must have worried the conservatives, but I must admit since I was a Kerry supporter, I wasn't aware of their comparison of Howard Dean to Nazi propaganda chief Joseph Goebbels and Dean followers to Nazi Brownshirts and the Gestapo.

Calling the estate tax a holocaust against the rich requires an incredible stretch of the imagination. For all of the balderdash I keep hearing on what is appropriate, I say Norquist's use of the English language is most inappropriate, as he apparently does not understand the definition of holocaust and most likely counts on his listeners ignorance.

Anonymous said...

Just for the record ( I didn't want to take the time to register with this blog service) My name is Paul Richardson,

First things first, yes, the holocaust was a truly dark period of history for all of us (and not just the jewish people who perished during it), however to assail its use whether it be metaphoric or direct is idiotic,