Right-wing media have criticized comments by NAACP President Ben Jealous in which he discussed "all the hatred" in the media and said that "this is too much like the period before Kristallnacht." But right-wing media figures have a long history of attacking progressives by comparing them and their policies to Adolf Hitler, Nazis, or Nazi-era Germany.
Right-wing media criticize Jealous for invoking Kristallnacht
Jealous: "Our Jewish friends [are] sitting around saying this is too much like the period before Kristallnacht." In a Naked Emperor News video, Jealous stated that "with massive progress, there's massive backlash. And, you know, one of the reason why we haven't stopped long enough to celebrate our victories is because of the hellfire we had to come through to get health care done -- all the hatred on the radio; all the hatred on the TV." Jealous then stated:
JEALOUS: Our Jewish friends sitting around saying this is too much like the period before Kristallnacht. And old black folks sitting around going, I don't know if this is more like when my granddaddy told me about the end of Reconstruction or what I witnessed with the rise of the White Citizens Council.
Beck's website hyped the video, claiming Jealous said "America like Before Kristallnacht." On September 27, Glenn Beck's website, The Blaze, posted the video of Jealous' comments under the headline, "NAACP: One Nation March About Not Calling Obama an African Witch Doctor, America like Before Kristallnacht."
Beck airs Jealous clip, asks, "Who's calling whom Hitler?" On the September 27 edition of his radio show, Beck played a clip of Jealous' comments and stated, "So he's talking about that there are people who want to purge people - that the Jews are saying, oh, I don't know what's happening, I guess with the tea parties - is too much like Kristallnacht. Who's calling whom Hitler?"
Hoft: "Sick. NAACP Now Compares America to Nazi Germany Before Kristallnacht." In a September 27 Gateway Pundit post, Jim Hoft called Jealous' comments "sick" and stated:
Far Left NAACP Leader Ben Jealous is now comparing today's America to Nazi Germany before Kristallnacht... Because if you oppose the Obama-Pelosi socialist agenda- you're a Nazi. (He must have forgotten that the Nazi's were a socialist party.)
Hoft further wrote, "Oh, and of course, he's giving this hate-filled far left speech at the pulpit of a church."
Hot Air: "NAACP chief: This is too much like the period before Kristallnacht." In a September 27 Hot Air post, Allahpundit posted the video and wrote: "Isn't this the same Benjamin Jealous who spent a week in July appearing on any chat show that would have him in order to lament the destructive impact of incendiary rhetoric by some tea partiers? And now he's playing with ... Kristallnacht analogies?"
Yet, conservatives -- led by Beck -- repeatedly invoke Nazi references to attack progressives
Right-wing media have long history of invoking Nazi references to attack Obama and his policies as well as progressive figures. Right-wing media figures - led by Beck -- have a long history of invoking the Holocaust, the Nazi Party, and Adolf Hitler to smear the Obama administration, other progressive individuals and organizations. For instance:
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: "Progressives build the structure that a communist, a Marxist, a Nazi would love to have." On the April 22 edition of his radio show, Beck stated that "[p]rogressives build the structure that a communist, a Marxist, a Nazi would love to have."
Beck invokes Nazis to attack worker ID cards: "It was only one of the first things that Hitler did." On the March 9 edition of his radio show, Beck discussed national ID cards for workers and said, "It was only one of the first things that Hitler did."
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: "I'm not comparing" Obama to Hitler, but asked his audience to "please read Mein Kampf" and learn from Germany's mistakes. On the August 12, 2009, broadcast of his radio show, discussing Obama's position on health care reform, Beck stated:
BECK: I am not comparing him to this, but please, read Mein Kampf for this reason. If you read it now, you see that Hitler told you what he was going to do. He told the Germans. It outsold the Bible. Germans read Mein Kampf, but what did they do? They didn't listen. 'Oh, he doesn't mean that.' 'Oh, he's just saying that to appeal to X, Y, Z.' All of the same lies we're telling to ourselves. 'No, that's crazy. Nobody would actually do that.' They buried their heads in the sand, and then it became too late. Please, America, take this man for what he says.
Beck told Newsmax: "I fear a Reichstag moment." On September 29, 2009, conservative news website Newsmax.com 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 links health care reform to Nazis, suggests reform would kill elderly and newborns. On his August 6, 2009, radio show, Beck suggested that health care reform would lead to the eugenics programs undertaken in Nazi Germany, saying that "three people in the White House are in love with eugenics" and that reform would kill the elderly and newborns.
Beck compared car dealership closures to Nazism, warning "at some point, they're going to come for you." While discussing the closures of auto dealerships under the bankruptcy deals of GM and Chrysler, Beck said that the "poem that keeps going through my mind is 'First they came for the Jews,' " adding, "Gang, at some point they're going to come for you."
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."
Limbaugh compares Obama health care plan to Nazi policies. On the October 1, 2009, edition of his radio show, Rush Limbaugh stated of Obama's health care plan: "Just as Obama's doing, Hitler - well, even prior to Hitler, German socialists attempted to remake and order their country using health care as the springboard and the foundation. Same thing that's happening here." Limbaugh continued: "Hitler was a man of the left. Nazi is simply the term for the National Socialists of Germany. ... The National Socialists and their domestic policies - short of the Holocaust - have far more in common with what Obama's doing than anybody on the right."
Limbaugh: "Adolf Hitler, like Barack Obama, also ruled by dictate." On the August 6, 2009, edition of his radio show, Limbaugh stated, "Adolf Hitler, like Barack Obama, also ruled by dictate." Also during his August 6 show, Limbaugh discussed "the similarities between the Democrat Party of today and the Nazi Party in Germany."
Limbaugh: "The brothers of liberals are Nazis, communists, socialists, and so forth." On the July 23, 2009, edition of his show, Limbaugh stated that "the brothers of liberals are Nazis, communists, socialists, and so forth."
Savage: FCC's Mark Lloyd a "Nazi czar." On the September 15, 2009, edition of his radio show, Michael Savage called Federal Communications Commission official Mark Lloyd a "Nazi czar."
Savage: "[L]ikelihood is very high" that "martial law will be declared" after "equivalent of the Reichstag fire" occurs. On the August 14, 2009, edition of his show, Savage stated: "I'd say the likelihood is very high that the gang that has taken over this country will declare something - a pretext - they'll create it - the equivalent of the Reichstag fire." Savage then stated: "They will use it as a pretext to put in a form of martial law."
Savage: "It seems that the Obama appointees actually have almost the same exact policies as the Nazi Party did." On the March 13, 2009, edition of his radio show, Savage stated, "It seems that the Obama appointees actually have almost the same exact policies as the Nazi Party did."
Geller on Obama's Israel policy: "Jews Refuse to Get on Obama's Trains." In a December 11, 2009, post apparently responding to Obama's opposition to Israeli settlement growth, right-wing blogger Pam Geller wrote, "Jews refuse to get on Obama's Trains." She added: "Obama is pressuring Jews to 'evacuate' from parts of Israel? And what Warsaw ghetto does the muhammadan [sic] president have in mind? I think I am gonna hurl. The Jews will not go. The Jews will not submit to this century's nazis [sic] and Mansourian poser. No way, bloodsuckers. Not again. Never again."
Wash. Times invokes Nazism, publishes Hitler photo while criticizing health care provisions in stimulus. A February 11, 2009, Washington Times editorial compared the "spirit of the partisans of efficiency" who supported a provision in the stimulus bill that would attempt to improve "efficiency" of health-care delivery by providing for electronic medical records to the "Nazi version of efficiency" in which "elderly people with incurable diseases, young children who were critically disabled, and others who were deemed non-productive, were euthanized." The editorial was published on the paper's website alongside a photo of Hitler.
Krauthammer and Thomas invoke Nazis while discussing Obama's stem cell order. In March 13, 2009, columns, both Charles Krauthammer and Cal Thomas invoked Josef Mengele while discussing Obama's executive order on funding for stem cell research.