O'Reilly: No escaping "the similarities between what Hitler ... did back then and the hate-filled blogs, what they're doing"

››› ››› ANDREW WALZER

On The O'Reilly Factor, Bill O'Reilly responded to a viewer's letter -- criticizing O'Reilly for a "lapse of judgment" regarding his statement that he did not "see any difference between [Huffington Post founder Arianna] Huffington and the Nazis" -- by defending the statement. O'Reilly said: "If you look back at what happened in Germany, you cannot escape the similarities between what Hitler and his cutthroats did back then and the hate-filled blogs, what they're doing now."

During the February 28 edition of Fox News' The O'Reilly Factor, host Bill O'Reilly responded to a viewer's letter -- criticizing O'Reilly for a "lapse of judgment" regarding his statement that he did not "see any difference between [Huffington Post founder Arianna] Huffington and the Nazis" -- by defending the statement. O'Reilly read the letter from viewer Israel Gopstein, who wrote: "Mr. O'Reilly, I'm surprised at your lapse of judgment comparing the tactics of the Nazis to The Huffington Post. I lost many members of my family to the Holocaust, and the meaning of their deaths means more than a comparison to a meaningless blog." O'Reilly then said: "Now, first of all, I appreciate your letter very much, sir, and I've thought about it. If you look back at what happened in Germany, you cannot escape the similarities between what Hitler and his cutthroats did back then and the hate-filled blogs, what they're doing now."

O'Reilly continued: "From the late 1920s to 1933, when Hitler became chancellor, the Nazis used vile propaganda to demonize Jews and others in the eyes of the German people. They used newspapers, radio, leaflets, and rallies to build up enormous hatred towards your family." He added: "Today, we are seeing the same thing on the Net here in America. There's no difference. When Arianna Huffington allows people to say that Nancy Reagan should suffer terribly and then die, that is completely unacceptable and no different than what Dr. Joseph Goebbels and others were putting out way back then."

During the February 27 edition of The O'Reilly Factor, O'Reilly attacked Huffington over comments (since removed) that readers posted to an item on the website reporting the hospitalization of former first lady Nancy Reagan after a fall. O'Reilly asserted: "[Y]ou know, I'm not going to call her a name. Arianna Huffington, I have no respect for the woman. I think that she is hurting the country. I wish everybody felt the way I did." Townhall.com managing editor Mary Katherine Ham, a guest on the show, then stated: "[T]his happens frequently, unfortunately, on the left-wing blogs," adding, "[E]very time a conservative gets injured, dies, has something threatening them -- whether it's [former White House press secretary] Tony Snow with cancer or Mrs. Reagan falling down -- there is often on [the website] Democratic Underground or Huffington Post, a celebration thread." O'Reilly then called The Huffington Post a "sewer" and later asked: "[W]hat's the difference between the Ku Klux Klan and Arianna Huffington? What's the difference?" When Ham replied: "I think there's difference," O'Reilly said: "I don't see any difference between Huffington and the Nazis. ... I don't see any difference." Ham responded: "[O]h, my gosh. I'm going to have to disagree with you on that one." O'Reilly replied: "They both want people to die, Mary Katherine. Don't they?" Ham noted that Huffington "was not the one making those comments" and later stated: "I still don't think she's a Nazi." O'Reilly then said: "I didn't say she was a Nazi. ... I said there's no difference between what the two do. I want everybody to know that."

O'Reilly frequently attacks those with whom he disagrees, comparing them to the Nazis or the Ku Klux Klan. During the July 17, 2007, edition of The O'Reilly Factor, for example, O'Reilly claimed that the blog Daily Kos is a "hate website[]" and opined: "There's no difference between the KKK and the Nazis, who have websites, than the Daily Kos."

TVNewser.com and Portfolio.com blogger Jeff Bercovici also documented O'Reilly's February 28 comments defending his previous statement about Huffington and the Nazis.

From the February 28 edition of Fox News' The O'Reilly Factor:

O'REILLY: Now, the letters.

Israel Gopstein, Silver Spring, Maryland: "Mr. O'Reilly, I'm surprised at your lapse of judgment comparing the tactics of the Nazis to The Huffington Post. I lost many members of my family to the Holocaust, and the meaning of their deaths means more than a comparison to a meaningless blog."

Now, first of all, I appreciate your letter very much, sir, and I've thought about it. If you look back at what happened in Germany, you cannot escape the similarities between what Hitler and his cutthroats did back then and the hate-filled blogs, what they're doing now.

From the late 1920s to 1933, when Hitler became chancellor, the Nazis used vile propaganda to demonize Jews and others in the eyes of the German people. They used newspapers, radio, leaflets, and rallies to build up enormous hatred towards your family.

Today, we are seeing the same thing on the Net here in America. There's no difference. When Arianna Huffington allows people to say that Nancy Reagan should suffer terribly and then die, that is completely unacceptable and no different than what Dr. Joseph Goebbels and others were putting out way back then.

Again, I thank you for your thoughtful letter.

Network/Outlet
Fox News Channel
Person
Bill O'Reilly
Show/Publication
The O'Reilly Factor
Stories/Interests
Attacks on Progressives, Propaganda/Noise Machine
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