Fox News anchor Megyn Kelly responded to her guest's statement that Fox News figures regularly invoke Nazi imagery by stating: "I don't know if you sit and watch our programming every night, but I watch it every day and you're wrong." In fact, several Fox News figures, particularly Glenn Beck, have a long history of smearing President Obama, Democrats, and progressive figures by invoking Nazi and Holocaust imagery.
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Kelly "Watch[es]" Fox News "Every Day" But Hasn't Noticed Nazi Imagery
Kelly Responds To Claim That Fox Commenters Invoke Nazi Imagery To Smear Dems By Absurdly Claiming "You're Wrong." On the January 20 edition of Fox News' America Live, Kelly hosted Equality Matters' President Richard Socarides to discuss Rep. Steve Cohen's (D-TN) recent reference to Nazi propaganda minister Joseph Goebbels on the floor of the House of Representatives. Socarides stated that "on the very network that we're on right now, the leading commenters on this network use this kind of language." Kelly responded by absurdly claiming "I don't know if you sit and watch our programming every night, but I watch it every day and you're wrong." [Fox News, America Live, 1/20/11]
In Fact, Fox News Figures Regularly Invoke Nazis, Hitler, Goebbels, Other Nazi Imagery
Glenn Beck Repeatedly Invokes The Nazis While Attacking Obama And Progressives
Beck: Progressives Use "Democratic Elections" To Push Dictators -- "Hitler, 'Democratically Elected.' " On April 28, 2010, 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.' " [Fox News, Glenn Beck, 04/28/10]
Beck Invoked "First They Came For The Jews" Poem To Respond To Ad Boycotts. On April 8, 2010, Beck portrayed ad boycotts of his show as being orchestrated by the Obama White House in order to "destroy" his "career" and "silence" him, adding: "Is there absolutely no chance whatsoever that you might be a target at some point in the future? What's that poem? First they came for the Jews, and I stayed silent?" [Fox News, Glenn Beck, 04/08/10]
Beck On NEA Conference Call: "You Should Look Up The Name Goebbels." On November 3, 2009, 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." [Fox News, Glenn Beck, 11/03/09]
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 August 27, 2009:
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. [Fox News, Glenn Beck, 08/27/09]
Beck Said "The Germans" During Hitler's Rise "Were An Awful Lot Like We Are Now." On June 10, 2009, 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." [Fox News, Glenn Beck, 06/10/09]
Beck Compared Auto Bailouts To The Actions Of German Companies "In The Early Days Of Adolf Hitler." While discussing the auto company bailouts on April 1, 2009, 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.' " [Fox News, Glenn Beck, 04/01/09]
Beck Airs Photos Of Hitler, Stalin, Lenin, Asks, "Is This Where We're Headed?" On April 2, 2009, 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. [Fox News, Glenn Beck, 04/02/09]
Beck Has Attacked Progressive Organizations As "Brownshirts." On May 7, 2009, Beck attacked the "brownshirts" at ACORN and "their henchmen" at the Service Employees International Union. [Fox News, Glenn Beck, 05/07/09]
Beck Warned Of Impending "National Socialism." On February 6, 2009, Beck claimed that "We are really truly stepping beyond socialism and starting to look at fascism." Then, purporting to "explain what happened in Nazi Germany," Beck claimed that "we're talking now about nationalizing the banks," which he called "national socialism." Beck said that "at first, all the big companies and the big capitalists in Germany said, 'Oh, thank goodness there's a savior. OK, great, we'll do that. Yes.' It didn't take too long before, like here in America now -- Goldman Sachs -- they started to see the writing on the wall and ... they couldn't get out of it fast enough." [Fox News, The O'Reilly Factor, 02/06/09]
Beck Compared Gore To Goebbels, Says, "The Government And Its Friends Are Indoctrinating Our Children For The Control Of Their Minds." On February 5, 2009, 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?" [Fox News, Glenn Beck, 02/05/09]
Beck: Holocaust Survivor's Story Of How Nazis Drove A Wedge Between Students And Parents Sounds Like U.N. and Gore. On September 24, 2010, 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." [Fox News, Glenn Beck, 09/24/10]
In 2007, ADL Rebuked Beck's Smears Of Gore. On May 2, 2007, the ADL issued a press release condemning Beck's April 30, 2007, statement that "Al Gore's not going to be rounding up Jews and exterminating them. It is the same tactic, however. The goal is different. The goal is globalization. The goal is global carbon tax. The goal is the United Nations running the world." Abraham H. Foxman, ADL National Director and a Holocaust survivor, said of the remark, in part: "Glenn Beck's linkage of Hitler's plan to round up and exterminate Jews with Al Gore's efforts to raise awareness of global warming is outrageous, insensitive and deeply offensive." [American Defamation League, 5/2/07]
Beck Invokes Nazis While Attacking The Media
Beck Compares Media Portrayal Of "Tea Partygoers" To Nazi Portrayal Of Anti-Nazi "Complainers." On August 11, 2009, 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." [Fox News, Glenn Beck, 08/11/09]
Beck Says U.S. Is On The Same Course As Weimar Republic
Beck Suggests U.S. On Course To Make Same "Mistake[s] That Germany Made During Weimar Republic" On February 24, 2009, Beck suggested that the U.S. was on course to make the "scariest mistake that Germany made during Weimar Republic." [Fox News, Fox & Friends, 2/24/09]
Beck Conspiracy Theory: Similar To Weimar Republic, U.S. Government To Seize Land Through Fannie Mae And Freddie Mac To Back New Currency. On October 28, 2009, Beck theorized that the United States, in order to pay its debts, would continue printing money and drive up inflation, at which point the country would drop the dollar as its currency and establish a new currency backed by land, which the government will seize through Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac. Beck explained that this is exactly what happened in the Weimar Republic. [Fox News, Glenn Beck, 10/28/09]
Beck's Economic Forecast: "The Great Depression Times 100" Or Hyperinflation Like The Weimar Republic. On January 5, 2010, Beck predicted a possible future of hyperinflation he described as "the Great Depression times 100," adding: "This is the reason I told you two years ago, please study the Weimar Republic." [Fox News, Glenn Beck, 1/5/10]
Beck Explains Deflation, Hyperinflation: "See If You Notice Any Similarities Of The Weimar Republic" To U.S. On August 2, 2010, Beck explained deflation and hyperinflation by saying, "See if you notice any similarities of the Weimar Republic" to the U.S. economy. [Fox News, Glenn Beck, 8/2/10]
Beck Continues Weimar Republic Warning: "I Want You Watch For Three Things." On August 12, 2010, Beck asked his viewers to "watch for three things" that were done in the Weimar Republic, saying that "you must educate yourself." [Fox News, Glenn Beck 8/12/10]
O'Reilly, Other Fox Personalities Have Also Invoked The Nazis
O'Reilly Said Liberals Who Support Gun Control Are "Totalitarians," Compared Them To Hitler. On March 2, 2010, 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." [Fox News, The O'Reilly Factor, 3/2/10]
O'Reilly: Huffington Post Uses "Same Exact Tactics That The Nazis Used." On March 5, 2008, 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 later 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." [Fox News, The O'Reilly Factor, 3/10/08, 2/28/08]
O'Reilly Compared Tim Robbins' Comments To Those Of "Von Ribbentrop In The Nazi Hierarchy." On December 13, 2007, Jane Hall said that comments made by actor Tim Robbins while campaigning for John Edwards were "valid." In response, Bill O'Reilly said, "But Von Ribbentrop in the Nazi hierarchy made valid points, Jane." [Fox News, The O'Reilly Factor, 12/14/07]
O'Reilly: Daily Kos Is "Like The Nazi Party." On July 16, 2007, 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." [Fox News, The O'Reilly Factor, 1/16/07, 1/17/07, 1/19/07]
O'Reilly Compares Michael Moore's "Power" To What "Happened In Nazi Germany." On July 28, 2004, 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." [Fox News, The O'Reilly Factor, 7/28/04]
O'Reilly Likened Moore, Franken To Goebbels. On June 14, 2004, 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." [Fox News, The O'Reilly Factor, 6/14/04]
Gingrich: Obama, Dems Threatening America As Much As "Nazi Germany Or The Soviet Union Once Did." On the May 16, 2010, edition of Fox News Sunday, Fox News contributor and former House Speaker Newt Gingrich said that President Obama and the Democratic Party present as great a threat as "Nazi Germany or the Soviet Union once did." [Fox News, Fox News Sunday, 5/16/10]
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 ... the Nazis' bible." [Fox News, Hannity & Colmes, 11/30/06]
Coulter On Fox: Media Matters Is A "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." [Fox News, The O'Reilly Factor, 12/1/05]
Fox's Nazi Rhetoric Mirrored By Fox Chairman Roger Ailes
Ailes: NPR Executives Have A "Nazi Attitude. They Are The Left Wing Of Nazism." In a November 2010 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." [Daily Beast, 11/17/10]
Ailes Apologizes For Nazi Comments to ADL. According to Politico, Ailes apologized to the Anti-Defamation League for invoking the Nazis in his comments, but according to NPR, Ailes did not apologize to NPR executives themselves. [Politico, 11/18/10, NPR, 11/19/10]