The Washington Times falsely claimed in an editorial that in an “extreme” attempt “to portray opponents of government health care as irrational hatemongers,” House Speaker Nancy Pelosi denounced “fictitious” crowds carrying swastikas at health care reform town hall meetings. In fact, swastikas have appeared at the meetings. Further, the Times suggested that Democrats, not conservatives, use references to Nazism to attack health care, when, in fact, numerous conservative outlets -- including the Times itself -- have used references to Nazism to attack health care reform.
Wash. Times: Pelosi denounced “fictitious crowds” carrying swastikas in “extreme” attempt “to portray opponents of government health care as irrational hatemongers”
From the August 28 Washington Times editorial:
Democrats and liberal activists are going to extreme lengths to portray opponents of government health care as irrational hatemongers. House Speaker Nancy Pelosi launched this theme by denouncing fictitious crowds “carrying swastikas and symbols like that.” When reality does not match their script, Democrats misconstrue facts or have acts of hate staged for propaganda purposes.
Pelosi was right: Swastikas have appeared at town hall meetings
As Media Matters for America senior fellow Eric Boehlert and Fox News contributor Alan Colmes have noted, multiple protesters at health care reform protests have held signs featuring swastikas. Images from Boehlert's post, "Jonah Goldberg goes in search of swastikas":
From Colmes' post, "Pelosi Is Correct: They ARE Carrying Swastikas At Town Hall Meetings":
Wash. Times further suggested that conservatives do not use Nazi rhetoric to smear health care reform
The Washington Times pointed to “a Democrat” -- a Lyndon LaRouche supporter -- who called health reform a “Nazi policy.” Referring to a Lyndon LaRouche supporter who called health care reform a “Nazi policy,” The Washington Times editorial stated: “In a widely covered event this month, a questioner at a town-hall meeting asked Rep. Barney Frank, Massachusetts Democrat, 'Why do you still support this Nazi policy?' The event was used to show how rancorous the debate has become. What didn't get much coverage was that the questioner is a Democrat.” [The Washington Times, 8/28/09]
Wash. Times itself linked health care reform to Nazi euthanasia programs
Shortly after the election, The Washington Times predicted continuance of “America's T4 program.” In a November 23, 2008, editorial titled, “No 'final solution,' but a way forward,” The Washington Times asserted that “Adolf Hitler in the late 1930s started the T4 Aktion (Action) program ... to exterminate 'useless eaters,' babies born with disabilities” and that “the program expanded to include older children and adults with disabilities, and anyone anywhere in the Third Reich was subject to execution who was blind, deaf, senile, retarded, or had any significant neurological condition, encephalitis, epilepsy, muscular spasticity or paralysis.” The editorial then referred to America's “current climate as a budding T4 program” and claimed that “America's T4 program” would continue under the Obama administration:
America's T4 program -- trivialization of abortion, acceptance of euthanasia, and the normalization of physician assisted suicide -- is highly unlikely to be stopped at the judicial, administrative or legislative levels anytime soon, given the Supreme Court's current and probable future makeup during the Obama administration, the administrative predilections that are likely from that incoming administration, and the makeup of the new Congress.
Instead, it will be up to everyone who sees the current climate as a budding T4 program to win the hearts and minds of deniers, many or most of them people of good will who have let “choice” become a blind substitute or palliative for the stark fact that a “mercy death” at any age is the killing of human life. Period. That won't be a final solution to end the deaths, but it may stanch them and stop the forward progression of extermination (there is no other word for it) from prenatal to postnatal to child to adult that is so seductively “rational” -- and horrifying. [The Washington Times, 11/23/08]
The Washington Times claimed health IT provision “in the spirit of” Germany's Aktion T4 program. In a February 11 editorial, The Washington Times compared a provision in the stimulus package that provided 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 Times asserted that a quote it attributed to “a program instituted in Hitler's Germany called Aktion T-4” is “fully in the spirit of the partisans of efficiency.” The quote as the Times provided it read: “It must be made clear to anyone suffering from an incurable disease that the useless dissipation of costly medications drawn from the public store cannot be justified.” The paper's website also published the editorial alongside a photograph of Hitler. [The Washington Times, 2/11/09]
Conservative personalities have repeatedly used Nazi rhetoric to attack progressive health care policies
- January 27: Numerous media figures equate Pelosi's defense of family planning provision in recovery package to China's “one-child policy,” eugenics, Nazism
- January 27: KSFO's Sussman compares Pelosi's contraception comments to Nazism, claims we're on our way to a “one child policy in this country”