November 18th, 2010

Owning The Nazi Rhetorical Flourish

by Philip Baruth

Wasn’t too long ago that public figures who crossed the Nazi line — that is, compared a political opponent to Hitler or the Nazis for no apparent reason — were forced to walk back their remarks post haste. No longer. Fox News has almost single-handedly pushed that particular envelope until it’s no longer an envelope at all, but a blank sheet of paper, on which its commentators are free to write whatever they please, regardless of context, proportion, or shame.

The new Nazis, according to Roger Ailes? NPR. Yes, that would be National Public Radio. Says Ailes:

“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.”

Who knew?

All those years when VDB was writing for VPR and occasionally for NPR, thinking that somehow this contributed to a rational political discourse, conducted in measured tones during drive time? Who knew that in fact the entire brown-shirt enterprise would one day be exposed for what it is by the head of Fox News, the unsung defenders of plurality of viewpoint? Crushing irony, to say the least.

You live and learn. At least until Noah Adams and Nina Totenberg come to kill you and burn your school.