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Jewish World Review Jan. 15, 2004 / 21 Teves 5764

Steve Young

Steve Young
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Hitlerization of American politics: Which Side Is The Real Culprit?

http://www.NewsAndOpinion.com | Those darn hate-filled liberal organizations. Running a commercial comparing our president to Hitler. Shameful. Shameful. If it were true.


Republican National Committee Chairman Ed Gillespie has launched a response to the deplorable tactics of the Left and radio talk shows continue to spread the story of the Democratic support group MoveOn.org, the guilty party behind the heinous television commercial that insinuate President Bush and the Fuhrer have much in common. And rightly so. I mean, such mean-spirited politics are an absolute sin. Far worse than when George Bush said that 'There ought to be limits to freedom," or even when he said, "If this were a dictatorship, it would be a heck of a lot easier, just so long as I'm the dictator."


I'm not even going to mention the Republican's commercials where they morphed the face of Senator Max Cleland, a Vietnam war veteran triple amputee, into Osama bin Laden.


Difference is, Bush actually offered those really funny revelations and Cleland's adversaries really did air those ads. MoveOn never ran those commercials. They didn't even produce them, if they ever were produced, which they weren't.


The ad that Gillespie and the talking heads have railed against with the most righteous indignation was part of what MoveOn called a Bush in 30 Seconds contest. People submitted their ideas (more than a thousand posted), and they were voted on by MoveOn members with winners being considered for actual production and airing. The submission in question did not receive the necessary "votes" and was not listed as one of the 15 finalists.


The submission had all the validity of a anonymous caller on the radio, but just as any unsubstantiated anecdotal information is used as grist (and seeming truth) for the talk show mill, the RNC has picked this up as part of their demonization campaign of Dean and the Democratic Party.


If you missed seeing the MoveOn entry, you'll have to go to the RNC website as they seem to be the only outlet that believes the misinformation needs to continued circulation. That we heard no outrage from the RNC over the New York Post's January 5th ACTUAL printing of columnist Richard Peter's editorial where he said that Howard Dean and the DNC use "techniques employed by Hitler's Brownshirts." and that "Had Goebbels enjoyed access to the Internet, he would have used the same swarm tactics as Dean's Flannelshirts." Peter then raised the level of the debate by calling Dean, "Herr Howie."


How soon do you think Ed Gillespie or Rush Limbaugh will be on the air decrying Peters or the Post?


With all the missteps and misspeaks by Dean and his compatriot Democratic candidates, you would think there is plenty of factual weapons to bandy about, why they choose to pick up on something that doesn't exist only goes to show that in politics that you can't believe everything (anything?) you hear, except, of course, this.



JWR contributor Steve Young, Prism Award winner and Humanitas Prize nominee for his television writing, is film correspondent for BBC radio. He is the author of "Great Failures of the Extremely Successful: Mistakes, Adversity, Failure and Other Stepping Stones to Success," "The 130 Tales of Winchell Mink," Harper Collins (Winter, 2003) and the director/writer of "My Dinner With Ovitz." His website is www.greatfailure.com. Comment by clicking here.

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© 2002, Steve Young