The Anti-Defamation League has joined with me in trying to raise awareness over a violent propagandist spreading anti-Americanism on a low credibility network.
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. Unfortunately, his remarks are just the latest example of a troubling epidemic on the airwaves, where comparisons to Hitler and the Holocaust are becoming all-too facile.
It has become almost commonplace for talk-show pundits to use comparisons to the Holocaust and Nazi imagery to attack people whose views they disagree with, whether the issue is global warming or immigration, as we witnessed when CNN’s Lou Dobbs recently suggested on his program that immigrant rights groups use tactics similar to those of Nazi propagandists.
The six million Jewish victims and millions of other victims of Hitler deserve a measure of respect. Their deaths should not be used for political points or sloganeering. Every time a radio or television personality takes that unique event in history and twists it for their own political agenda, it cheapens the public debate and distorts and trivializes the Holocaust.
It is more important than ever before to speak openly about the culture of dishonesty, fear and violence promoted by the likes of Glenn Beck and held in place by the likes of Fox Broadcasting Company.
The element to understand here is that there will always be some wild shock-jock to spread falsehoods, incite fear and violence, scare the public with fabricated theories, and just plain be an unpatriotic American.
The problem lies with making the radicalism and fervor of the fringe of any movement the mainstream of the same movement. Glenn Beck accomplishes this everyday with the help of the pseudo-credibility of Fox News (television) and Fox News Talk (radio.)