This year’s phony liberal angst about a tiny minority of “tea partiers” comparing President Obama with Adolf Hitler ranks high among the worst cases of media hypocrisy in history.
The press never batted an eye for eight years when the lunatic fringe of the left made the same kinds of comparisons between George W. Bush and Hitler. But all of a sudden, with the “first black president” in office, every Obama/Hitler sign must be publicized. Invoking Hitler is considered a “coded message” to right-wing racists and “an implicit call for politically motivated violence.”
People who resort to such analogies on either side of the political spectrum are ignorant of Godwin’s Law and should be condemned. But so long as they are the exception rather than the rule (they were more mainstream during the Bush years), they are not newsworthy. And speculations about attacks on the president certainly aren’t newsworthy — unless the speculator is a presidential candidate stoking fears about the potential assassination of her opponent.
The good news is that it’s easier to combat such media deceptions when the people have the power of the press online. This video, which merges the audio of a Rachel Maddow segment on MSNBC with snapshots from eight years of Bush Derangement Syndrome that is still alive and well, does a great job of exposing the Bush/Hitler vs. Obama/Hitler media double standard:
Filmmaker Evan Coyne Maloney provided more evidence last month at his blog, Brain Terminal. The Hitler-style hatred of Bush actually impacted Maloney’s future.
“During the Bush era,” he wrote, “the media looked the other way at the extremist element in the protest movement; the large number of protest signs bearing swastikas and mathematical formulae like “Bush=Hitler” just didn’t interest them. But it did interest me, and because the media didn’t want to report it, I did some reporting of my own. The videos I posted online inadvertently launched me on a second career as a documentary filmmaker.”
I have a feeling that many conservatives will be saying the same thing a decade from now — and America will be the better for it.
UPDATE: Charleston Daily Mail columnist Don Surber, a colleague from my internship days in 1989, covered this topic in his latest piece. Here’s an excerpt: “Nazism? Bushitler was a favorite epithet for George W. Bush for eight years. For every picture of President Obama with a Hitler moustache, I can show you 10 of Bush with a Hitler moustache.”
[Cross-posted at Hot Air’s Greenroom]