Brent Bozell

Guess who did not have any criticism for this hate-mongering group? Democratic candidates and the liberal news media. News coverage ranged from the minimal and dismissive (Washington Post, New York Times, CNN, ABC) to the nonexistent (CBS, NBC, PBS, NPR). And it's not because they consider the group, or its ads, to be irrelevant. Last July, NBC's Katie Couric aired one of the group's Bush attack ads (with a graphic over Bush's face reading "MISLEADER") to her millions of viewers. She suggested to Tim Russert: "As we look at background video, Tim, of an ad that's being put out by a group called MoveOn. ... It was started by two Silicon Valley entrepreneurs frustrated by the political process." In the midst of this video press release, Katie couldn't even identify them as liberal. They were just "frustrated." Now that these "entrepreneurs" have been exposed as leftist hate-mongers, NBC is silent.

Comparing an American president to the fiendish fascist architect of death camps used to be seen as beyond the pale, the kind of ridiculous attack you might expect in the 1960s from wild-eyed SDS types. Now it's the message of the most active leftist political group in America, and it doesn't even merit a mention on the networks.

Maybe that's because some journalists themselves are using that hateful rhetoric.

As the Drudge Report was spreading the word of the Bush-Hitler ads on the World Wide Web, Couric was on the air bashing Tom Ridge, the Secretary of Homeland Security, for having the audacity to require that foreigners who want to visit America first submit to having their fingerprints done. She posed this question: "A Brazilian judge said -- compared the new security plans to Nazi horrors, saying, 'I consider the act absolutely brutal, threatening human rights, violating human dignity, xenophobic and worthy of the worst horrors committed by the Nazis.' How do you respond to that?"

It's too bad Ridge didn't answer this way: "Katie, do you really mean to suggest that your news judgment tells you that it's a completely reasonable public statement to compare requiring a little ink on your fingertips with burning bodies in the furnaces of Auschwitz?"

What was true 20 or 30 years ago about public civility remains true today. Comparing American political figures or policies to Nazi Germany -- unless it's the actions of the American Nazi Party or their ilk -- is the first mark of a reckless kook. It's just too bad that the kooks now include the Democratic establishment and the liberal media.

Brent Bozell

Founder and President of the Media Research Center, Brent Bozell runs the largest media watchdog organization in America.
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