Holocaust Abuse

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As yesterday’s public letter from 400 rabbis declares, Glenn Beck’s promiscuous use of Holocaust and Nazi imagery to characterize those with whom he disagrees is disgraceful, and perhaps the recent outcry against the use of such imagery will tamp it down. But Beck’s effort to discredit George Soros by painting the financier of liberal causes as a 14-year-old accessory to genocide comes from a different playbook.

It’s the one used by Fox News’ Republican allies in campaigns against Democratic senators Max Cleland of Georgia and Sen. John Kerry of Massachusetts. Both were Vietnam war heroes, Cleland a triple amputee; and their moral statue derived in large measure from this service to their country. So the GOP tore them down by discrediting their military service.

Call Beck’s assault on Soros Holocaust Swift-boating. Naturally, Fox has responded by characterizing the rabbis as “a George Soros backed left-wing political organization that has been
trying to engage Glenn Beck primarily for publicity purposes.” Publicity for what? Holocaust denial?

  • The essence of the problem: There is a media market for such disgusting views. As editors, we are supposed to be gatekeepers of responsible conversation. The new media has rightly given voice to all sorts of strands of public conversation. It is the goal, however, of editors/journalists to frame those conversations in terms of what is responsible and what is not.
    We should never block such views from becoming public, but we must call them what they are — divisive and even incendiary.
    Fox, by setting itself up as David to the general media’s Goliath, has brilliantly cultivated its market to oppose any and all conversation that remotely questions its integrity.
    Regardless, it’s our reality and we have to find ways to address it.