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Nascent Nazism

President Obama

Despite all of the cautionary advice against it, President Obama several days ago used the N word. No, that’s not what I mean. I’m talking about Nazi.

A number of voices in the media have in the past criticized a tendency to compare politicians or political actions with Nazis or Nazism. But in today’s political milieu, such comparisons are all but inevitable.

Hinting at President Trump and the radical wing of the Republican Party, Obama said in an address to the Economic Club of Chicago, “You have to tend this garden of democracy; otherwise things can fall apart fairly quickly. And we’ve seen societies

Japanese internment camp

History has recorded the rise of many totalitarian governments through control of the judiciary and quashing of a free press. Doyle McManus, columnist for the Los Angeles Times, noted a few days ago the shrill voices attempting to discredit Special Counsel Robert Mueller in his investigation of possible collusion by Trump with Russia in its tampering with the 2016 presidential election. He wrote: “It all looks like a concerted campaign to delegitimize Mueller’s investigation …”

Robert Mueller

Obama, in his speech, stood up for a free press. He acknowledged his differences with the media while he was president, and added, “But what I understood was that the principle of the free press was vital, and that, as president, part of my job was to make sure that that was maintained.”

David Frum

Trump relentlessly bashes the media, labeling any report critical of him as “fake news” and the reporters as liars, even though the reports almost always are unfailingly accurate and the reporters honest. In the past week, ABC and CNN made mistakes about Trump’s alleged collusion with Russia, which they admitted and promptly corrected. Trump and his supporters jumped all over these errors as evidence of bias and incompetence.

David Frum, senior editor at The Atlantic and former George W. Bush speech writer, said on CNN’s Reliable Sources program Sunday, “Astronomers make mistakes all the time” in their pursuit of truth, “but astrologers don’t because what they’re offering is a closed system of ideology and propaganda.” The mistakes, he said, “are the reason people should trust the media.”

Carl Bernstein

Why? “The mistakes occur in the process of exposing the lies by those who work on Trump’s behalf. Mistakes will be made in the process of bringing the truth to light … The liars then complain about the mistakes. (The media) are faced with bad-faith actors engaged actively in concealment in order to deprive the public of important knowledge …”

Watergate reporter Carl Bernstein, appearing with Frum, said “the mainstream media generally makes far fewer errors than most institutions in our culture, because we are in the business of trying not to make errors, and we have all kinds of procedures in place to keep us from making those errors. Compare us to Wall Street, compare us to banking, compare us to the United States Congress, compare us to almost any institution, and we make fewer errors. At the same time, we can’t be complacent. We need to be introspective.”

Contorted fairness

Frum said that, regarding press coverage of Trump, it’s bent backward in efforts to be fair. The media’s “worst mistakes in covering Trump is their overzealous efforts to be fair to the president. Active coverage of this president and his campaign is very different from neutral coverage of the president … How do you (avoid reporting) that the president lies all the time and that he recruits people to lie all the time? The worst mistake CNN has made is its determination to bring (to its shows) in-house Trump associates in order to promote Trump falsehoods …You need to hear from them as Trump supporters. You don’t need to put your own brand on them … That comes from the desire to be unduly fair.”

Mike Allen

“The best obtainable version of the truth,” Bernstein said, “is not necessarily about neutrality. It is about sorting through information and presenting what the facts and context are. And that is what the major news organizations have done on this (Trump collusion) story and have done very well.”

Doyle McManus

He was echoing Mike Allen, co-founder of Axios and former chief political reporter for Politico: “Most reporters work hard to be fair and accurate. And national outlets have risen to this historic era with unprecedented resources and consequential journalism.”

Newt Gingrich

The Los Angeles Times’ McManus quoted recent attacks on Mueller. On Fox News, the columnist wrote, former House Speaker Newt Gingrich said, “Mueller is corrupt. The senior FBI is corrupt. The system is corrupt.” Fox’s Sean Hannity said, “A disgrace to the American justice system,” who is leading the country toward becoming “a banana republic.” On Newsmax, Trump friend Christopher Ruddy said “Mueller poses an existential threat to the Trump presidency.” (Actually, that may be true – and, to honest observers, desirable.)

Christopher Ruddy

The Wall Street Journal called on Mueller to resign, saying he was conflicted. (Mueller, by the way, is a longtime Republican who happens to have some Democrats on his staff.) Some members of Congress have joined Trump in attacking Mueller, the FBI and the Justice Department.

Sean Hannity

“The anti-Mueller campaign isn’t just noisy; it’s dangerous,” McManus wrote. “Gingrich, Hannity and Ruddy are people Trump listens to. Fox News is the channel he watches. Whether or not they persuade the president that he ought to fire Mueller, they are clearly paving the way – by convincing Trump’s political base, the Fox News-watching public, that dismissing the prosecutor would be justified.”

Adam Schiff

Jake Tapper

Adam Schiff, ranking Democrat on the House Intelligence Committee, talked about the Russian collusion on CNN’s All In show Sunday. “You have to look at the pattern and the chronology,” he told host Jake Tapper. “To believe all these incidents were unconnected just doesn’t make sense.”

Hillary Clinton

The Russians offered help in investigating Hillary Clinton’s email imbroglio, and the Trump campaign accepted it, Schiff said. “That is pretty damning.” At the same time FBI Director James Comey, whom Trump fired, announced that he was investigating Clinton’s emails, Schiff said, he didn’t disclose that he also was investigating Trump.” Obviously, if there was bias by the Republican director, it was in Trump’s favor, and may well have affected the election’s outcome.

James Comey

“I think this president with astonishing speed has remade the Republican Party in his own deeply flawed image,” Schiff said, “and that would be ruinous to the Republican Party … and also deeply damaging to this country. The discrediting of our institutions, the justice system, the judiciary, the press, is enormously destructive.”

#ABC #WallStreetJournal #RobertMueller #JosephMcCarthyera #Japaneseinternment #SeanHannity #CNNsReliableSources #CarlBernstein #DavidFrum #JamesComey #JakeTapper #ChristopherRuddy #CNN #NewtGingrich #EconomicClubofChicago #Nazism #fakenews #HillaryClinton #TheAtlantic #freepress #LosAngelesTimes #GeorgeWBush #AxiosMikeAllen #CNNsAllIn #PresidentObama #DoyleMcManus #FoxNews

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