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First they came for the overused quotations…

October 15, 2009

Glenn Beck

Glenn Beck

“Godwin’s Law should be renamed Beck’s Law,” declares Media Matters scribe Brian Frederick.

Godwin’s Law traces its origins back to the internet’s beginnings. Noting how quickly arguments on Usenet discussion boards (remember those?) degenerated into “You’re a Nazi!” name-calling, attorney Michael Godwin wryly proclaimed, “As a Usenet discussion grows longer, the probability of a comparison involving Nazis or Hitler approaches 1”; others added the provision that the first debater to call his opponent Hitler automatically forfeits the argument.

Godwin rightly feared that overuse of Nazi analogies trivialized the Holocaust. Which makes it all the more amusing to see Media Matters’ moral posturing about Glenn Beck’s latest “offense.” If any group violates Godwin’s Law on a regular basis, it’s the angry left.

Here’s what has Media Matters pretending to be so angry today:

In recent weeks, Fox News’ Glenn Beck has displayed an utterly shameful amount of disrespect toward Jewish people. Yesterday, Beck compared Fox News to Jews during the Holocaust, imploring journalists at other news networks to “[a]sk yourself this question: When they’re done with Fox, and you decide to speak out on something. The old, ‘First they came for the Jews, and I wasn’t Jewish.'”

Beck was evoking the familiar (I’d argue, too familiar) quotation by anti-Nazi pastor Martin Niemöller condemning the apathy of his fellow Germans: “First they came for the communists, and I did not speak out—because I was not a communist…”

The trouble is, Media Matters and its left wing allies are just as apt to work the Niemoller quote into any debate, however trivial, comparing everything and everyone from “the next Supreme Court appointment [and] street protesters,” ACORN and even Rod Blagojevich to Jews during the Holocaust.

Given that the left’s only recognized “sin” is hypocrisy, it’s a wonder they can criticize Beck’s latest “outrage” with a straight face.

  1. October 15, 2009 11:01 am

    I have to say that I am guilty of using the same tactical proverb but I inserted “guns” or “motorcycles” (yes I was an anti-helmet activist in Florida, where we won, btw) instead of “jews”!

    You can find this proverb on most any activist site or mail list! It has impact and it makes people think, “You know, he’s right!” Sure the idealogs are not going to be swayed, but there not ones we targeted. We went after the average cititzens, the ones most obilvious to our mission by bring our message home to them, “You think it can’t or won’t happen to you, think again”

    By God it worked! We smashed the arguments of our detractors, lobbied for change, and invoked the public sympathy for our cause. That is one of the reasons the Florida legislature is now predominantly Republican after over nearly 50 years of being in a Demoncratic stranglehold!

    You see we changed over to a 501c4 an became a political Motorcycle Rights Org. and worked to throw all the Demoncrats out of office, statewide. This is what we need now, nationwide. Grassroots 501c4’s out there working to throw the Demoncrats out office NATIONWIDE! Then we’ll start on the Republicans who refuse to listen, i.e Snowe and company;-)

    America Again in 2010!

  2. Rafe permalink
    October 15, 2009 8:30 pm

    This blog was much fun when it was devoted to attacking Matthews and Olbermann.

    Now it’s defending Beck all the time, as much a worthless and vapid pundit as those two. Bleagh.

    • October 15, 2009 8:41 pm

      We still attack Matthews and Olbermann regularly.

      And Beck is hardly as “worthless and vapid” as them.

      • Walt permalink
        October 16, 2009 7:31 pm

        Glean Beck is far more interesting than those two MSNBC pundits. Olbermann and Matthews wish they had the audience that Glen Beck has.

  3. bob permalink
    October 16, 2009 12:20 am

    “First they came for the overused quotations…”

    Best headline in recent memory.

  4. Nash permalink
    October 16, 2009 5:22 am

    Glenn Beck is on a national platform and when he wonders if there are still some good journalists out there, I hope he can look beyond NYC and DC and the mega-cities and see that there are journalists in small towns and smaller cities that are probably still carrying the torch for decent journalism. At least I hope they are out there.

  5. October 16, 2009 12:51 pm

    Kathy, these guys can attack anybody with a straight face.

  6. fozzy permalink
    October 17, 2009 11:36 am

    “When they came for the smokers I kept
    silent because I don’t smoke.When they
    came for the meat eaters I kept silent because
    I’m a vegetarian. When they came for the
    gun owners I kept silent because I’m a pacifist.
    When they came for the drivers I kept silent
    because I’m a bicyclist. They never did come for
    me. I’m still here because there’s nobody left in
    the secret police except sissies with rickets.”

    – Florence King

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