Tuesday, July 17, 2007

Faux Outrage: Ellison under fire for comparing 9/11 to Reichstag fire.

The only thing worse than comparing Bush to Hitler is to point out that history and behavior make those comparisons inevitable and unfavorable to George Bush and Dick Cheney.

When they cannot argue the facts or reasonable conclusions drawn from the facts, Faux Noise targets the messenger.

clipped from www.foxnews.com
Democratic Rep. Keith Ellison, the first Muslim elected to Congress, is defending himself Monday after comparing President Bush to Adolf Hitler and leaving the impression the administration may have rigged the Sept. 11, 2001, terror attacks.
Speaking to an atheist group on July 8, Ellison said that the president acted much the way Hitler did when the Reichstag, or German Parliament building, was burned in 1933 ahead of elections that pitted Hitler's Nazi Party against others, including the Communists. Hitler, who was suspected of ordering the fire, declared emergency powers that helped him launch his dictatorial and murderous reign.
"It's almost like the Reichstag fire, kind of reminds me of that," Ellison told the group, according to The Minneapolis Star Tribune. "After the Reichstag was burned, they blamed the Communists for it and it put the leader of that country [Hitler] in a position where he could basically have authority to do whatever he wanted."

blog it
Faux is actually quoting a favorable article in The Minneapolis Star Tribune.

On comparing Sept. 11 to the burning of the Reichstag building in Nazi Germany: "It's almost like the Reichstag fire, kind of reminds me of that. After the Reichstag was burned, they blamed the Communists for it and it put the leader of that country [Hitler] in a position where he could basically have authority to do whatever he wanted. The fact is that I'm not saying [Sept. 11] was a [U.S.] plan, or anything like that because, you know, that's how they put you in the nut-ball box -- dismiss you." [emphasis mine]
Note that Ellison is refusing to say anything abut 9/11 or government involvement in it. If you are left with the "impression" he did, read what he said again. What he's speaking of is something in the realm of facts on record - the behavior of the Bush Administration in response to 9/11. He wasn't trying to leave the impression that the administration may have planned 9/11, but he was and is directly stating that the Administration took the opportunity presented to militarize, gut the Constitution, concentrate power within a "Unitary Executive," attack a foreign enemy, silence dissent and, yes, set various groups of Citizen against one another.

Muslims, for example, are not unreasonably concerned that they might be targeted by thugs, literally, or as above, figuratively.

Now, I happen to believe that Administration behavior tends to lend some credibility to the idea that there was some sort of foreknowledge of the attack, especially given a wide variety of disturbing gaps in the record and unexplained issues. But an unexplained issue is just that - unexplained. When I see a UFO, I do not leap to the conclusion that it is an intergalactic spacecraft. The "U" stands for "Unidentified."

I can be pretty sure I wouldn't like the facts being hidden from us, that they would not reflect well on Bush or Cheney, there integrety oor capacity for leadership, without going out on a limb and saying "They PLANNED 9/11." In many ways, it doesn't matter, so why confuse the issue? There are plenty of perfectly respectable facts in evidence to work with that, in my humble opinion, should lead to both men breaking rocks at Levenworth after a fair and speedy trial.

Rep. Ellison was careful to limit his comments to what is and pointedly avoid what might be, apparently in response to a direct question, Faux was reduced to one of the oldest tactics of propaganda, which is to attempt to discredit the messenger.
Democratic Rep. Keith Ellison, the first Muslim elected to Congress, is defending himself...
Let us suppose I were writing a similar article, say, about something Sen. Lieberman had said regarding the Middle East situation, and it happened to be an accurate observation that I'd very much like to go unconsidered.
Democratic Senator Lieberman, a Jew with a long history of commitment to Zionist causes, is defending himself...

When you see this phraseology used anywhere, check around to see if whoever it is is actually having to defend himself against anyone other than the writer. Odds are rather good it's either the first shot, or one shot of a pre-arranged volley in an orchestrated smear campaign.

This article really says little against Rep. Keith Ellison, but it speaks volumes about Faux News, and what it doesn't want you to think about. And that, by the by, is the way to read and source Right-Wing propagandists, such as Faux News, "Newsbusters" and Freep. Consider the source and it's intended message along with what any particular message it might have.

That and a good fact-checking will keep your credibility intact when opining upon such matters.

Edit: I found this article at Right Web just after I hit "publish."

"A Great Little Racket": The Neocon Media Machine

Not by any accident, the neoconservatives' time of greatest influence on U.S. foreign policy coincided with the explosive growth of mass media outlets from which they could promote their policies. The omnipresent fluttering American flag on Fox News exemplifies the new ├╝ber-patriotic packaging through which the invasion of Afghanistan, the invasion of Iraq, and the escalation of tensions with Iran are marketed packages.

When asked why the Weekly Standard and Fox News have increased in popularity over the past few years, Matt Labash, a senior writer at the Weekly Standard responded that it was "because they feed the rage. We bring the pain to the liberal media. I say that mockingly, but it's true somewhat. We come with a strong point of view and people like point of view journalism. While all these hand-wringing Freedom Forum types talk about objectivity, the conservative media likes to rap the liberal media on the knuckles for not being objective. We've created this cottage industry in which it pays to be un-objective. It pays to be subjective as much as possible. It's a great way to have your cake and eat it too. Criticize other people for not being objective. Be as subjective as you want. It's a great little racket. I'm glad we found it actually."

If Irving Kristol intended to start a revolution with his writing on the culture wars and U.S. Cold-War foreign policy, he certainly laid the groundwork in academic journals and periodicals. What may never have entered his imagination at the time was the degree of success the second generation of neoconservatives would experience in marketing neoconservative ideas to a mainstream audience. The original network of journals and think tanks has been amplified by a powerful, streamlined media machine. The neoconservative revolution has, quite literally, been televised.

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1 comment:

Anonymous said...

This still bugs me. 9/11/2001, Pentagon. Where is the Boeing 757-sized hole? In fact, where is the Boeing 757? - http://i12.tinypic.com/6c7rm6t.jpg

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