An Exhibition of Conservative Paranoia
Exhibit 65: WND's Politician-Nazi Double Standard
WorldNetDaily spent years likening President Obama to various Nazis, yet it's now somehow appalled that some would make the same comparison with Donald Trump.
By Terry Krepel
The defining feature of WorldNetDaily over the past eight years has been to delegitimize President Obama has much as possible -- not only as a politician and president but as an American as well.
The key component of that was WND's birther crusade, even as it became increasingly detached from reality. Another part was giving a platform to anyone willing to denounce Obama as a Nazi.
WND's initial leader in that was Hilmar von Campe, a former Hitler Youth who, ironically, used Hitler-esque Big Lie techniques to smear Obama as Hitler-esque. That opened the floodgate for all manner of WND writers to echo the smear, up to and including WND editor Joseph Farah. It even published a column defending the smear and insisting that those who complained about it "are out of ideas or have too much time on their hands."
While the smears may have slowed as Obama's presidency continued, they never stopped. Von Campe may have died in 2012, but WND eventually found a replacement for the Nazi-era smear-meister role he filled: Anita Dittman. Like von Campe, she grew up in Nazi-era Germany, and like von Campe, she had no qualms about denouncing said childhood while using Big Lie techniques against Obama.
WND published Dittman's book "Trapped in Hitler's Hell" and made a documentary based on it, then promoted them by letting Dittman hurl the Nazi smear at Obama, as noted in this 2014 WND article:
Barack Obama’s first presidential campaign, with its messianic characterizations the photographs in which a halo was cast around his head, the worship-like adulation from crowds gave Holocaust survivor Anita Dittman nightmares.
As recently as August 2015, WND was still pushing the smear, with Farah himself asserting that Obama noting that opposition to the deal the U.S. made with Iran to curb that country's nuclear program was opposed only by "lobbyists and pundits" and the state of Israel was "dangerously close to historical baiting of Jews who use their money to influence policy decisions. It’s the same old canard used in the 1930s by Adolf Hitler."
All of this history means it's wildly hypocritical for WND to be upset about people making the same Nazi comparison with Donald Trump that WND has been making for years about Obama. But WND has been doing exactly that.
In December 2015 -- just a few months removed from WND's editor smearing Obama as Nazi-like -- WND Joe Kovacs huffed:
Achtung, political fans!
Kovacs failed to mention what was already clear at the time: Actual neo-Nazis and white supremacists and nationalists were totally down with Trump's plan to bar Muslims from entering the country. That's something that lends a little heft to those Trump-Nazi accusations, in contrast with WND's hurling the smear at Obama as a delegitimization tactic.
Farah followed up by spending his March 13 column complaining about MoveOn.org encouraging protests at Trump rallies. He wrote:
While Trump’s Republican opponents claim his campaign has invited chaos at his rallies with incendiary speech, they should remember this group used similar tactics against George W. Bush in 2004, also comparing the establishment GOP president with Adolf Hitler in media ads. If Trump’s opponents think MoveOn.org would be any less brutish toward their campaigns if they were front-runners, they are hopelessly misguided.
Of course, if likening Trump to Hitler is a "brutish" tactic now, it was brutish when Farah and WND were giving a platform to people likening Obama to Hitler.
Yes, Farah is once again being hypocritical --so much so, he went on to make the very same "brutish" smear against MoveOn in this very same column. Apparently, being "brutish" is OK in Farah's eyes when it advances your agenda.
Farah then huffed that MoveOn's "thuggish tactics" are being "funded by tens of millions of dollars from Soros and a parade of other Democrat billionaires, including John Kerry’s wife, Teresa Heinz Kerry, and her Tides Foundation." As we've pointed out in 2004, when WND was trying to smear Heinz Kerry because of her donations to the group, the Tides Foundation is not "her" foundation; she donated money to the group earmarked to support specific, non-controversial causes.
But Farah wasn't done ranting, going on to hurl another smear at MoveOn, calling it "the new Ku Klux Klan simply another age-old terrorist group that historically served as the military wing of the Democratic Party. Blaming Trump for their Gestapo tactics will only further their despicable ends. He added: "This is not about Trump. It’s about winning elections, silencing opposition and using brown-shirt tactics we haven’t seen since Mussolini and Hitler."
It's richly ironic that Farah is denouncing as "fascist" and "brownshirt" and Mussolini and Hitler-esque the very same tactics his organization has used against Obama since his first presidential campaign -- and which have brought him and WND only an utter lack of credibility.
WND managing editor David Kupelian ranted in an Oct. 5 piece: "What can one say to a newspaper that repeatedly compares a gutsy, outspoken billionaire businessman-turned-presidential candidate to a mass-murdering monster?"
Well, one could start by posing this question to Kupelian: What can one say to a website that repeatedly compared the first black presidential candidate to a mass-murdering monster? Because that's exactly what Kupelian's WND did to Obama.
But guess what, Mr. Kupelian? Obama has done none of those things either, yet you and your website published numerous instances of likening him to Hitler and other Nazis. That makes you an utter moral hypocrite for denouncing others for engaging in behavior you condoned and promoted.
One final consideration. There were at least 16 different plots to assassinate Adolf Hitler, including most famously “Operation Valkyrie” (the so-called “20 July Plot”), which was made into a blockbuster movie starring Tom Cruise as the heroic German army officer, Col. Claus von Stauffenberg. Even the revered Lutheran pastor and theologian, Dietrich Bonhoeffer, was executed by German authorities for his role in this particular plot. The people who attempted to assassinate Hitler to slay a psychopathic monster, to stop a genocide, to end a terrible war are rightly regarded as patriots and heroes.
Does that mean some blame can be assigned to WND if some would-be modern-day von Stauffenberg, heroically attempting to rid the world of this generation’s Hitler, were to shoot Obama? by Kupelian's logic, the answer is yes -- just like it can be argued WND has some blame for Anders Breivik's 2011 massacre of dozens in Norway (Breivik cited WND six times in his manifesto) and Dylann Roof's 2015 massacre of nine African-Americans in a Charleston, S.C., church (he parroted WND's race-baiting, pro-apartheid rhetoric).
The hypocrisy hasn't stopped. Larry Elder spent his Nov. 23 WND column complaining about how "comparing Republicans to Nazis has long been a national pastime of the Democratic Party"; he concluded by whining: "If not the Nazi card, it’s the race card or the sexist card or the homophobic card. This 'I’m right; you’re evil' brand of politics has a lot to do with why voters elected Donald Trump, rather than Hillary 'basket of deplorables' Clinton, to serve as our next president." Needless to say, he didn't mention all the Obama-Nazi comparisons that have been made over the years.
In his Nov. 23 column, Michael Brown similarly complained about Trump-Nazi comparisons. He declared that "This horrific name-calling needs to stop, not only because it defames the living but also because it mocks the dead specifically, the victims of Hitler and his henchmen," adding that "In light of the depths of their evil, we had better be very careful before we label others Nazis or call our opponents Hitler."
While that's true and good advice, Brown didn't specifically call out any Obama-Nazi comparisons, let alone admit that the website that publishes his column was a prime source of those comparisons.
Unless WND apologizes for its own shameful Obama-Nazi name-calling, it has no moral basis to complain about Trump-Nazi name-calling.