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Tags media criticism , Nazi comparisons , Robert Byrd

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Old 4th March 2005, 06:25 AM   #1
BPSCG
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"Byrd Hitler Comments Draw Fire" ... Or Do They?

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Quote:
Sen. Robert Byrd on Tuesday compared Republican threats to change Senate rules to outlaw procedural hurdles that have blocked 10 of President Bush's judicial candidates to Hitler jamming legislation through the German Reichstag.

"Hitler never abandoned the cloak of legality; he recognized the enormous psychological value of having the law on his side," the Democrat from West Virginia said. "Instead, he turned the law inside out and made illegality legal."
The story barely gets any mention in the Washington Post (brief mention in Howard Kurtz's media column and a couple of posts in an on-line chat with Terry Neal, a politics columnist). Google Byrd Hitler and you get a Reuters article, the same article parrotted in the Boston Globe, and the Anti-Defamation League's expected denunciation, before you trail off into blogosphere and irrelevant links.

Not newsworthy? Fox News carried a mention of it last night, else I would never have heard of it.
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Old 4th March 2005, 06:30 AM   #2
Kerberos
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Re: "Byrd Hitler Comments Draw Fire" ... Or Do They?

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Originally posted by BPSCG
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The story barely gets any mention in the Washington Post (brief mention in Howard Kurtz's media column and a couple of posts in an on-line chat with Terry Neal, a politics columnist). Google Byrd Hitler and you get a Reuters article, the same article parrotted in the Boston Globe, and the Anti-Defamation League's expected denunciation, before you trail off into blogosphere and irrelevant links.

Not newsworthy? Fox News carried a mention of it last night, else I would never have heard of it.
How prominent is this guy?
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Old 4th March 2005, 06:38 AM   #3
Cleon
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CNN's been covering it. Up until this morning, it was on the front page of cnn.com. It's still covered in the Politics section.
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Old 4th March 2005, 06:43 AM   #4
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Re: Re: "Byrd Hitler Comments Draw Fire" ... Or Do They?

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Originally posted by Kerberos
How prominent is this guy?
Longest-serving person in the U.S. Senate - 47 years. I believe he was the majority leader some years ago (when the Democrats controlled the Senate). Every school, dam, bridge, and highway in West Virginia is named after him.

Okay, that last one is an exaggeration, but not by much.

In short, he's not as (inter)nationally known as, say, Ted Kennedy or Hillary Clinton, but he's at the top of the second tier.
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Old 4th March 2005, 06:44 AM   #5
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Re: Re: "Byrd Hitler Comments Draw Fire" ... Or Do They?

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Originally posted by Kerberos
How prominent is this guy?
Reasonably so. He's more of an embarrassment to the Dems than anything else, lately. He's on several key senate committees, like armed services, budget, appropriations and of course rules... which is what prompted his little comment.

Oh, and he's a former member of the Ku Klux Klan. Just the kind of guy you want throwing ethnic epithets around.
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Old 4th March 2005, 06:52 AM   #6
Kerberos
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Re: Re: Re: "Byrd Hitler Comments Draw Fire" ... Or Do They?

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Originally posted by Jocko
Reasonably so. He's more of an embarrassment to the Dems than anything else, lately. He's on several key senate committees, like armed services, budget, appropriations and of course rules... which is what prompted his little comment.

Oh, and he's a former member of the Ku Klux Klan. Just the kind of guy you want throwing ethnic epithets around.
Lovely.
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Old 4th March 2005, 07:43 AM   #7
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Re: Re: Re: Re: "Byrd Hitler Comments Draw Fire" ... Or Do They?

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Originally posted by Kerberos
Lovely.
If his comments aren't drawing as much heat as you'd expect, I think it's just because he's famous for sticking his jackboot into his mouth from time to time. It's not really news. Suits me fine, the less said and heard about that crackpot the better, IMHO.
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Old 4th March 2005, 07:45 AM   #8
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Quote:
Originally posted by Jocko
Oh, and he's a former member of the Ku Klux Klan. Just the kind of guy you want throwing ethnic epithets around.
Don't forget what an experienced filibusterer he is. When he speaks about how valuable the filibuster is to protect our fragile democracy, he knows whereof he speaks.

Seriously, though. Shouldn't some other Democrat have suggested to him that his tirade would be better delivered by... anybody?

MattJ
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Old 4th March 2005, 08:02 AM   #9
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Don't forget that Byrd called Bill Clinton (ever so slightly indirectly) a "white ******." He's a viscious person, and in his dodderage, losing his inhibitions. Not a good combination.

edited to add: wtf with that dirty word filter?
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Old 4th March 2005, 08:08 AM   #10
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Quote:
"Hitler never abandoned the cloak of legality; he recognized the enormous psychological value of having the law on his side"

Geez, you can this argument about virtually any political position, including the one he is defending.
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Old 4th March 2005, 08:36 AM   #11
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Byrd is up for (automatic) re-election in 2006; he'll be 88 or 89 years old, but would win even if the Republicans fielded Jesus Christ himself against him. West Virginia is a "red" state, and the thinking among the Dems appears to be that they can't afford to push him out the door, because if they do, WV will probably get a Republican senator.

Talk is that Harry Reid has delegated someone to "accidentally" kick the audio feed jack out of Byrd's microphone whenever he gets up to speak.
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Old 6th March 2005, 09:48 AM   #12
Silicon
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It's actually quite suprising that this somewhat oblique reference was the huge headline on CNN.com and stuff, given that the republicans do this all the time (compare democrats to hitler).


Quote:
"Now, forgive me, but that is right out of Nazi Germany. I don't understand...why all of a sudden we are passing laws that sound as if they are right out of Nazi Germany."
-Sen. Gramm, R-TX, September 5, 2002 (speaking in opposition to a Democratic tax plan)



Quote:
"That, Mr. Speaker, is a modern-day equivalent of the Nazi prison guard saying 'I was just following orders.' It was all legal in Nazi Germany at the time."
-Rep. King, R-IA, September 8, 2004 (speaking in opposition to a legal ruling on abortion)



Quote:
We certainly have all seen the rejections of Nazi Germany's abuses of science. As a society and a nation, there ought to be some limit on what we can allow or should allow."
-Sen. Sessions R-AL, October 11, 2004 (speaking in opposition to stem cell research)




Quote:
"He also said that imposition of the Kyoto Protocol 'would deal a powerful blow on the whole humanity similar to the one humanity experienced when Nazism and communism flourished.' And that was the chief economic advisor to Russian President Putin. The world has certainly turned on its head that we Americans must look to Russians for speaking out strongly against irrational authoritarian ideologies."
-Sen. Inhofe, R-OK, October 11, 2004 (speaking in opposition to the Kyoto Protocol)

I wouldn't go screaming "media bias" over this just yet.
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