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Saturday, February 4, 2017


"Benito Mussolini secured Italy’s premiership by marching on Rome with 30,000 blackshirts in 1922. By 1925 he had declared himself leader for life. While this hardly reflected American values, Mussolini was a darling of the American press, appearing in at least 150 articles from 1925-1932, most neutral, bemused or positive in tone...



"How to cover the rise of a political leader who’s left a paper trail of anti-constitutionalism, racism and the encouragement of violence? 

Does the press take the position that its subject acts outside the norms of society? 

Or does it take the position that someone who wins a fair election is by definition “normal,” because his leadership reflects the will of the people?

 These are the questions that confronted the U.S. press after the ascendance of fascist leaders in Italy and Germany in the 1920s and 1930s.

...[T]he main way that the press defanged Hitler was by portraying him as something of a joke. 

He was a “nonsensical” screecher of “wild words” whose appearance, according to Newsweek, “suggests Charlie Chaplin.” His “countenance is a caricature.” He was as “voluble” as he was “insecure,” stated Cosmopolitan.

When Hitler’s party won influence in Parliament, and even after he was made chancellor of Germany in 1933 – about a year and a half before seizing dictatorial power – many American press outlets judged that he would either be outplayed by more traditional politicians or that he would have to become more moderate.
Sure, he had a following, but his followers were “impressionable voters” duped by “radical doctrines and quack remedies,” claimed The Washington Post.

Now that Hitler actually had to operate within a government the “sober” politicians would “submerge” this movement, according to The New York Times and Christian Science Monitor. A “keen sense of dramatic instinct” was not enough. When it came to time to govern, his lack of “gravity” and “profundity of thought” would be exposed."

* * * * *
This should all be sounding very, very familiar to us. Many a news outlet has spoken about the normalization of Trump. So far I've only seen Reuter's announce how they will deal with Trump's attacking the press and trying to float "alternative facts" without challenge.

Looking at world history, it's still very clear to me that the worst thing to happen to black people was white people. Africa still hasn't recovered from the days of slavery or the days after slavery when Europe split up the ownership of Africa among themselves (with not one African Leader present) in 1888.

But the worst thing to happen to white people where there's written history and a photographic record is probably Hitler.  

Learning how Hitler rose to power without the average person knowing how powerful and dangerous he was because the press did not depict him in that way is a history lesson we cannot afford to miss. 

Those who do not know their history are doomed to repeat it.

And while I really do not feel that Chump is the next Hitler, I keep thinking there's somebody smarter that is sitting in the shadows seeing just how far our democratic experiment can be pushed by one individual for personal profit and the personal satisfaction that comes to an egomaniac when he abuses of power.


Then I read things like this Smithsonian article and wonder if I'm underestimating the Trump and the swamp that supports him.

Hitler got support from a populace that felt desperate and had been humiliated after WWI.  Trump is getting support in a fairly similar situation. Up to 2/3rds of white people who observed the power of white supremacy slipping when they saw people of color join with less than 50% of whites to put Barack Obama in office not once but twice.

Cheeto Satan's Satan-ettes are capable of supporting just about anything. 

In 2018, the democrats in the Senate are more at risk than the republicans. Not many republicans are in an election year. But we have to try to get the House Of Representatives. Trump has likely already committed impeachable offenses. But his impeachable offenses won't mean anything if republicans control the Senate, the House, and the Supreme Court.

The fourth estate, the fourth informal branch of our democracy which is our free press has to do better than it has done in reporting on Trump's hatred for anything not WASP, WASC, or WASA.

The KKK did not endorse Trump by accident. They recognize their leader. Our free press needs to recognize Trump as the KKK's would-be leader too and report on him as such. If our fourth estate fails us again, we're all going to pay for it -- And that payment may come into an even bigger separation into the have and the have-nots. That payment may come in the form of war. However the payment comes, it's not going to affect the very white one-percenters.

The only satisfaction we'll get if Trump runs this democratic experiment into the ground is if we get to watch the Satan-ettes bite the dust first. 

That's a pleasure I'd rather skip since we'll be right behind them.

So put pressure on journalists that fail us. I say we start by boycotting NBC who just hired expert white racism baiter Megyn Kelly.