How Did the Paper of Record Describe the Rising Politician, and Does It Sound at All Familiar?
Americans are facing a dangerous fascist today, yet too few are brave enough to call it what it is.
A few days ago, Washington Post conservative columnist Jennifer Rubin appeared to call Donald Trump a "fascist" in this response to right wing pundit Hugh Hewitt:
Meanwhile, Wall Street Journal reporter Jon Ostrower on Wednesday posted this tweet:
Out of curiosity, I found the first NYT reference to Adolf Hitler. Nov. 21, 1922. Amazing last three paragraphs. pic.twitter.com/VhBnlSsfNm— Jon Ostrower (@jonostrower) March 2, 2016
The New York Times article calls Hitler a "new popular idol," "a reactionary," "credited with extraordinary powers of swaying crowds to his will," and says he "demands strong government for a united Germany."
It goes on to say, "Hitler's program is of less interest than his person and movement. His program consists chiefly of half a dozen negative ideas clothed in generalities. He is 'against the Jews, Communists, Bolshevism, Marxian socialism, Separatists, the high cost of living, existing conditions, the weak Berlin government and the Versailles Treaty.' Positively he stands only for 'a strong united Germany under a strong government.'"
The Times piece report Hitler's "simple method is first, propaganda, and second, efficient organization. He personally conducts patriotic revival meetings for this purpose."
"He has the rare oratorical gift...of spellbinding whole audiences regardless of politics or creed."
As the Journal's Jon Ostrower tweeted, the last paragraphs are interesting, especially these:
In writing about the article just last year, The New York Times called Hitler a "demagogue with a seemingly mystical sway over crowds."
On Nov. 21, 1922, The New York Times gave its readers their first glimpse of Hitler, in a profile that got a lot of things right — its description of his ability to work a crowd into a fever pitch, ready then and there to stage a coup, presaged his unsuccessful beer hall putsch less than a year later. But the article also got one crucial point very wrong — despite what “several reliable, well-informed sources” told The Times in the third paragraph from the bottom, his anti-Semitism was every bit as genuine and violent as it sounded.
Here's what some on Twitter had to say in response to Ostrower's tweet:
@jonostrower so many of the same assumptions about Trump's rhetoric RE Muslims, protestors, and undocumented immigrants. Sobering.— Noah Kai Cherry (@nkaicherry) March 2, 2016
@jonostrower If ever there was a time for Americans to learn exactly what the term "fascism" really means, this is it. :(— David K. March (@dkmnow) March 3, 2016
@jonostrower When Trump was divorced by Ivanna, she said he kept a book of Hitler's speeches nearby..... Knows what he's doing!— SuznG (@therealsuzn) March 3, 2016
@jonostrower Rather troubling when compared w/efforts 2 downplay significance of Trump's racist rhetoric— Ernest A. Canning (@cann4ing) March 2, 2016
If you're a New York Times subscriber, you can read the entire article.