James Clyburn Thinks Obama's Vulnerable to Being Misrepresented Because the Media's Not Doing Its Job; Also Right-Wing Bloggers Are Like Holocaust-Pushing Nazis

Number 3 House Democrat


clyburn showing off a copy of the house constitution

James "Is it in the Constitution?" Clyburn, the third highest ranking Democrat in the House of Representatives, took the opportunity during a satellite radio segment this morning on the 50th anniversary of the "I Have a Dream Speech" to liken right-wing bloggers to Nazis. Via the Hill:

"You have people's words and phrases being misrepresented and looped through the news media and thrown out there on the Internet, and people run with it because these things start getting reported in the mainstream media, and before you know it, people believe that stuff," Clyburn said. 

The consequences of such misrepresentation, Clyburn warned, could be severe.

"The people of Germany believed Hitler's foolishness that led to the Holocaust. They believed that stuff," Clyburn said. "People will tend to believe what they hear through the media."

Clyburn singled out "extreme right-wing" bloggers in particular for criticism.

While Clyburn seems to refer to the Shirley Sherrod case and attacks on ACORN as examples of soundbites being "looped through the news media," phrases like "war on women," "shared responsibility," "Republican obstructionism," and the use of "common sense" to paper over differences in controversial and polarizing legislation would seem to fit the bill.

Clyburn is also upset the news media is not doing its job:

"Most of these people are not media people; they are bloggers, and they are bloggers for the extreme right wing," he said…

He also said that President Obama was vulnerable to misrepresentation due to the media abdicating its responsibilities.

"The media has not been discerning enough, in my opinion, to say to people, 'This ain't news. This is foolishness."

President Obama has gone as far as bemoaning the "endless parade of distractions, political posturing and phony scandals," which Jay Carney specified meant scandals like Benghazi and the IRS targeting conservative groups for extra scrutiny. But those scandals, as well as the ones over the NSA's massive surveillance operations (Clyburn, incidentally, voted for the Amash amendment which sought to defund some of those operations) and Obamacare's parade of missed deadlines, are very real, and helping contribute to a steady decline in Obama's approval ratings, fueled by a 14-point swing among voters aged 18 to 29.

Clyburn is not the first politician this week to use Nazi propagandists for comparison; former Israeli foreign minister and leader of the nationalist party Yisrael Beiteinu compared Turksih prime minister Recep Erdogan to chief Nazi propagandist Josef Goebbels, for Erdogan's claim that Israel was behind the ouster of Mohamed Morsi in Egypt.