Dana Milbank on Glenn Beck's "Fascism" Charges Against Gore and Climate Action
Matthew C. Nisbet, Ph.D. is Associate Professor of Communication Studies, Public Policy, and Urban Affairs at Northeastern University. Nisbet studies the role of communication and advocacy in policymaking and public affairs, focusing on debates over over climate change, energy, and sustainability. Among awards and recognition, Nisbet has been a Visiting Shorenstein Fellow on Press, Politics, and Public Policy at Harvard University's Kennedy School of Government, a Health Policy Investigator at the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation, and a Google Science Communication Fellow. In 2011, the editors at the journal Nature recommended Nisbet's research as “essential reading for anyone with a passing interest in the climate change debate,” and the New Republic highlighted his work as a “fascinating dissection of the shortcomings of climate activism."
At the Washington Post on Sunday, columnist Dana Milbank published an excerpt from his forthcoming book on Glenn Beck, tracking the commentator's reinvention of history and his strategic use of comparisons to fascism and communism.
Here's what Milbank recounts about Beck's use of the rhetorical strategy as applied to Gore and climate action:
Lest you think Beck's Hitler obsession emerged merely when Obama reached the White House, Beck has also found Nazism in Al Gore's campaign against climate change. "Now, I'm not saying that anybody's going to -- you know, Al Gore's not going to be rounding up Jews and exterminating them," Beck said on his radio show in 2007. "It is the same tactic, however. The goal is different. The goal is globalization. The goal is global carbon tax. The goal is the United Nations running the world. That is the goal. Back in the 1930s, the goal was: Get rid of all of the Jews and have one global government."
The comparison continued as Beck likened not just Gore but also the United Nations to Hitler. "You got to have an enemy to fight," he said. "And when you have an enemy to fight, then you can unite the entire world behind you, and you seize power. That was Hitler's plan. His enemy: the Jew. Al Gore's enemy, the U.N.'s enemy: global warming. . . . And you must silence all dissenting voices. That's what Hitler did."
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