Thursday, December 22, 2011

Transposed hate

I've written numerous posts over the years here arguing that often the derogatory rhetoric directed towards "liberals" by movement conservatives looks and sounds like more obviously prejudicial hate rhetoric of the past; that this is part the result of parallel thinking, part meme evolution which finds a more socially acceptable target for hate.

I now have a perfect example of exactly what I've been talking about.

In at least three instances, Andrew Breitbart's Big Journalism website has used an image connected to a Nazi-era German magazine noted for anti-Semitic cartoons and pro-Hitler leanings.
At that Media Matters link you will see that what Big Journalism did was post a slightly modified version of an anti-Semitic cartoon from a 1942 issue of a pro-Nazi magazine. In the original art, the American news press is depicted as being controlled by a giant Jewish figure (complete with a Star of David tie and a hook nose). In the Big Journalism version the Star of David has been removed,the nose has been straightened out, and the the phrase "Media Bias" appears on the figure's shirt.

Let's take a moment to look at the response from Big Journalism's editor, in which she asserts that there was no anti-Semitic intent in the cartoon and that it was taken down at the request of one of Breitbart's editors when he suspected it was a recycled anti-Jewish cartoon.

This misses a more interesting point: the users of the doctored image were attempting to spread the same prejudice towards Liberals that the original pro-Nazi German cartoonist was trying to spread towards Jews. That their new hate can be so easily transposed on old hate of the past is quite remarkable.

Speaking of which, I don't believe I have yet to plug Arthur Goldwag's next book, The New Hate: A History of Fear and Loathing on the Populist Right. Dealing with this subject in depth, it will be out Feb. 7th and has gotten great advance reviews from Kirkus and Publisher's Weekly.

See here and here for sample excerpts.

[Disclosure: I've been informed that this blog is mentioned in the book.]

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