June 10, 2018

QUESTION ASKED AND ANSWERED: Why is the media desperate to make out Ambassador Richard Grenell is a full-blown fascist?

From all of which one might have the impression that Grenell had backed Hungary’s Jobbik or Greece’s Golden Dawn. In fact the political leader in Europe that Grenell expressed himself a ‘fan’ of was Sebastian Kurz, the young Chancellor of Austria, and a man of the political conservative mainstream. Yet such is the level of ignorance and presumption about politics across the continent that various publications seized on this as yet more evidence of Grenell’s extremism. For the Austrian Chancellor is in a coalition with that country’s ‘Freedom Party’ which is frequently described as ‘far-right’. And therefore to meet with Kurz is to meet with someone who meets with the wrong people. Meaning that any meeting with him is itself suspect.

Perhaps after the Guardian, Pink News, NPR etc have worked out the difference between a conservative and a fascist they could also perform another public service. Which would be to identify which politicians across Europe an ambassador is allowed to meet with these days?

As Jonah Goldberg wrote in 2014, “This is a very old story:”

Joseph Stalin championed the idea that all of his political opponents should be dubbed fascists, including many of his fellow Bolsheviks, such as Leon Trotsky (whom Stalin had assassinated), and much of the Red Army’s officer corps (whom he had executed), and countless Ukrainians (whom he had liquidated). Stalin insisted that even mentioning the man-made – i.e., Stalin-made — Ukranian famine was evidence you were an agent of the Nazis.

Under Stalin’s “theory of social fascism,” any socialist, social-democratic, or progressive group or party not loyal to him had to be called fascist. Hence, for a while Moscow insisted that FDR and even Norman Thomas (head of the Socialist Party of America) were fascists.

Ultimately, Communist propagandists and their allied intellectuals would reflexively blame fascism for everything, regardless of the facts. That’s what prompted George Orwell to remark that “the word Fascism has now no meaning except in so far as it signifies ‘something not desirable.’”

See also: Walter Cronkite and Daniel Schorr smearing Barry Goldwater in 1964. Even Cronkite’s left-leaning biographer Douglas Brinkley couldn’t whitewash this low moment in the CBS anchorman’s career:

As managing editor of the CBS Evening News, Cronkite seemed to relish pricking Goldwater from time to time for sport. In late July, he introduced a report from CBS correspondent Daniel Schorr, a hard-and-fast liberal working from Munich. With an almost tongue-in-cheek smile, Cronkite said, “Whether or not Senator Goldwater wins the nomination, he is going places, the first place being Germany.” Schorr then went on a tear, saying, “It looks as though Senator Goldwater, if nominated, will be starting his campaign in Bavaria, the center of Germany’s right wing.” The backstory was merely that Goldwater had accepted an invitation from Lieutenant General William Quinn for a quick holiday at Berchtesgaden, a U.S. Army recreational center in Germany. But Schorr made the takeaway point that Berchtesgaden was once “Hitler’s stomping ground.” Goldwater, trying to show off his NATO bona fides, had granted an interview with Der Spiegel in which he mentioned a possible trip to Germany soon. Some Democratic opposition researcher floated the idea that Goldwater was infatuated with the Nazis. It was ugly stuff.

Indeed it was — and still is.

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