Rush and Joey: Birds of a feather?
On Race, Radio and the Politics of Hate
Although many people will be inclined to regard my claim in Tuesday’s commentary that Rush Limbaugh is the lineal descendent of Dr. Joseph Goebbels, the Minister of propaganda for the Nazi Third Reich, as overblown hype, the comparison is not that far out at all. Of course I am not talking about blood ties, although Limbaugh does sound quite German.
The kinship between Dr. Goebbels and Rush Limbaugh lay in the role they play in society. And the means by which they sow the seeds of hatred against targeted groups through disinformation campaigns based on lies and false propaganda, broadcast over the radio as truth.
Dr. Goebbels’s objective was to create mass hysteria among Germans that would allow him to direct their frustrations, anger and hostilities toward particular groups for political purposes. And he was clear in his method: “If you tell a lie big enough and keep repeating it, people will eventually come to believe it,” said Reich Minister Goebbels. This is also an accurate description of Rush Limbaugh’s method.
Limbaugh, like Adolph Hitler, was a neer-do-well who was basically a bust in media until he stumbled across the angry white guy format; where he casts himself in the role of spokesman for the aggrieved working/lower class white male who feels that the great white race is in decline due to the nefarious activities of parasitic minorities and subversive forces like feminist and socialists who are pushing a once great nation toward decadence.
In Germany during the economically depressed 1930’s this was also Dr. Goebbels’ audience. And his targets were the Jews, homosexuals, Gypsies, non- Aryan immigrants, and Communist. In contemporary America – which is also in a sustained economic crisis – Rush Limbaugh’s targets are black people, Hispanics, Feminists, Communists, homosexuals and non-white immigrants.
They both hate liberals: “We want to replace liberal thinking” said Dr. Goebbels.” And Rush Limbaugh’s attacks on liberals is unceasing…it is raison d’etre for his radio show. Goebbels’ propaganda was crafted to support the Nazi Party; the party of angry resentful “Nordic” Christians. Limbaugh’s propaganda is designed to support the Republicans – the Grand Obstructionist Party, who built their majority on white racial resentments. Both Goebbels and Limbaugh enjoy a wide appeal among evangelical Protestants. And just like Goebbels, Rush seems to be trying his best to provoke a race war.
I first gained insight into how the radio was used to spark the German holocaust when I was an editorial page columnist at the New York Daily News during the mid-1990’s, and the world renowned travel writer Arthur Frommer resigned from a radio show he was hosting on a WOR because they had hired Bob Grant as an on-air host. Bob Grant had just been kicked off the air at WABC – White Apartheid Broadcast Company, the present home of Rush Limbaugh – as the result of pressure from the public about Grant’s use of his radio platform to promote racist propaganda.
Grant was an admitted eugenicist, and he was spewing theories that had led to genocide against European Jews by the German Nazi’s just a few decades earlier. While Bob Grant is probably too ignorant to know it, he was mouthing the ideas of another New Yorker with whom he shared a surname; Madison Grant, a New York attorney and president of the Zoological Society.
In 1917 Madison published a Eugenicist Manifesto titled “The Passing of the Great Race,” about which Hitler’s gushed to Grant in a recently discovered letter from Der Fuerer in Grant’s papers “your book is my bible!” Hitler was so impressed he lifted his entire theory on races spouted in Mein Kempt from Grant’s text.
While Bob Grant may or may not been aware of his legacy, Arthur Frommer was crystal clear on the role that racist propaganda broadcast over the radio played in the German Holocaust. When I interviewed him in his home one evening he explained how as a recent graduate of Yale Law school, he was assigned to a task force that went into Germany right after the Nazi surrender with the mission of determining how a barely literate Austrian corporal could convince the most intellectually advanced nation in the world to revert to barbarism and murder six million of its citizens.
At the end of their investigation Mr. Frommer told me they concluded that the most important factor in selling the German people on a policy of genocide was the way Dr. Goebbels used national radio broadcasts to promote racist anti-Jewish propaganda.
That’s why Auther Fromer, a uniquely principled man about whom I wrote a comentary in the New York Daily News titled “Arthur Frommer: A Hero For Our Times.” walked away from a quarter of a million dollar a year gig rather than appear on the same station with Bob Grant. “When I listened to the stuff Grant was saying he reminded me of an American version of Goebbels,” Frommer said. I have actually him on tape saying this. Well, Rush Limbaugh is a Bob Grant clone on steroids, and although he has learned fron Grant’s mistakes and avoids using open racial epithets…he is far more dangerous!
The Verbal Arsonists at Work
The Rotund Rushbo
Trying his best to provoke a race war in America
Playthell George Benjamin
Harlem, New York
July 19, 2012