Sunday, January 23, 2011

Jon Stewart on The Big Lie of Cohen

I think Jon Stewart is the greatest. But this routine received some critical feedback from the left. Jon Stewart says politicians shouldn't be making statements comparing Republicans to Nazis. Some of the better-known lefty bloggers took issue with that. Demosthenes, making reference to the lengthy post from Digby, had this to say.

But that said, Digby's right. Just because the Nazis came up with the "Big Lie" technique does NOT mean that using the label is somehow out of bounds.

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  1. Goebels put the 'big lie' into words as a tactic, but by no means did the Nazis come up with the big lie. It has been used before in history - the blood libel that jews killed christian babies to make matzo was an example. It was a lie, it was told over and over and over, and people eventually believed it and acted on it - wrongly, horribly wrongly, acted on it.

    I would have had no problem with Cohen simply quoting Goebels, Geobels did say it, identifying the source of the quote, IF - HUGE IF - he had also pointed out this was used across history before Goebels stated it so succinctly.

    That would take the implied calling Republicans Nazis out of the equation.

    Cohen missed a chance to correct a hijacking of history by the republicans, to correct a big lie (or two), and to educate the American people at the same time, a population which is sadly weak on knowing their history and needs to learn it.

  2. Stewart is being a douch and Digby is right to call him out.

    Apparently Jon Stewart believes that there is nothing to be learned from Nazis. History cannot be used when it comes to successful tactics with horrifying consequences.

    To Stewart the words is now so overused that he no longer makes distinctions between history and rhetoric.

    Here's a clue:

    "Obamacare will kill you like the Nazis killed Jews"

    That's political rhetoric.

    "The Nazis used specific propaganda techniques to manipulate their people and it was so powerful that it led them to a horrible place none of us could possibly imagine"


  3. Plisko, Thanks for the comment. I thought Cohen made a stupid remark, Jon Stewart made some typically good and humorous points about it and Digby and others took it all too seriously.