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NY Times & Washington Post Owe It To America To Overcome Their Reticence & Call Fascists Fascists

Yesterday, writing for The Hill about Kevin McCarthy’s pledge to kick Ilhan Omar off her committees, Zach Schonfeld never mentioned the words fascist or fascism. He used this quote from Ilhan: “From the moment I was elected, the Republican Party has made it their mission to use fear, xenophobia, Islamophobia and racism to target me on the House Floor and through millions of dollars of campaign ads. Whether it is Marjorie Taylor Greene holding a gun next to my head in campaign ads or Donald Trump threatening to ‘send me back’ to my country (despite the fact that I have been a proud citizen of the United States for more than 20 years), this constant stream of hate has led to hundreds of death threats and credible plots against me and my family. McCarthy’s effort to repeatedly single me out for scorn and hatred— including threatening to strip me from my committee— does nothing to address the issues our constituents deal with. It does nothing to address inflation, health care or solve the climate crisis.”

Sounds like fascism to me. But the media doesn’t use that word to describe extreme right wingers or the extreme right-wing party. They routinely call fascists “conservatives” (which they are not) while calling conservatives— even extreme conservatives— “moderates (which they are not).

Although this is about a sports reporter, it also describes how most political reporters also operate. “What made Woj [ESPN’s Adrian Wojnarowski, a Josh Hawley protagonist] the Scoopmaster has very little to do with ‘reporting’ as you may think of it. Woj’s skills lie mostly in relationship maintenance and favor trading. He isn’t a ‘journalist’ so much as an information broker, sitting on a silo of little secrets and grievances, unleashing them when someone needs him to, and using that position to leak little bits of information for a parade of general managers, owners, agents, players, and assistant coaches, and taking the little kernels of information they have immediate access to as payment.”

Not even the violent insurrectionists who sacked the Capitol on January 6 are referred to as fascists, just as “followers of the former president.” The far right family of Republicans who spawned the murderer who mowed down gays in Colorado Springs Friday night… I haven’t seen the word “fascists” used to describe any of them in coverage that does mention that the grandfather is an extreme right Republican legislator and all around crackpot from rural San Diego County in California. The L.A. Times described the incident as “murder and potential bias-motivated crimes,” but never did the word fascist pop up.

Philip Bump is no idiot; he knows exactly what a fascist is. In his throw-away column in yesterday’s NY Times, Trump’s win-loss record is worse than he pretends, the word never comes up. He wrote that “As president and head of the party, Trump regularly boasted about his record of endorsement wins. That reputation— advanced through force of will more than the available evidence— has been badly damaged since 2016, particularly in the wake of this month’s midterm elections. It also depends heavily on Trump’s offering up endorsements in elections that his party was almost certain to win anyway.” But Trump did endorse extreme MAGA candidates— almost all of whom lost— who are certainly not conservatives and would be most accurately be described as fascists or, if that’s too hard to handle, neo-fascists: Doug Mastriano (PA), Kari Lake (AZ), Joe Kent (WA), John Gibbs (MI), Blake Masters (AZ), Bo Hines (NC), Madison Gesiotto Gilbert (OH), Jim Bognet (PA), Neil Parrott (MD), Don Bolduc (NH), Karoline Leavitt )NH), Robert Burns (NH), Dan Cox (MD), Sarah Palin (AK), Mark Finchem (AZ), Paul LePage (ME), Tudor Dixon (MI), Matthew DePerno (MI), Kristina Karamo (MI)… had enough?

Bump wrote that “Trump made nearly 500 endorsements in the most recent cycle. Most were successful, thanks to his making a number of endorsements aimed at boosting his total. (His endorsement of Doug Mastriano’s gubernatorial primary bid in Pennsylvania, for example, came only after it was clear Mastriano would win— and as it seemed possible that his endorsed Senate candidate, Mehmet Oz, might not make the general.) In total, Trump’s candidates won 224 of 241 primary races and 208 of 254 general-election ones."

In [races were Trump wasn’t just rubber-stamping sure bets], “Trump’s candidate won in only 14 of 37 general-election contests (though the results are incomplete, awaiting other election calls). That includes Oz’s loss in Pennsylvania.
Overall, Trump’s party underperformed expectations, failing to retake the Senate while only barely taking a majority in the House. For Democrats, it was a surprisingly good year, given how midterm elections usually go for the party of a new president.

No mention of fascism… never any mention of fascism to describe MAGA candidates by the Washington Post, by the NY Times or by any of the papers that mimic them. But I really do wonder what journalists are thinking when, for example, they’re describing Matt Gaetz’s jihad against McCarthy and keep calling Gaetz a conservative, as though McCarthy, who is, unlike Gaetz, a conservative, something else. Democratic politicians rarely call them fascists either. Yesterday, for example, Adam Schiff wrote about McCarthy's threat to throw him off the Intelligence Committee, of which he is now chairman. "Under McCarthy’s leadership, Republicans have perpetuated the Big Lie. And because of the GOP’s midterm flop, extremists like Marjorie Taylor Greene and others in the QAnon crazy caucus will carry immense sway in such a narrow majority— including in committee positions. McCarthy is emboldening the far-right extremists, and with these leadership changes, GOP policy won’t focus on the issues facing Americans. Instead, they will do nothing but endless and meritless investigations of President Biden." Schiff refers to them as "extremists," "the QAnon crazy caucus," and "far right extremists," but never fascists. I wonder what they're all waiting for.

In case you were wondering, these are the 30 most fascistic members of the 118th Congress:

  • Marjorie Traitor Greene (GA)

  • Lauren Boebert (CO)

  • Paul Gosar (AZ)

  • Scott Perry (PA)

  • Ronny Jackson (TX)

  • Matt Rosendale (MT)

  • Gym Jordan (OH)

  • Ralph Norman (SC)

  • Beth Van Duyne (TX)

  • Bob Good (VA)

  • Ann Paulina Luna (FL)

  • Derrick Van Orden (WI)

  • Alex Mooney (WV)

  • Clay Higgins (LA)

  • Diana Harshberger (TN)

  • Claudia Tenney (NY)

  • Michael Cloud (TX)

  • Robert Aderholt (AL)

  • Glenn Grothmann (WI)

  • Barry Loudermilk (GA)

  • Andy Biggs (AZ)

  • Barry Moore (AL)

  • Andy Harris (MD)

  • Matt Gaetz (FL)

  • Michael Guest (MS)

  • Mary Miller (IL)

  • Andy Ogles (TN)

  • Andrew Clyde (GA)

  • Mike Johnson (LA)

  • Ken Buck (CO)

1 Comment

Nov 22, 2022

Long before DWT and others decided to use "fascist", the truth was already "nazi". If you refuse to use the proper noun, then you can't really criticize anyone else for refusing to use the proper noun.

reticence with lower bounds is still reticence.

but it doesn't matter. "law" and "constitution" mean nothing to democraps either. They've REFUSED to enforce or support either for well over 50 years. They are just as culpable.

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