Democratic representative Jim Clyburn likened conservative media and websites to the propaganda outlets of Nazi Germany in a radio interview today. The South Carolina Democrat at first seemed to be going after the American media as a whole, but went on to target “extreme right-wing” bloggers for supposedly ginning up “manufactured controversies.”
He warned of serious consequences of people’s trusting such sources, saying “the people of Germany believed Hitler’s foolishness that led to the Holocaust. They believed that stuff.”
“You have people’s words and phrases being misrepresented and looped through the news media and thrown out there on the Internet, and people run with it because these things start getting reported in the mainstream media, and before you know it, people believe that stuff,” the third-ranking Democrat in the House said. “Most of these people are not media people,” Clyburn said, but rather independent “bloggers for the extreme right wing.”
Clyburn’s comments echoed sentiments previously expressed by a couple of his Democratic colleagues in Congress, senators Dick Durbin and Dianne Feinstein. In June, Durbin wrote an op-ed titled “It’s time to say who’s a real reporter” in which he suggested lawmakers limit certain First Amendment protections under a proposed media-shield law to journalists who meet certain requirements. Earlier this month, Feinstein insisted on defining a “journalist” as someone who receives a salary for his work.