The hypocrisy is blatant: While Big Tech giants Twitter, Apple, Facebook, etc., are gleefully banning the sitting president and prominent conservative activists from public platforms while simultaneously using their monopoly power to squelch competition (the free-speech Twitter alternative Parler), the New York Times breezily compares Trump to Adolf Hitler and Joseph Stalin. (Except they would be the one actually banning speech and shutting companies down, and wouldn’t be stepping down from office.)
The calumny appeared on the front page of Monday’s edition in reporter Andrew Higgins “news analysis,” “How Leaders Bend Reality With Big Lies.”
Higgins began by huffing:
In a cable to Washington in 1944, George F. Kennan, counselor at the United States Embassy in Stalin’s Moscow, warned of the occult power held by lies, noting that Soviet rule “has proved some strange and disturbing things about human nature.”
Foremost among these, he wrote, is that in the case of many people, “it is possible to make them feel and believe practically anything.” No matter how untrue something might be, he wrote, “for the people who believe it, it becomes true. It attains validity and all the powers of truth.”
Mr. Kennan’s insight, generated by his experience of the Soviet Union, now has a haunting resonance for America, where tens of millions believe a “truth” invented by President Trump: that Joseph R. Biden Jr. lost the November election and became president-elect only through fraud.
Somehow Higgins worked the theme around to Brexit, the British vote to leave the European Union long loathed by the paper: “Even Britain, which regards itself as a bastion of democracy, has fallen prey to transparent but widely believed falsehoods, voting in 2016 to leave the European Union after claims by the pro-Brexit camp that exiting the bloc would mean an extra 350 million pounds, or $440 million, every week for the country’s state health service.”
No liberal politician has ever exaggerated anything to win office in the whole of history, evidently.
Later on the hysterics really get going. Trump is lying about winning the election. You know who else told lies? Hitler! In other words, Higgins followed Joe Biden’s lead (click “expand”):
The utility of lying on a grand scale was first demonstrated nearly a century ago by leaders like Stalin and Hitler, who coined the term “big lie” in 1925 and rose to power on the lie that Jews were responsible for Germany’s defeat in World War I. For the German and Soviet dictators, lying was not merely a habit or a convenient way of sanding down unwanted facts but an essential tool of government.
By promoting a colossal untruth of his own — that he won a “sacred landslide election victory” — and sticking to it despite scores of court rulings establishing otherwise, Mr. Trump has outraged his political opponents and left even some of his longtime supporters shaking their heads at his mendacity.
In embracing this big lie, however, the president has taken a path that often works — at least in countries without robustly independent legal systems and news media along with other reality checks.
If Hitler wasn’t enough, Higgins added a comparison to Soviet dictator Joseph Stalin.
Despite his open admiration for Russia’s president and the system he presides over, she said, Mr. Trump, in insisting that he won in November, is not so much mimicking Mr. Putin as borrowing more from the age of Stalin, who, after engineering a catastrophic famine that killed millions in the early 1930s, declared that “living has become better, comrades, living has become happier.”….Many millions still believe him, their faith fortified by social media bubbles that are often as hermetically sealed as Soviet-era propaganda.
Speaking of bubbles of Soviet propaganda, remember Times reporter and Stalinist apologist Walter Duranty’s disgraceful (yet Pulitzer Prize-winning) reporting, like this front-page headline from 1932?: “Russians Hungry, but Not Starving.” (Hat tip Ben Weingarten at The Federalist.)
Higgins got it perfectly backwards when he compared Trump to dictators in other countries squeezing out media outlets for being “out of step.” Yet it is President Trump himself who is having his social media voice switched off, his supporters bearing the brunt of being disappeared from social media:
In Russia, Hungary and Turkey, the realization that the “other fellow” must not be allowed to offer a rival version of reality has led to a steady squeeze on newspapers, television stations and other outlets out of step with the official line.
President Recep Tayyip Erdogan of Turkey has shut down more than 100 media outlets and, through bullying by the tax police and other state agencies, forced leading newspapers and television channels to transfer ownership to government loyalists.
Here’s an important exit question for the liberal media: How many media outlets has President Trump shut down?