Rep. Allen West is certainly a man known for pulling no punches in speaking his mind (after all, it’s part of what got him elected), but you have to wonder what was in his breakfast C-rations the day he decided to compare the Democratic Party’s information dissemination operation to the work of Joseph Goebbels, Hitler’s propaganda minister.
West’s Congressional District, Florida 22, has a great number of Jewish constituents, some of whom, no doubt, survived the Holocaust. To make it worse, roughly half of the voters in Dist. 22 are Democrats, so that West, with his usual martial efficiency, managed to offend several cohorts with the same statement.
Spokespersons for U.S. Representatives are hired to get the message out and make their member of Congress look good. Another, less attractive, part of the job is to clean up after the messes their bosses make when they shoot from the lip. West’s spokesperson, Angela Sachitano (who used to work with the Sun Sentinel as a TV reporter), was not available for comment when our reporter, Tony Man, contacted her. I don’t blame her. If I were West’s flack, I’d also be doing my best to make myself scarce. Forever.
It’s West’s right to feel that the Democratic Party disseminates inaccuracies, and even that the mainstream media is in cahoots with it in its mission to turn the American people into a bunch of weak-kneed, liberal pantywaists. The use of the Nazi comparison, though, was maladroit in light of the composition of West’s district. But I’m not in the business of giving advice to Congressmen.
Ultimately, what constitutes propaganda is in the eye of the beholder. Since we’re discussing Goebbels, he was once asked why, if the Nazi regime were such a perfect system, it needed a Ministry of Propaganda to polish its image before the rest of the world.
“Because,” Goebbels responded, “the Americans have Hollywood.”
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