Even as CNN accuses other networks of inciting violence and spreading hatred, one of its own contributors is literally calling for the rise of another Hitler. Adeel Raja, who wrote more than four dozen articles for CNN over seven years, tweeted Sunday, “The world today needs a Hitler.”
The Islamabad-based freelance contributor proved nearly as prolific in writing pro-Nazi tweets as news articles. On July 12, 2014, he tweeted that he supported the German soccer team during the World Cup, because, “Hitler was a German and he did good with those Jews!” One day later, he tweeted the linguistically incorrect, “Hail Hitler!”
CNN cut ties with Adeel, noting he “has never been a CNN employee,” but “in light of these abhorrent statements, he will not be working with CNN again in any capacity.”
Adeel’s latest tweet came just two days after a guest on CNN’s most closely aligned competitor, MSNBC, repeated white nationalist talking points by blaming the current Israel-Gaza conflict on “Jewish supremacy.” CNN had nothing to say on the matter, and MSNBC has yet to issue an apology.
But CNN’s reaction to learning they harbored an advocate of Jewish genocide didn’t match its hypercritical coverage of other networks’ alleged “dog whistles” of fascism, white nationalism, and racism. Here are a few examples:
Fox News shows “racial opportunism” by talking about AOC and the Squad
In the early days of 2019, news networks went all-AOC, all the time. But her democratic socialist bromides did not wear well — and CNN quickly pivoted. Brian Stelter claimed on July 21, 2019, that Fox News’ criticism of “The Squad” — Reps. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (D-NY), Ilhan Omar (D-MN), Rashida Tlaib (D-MI), and Ayanna Pressley (D-MA) — was a sign of prejudice.
The CNN host had his staffers catalogue FNC’s mentions of AOC and Omar compared to “Democrats who actually have a lot of power,” like Rep. Jim Clyburn (D-SC). “You see he is barely in the news compared to these freshman congresswomen,” Stelter said. His guest — Tara Dowdell, a political and business strategist who appeared on “The Apprentice” — adde that, “of course,” this was “a legitimate complaint. This is about racial opportunism.” She did not explain how it would be less racist to rail against Clyburn than AOC or Omar.
Ron DeSantis uses the word “monkey” on Fox News
While running for governor of Florida in 2018, Republican candidate Ron DeSantis told Fox News that he hoped to continue the successful policies of his predecessor, Rick Scott. “We’ve got to work hard to make sure that we continue Florida going in a good direction. Let’s build off the success we’ve had with Governor Scott,” DeSantis said. “The last thing we need to do is to monkey this up by trying to embrace a socialist agenda.”
Florida Democrats claimed the remarks intended to highlight the race of his opponent, then-Tallahassee Mayor Andrew Gillum, a democratic socialist. Sitting in for Jake Tapper, CNN’s Jim Sciutto said the “far-right” DeSantis’ remarks showed “how divided and how ugly” the 2018 midterms would get. He later asked a guest if the comments were “an intentional dog whistle.”
DeSantis issued a statement laughing off the controversy as “absurd.” He went on to win the election and regularly ranks behind Donald Trump as the most popular presidential hopeful in the 2024 Republican primaries. On the other hand, in March 2020 police caught an inebriated Gillum in a hotel room, in the presence of a male escort and copious amounts of methamphetamine.
“Make America Great Again” is straight out of Mein Kampf
Last August 30, Brian Stelter invited Jason Stanley to discuss his book, How Fascism Works, on CNN’s “Reliable Sources.” Stelter summarized the first pillar of fascist rhetoric as an appeal to “a mythic past — appeal to the make America great again because it’s not great anymore.”
Stanley said this came out of Mein Kampf, adding: “These are tactics used across the board by authoritarians who don’t intend genocide or anything like Hitler. So, there isn’t a comparison here between what Trump is doing and his policies — just in the propaganda he’s exploiting.” Stelter made eight references to Fox News during the hour, charging it with spreading various kinds of propaganda and misinformation.
Lou Dobbs’ guest criticizes George Soros
In October 2018, CNN launched a broadside against then Fox Business host Lou Dobbs when his guest, Chris Farrell of Judicial Watch, referred to the “Soros-occupied” State Department. The comment came a few months after Farrell had used the term “Soros-occupied territory” on Dobbs’ show. George Soros, a Democratic megadonor, has tried to characterize all criticism of his abundant financing of extreme left-wing causes as anti-Semitism. The media were happy to help.
Straight out of the Protocols of the Elders of Zion. Just moments ago, Lou Dobbs guest Chris Farrell (head of Judicial Watch) says Caravan is being funded/directed by the “Soros-occupied State Department”. pic.twitter.com/QBSong7uk1
— Josh Marshall (@joshtpm) October 27, 2018
“The Fox Business Network has a Lou Dobbs problem,” CNN proclaimed on its website. It did not mention that Dobbs had been a fixture on CNN for the first 30 years of its existence, morphing his 30-minute, financially focused “Moneyline” into the hour-long “Lou Dobbs Tonight” in 2003. Fox Business would eventually cancel Lou’s show, its highest-rated program, in February over a controversy about voting machines.
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