With Donald Trump’s rise comes talk of fascism. The terrified recoil and say “It can’t happen here,” fascism, that is. But fascism is no stranger to these parts, as Crosscut‘s Knute Berger recounts in a multi
-three-part series, beginning here.
Especially pernicious were the words of the Seattle Times‘ publisher, Clarence Blethen. Berger writes:
An infamous editorial in the Seattle Times on March 8, 1933, headlined “No Persecution,” suggests how mainstream minds were being molded exactly along the lines of the propaganda Reinhardt and his colleagues sought to promote. “There is no organized mistreatment of Jews in Germany,” the editorial began, citing assurances the U.S had received from the German ambassador. “The apprehensions and fears so feverishly propagated in this and other countries are officially reported groundless.”
The editorial went on to blame Communists, saying “every channel of Communistic propaganda is being employed to discredit the German government and embarrass its plans. The most careful scrutiny of all authentic and dependable news reports from Germany has failed to reveal any evidence that persecution of Jews was being tolerated, much less encouraged by the government.” The Times declared that tales of persecution were “an evil rumor,” concluding that “there has been no racial persecution in Germany and will be none.”
Ironic that Blethen’s descendant, the current publisher of the Times, endorsed Bernie Sanders.