Godwin’s Law, also known as Godwin’s Rule of Nazi Analogies, is defined as follows:

[A] humorous observation made by Mike Godwin in 1990 which has become an Internet adage. It states: “As a Usenet discussion grows longer, the probability of a comparison involving Nazis or Hitler approaches 1.” The term Godwin’s law can also refer to the tradition that whoever makes such a comparison is said to “lose” the debate.

It is an ad hominem argument and logical fallacy that is known as Reductio ad Hitlerum, or “reduction or argument to Adolf Hitler or the Nazis,” which is sometimes used to play the “Nazi Card,” analogous to the “Race Card.” Basically, it used like this: “Hitler (or the Nazis) supported X, therefore X must be evil/undesirable/bad.” It is also related to the fallacy of Guilt By Association, another tactic commonly used by Beck.

If you’re familiar with Glenn Beck’s style of “journalism,” you know that he not only uses guilt by association and the negative proof fallacy, but also has exhibited ample use of Godwin’s Law. Here are 14 examples, courtesy Media Matters for America:

  1. Beck: “This is what Hitler did with the SS.”
  2. Beck: “I’m not comparing” Obama to Hitler, but asked his audience to “please read Mein Kampf” and learn from Germany’s mistakes.
  3. Beck cited Hitler to attack Obama, claim “[e]mpathy leads you to very bad decisions.”
  4. Beck told Newsmax: “I fear a Reichstag moment.”
  5. Beck links health care reform to Nazis, suggests reform would kill elderly and newborns.
  6. Beck compared car dealership closures to Nazism, warning “at some point, they’re going to come for you.”
  7. Beck compared auto bailouts to the actions of German companies “in the early days of Adolf Hitler.”
  8. Beck compared TARP to “what happened to the lead-up with Hitler.”
  9. Beck said “the Germans” during Hitler’s rise “were an awful lot like we are now.”
  10. Beck airs photos of Hitler, Stalin, Lenin, asks, “Is this where we’re headed?”
  11. Beck repeatedly compared Gore to a Nazi propagandist.
  12. Beck has also attacked progressive organizations as “brownshirts.”
  13. Beck compared Fox News to Jews during Holocaust, other news organizations to silent bystanders.
  14. Beck compares media portrayal of “tea partygoers” to Nazi portrayal of “complainers.”

Share this article

  • Facebook
  • Twitter
  • Google Plus
  • Pinterest
  • MySpace
  • LinkedIn
  • FriendFeed
  • Tumblr
  • Instapaper
  • Blogger
  • Reddit
  • Digg
  • Delicious
  • StumbleUpon
  • Add to favorites
  • Email
  • RSS
468 ad

2 Responses to “Glenn Beck, Meet Godwin’s Law”

  1. Ben Franklin says:

    Search google for “bush hitler” and “obama hitler” and the bush combo = 11,200,000 and the obama combo = 10,200,000. Not a scientific solution, but you guys were calling names LONG before Obama took office.

  2. FoxNewsBoycott says:

    Ben, I don’t see anybody disputing that people compared Bush to Hitler. The reasons may be the same, or entirely different, but that’s not the issue. The name calling does not belong on a so-called “news” network. It’s one thing for a private citizen to voice such an opinion at a protest, even if they’re wrong, but it’s quite another for anyone who wants to be considered a respectable journalist, or a network wanting to be considered a legitimate news source, to do the same. Two wrongs (or 60,000) don’t make a right.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

You may use these HTML tags and attributes: <a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <q cite=""> <strike> <strong>

Notify me of followup comments via e-mail. You can also subscribe without commenting.