- The Washington Times - Thursday, January 14, 2021

President Trump and his supporters were likened to dictators, despots, terrorists, and genocidal maniacs this week by dueling cable news competitors and elected officials.

MSNBC viewers watched programming on Wednesday with analogies to the Ba’ath Party under Iraqi dictator Saddam Hussein, while CNN’s were warned about large amounts of “Nazis” and “Klan” members permeating the Republican Party.

The cable news punditry was punctuated by Democratic Rep. Eric Swalwell of California likening Mr. Trump to the terrorist who orchestrated the Sept. 11, 2001, terror attacks — Osama bin Laden — during an interview with “PBS NewsHour.”

“I wonder if you have thought through kind of how Republicans begin what someone on my team earlier today called de-Baathification of the Republican Party?” MSNBC‘s Joy Reid asked colleague Nicolle Wallace on Wednesday evening.

CNN’s Don Lemon went rhetorically darker by bringing up the Third Reich.

“You need to think about the side you’re on,” Mr. Lemon told fellow host Chris Cuomo. “Principled people — conservative or liberal — never on the Klan side. Principled people — conservative or liberal — never on the Nazi side.”

Mr. Lemon suggested that dangerous numbers of Mr. Trump‘s supporters want to put their fellow Americans in “concentration camps.”

“If you voted for Trump, you voted for the person who the Klan supported,” Mr. Lemon continued. “You voted for the person who Nazis support. You voted for the person who the alt-right supports. That’s the crowd that you are in. You voted for a person who incited a crowd to go into the Capitol and potentially take the lives of lawmakers, took the lives of police officers, took the … innocent lives of the people who were at the Capitol that day.”

Mr. Lemon spoke the day prior about 2020’s violence and destruction at Black Lives Matter protest in a different light.

“You can’t compare what happened this summer to what happened at the Capitol,” Mr. Lemon said of Trump supporters flooding the Capitol on Jan. 6. “It’s two different things. One was built on people, on racial justice, on criminal justice, right, on reform, on police not beating up — or police treating people of color differently than they do Whites. OK? That was not a lie. Those are facts.”

Media watchdog NewsBusters blasted Mr. Lemon on Thursday for his rhetoric.

“The attack on the Capitol last week was a tragic day for all Americans, but the media are hellbent on stoking hatred and division among us by demonizing the 74 million people who voted for the president as the same as domestic terrorists,” the nonprofit organization’s Kristine Marsh wrote.

• Douglas Ernst can be reached at dernst@washingtontimes.com.

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