Glenn Beck claims that recaps of his speech at the National Rifle Association conference were in fact misreports by the mainstream media and that he did not intend to compare New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg to Hitler.
Beck stood before a giant screen during his speech and displayed a picture of Mayor Bloomberg superimposed to look like he was giving what appeared to be a Nazi salute. Beck said the picture was in fact styled on a picture of Vladimir Lenin, suggesting the Independent mayor is communist rather than a fascist Nazi.
Holocaust survivor and national director of the Anti-Defamation League Abraham Foxman said the implication that Mr Bloomberg is turning New York into a Nazi-like state is "outrageous, insensitive and deeply offensive on so many levels."
"Glenn Beck should know better," Foxman added. "He has drawn similar inappropriate analogies to the Holocaust before. We wish he would stop trivializing the history of the Holocaust to score partisan political points."
During his speech Beck said, "I am amazed at how many of my New York friends have become absolute dopes and just will accept the soda ban, the popcorn ban, the salt ban," referring to Bloomberg’s measures to fight climbing obesity rates.
He then proposed a new slogan to replace “I Heart New York” with “You Will Love New York” – unveiling the image of a saluting Bloomberg with a white arm band over a red background.
“I’m sorry this looks to you like Adolph Hitler, but this was actually the exact image ripped off Soviet propaganda art — who also killed a lot of people, yes. But you guys never seem to have a problem with Lenin. You never seem to have a problem with Mao. You never seem to have a problem with Stalin. Isn’t that weird?”
Beck claimed he expected this to happen and wants the mainstream media, in particular ABC News, to apologize for “smearing my name and saying that I am making Bloomberg look like a Nazi.”
“I hate to do this to you, ABC News, but what you stop taking your stories directly from Media Matters, you might begin to have a little bit of credibility,” Beck said on his show.
Bloomberg refused to comment on the image or the backlash.