Glenn Beck in trouble over Norway-Hitler Youth jibe

GLENDA KWEK
Last updated 15:43 26/07/2011
Glenn Beck
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HITLER YOUTH: Firebrand US talk show host Glenn Beck has sparked controversy over his comments about Norway's massacre victims.

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Norwegians have hit back at former Fox News presenter and Tea Party darling Glenn Beck, after he compared the country's shooting victims to the Hitler Youth in a radio show overnight.

In a monologue on the syndicated radio show The Glenn Beck Program, the conservative commentator said: "There was a shooting at a political camp, which sounds a little like, you know, the Hitler Youth or whatever. I mean, who does a camp for kids that's all about politics? Disturbing."

The Hitler Youth - Hitler Jugend - was an organisation set up by Adolf Hitler in the 1920s to indoctrinate young Germans in Nazi ideology.

Sixty-eight people died after self-confessed Norwegian "crusader" Anders Behring Breivik opened fire at the ruling Labour Party youth camp on Utoya island, which was attended by 600 people, on Friday.

Eight people died after the bombing of Norway's government headquarters in Oslo on the same day. The Labour Party is seen as left-leaning.

A former press secretary to Norwegian Prime Minister Jens Stoltenberg slammed Beck's statements as a "new low", saying they were "ignorant" and "extremely hurtful".

"Young political activists have gathered at Utoya for over 60 years to learn about and be part of democracy, the very opposite of what the Hitler Youth was about," Torbjorn Eriksen told London's Daily Telegraph.

"Glenn Beck's comments are ignorant, incorrect and extremely hurtful."

Another Labour member and political scientist, Frank Aarebrot, told Norwegian newspaper Dagbladet it was "just frightening that there are people who are doing such terrible ... stories like this".

The worst thing is that some would see Beck's comments as objective reporting, he said, labelling Beck a "vulgar propagandist".

Tea Party supporters in the United States have hosted their own political youth camps, the Telegraph reported.

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Beck also said later in his radio commentary that he had warned about such an attack.

Citing Geert Wilders, the anti-Islam Dutch politician, Beck said Europe was having problems with radical Islam and its cities were being overrun.

"That's what Geert Wilders has been saying - that political correctness and multiculturalism is killing Europe, and he's right."

He added that Breivik was not right-wing in the American sense of the word.

"This guy, the shooter, is from the right-wing, different than our right-wing. It is still big government," Beck said, calling Breivik a "madman" and comparing him to the late al-Qaeda leader Osama bin Laden.

Breivik told a Norwegian court yesterday that he had killed the youths and set off the bomb in Oslo to send a message against multiculturalism and the government's moves towards "Marxism".

Beck made various references to Nazis and the Holocaust as a commentator on Fox News. Last year, he said billionaire philanthropist George Soros was a "Jewish boy helping send the Jews to the death camps".

- Reuters

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