Bill Press: Town Meeting Protestors 'Taking a Page Right Out of a Nazi Playbook'

Taking a page right out of Nancy Pelosi's playbook of stating that town hall meeting protestors are sporting swastikas thus implying that they are Nazis, low rated radio host Bill Press is now accusing them of using Nazi tactics in a sanity-challenged column. This follows on the heels of Press' attack on the protestors on Fox News as reported earlier this week by Seton Motley here in NewsBusters. Here is Press going completely over the edge on the subject of the protestors in his column:

...Taking a page right out of a Nazi playbook, organizers bus in professional protestors and arm them with instructions on how to take over meetings, shut down discussion, shout over any pro-health care reform speakers, and then post video of the resulting chaos on YouTube. It's mob rule, pure and simple.

Having encouraged viewers to show up, sympathetic anchors on Fox News then pretend these are "grassroots" protests springing up spontaneously across the country in opposition to President Obama's plans for health care reform. Nonsense. There's nothing spontaneous about them. They're not grassroots protests, they're "Astroturf" protests. Just look at who's paying the freight, who shows up and what orders they're given.

Who, Bill? People could use the big bucks supposedly paid to the protestors. And do they get free Brooks Brothers suits in the deal?

Funding and direction for the Stalinist-style campaign comes from two conservative, lobbyist-run Washington think tanks: Americans for Prosperity, headed by Tim Phillips, former partner of Ralph Reed in Century Strategies; and FreedomWorks, led by former House Majority Leader Dick Armey. Previously, both organizations funded and orchestrated the so-called "tea parties" staged on April 15. And in many ways, today's town halls are simply a continuation of yesterday's tea parties, with many of the same players and tactics.

Probably not one protestor in ten, if that many, even heard of those of those organizations but don't tell that to Bill Press. He's got his wacky conspiracy theory and just can't let go. Here is one particularly laughable assertion by Press:

Tea baggers, in fact, have been busy lately. They came out in force on July 20, the 40th anniversary of the Apollo 11 landing, to deny that Neil Armstrong ever walked on the moon.

And now Press lays out how he thinks the town hall meeting protestors get their marching orders:

How do tea baggers know when and where to show up? Easy. Organizers e-mail a list of scheduled congressional town hall meetings nationwide. Pick one near you, or sign up for the bus.

Gee, and I thought that "top secret" information was relayed to them via secret decoder rings...or by simply checking the news on the Web. Oh, and does a free Brooks Brothers suit come with that bus ride?

And how do they know what to do when they get there? That's easy, too. A leaked memo by Robert MacGuffie originally posted on the FreedomWorks Web site,, spells it out. Rule No. 1: Artificially inflate your numbers. Advises MacGuffie: "Spread out in the hall and try to be in the front half. ... The Representative should be made to feel that a majority, and if not, a significant portion of at least the audience, opposes the socialist agenda of Washington."

One little problem here, Freedomworks never posted "Articificially inflate your numbers." Rush Limbaugh discredited that assertion on his radio show yesterday:

Think Progress wrote this headline: "Artificially inflate your numbers."  He never wrote that.  He never said it. The next item: "You need to rock the boat early in the representative's presentation.  Watch for an opportunity to yell out and challenge his statements early."  The Think Progress headline: "Be disruptive early and often," but he didn't write it.  They added it.  The next block, quote:  "The goal is to rattle the rep, get him off his prepared script and agenda.  If he says something outrageous, stand up and shout out and sit right back down."  Think Progress adds this line: "Try to rattle him, not have an intelligent debate."

 But of course, Bill Press repeated those lies:

Rule No. 2: Be as disruptive as possible. "You need to rock the boat early in the Rep's presentation." Why? Rule No. 3: "The goal is to rattle him, get him off his prepared script and agenda. If he says something outrageous, stand up and shout out and sit right back down. Look for these opportunities before he even takes questions."

 Press concludes with a false bravado:

In the end, the staged town hall protests will hurt the opposition's cause, not help it. Which is why, were I a Republican member of Congress, I'd encourage these yahoos to stay home. Were I a Democratic member, I'd pay them to show up.

So if those protests will hurt their own cause so much, why are the Democrats and their media allies, including Bill Press, sounding so worried to the extent of repeating easily discredited misinformation (aka lies)? 

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