Conservative commentator Glenn Beck has compared the Norwegian summer camp on Utoya, site of the massacre where many of the 76 victims tragically died, to the Hitler Youth of Nazi Germany.
Beck said on his radio show that the Labour Party youth camp on the island of Utoya, where 68 people were believed killed by the suspect Anders Behring Breivik, had “disturbing” similarities to the Nazi youth movement. “There was a shooting at a political camp, which sounds a little like the Hitler Youth, or whatever,” Beck said on Monday on his syndicated program, heard across 400-plus stations. “I mean, who does a camp for kids that’s all about politics? Disturbing.”
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Understandably, his comments were quickly condemned. Torbjorn Eriksen, a former press secretary to Norway’s Prime Minister, Jens Stoltenberg, said, “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. Glenn Beck’s comments are ignorant, incorrect and extremely hurtful.”
Admittedly, Beck did label the killings “the work of a madman” and called Breivik “as bad as Osama bin Laden,” but not until after his inflammatory remarks were made. What is most puzzling is why Beck was perturbed by the camp: politically oriented camps are organized in several U.S. states by chapters of the 9/12 Project, an organization founded by Beck in 2009.
If Beck harbored any fears that his voice wouldn’t have the same kind of reach in the aftermath of his show on Fox News, he needn’t have worried. (via the Evening Standard)