McGraw's offense

by The West Virginia Record |
May 2, 2008, 9:14am

We're barely into campaign season and Darrell McGraw already has played the Hitler card.

What will be his encore? West Virginia voters can only wonder. Which mass murderer or genocidal dictator will West Virginia's Attorney General use as a comparison to anyone who dares to criticize him? Stalin? Mao? Pol Pot? Osama Bin Laden?

They're all available for any subsequent knee-jerk reaction by McGraw. If you publicly challenge our state attorney general like the U.S. Chamber of Commerce has, watch out. He won't tolerate any rude interruption of his march to another four years in office.

"I do subscribe to the idea that the means and methods the (U.S. Chamber) uses to influence public opinion are like those Hitler used," McGraw told Record Editor Chris Dickerson last week. "Exaggeration and propaganda of all sorts," he said.

Apparently McGraw doesn't think it's an exaggeration when he compares U.S. Chamber-funded television commercials seeking lower taxes and better West Virginia business conditions to the tactics of Hitler and his Nazis, who systemically murdered 11 million people, and triggered a world war that killed tens of millions more.

As for "propaganda," it's worth noting that while talk radio held lengthy conversations on McGraw's Hitler comparison, West Virginia's largest daily newspaper never gave it a mention.

During that time leaders of the Anti-Defamation League called McGraw's comments "appalling," and a potential opponent, former state delegate Dan Greear publicly demanded an apology.

Why was an insulting, tasteless remark made by one West Virginia's best-known elected officials about a nationally respected business association not newsworthy for that newspaper? History repeatedly has shown that censoring negative news is a critical function of an effective propaganda machine.

"An off-the-wall, offensive remark out of the mouth of Darrell McGraw is now commonplace," said Greear, competing with Hiram Lewis for the right to take on the incumbent this November. "McGraw should apologize immediately for his reckless comments."

Indeed, he should. But will he? Men like Darrell McGraw don't apologize easily. He expects others to apologize to him.

West Virginia voters have six months left to learn more about candidate McGraw whose attacks on critics are found to be shocking and appalling. If they vote him out, then we'll see who's sorry.

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