February 19, 2009
WILL HUTTNER APOLOGIZE FOR COMMENTS AT PROGRESS NOW COLORADO CALLING CONSERVATIVES FASCISTS OR NAZIS?
On February 17, Michelle Malkin attended a “Pork Roast Rally” in Denver organized by Jon Caldara to protest the so-called “stimulus” package. Republican State Senator Josh Penry also spoke at the rally. A rallier unknown to Malkin and the event’s organizers carried a sign calling Obama a Nazi by putting a swastika with Obama’s name. This person, along with many others, approached Malkin and had his photograph taken with her.
Michael Huttner, Executive Director of Progress Now Action, also attended the rally.
On February 18, Huttner issues a media release stating, “Does Penry support the misuse of the Nazi swastika for political self-gain? We do not need Penry and Malkin to return Colorado to the hate state.”
Penry indeed condemned the sign, the Rocky Mountain News reports:
The Rocky Mountain News also reports: “One of the groups criticizing Malkin over the photo is Progress Now Colorado. Michael Huttner, who heads the group, said the organizers of Tuesday’s rally should condemn the sign and offer an apology.”
Yet Huttner’s own web page features numerous comments calling George W. Bush and other conservatives fascists or Nazis:
“So what are the issues the right wingers decry? Overland High School instructor Jay Bennish sees some similarities between President Bush and Adolf Hitler. My response: who doesn’t?”
“Is The BushAdmin The Fourth Reich?”
“the fascist NeoCon, Owens”
“arch-fascist Peter Boyles”
“the republicans have become an inchoate fascist enemy.”
“What do you get when you put lipstick on a fascist?” (a Palin reference)
“is our school a microcosm of conservative fascism?”
Ari Armstrong, editor of FreeColorado.com, said, “Huttner has brought ‘gotcha’ politics to a new low. The organizers of public rallies, whether on the right or the left, cannot possibly keep out strangers. Indeed, Huttner himself complained that his free-speech rights were threatened when someone suggested that he leave the rally.
“I personally witnessed Michelle Malkin being approached by numerous individuals seeking photos with her, as is common with well-known personalities. Would Huttner appreciate it if a random stranger worked a photo op with a well-known leftist using inappropriate imagery or language?
“For Huttner to drag Penry into the debate is absurd. He had nothing to do with it. But, as Jason Salzman, who attended the rally with Huttner, acknowledged to me, he anticipates that Penry will run for higher office. So Huttner is starting in early with the character assassination.
“Obviously, people from the left call George W. Bush and other Republicans fascists or Nazis practically on a daily basis. Why is it news when the right does it, but not when the left does it?
“As Huttner’s own web page demonstrates, the left commonly attacks Republicans and conservatives by likening them to fascists. Has Michael Huttner condemned each of those comments and apologized for them?”
Armstrong critically reviewed the rally in two articles at FreeColorado.com:
This is not the first time that Huttner’s own web page has featured the same comments for which he has condemned others. In 2008, Huttner condemned Caldara for using the term “bitch slap” on the radio, despite the fact that Huttner’s web page also featured the phrase:
Armstrong said, “Obama is obviously not a Nazi, so tagging him with a swastika is wrong. But we shouldn’t blame people for the actions of complete strangers, and that goes for the right and the left. Huttner’s hypocrisy is getting more than a little old.”