Friday, February 15, 2019

'To the brink of war'

If you're one of those Hannity viewers who were disappointed beyond measure that you missed an ad for a documentary about the great German-American Bund rally of February 1939, relax. Here's what it looked like the following day at the World's Greatest Newspaper.

No, of course the headline doesn't want you to fight Nazis (be serious; it's the Trib in 1939). It's a classic flying verb or "implied subject" headline -- somebody fought some Nazis, but we can't tell you who and still make the hed big enough to carry the page, so calm down.* But with midtown New York "thrown into a turmoil," it still seems to have been a rather big deal, even half a continent away. A recounting of that event is what Fox News deemed "not appropriate for our air," according to the Hollywood Reporter.**

You can see how the page overall would create a bit of cognitive dissonance for the committed Fox viewer. There's a Carey Orr cartoon bashing the New Deal, but the "attacks on foreign governments" are actually "driving away our customers." There's a mayoral hopeful warning that a vote for Democrats in the mayoral primary "is a vote in support of the war-bent national Democratic administration." But the really confusing part has to be that attack on rampant executive powers in the first column:

The house*** today heard demands that President Roosevelt be stripped of the extraordinary powers granted him in "emergency" legislation during the six years of his administration.

The President was charged with dragging this nation to the brink of war because of his use of some of those powers to take sides in European and Asiatic conflicts. A special Republican committee, recently appointed to study the extraordinary powers of Mr. Roosevelt, led the attack with a request for liquidation of the Export-Import Bank as soon as is consistent with its present commitments. A bitter fight ensued when the house banking and currency committee sought approval of a resolution to continue the existence of the bank until June 30, 1941. The bank expires by law next June 30. 

Rep. Ham Fish has heard that the Ex-Im Bank "recently sent 23 million dollars to China," and he is none too pleased:

... The first purchase made by the Chinese government was 1,000 war trucks, he said. This constituted a direct violation of the neutrality policy of the United States, he charged, and put this country in the position of affronting the Japanese invaders of China.

Results in Entanglements
"This is only one instance of the manner in which the administration, through the special powers delegated to the President by a jittery congress, is involving the United States in foreign entanglements," Fish said.

Good thing Congress was exercising its authority over spending, right? Especially given that our relationship with the Japanese invaders is a good one and nobody's tougher on China than we are.

Anyway, aren't you sorry you missed the ad?

* Hint: It's the "50,000 foes of Bund held back by police" in the deck. It takes some work to figure out the Trib's style on cutoff rules under a streamer.
** Some newspapers were a little overenthusiastic. Here's the Washington Post ,Feb. 11

Some viewers of Fox News Channel’s “Hannity” on Monday night will get a jolting image: scenes from a rally of American Nazis in New York.

The images are meant not as promotion but as a warning: They will come as part of a 30-second spot for “A Night at the Garden,” a new Oscar-nominated documentary short about the rally of the German Bund at New York’s Madison Square Garden in 1939. It was directed by the liberal-minded filmmaker Marshall Curry.

*** Lowercase "house" was Trib style.

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