Glenn Beck Claims Nazis Reference Was Misunderstood

Glenn Beck claims he didn’t make a comparison between Nazis and New York mayor Michael Bloomberg. His denial comes in the wake of a questionable photo that prompted outrage from several prominent Jewish organizations.

During his keynote speech at the National Rifle Association’s annual convention last weekend, Beck stood beneath a massive image depicting Bloomberg poised in what appeared to be a Nazi salute. The propaganda-like photo, which also featured the mayor sporting an armband, was emblazoned with the slogan, “You will love New York!”

Using the image as a backdrop, Glenn Beck repeatedly blasted Mayor Bloomberg in regards to several issues concerning “control” over public choices.

“When somebody argues for gun control, they are either living in self-imposed ignorance or they are just living an argument of control…,” Beck reportedly stated to the roughly 70,000 convention attendees.

“I am amazed at how many of my New York friends have become absolute dopes and just will accept the soda ban, the popcorn ban, the salt ban,” he continued. “I’ve come up with a new advertisement for New York, a new slogan: “You will love New York!”

In the wake of his appearance, Glenn Beck was heavily criticized for the image, which many deemed to be a blatant reference to Nazis.

Abraham Foxman, a Holocaust survivor and national director of the Anti-Defamation League, expressed disgust at the conservative radio host’s depiction of Bloomberg:

“While he doesn’t say it, it seems Glenn Beck is implying through an image of Mayor Bloomberg in an apparent Hitlerian salute is that the mayor’s policies on gun ownership and other issues are turning New York city into a Nazi-like state. That suggestion is outrageous, insensitive and deeply offensive on so many levels.”

Watch below to see an excerpt from Glenn Beck’s keynote speech which features the image in question:

When word of the apparent Hitler comparison made national headlines, an unnamed source close to Beck came forward to ABC News with an explanation. According to the source, the image was apparently intended as a joke based around a well-known photograph of Russian communist Vladimir Lenin, not Hitler.

During his radio show on Tuesday, Glenn Beck also denied that he comparing Mayor Bloomberg to Nazis: “I’m sorry this looks to you like Adolph Hitler, but this was actually the exact image ripped off Soviet propaganda art — who also killed a lot of people, yes. But you guys never seem to have a problem with Lenin. You never seem to have a problem with Mao. You never seem to have a problem with Stalin. Isn’t that weird?”

Beck then called for an apology from mainstream media for, “smearing my name and saying that I am making Bloomberg look like a Nazi.” Meanwhile, Mayor Bloomberg has declined to comment publicly on the image or the controversy it sparked.

Do you think the image was inappropriate? Do you believe Glenn Beck was comparing Bloomberg to Nazis or was the image misunderstood?

[Top image via Wikipedia]