This is a partial transcript of Special Report with Brit Hume, August 26, that has been edited for clarity.
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BRIT HUME, HOST: When Bill Clinton (search) was president, and especially during his impeachment (search), it was a rallying cry of his supporters that he was the victim of impassioned Clinton haters, who, they believed, would do anything to undo the president and Mrs. Clinton. Now, it seems President Bush is facing his own group of passionate opponents, motivated by a dislike of him, at least as strong.
Byron York, White House correspondent of National Review has been doing some reporting on this. He joins me now.
Byron, what have you found here, and where is it?
BYRON YORK, WHITE HOUSE CORRESPONDENT, NATIONAL REVIEW: Well, there's a very energetic world of Bush-hating on the Internet. If you remember, during the Clinton years the president, and Mrs. Clinton, paid a lot of attention to things like The Clinton Chronicles, which was a video that accused President Clinton of being involved in: all sorts of unsolved murders, of drug running and all sorts of other things.
If you remember, in her famous vast right-wing conspiracy appearance on the Today show in January of 1998, Mrs. Clinton said, you know, to show the unreasonableness of her opponents. She said they've even accused my husband of murder and drug running. Today, there's something very similar going on, on the Internet. There are sites that regularly portray the president as a Nazi, in Nazi regalia; compare him to Hitler (search), really quite seriously.
HUME: This is one of them now. This is...something called...fearbush.com.
YORK: Exactly…a photo from fearbush.com. There are a lot of…they'll portray the president…they'll use computer animation to put him in a Nazi uniform, and various things like that. There are other sites…there is a site called bushbodycount.com, which tries to connect the president and his family, to all sorts of unsolved murders, including the assassination of John F. Kennedy (search). And refers to something that you see a lot on the web called, the BFEE, or Bush Family Evil Empire.
And then finally, there are a lot of sites…there are a lot of Bush's stupid sites. There's presidentmoron.com, toostupidtobepresident.com, bushisamoron.com; a whole bunch of that stuff.
HUME: Now, there's something called takebackthemedia.com, where we were able to find a little bit of video and sound that's available to people who visit that site. Let's listen to a little bit of it, and let's see if you can tell us what it's all about.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: When the fuehrer says we is the master race, we hail; hail right in the now the fuehrer face. Now to the love the fuehrer is the greatest grace so we hail, hail right in the fuehrer's face...
(END VIDEO CLIP)
HUME: What is that? What's takebackthemedia anyway…take backthemedia.com?
YORK: Well, it is an anti-war website that regularly produces what are called, flash animations, which are little movies produced for the Internet. That one is called, Bush is Not a Nazi, So Stop Saying That. And the whole point is that Bush, of course, is a Nazi. His...
HUME: Yes. The juxtaposition of pictures of Bush doing his...
HUME: ... being president with...
HUME: ... with pictures with Hitler.
YORK: Exactly. And they'll have photos saying, you know, both men used crises. And they'll have a photo of the Reichstag Fire (search), and the World Trade Center attacks (search), saying they used these opportunities to suppress and to, you know, destroy civil liberties in their countries, etc., etc.
Comparing Bush to Hitler is really quite common. And it's not…it's not all...
HUME: Is this sort of what you'd call mainstream discourse in this country, among Democratic opponents, or is this just…is this just sort of stuff out there on the Internet where the buses don't run that...
YORK: Certainly you do not see it; I would say, in the mainstream. Just as you did not see, you know, mainstream Republicans who for example, thought that Hillary Rodham Clinton's health care plan was a bad idea. You didn't see them accusing President Clinton of murder. So, certainly this is not something of mainstream Democrats. On the other hand, it's not entirely obscure. There is a website called counterpunch.org, which is a…run by a journalist named Alexander Coburn which...
HUME: Well, he's very much a mainstream journalist, he's a liberal but I mean left wing, but he's certainly not a…he's certainly nut a case.
YORK: This year ran a story that said, "It's going a bit far to compare the Bush of 2003 to the Hitler of 1933. Bush simply is not the orator that Hitler was; but comparisons of the Bush Administration's fear mongering tactics to those practice so successfully, and with such terrible results by Hitler, are not at all out of line." This is…this kind of stuff you see with some regularity.
HUME: Now, what about the coverage of it?
YORK: There's been very...
HUME: There's a fair amount of coverage of these...extreme Clinton adversaries...as I recall.
YORK: You may remember the White House actually came up with a 300- plus-page report about conspiracy stream of commerce, that in which, they traced kind of crazy stories about the president, from far out media into mainstream media. There's been far less coverage of this. There's been a few articles about counterpunch.org. But if you do a nex…a search of the Nexus database, for example, you just won't come up with bushbodycount, or various other sites out there.
HUME: What is…what do you think animates this? I mean, his father, while he was disparaged by a lot of people on the left as being, you know, light or whatever, he did not encounter this kind of thing.
YORK: Actually, I will say that there was some of that because there…as you know...
HUME: But I guess it's all…it's all coming back in this...
HUME: ... Bush family business. But I don't remember…when I was covering him then, and I don't remember, of course, the web wasn't what it is. What do you think accounts for this, quickly?
YORK: I think it accounts…it's mostly the internet. And mostly the anger that you see in mainstream Democrats going from Florida, all the way back to Clinton impeachment, and a variety of things.
This is a fringe group that…whose accusations can sometimes seep into the mainstream. For example, a Canadian official had to resign after calling Bush a moron, and it was applauded on the web as simply saying something that's said on-line all the time.
HUME: Byron York, thank you very much. Nice to have you.
YORK: Thank you.
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