In his obituary Saturday for veteran journalist Daniel Schorr, who died at 93 after decades reporting for CBS, CNN and NPR ("Daniel Schorr, Aggressive Broadcast Reporter and Commentator, Is Dead at 93,") reporter Robert Hershey Jr. glossed over Schorr's most notorious anti-conservative hit piece, linking Barry Goldwater, the Republican's 1964 candidate for president (and a man of Jewish heritage) with the neo-Nazi movement in Germany.
Schorr reported on CBS News during the Republican convention that Goldwater would start his presidential campaign in Germany, in the state of Bavaria, "Hitler's one-time stomping ground," adding "there are signs that the American and German right wings are joining up." But as journalist Andrew Ferguson explained in a 2001 review in The Weekly Standard, the tale "was false in all its particulars...false in its obvious implication of an Anschluss between German neo-Nazis and U.S. Republicans."
The Times mentioned the controversy halfway into the piece but treated it like a news scoop, not a slander:
The [CNN] venture, initially on a shoestring, took off, and the unlikely pair got along well. [Ted] Turner defended Mr. Schorr when Senator Barry Goldwater, the conservative Arizona Republican, wanted him fired. Goldwater had held a grudge since 1964, when Mr. Schorr, while at CBS, reported on the enthusiasm of right-wing Germans for Goldwater as he secured the presidential nomination that year. Mr. Schorr noted that a planned postconvention Goldwater trip mainly involved time at an American military recreation center in Berchtesgaden, site of a favorite Hitler retreat.
The Times filed perhaps the most slanted of an unbalanced stack of tributes to lefty journalist Schorr. MRC's Scott Whitlock checked in on the Washington Post's coverage, while MRC's Brent Baker has more on Schorr's hit piece on Goldwater.
Here's an excerpt from Baker's post, featuring Ferguson's June 2001 Weekly Standard review of a memoir by Schorr. Andrew Ferguson recited the piece which aired during the GOP's convention:
"It looks as though Senator Goldwater, if nominated, will be starting his campaign here in Bavaria, center of Germany's right wing" also known, Schorr added helpfully, as "Hitler's one-time stomping ground." Goldwater, he went on, had given an interview to Der Spiegel, "appealing to right-wing elements in Germany," and had agreed to speak to a conclave of, yes, "right-wing Germans." "Thus," Schorr concluded, "there are signs that the American and German right wings are joining up." Now back to you, Walter, and have a nice day!
Ferguson noted the complete falsity of the accusation against Goldwater (hat tip Baker).
Though easily checkable, it was false in all its particulars. Goldwater had spoken vaguely of vacationing in Europe but had made no plans to visit Germany, and he hadn't spoken to Quinn, an old friend, in more than a year. Goldwater's interview in Der Spiegel was a reprint of an interview that had appeared elsewhere, and he had not even considered addressing the group Schorr mentioned. More important, the story was false in its obvious implication of an Anschluss between German neo-Nazis and U.S. Republicans.
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