Ep: 59 The Hitler Show
We promised we'd wait at least one year... we didn't want to break out the Hitler stick until we had established ourselves as serious academics doing a brisk and edited podcast that could be consumed in 10 minutes. We wanted to perfect our NPR nasal news voices. Well, that didn't happen, and we got antsy and perturbed by some of the bad analogies floating in the political realm regarding Hitler (Putin, Obama, etc...).
Putting "Hitler" in the title of a show seems like pandering, fear mongering, perhaps a cheap attempt to get hits? Ok. But it's also an annoying cultural phenomenon we wanted to discuss
There's an actual term for this- it's Godwin's law. Godwin's law was an internet "law" (old-timey usenet discussion board style) that suggested that any contracted argument would lead to a Hitler comparison. "Godwin's Law" entered the Oxford English Dictionary a few years back and the bad analogies keep rolling.
Hitler isn't the only bad analogy we use- we discuss the martyr's complex and the use of the "Fall of Rome" as a lazy shorthand that sometimes confuses both the past and the present.
We may not have the NPR voices yet, and this "Hitler show" moniker might seem cheap, but the fact that using his name generates hits (and ratings, ask the History channel) is part of our point this week.