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Old 10-09-2010, 10:37 AM
darrels joy's Avatar
darrels joy darrels joy is offline
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Question Rich Iott - WW2, Civil War, World War I, World War II

Witch! Whore!... Nazi!

A (Republican) Senate candidate has been called a witch. A (Republican) gubernatorial candidate has been called a whore. And now... a guess which party? House candidate is tarred with Nazi.

"Why is This GOP House Candidate Dressed as a Nazi?" You may click to see Rich Iott posing and smiling in 5th SS Panzer Division Wiking uniform with 3 of his closest Nazi friends... I mean... with 3 of his fellow WW2 reenacters. "It's purely historical interest in World War II." Hmm. Yeah. The high-profile article by Joshua Green in The Atlantic goes on, stoking your suspicion that a guy who dresses up and plays the part of Nazi has got to feel some affinity for Nazis. Sample:
Iott participated in the group under his own name, and also under the alias "Reinhard Pferdmann," which has also been removed, and which Iott described as being his German alter ego. "Part of the reenactor's [experience]," Iott said, "is the living-history part, of really trying to get into the persona of the time period. In many, not just in our unit, but in many units what individuals do is create this person largely based on a Germanized version of their name, and a history kind of based around your own real experiences. 'Reinhard' of course is 'Richard' in German. And 'Pferdmann,' 'pferd' is a horse. So it's literally 'horse man.'"
I was very far into the position of thinking man, this guy should not have been the candidate, what a screw-up for the Republicans when I got to this information buried at the end of the 13th paragraph of the 15-paragraph article:
[Iott] added that he has participated in re-enactments as a Civil War Union infantryman, a World War I dough boy and World War II American infantryman and paratrooper.
What?! Green should be ashamed of himself for minimizing this. The 13th paragraph is about follow-up email with Iott. Did Green have the whole damning article written when he encountered this crucial piece of information? And then he decided what? to stick it where it's least likely to be read? A decent journalist would have ascertained how many war reenactments Iott has done and which roles Iott played in them. What is the proportion of Nazi roles he assumed compared to the number of times he played WW2 American infantrymen or paratroopers? Who decides, when war reenactments are done, which side somebody plays? Give me a realistic picture of what participation in war reenactments is really like so I can assess what Iott did.

Instead, Green's article is filled out with the well-known information that the Nazis were bad and that Jews and others are offended by signs that a person is sympathetic to Nazis. It's pretty obvious that Green is hot to smear Iott and help the Democrat in the race. And, unsurprisingly, the Democratic blogosphere welcomes Green's hearty slab of biased reporting.

TPM's Josh Marshall types up "Marcy Kaptur's Good Night's Sleep" ("whatever worry she may have had about reelection, I think that's over now that her opponent Rich Iott has been revealed as an avid Nazi reenactor"). Also at TPM ,Evan McMorris-Santoro has a long piece that looks like a rewrite of Green's piece, except that it leaves out the crucial information about other reenactments altogether. How incredibly slimy!

Look! Over there! Nazis! They're eeeevil! Sorry, but I'm looking over here, at journalists who should be ashamed of their shoddy political hackery.

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Old 10-13-2010, 03:22 PM
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revwardoc revwardoc is offline
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With the advent of the Tea Party, many people have asked me, when I dress in my 18th century garb, if I am a Tea Party member. I tell them, "Yes, every December 16th when we throw the tea into Boston Harbor." Never judge a book by its cover. So Iott portrays a German soldier, big deal! Several friends of mine portray 18th century British soldiers but that doesn't make them anti-American. Some guys portray Rev War era Indians but that doesn't make them anti-white. Joy's right. The press can take something VERY minor way out of context. All we are essentially are a bunch of kids playing war like we did when we actually were kids. To the "gentlemen of the press"; ITS JUST A HOBBY!
I'd rather be historically accurate than politically correct.
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