Caitlin Johnstone: CNN Compares Campus Protesters To Nazis

The stunning propaganda segment in defence of police repression of anti-genocide protesters drew parallels between fear experienced by Jews in the 1930s and supposed fears of theatrical Zionists at UCLA.

Dana Bash speaking at the 2016 Conservative Political Action Conference (CPAC) in National Harbor, Maryland. (Gage Skidmore / Flickr)

By Caitlin Johnstone

Listen to Tim Foley reading this article. 

In one of the most appalling propaganda segments I have ever seen in my life, CNN’s Dana Bash launched into a fire-and-brimstone sermon on Wednesday comparing anti-genocide university protesters to the brownshirts of Nazi Germany — doing so in defense of a fascistic police crackdown against those very same protesters.

After playing a clip of Zionist activist Eli Tsives theatrically claiming campus protesters at UCLA were blocking him from his classroom, Bash solemnly said, “Again, what you just saw is 2024 in Los Angeles. Hearkening back to the 1930s in Europe, and I do not say that lightly. The fear among Jews in this country is palpable right now.”

According to journalist Jeremy Lindenfeld — who happens to be Jewish — Tsives wasn’t even being denied access to his classroom, but was only being denied access to the protesters’ encampment which he’d conveniently decided he wanted to walk through in order to get there. Dana Bash makes no mention of this, framing this instead as a terrifying attack on Jews which could soon see them being loaded onto trains headed for extermination camps.

[Bash’s remarks almost perfectly echo Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, who last week predictably called the U.S. campus protests “anti-semitic” and said they had to be stopped.  He went  further, saying in a video message that the protests are “reminiscent of what happened in German universities in the 1930s” and he ominously said there would be “terrible consequences.” When Netanyahu speaks, U.S. officials and media listen.]

Bash played a clip of New York City Mayor Eric Adams saying, “there is a movement to radicalize young people, and I’m not going to wait until it’s done,” as though preventing the spread of radical political opinions is something a mayor is elected to do in the United States.

“They’re calling for a ceasefire,” says Bash. “Well, there was a ceasefire on Oct. 6, the day before Hamas terrorists brutally murdered more than a 1000 people inside Israel and took hundreds more as hostages.”

This is a brazen propagandistic lie. Israeli forces had been routinely murdering Palestinians in Gaza and the West Bank in the weeks and months preceding the Oct. 7 attack. On Oct. 6 2023, The New Arab published an article titled “2023 is ‘deadliest year’ for Palestinian children say human rights groups,” citing the Defence of Children International — Palestine, along with other sources.

“This hour, I’ll speak to an American Israeli family whose son is still held captive by Hamas since that horrifying day, that brought us to this moment,” Bash said. He added: “You don’t hear the pro-Palestinian protesters talking about that. We will.”

Ah yes, such brave, up-punching journalistic integrity for you to talk about the Israeli hostages, Dana. Not like we haven’t been hearing about them every single day from the imperial media for the last seven months while orders of magnitude more Palestinians are butchered by U.S.-supplied war machinery.

“At UCLA, pro-Israel and pro-Palestinian groups were attacking each other, hurling all kinds of objects, a wood pallet, fireworks, parking cones, even a scooter,” Bash says.

Another lie. The footage going around makes it abundantly clear the violence is being consistently instigated by Zionist counter-protesters, with videos of pro-Israel thugs launching fireworks and hurling bottles of chemicals into the encampment, ganging up on a protester on the ground and beating him with sticks, and tearing down parts of the encampment while screaming “Second Nakba!”

Later on in the same segment of Bash’s own show, CNN’s Stephanie Elam contradicts Bash’s both-sides lie by commenting on some of this footage, saying:

“And you can see that in the video, it looked like people from this side were breaking down the encampment from the pro-Palestinian side last night, throwing objects in there. As well as it looks like some sort of maybe pepper spray or something coming from the other side over here.”

It should here be noted that Dana Bash gets her surname from her first husband Jeremy Bash, who went on to serve as the chief of staff for both the C.I.A. and the Pentagon. The woman is pure swamp.

It should also be noted that CNN’s own staff recently leaked to The Guardian that they have been pressured to report on the Gaza onslaught with an extreme pro-Israel bias, attributing the pressure to the network’s new CEO Mark Thompson.

I for one think it’s great that the imperial media are becoming so transparently obvious about their propagandistic nature, and I hope they keep exposing mainstream westerners to the fact that the primary purpose of these outlets is to promote the information interests of the U.S. and its allies.

Propaganda only works if you don’t know it’s happening to you, so hopefully they keep going mask-off like this for everyone to see.

Caitlin Johnstone’s work is entirely reader-supported, so if you enjoyed this piece here are some options where you can toss some money into my tip jar if you want to. Go here to find video versions of my articles. Go here to buy paperback editions of my writings from month to month. All my work is free to bootleg and use in any way, shape or form; republish it, translate it, use it on merchandise; whatever you want. The best way to make sure you see the stuff I publish is to subscribe to the mailing list on Substack, which will get you an email notification for everything I publish. All works co-authored with my husband Tim Foley.

This article is from and re-published with permission.

The views expressed are solely those of the author and may or may not reflect those of Consortium News.

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37 comments for “Caitlin Johnstone: CNN Compares Campus Protesters To Nazis

  1. SKWillis
    May 3, 2024 at 20:45

    We’re solidly swamped in the “1984” scenario…I thought of Nazi brownshirts myself when I saw the Zionist AGGRESSORS and their hateful brutality against peaceful campers minding their own business. The US is definitely a Zionist colonial project–since at least 1948. The Zs have totally tamed us and brought us to heel over the decades. The Zionist entity and its US spokesmen take the Academy Award in the Hasbara category. Netanyahu’s speech was stomach-turning. The average American who hasn’t been following this situation closely–looking at BOTH sides–is gob-smacked by the spectacle, not knowing what to think.

    What’s also troubling is this information from “The GrayZone”: “The NYPD’s Counterterrorism Bureau’s Tel Aviv office coordinates with Israeli security. A Columbia lecturer [Rebecca Weiner], heading the NYPD bureau, probed the students, whom the bureau arrested, and is the bridge between Israel and New York, The GrayZone reports.” So Tel Aviv is running the NYPD and controlling the US University Administrations too.

  2. Valerie
    May 3, 2024 at 20:13

    À propos the photo of Bash:

    If the dress fits, wear it.

  3. Tom Hall
    May 3, 2024 at 17:06

    This just in- Chancellor Hitler has accused the university protestors of being “Nazis”. More to follow at ten.

    • Valerie
      May 3, 2024 at 20:18

      So that message arrived at 1935.

  4. bardamu
    May 3, 2024 at 14:43

    C. I. A.


    Perhaps since this repression is directed in part at academics, academics might respond in classes and in long term ways, full time. These “major” or “heritage” or “legacy” institutions no longer have a vested interest in truth, precious little in credibility.

    We have to show students that these are not valid sources such as one might cite to ground assumptions. We had assumed that if a CNN or NYT stated something, then critical reading would recognize some truth or reason between the biases. Now we must recognize that if these institutions bother to state something, it must be incorrect or misleading, even if some aspect resemble truth.

    Chris Hedges was apparently just canceled from The Real News–another bootfall.

    Oppression now moves with great momentum, and we will have a long path to get back to the autonomy and well being that some of us knew. May those with an interest dig in.

  5. Caliman
    May 3, 2024 at 12:47

    CNN is one of the chief salivators of the crocodile’s mouth … Dana is just doing her job as a good propagandist. She is very well paid for doing so.

    I think one of the reasons for the rebellion by Gen Z we see on this and many other matters is that they simply don’t watch tv … so one of the chief tools of mind control and conformity is not available to corral them. likely the main reason for the TikTok ban …

    • Lois Gagnon
      May 3, 2024 at 17:02


  6. mgr
    May 3, 2024 at 11:48

    It seems that mainstream media is simply a tool, not of information, but suppression.

    We no longer have leaders in the West. No wonder the East is rising. “Leaders” in the West do not govern, they manage narratives. That works, so to speak, until there is a crisis. Then their incompetence is laid bare as societies start to come apart at the seams.

    And these impotent and incompetent pipsqueaks are able to continue running our societies to ruin precisely because they own mainstream media where there is no longer a shred of truth to be found but rather only sick narratives to be promoted.

  7. robert e williamson jr
    May 3, 2024 at 11:42

    One thing about Dana Bash when she speaks we need only to consider the source of her words.

    Garbage in garbage out.

  8. Edward Q
    May 3, 2024 at 11:40

    >>Bash played a clip of New York City Mayor Eric Adams saying, “there is a movement to radicalize young people, and I’m not going to wait until it’s done,”

    You want to know what radicalizes people? Arresting them on bogus charges for protesting genocide.

  9. susan
    May 3, 2024 at 11:39

    These mass media hacks and the complete moron pretending to be mayor of NYC are all completely deranged!

  10. Paul Jalbert
    May 3, 2024 at 11:39

    As usual, Caitlin, your observations and analyses are ‘on point’. Sad and maddening how these mainstream journalist pretenders (Bash is one of many.) have no theoretical and historical grounding: to liken protesters of genocide to nazis, the perpetrators of genocide, is to violate the logical grammar of concepts. Palestinians have suffered targeted violence from the Zionists for almost 80 years. All of the violent actions from Palestinians against their occupiers have been ‘defensive’. Palestinians also have the right to defend themselves. Any people fighting against their occupation are defending their right to self-determination. This is protected by international law and continually violated by the Zionists. No one in the corporate media ever writes or articulates these facts. Instead, they cloud their validity, or deny them, to advance their support for an ill-conceived protection of a “Jewish State” (a category that has been insisted upon by the Zionists to prevent any criticism of what the Zionists do) that has formulated the false fusion of anti-Zionism with anti-Semitism, a conceptual trick that has succeeded largely: hence the constant reticence to condemn this genocide in plain language by the integrity void media and the US government. Sad indeed.

  11. Em
    May 3, 2024 at 11:36

    A is analogous to analgesic.

    The human immune system is natures organ of constitutional defense. Its function is to protect the host – the ‘body politic’, from dis-ease, until, through constant wear and tear, it breaks down, and no longer serves its proper function.

    It becomes fatally overactive, beginning to wholly devour itself.
    The Israeli immune system – in this parable, termed the Holocaust, had been successfully protecting its host from the false belief of its own immortality, until what had only been a chronic misperception of this originally ‘indoctrucated’ tumor of bigoted hatred, which for all these years was blindly believed to be benign, suddenly exploded on October 7th 2023, with such unexpected, and devastating magnitude that the body immediately began to eat its own cells uncontrollably – a type of disease called cancer.

    This disease has now metastasized throughout the whole!
    The remedies that had kept the tumor in-check all these years simply broke down, because of the constant negative stressors put on it; having to constantly overwork to defend its fears, just to maintain stasis.
    Uncivil strife, among the extended global family has now begun to take-over with a vengeance; with a force that has left the immediate Zionist family in panicked disbelief.

    Throughout the years-long paranoia, against their cousins, which had been, for the most part, a benign growth, now began spreading with such speed the host – the body politic, came face to face for the first time, with the fact that imminent death was now actually at its doorstep.

    Panic has set in, and the dosages of medication – expanded ethnic cleansing and the forceful means of repressive vengeance, which had previously been sufficient to hold the slow-growing tumor in-check, had to be introduced.
    To date, by an unknown yet obviously even more virulent factor, genocidal tendencies, has taken hold, in the false hope of saving the host from finally succumbing.
    This malevolent behavioral conduct since its birth in 1948, has made matters drastically worse, not only for the administrator – Israeli government and security apparatuses, but for all the people afflicted by its cruel and unusual regimen for satisfactorily coming to terms with this now seemingly incurable malady – without having to resort to having to cut off its own head – the Sampson option – extinction for all.

    With the extended global families, historically continuing to fight among themselves, in what, for all of the preceding years of historical existence was once thought to be a manageable mode of flourishing for the majority of humanity is perhaps only now, finally coming into the light; beginning to be recognized as the self-inflicting wound of doing the same thing over and over, expecting a different outcome; as NOT rational for species survival.

    Yet still, the divided human family, coerced by the forces of unequal power distribution, fight among themselves, not knowing, nor at this very advanced age for homo-sapiens, having the wherewithal to save the soul of the now extinct carcass of what was once termed ‘humanity’.

    The cause/s of life may yet be idiopathic, but most of the causes of death are in man’s purview!

    Will ‘we’ ever learn?
    Go figure!

  12. Cal Lash
    May 3, 2024 at 11:17

    Protesting war is a legitimate and valid act.

    • May 3, 2024 at 18:51

      It is not a war. It is a genocide. Protesting genocide is a legitimate and valid act.

      • robert e williamson jr
        May 4, 2024 at 13:15

        Protesting against a tyrannical governments, such at those Ms. Bash openly embraces says quite a lot about her values.

        We know what and who she is.

        Joey needs to come to grips with the fact the young of this country are fed up with what the bull shit Right Wing Israeli represents. He needs to cut the bull shit himself.

        It goes without say if they are fed up with Israeli styled rulers they are fed up with the bull shit Joey mouths to placate his murderous friends in Israel and especially in this country.

        Washington seriously needs to come to grips with the damage it has been inflicting on Americans, especially the young. Joey ask them what they have to lose considering their bleak futures.

        Better be courting those vote Joey, it is later than you think!

        Thanks CN

  13. May 3, 2024 at 11:15

    How unfortunate that most Americans are incredibly blind to what the mass media orders them to refrain from seeing. Not so the young university protesters, something for which Zionists will make them pay, as the Nazis made Jews pay in the 1930’s. The fact that the United States and United kingdom so obviously support genocide, and always have (think of indiginous Americans and the myriad people under British colonial rule prior to the second war to end all wars) is making us wonder what that second war to end all wars was really about, and why it took place, and why those guilty of genocide on the allied side (think, not only with respect to Hiroshima and Nagasaki but of the fire bombing of civilians in Dresden and Tokyo) were never called to account. Perhaps we need to revisit those issues to come to terms with what is happening now, and how “history” will report our present to future deluded generations.

  14. CaseyG
    May 3, 2024 at 11:14

    There seems to be a lack of truthiness in so many news casts in America.
    EXCUSE me the often lying “news.” Did you miss the part in 1948 when Jews attacked homes and land and murdered men, women and children? Did you miss the part that Palestinians are treated as non -humans? Did you miss the part when Netanyahu et al murder Palestinians as they walk on the streets , or hey how about that blowing up homes and buildings. Did you miss the part where 4 young Palestinians walk through an already bombed out area, and then were murdered by Israeli drones?
    An even bigger horror, Biden et al act as if Israel has never done anything wrong!
    HA! Israel tells Palestinians , “Walk here . here’s a safe area,” and then blow up those Palestinians.
    Even more sad—It sadly appears that colleges and universities are now
    run by those with a negative stance toward the Palestinians who are often are
    treated by the news as if they have no right to protest—but Palestinians are attacked and treated as the enemy. And too, what is this protection for Jews, but
    nothing for those supporting Palestine?

    How sad, and how quickly has America fallen as this nation is not even 300 years old.Even more sad , a current president and one who wants to be president again—-and neither one is worth a pile of crap. When can we assume the implosion of this once positive nation will occur?

    • Dawn
      May 3, 2024 at 12:43

      Parts of America are 400 years old, ex. NY:

      The Dutch West India Company brought the first enslaved Africans to New Netherland, which included New Amsterdam, in 1626. The company purchased 16 enslaved people from Portuguese pirates, including 11 men from Angola, Congo, and Sao Tome, and three women in 1626 and 1628. These enslaved Africans were a significant part of the town’s population in the early years of settlement.

  15. Michael McNulty
    May 3, 2024 at 11:07

    I think the university administrators are using lawfare to clear these encampments. Tell these students they are banned from campus, then the police move in to arrest them (after a time that will be all of them), after which it is made a condition of bail they must agree not to return to the university since they are now banned from there.

  16. Paula
    May 3, 2024 at 11:02

    We can’t let these violent liars, pretenders, and genocide supporters win, ever.

  17. Drew Hunkins
    May 3, 2024 at 11:01

    “the violence is being consistently instigated by Zionist counter-protesters, with videos of pro-Israel thugs launching fireworks and hurling bottles of chemicals into the encampment, ganging up on a protester on the ground and beating him with sticks,”

    Hey! This is exactly how the settlers treat the Palestinians in the West Bank whose homes they steal, land they occupy, and olive gardens they uproot.

  18. Vera Gottlieb
    May 3, 2024 at 10:57

    The ignorance and arrogance of Americans never ceases to amaze me.

  19. Drew Hunkins
    May 3, 2024 at 10:55

    CNN engages in pathetic projection. Obviously disgraceful conduct. How can they sleep at night? Oh yeah, that’s right, these millionaire news people sold their souls decades ago.

    They’re so so shameless they don’t even understand when they should feel humiliated.

    Soon it could be a criminal offense to equate Israeli conduct with the Third Reich. But here CNN can paint committed and principled anti-genocide activists, who have more integrity in their left foot than the entire CNN news crew has in their entire body, as Nazis and it’s the most normal thing in the world.

  20. Steve
    May 3, 2024 at 10:45

    From Wikipedia.
    “It should here be noted that Dana Bash gets her surname from her first husband Jeremy Bash, who went on to serve as the chief of staff for both the C.I.A. and the Pentagon. The woman is pure swamp.”
    “Bash was born Dana Ruth Schwartz in Manhattan into a Jewish family”
    “attributing the pressure to the network’s new CEO Mark Thompson (Ex BBC DG).”
    “A number of commentators have suggested that Thompson has a pro-Israeli editorial stance”,
    “Thompson went to Israel in 2005 and signed a deal with prime minister Ariel Sharon on the BBC’s coverage”, “Thompson lives in the United States with his wife, Jane Blumberg. Blumberg was born in Brooklyn, New York, into a Jewish family”
    Coincidences, I’m sure.

    • Edgar Bruce
      May 5, 2024 at 11:19

      What would be the percentage of Jews who are not also Zionists, either consciously or unconsciously? I doubt that Bash would describe herself as a Zionist. And yet….

  21. Michael G
    May 3, 2024 at 10:24

    “In this book, we sketch out a “Propaganda model” and apply it to the
    performance of the mass media of the United States. This effort reflects
    our belief, based on many years of study of the workings of the media,
    that they serve to mobilize support for the special interests that dominate
    the state and private activity, and that their choices, emphases, and
    omissions can often be understood best, and sometimes with striking
    clarity and insight, by analyzing them in such terms.”

    -Edward S. Herman & Noam Chomsky
    The first paragraph in “Manufacturing Consent”

  22. Helga I. Fellay
    May 3, 2024 at 10:24

    Netanyahu’s statement that what’s happening in US universities is “reminiscent of what happened in German universities in the 1930s” is an outright brazen lie. Nothing at all like this happened in Germany in the 1930’s. Ask any German old enough to remember these times.

  23. Em
    May 3, 2024 at 10:21

    What I heard a Jewish professor at Columbia University, I think it was, say (which was incisively astute) in response to a question: there is a huge and literal difference between feeling fear as an individual emotion and actual “fear itself” in reality (WW III).
    This comment is not the verbatim of what I heard.

    • Adam Gorelick
      May 3, 2024 at 21:24

      A majority of Israelis inhabit an insular, propagandised bubble. But the hermetic, delusional state of Zionists becomes more cringe inducingly apparent when the propagandists are outside of Israel’s barricaded little world. Like a “mad” person outside of a mental hospital, the lunacy of Western pro-Israel pundits is somehow more startling than that of apartheid state officials. Also, if you watch Dana Bash’s unhinged diatribe with the volume turned down, you can see the collective face of Zionism today. Strident and infantile, as always. But also craven and confused. If the arrogance seems more brittle, it’s because no one could have predicted what has been happening. The tremendous surge of outrage at the unfolding genocide – on campuses, in streets throughout the world – is unprecedented and stunning. For Zionists, who have nothing at their rhetorical disposal but hackneyed lies and ad hominem attacks, seeing the world en masse seeing through them must be unsettling. For all their political power and media dominance, Zionists have lost the popular narrative war; as Israel has failed to achieve any of it’s stated goals and only further strengthened the resolve of it’s opponents to bring an end to it’s reign of terror.

  24. torture this
    May 3, 2024 at 10:19

    Pretty soon the America Firsters are going to fix this, right? Nazi Lasters get no respect.

    • Larry Gates
      May 3, 2024 at 10:34

      The House just passed a bill making it illegal to compare Israel to Nazis. Yet it’s OK to compare American students to Nazis?

  25. Jeff Harrison
    May 3, 2024 at 10:05

    “Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof; or abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press; or the right of the people peaceably to assemble, and to petition the Government for a redress of grievances.”

    Clearly, the government doesn’t respect plain English. I blame the Lawyers.

    • Selina Sweet
      May 3, 2024 at 11:14

      I blame corporate.

  26. hetro
    May 3, 2024 at 10:01

    This Bash speaker should read a little George Orwell along with her study of Cliche and Pablum For Mainstream Broadcasting. The Orwell precept is reverse everything so as to put yourself into a position as honorable defender instead of thug and aggressor. Subject your material to spin, emotion, distortion, and the officially preferred narrative first! Think: salary, image!

    • Selina Sweet
      May 3, 2024 at 11:19

      That there is no public voice telling the truth the propaganda. gets “fixed” in non skeptical minds. The Squad, Bernie, Warren, Merkeley (OR), or Khanna ought to make a big enough deal over this to promote public skepticism about CNN’s veracity.

      • Nyah
        May 4, 2024 at 14:37

        You might want to re-examine your opinion of Ro Khanna on this. While he has voted against the interests of the Zionist Colonial Project here and there, he has also given his blessing to atrocity propaganda, which fuels impunity for the genocide:

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