Megyn Kelly should probably watch her own network

MEGYN KELLY SHOULD PROBABLY WATCH HER OWN NETWORK…. During speeches on the House floor this week on health care, Rep. Steve Cohen (D-Tenn.) pushed the rhetorical envelope a bit too far. “[Republicans] say it’s a government takeover of health care,” he said, “a big lie just like Goebbels.”

Cohen eventually walked it back, as he should have. I share his frustration about the right’s willingness to repeat obvious lies, but responsible figures should try to avoid Goebbels references.

Fox News, of course, has deemed Cohen’s remarks a very important story, worthy of extensive coverage, leading to one especially noteworthy exchange yesterday.

On the January 20 edition of Fox News’ America Live, [Megyn Kelly] hosted Equality Matters‘ President Richard Socarides to discuss Rep. Steve Cohen’s (D-TN) recent reference to Nazi propaganda minister Joseph Goebbels on the floor of the House of Representatives. Socarides stated that “on the very network that we’re on right now, the leading commenters on this network use this kind of language.” Kelly responded by absurdly claiming “I don’t know if you sit and watch our programming every night, but I watch it every day and you’re wrong.”

Now, I can appreciate why Megyn Kelly might be a little embarrassed. She was, after all, hosting a segment on how outrageous it is to make Nazi-related comparisons on a network that routinely makes Nazi-related comparisons. That Socarides had the audacity to bring up reality during the interview was the kind of move that might hurt his chances of being invited back.

But if Kelly thinks her colleagues at the Republican network don’t routinely use language identical to Cohen’s, she’s either lying or she’s watching Fox News with the volume turned all the way down.

Media Matters ran a collection this afternoon of various Fox News figures — Beck, O’Reilly, Hannity, even Roger Ailes — who regularly invoke Nazis, Hitler, Goebbels, and other Nazi imagery to go after their perceived enemies. It’s a pretty long list, which only reinforces the point — Fox News personalities reference Nazis to make political points all the time. Occasionally, it seems as if the voices on Fox News do nothing but rely on Nazi references to blast Democrats and the left.

Kelly doesn’t have to like it, but transcripts can be stubborn.

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Steve Benen

Steve Benen is a producer at MSNBC's The Rachel Maddow Show. He was the principal contributor to the Washington Monthly's Political Animal blog from August 2008 until January 2012.