GOP wants UNC-TV host who made Nazi analogy suspended - WSLS 10 NBC in Roanoke/Lynchburg Va

GOP wants UNC-TV host who made Nazi analogy suspended

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RALEIGH, N.C. -

The head of the North Carolina Republican Party is calling for WUNC-TV to suspend a program hosted by D.G. Martin after a column he wrote compared the recent North Carolina legislative session to excesses of the Nazi regime when they took power in Germany in the 1930s.

Martin has hosted "North Carolina Bookwatch" on WUNC-TV since 1999. He also writes a column that appears in publications around the state, such as The Herald-Sun of Durham.

Martin is the father of Grier Martin, a Democrat who represents Wake County in the N.C. House.

In a recent column, Martin wrote, "Similar explanations were made to explain away Nazi excesses when they took power in Germany in 1933 according to Erik Larson's recent best seller, ‘In the Garden of Beasts: Love, Terror, and an American Family in Hitler's Berlin,' based on the experience of North Carolina native William E. Dodd, who was U.S. Ambassador to Germany during this period.

"According to Larson, when the new Nazi propaganda minister Joseph Goebbels faced questions about abuse against Jews, he told reporters, ‘Let me explain how such a thing might occasionally happen,' Goebbels said. ‘All during the twelve years of the Weimar Republic our people were virtually in jail. Now our party is in charge and they are free again. When a man has been in jail for twelve years and he is suddenly freed, in his joy he may do something irrational, perhaps even brutal. Is that not a possibility in your country also?'

"In our state, too?"

That column sparked a strong response from Claude Pope, the head of the North Carolina Republican Party, on Friday. Pope called it "an inexcusable, disgusting and shameful comparison that will damage the reputation of an otherwise upstanding organization."

"It's a shame that UNC-TV televises such a divisive, toxic, personality with our taxpayer funds," said Pope.  "After Martin's latest article, North Carolinians should expect this left wing zealot who is parading as a television host in front of dozens of viewers to take his next job alongside Rachel Maddow on MSNBC. 

"We call on UNC-TV to suspend this program while they evaluate their relationship with their host who made such an outrageous and damaging comparison. Such divisive hyperbole only serves to confuse and trivialize issues that are important to North Carolinians, who all deserve a formal apology."

Martin, in a short apology, said, "I'm very sorry that I offended some people, and I apologize. Period."

WNCN asked UNC-TV for a response. In a statement, UNC-TV said, "Mr. Martin wrote an opinion piece in his own personal capacity.  It was not written on behalf of UNC-TV.  Mr. Martin is not an employee of UNC-TV and he is not compensated by UNC-TV. 

"He has apologized for the comments for which he has been criticized."

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