White House spokeswoman Linda Douglass appeared on the Colbert Report to debunk rumors that she had compared health care reform opponents to Nazis. Earlier this week, conservative blogger Erick Erickson told Stephen Colbert that Linda Douglass has compared health care reform opponents to "brownshirts" so he decided to dub her after Adolf Hitler's Minister of Propaganda.
"Linda Douglass really is the Joseph Goebbels of the White House Health Care shop: http://bit.ly/3y276U," tweeted Erickson back in October.
"I figured if she was going to refer to people who didn’t like the government taking over health care as brownshirts then maybe I would refer to her as Joseph Goebbels," Erickson told Colbert.
The AP story that Erickson's tweet refers does quote Douglass but there is no mention of brownshirts or any other Nazi imagery.
White House health care spokeswoman Linda Douglass concurred. "This is an insurance industry analysis that is designed to reach a conclusion which benefits the industry, and does not represent what the bill does," she said.
"Are you now or have you ever been a member of the American Nazi party?" Colbert asked Douglass, the Director of Communications for the White House Office of Health Reform since May of 2009, on Wednesday's show.
A laughing Douglass tried to tell Colbert no but he held her "feet to the fire" and wouldn't listen to her protestations. "You are Joseph Goebbels," Colbert insisted. "You're Josephine Goebbels."
"First of all, I did not [call Erickson a brownshirt]. That is absolutely false," Douglass said. "Secondly, it's confusing. Because Goebbels, a Nazi, would have liked the brownshirts, so I don't even really know what he's talking about."
Colbert asked if she was calling Erickson a liar and if she was did she knew who also "called people liars... Joseph Goebbels."
Douglas laughed before blasting "crazy falsehoods" which she said were being passed around to scare people and stop health care reform.
This video is from Comedy Central's The Colbert Report, broadcast Jan. 6, 2010.